About the Study Guide

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As a responsible hunter, you should educate yourself about wildlife prior to your hunt. The ability to identify species accurately will make you a better hunter and will increase the enjoyment of your hunting experience.

Drake, mother duck and ducklings

Developing wildlife identification skills is a basic requirement for 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 size of their ears or distinctive coloring. Recognizing tracks, scat, food sources, and habitat types also can help you identify animals.

A variety of print and visual resources are available to help you increase your knowledge about wildlife. Television shows that feature hunting and nature topics also can be a good source of information.

Wild animals are generally divided into five groups.