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Today's Wildlife Field Identification Guide  

Today's Wildlife: Field Identification Guide

As a responsible hunter, you should educate yourself about wildlife prior to your hunt. The ability to accurately identify species will make you a better hunter and will increase the enjoyment of your hunting experience. Consult with your state's fish and wilflife management agency for legal game species and their hunting seasons.

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 can also 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 can also be a good source of information.

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This publication (available from KE Publications) features different species of waterfowl and information on how to identify them by plumage colors, flock patterns, silhouettes and sounds. New handy pocket size with full color illustrations.

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Wild animals are generally divided into five groups:

  • Large mammals
  • Small mammals
  • Upland birds
  • Waterfowl
  • Rare, protected, or endangered species

Other wildlife groups are wetland birds and birds of prey.

Range Maps

Many animal descriptions are accompanied by a map showing the animal's habitat range. The maps are color-coded as follows:

  Summer Range
  Winter Range
  All-Year Range
Wildlife Guide
White-tailed deer tracks
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Online wildlife identification guide last modified: January 3, 2008
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