Developing wildlife identification skills is a basic requirement for all hunters. Mistakes can lead to illegal harvest of game or non-game animals. To identify game properly, you must learn to recognize key characteristics of the animal you’re hunting.
Identifying animals accurately can be a challenge. Sometimes the difference between animals in the same species is subtle, such as the sizes of their ears or distinctive coloring. In some species, such as caribou, both the males and females have antlers. Recognizing tracks, scat, food sources, and habitat types also can help you identify animals.
Some species are protected from hunting because their numbers are low and they produce no surplus to harvest.
The wildlife glossary describes many animals that are commonly bowhunted. Be sure to check your state or provincial regulations for species that are legal for bowhunting.