Safe, legal hunting requires the ability to identify wild animals. Every species of wildlife is unique and may have wide variations in size, shape, color, and habits.
Dividing wildlife into groups that are similar in some way can help you learn the important features of animals and birds; for example:
- Large Mammals: elk, deer, bear, coyote, bobcat
- Small Mammals: rabbit, squirrel, otter, beaver, fox, raccoon, skunk
- Upland Birds: turkey, dove, quail, pheasant, prairie chicken, crow
- Waterfowl & Wetland Birds: duck, goose, crane, snipe
- Birds of Prey: eagle, hawk, owl, falcon
Within each of these groups, species may be threatened or endangered and protected by law. Some species are protected because their numbers are small and they produce no surplus to harvest.