Hunting can be fun, but before you plan your next trip, you should familiarize yourself with the list of animals that you will not be allowed to hunt. It is illegal to hunt many species of animals in the United States, and if caught, you will be subject to fines, loss of hunting privileges and, in the most extreme cases, imprisonment. To help you avoid these punishments, the team at Hunting-License.org recommends that you do everything possible to avoid hunting the following animals.
- Whooping Crane
- Cougar (Mountain Lion)
Swans are some of the most recognizable waterfowl on earth, but unfortunately, their numbers have drastically declined in North America. There are several species of swan, but in many areas, it is illegal to kill any species. They live in flocks of two to 10, and all North American swan species are predominately white. Swans have been declared illegal to hunt in many jurisdictions, due to their rapidly dwindling numbers.
The whooping crane is number two on the Hunting-License.org list, and it is native to a considerable portion of the southern United States. Standing almost five feet tall, the crane has a remarkable wingspan of nearly seven and a half feet. These birds are primarily white, but they can be easily identified by their black wingtips. In numerous states, including Texas, it is illegal to hunt these beautiful birds, and anyone caught doing so will be subject to a variety of penalties. Avid hunters should be particularly careful when hunting cranes since the whooping crane frequently migrates with more common crane species that are legal to hunt.
Found everywhere from the Canadian mountains to the Mexican desert, the bobcat has been hunted to near extinction in the U.S. Often poached by trophy hunters for their fur, bobcats have completely disappeared from many of their native areas. They are roughly two to three times the size of a domestic cat, and they have earned a reputation for being highly adaptable predators.
Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are illegal to hunt in most locations across the country. They are the second largest felines in the Americas (after the Jaguar), and they are extremely solitary creatures. Cougars are rarely seen during the daytime and are often found hiding in rocky areas. Also, the team at Hunting-License.org notes that the number of cougar attacks on humans has increased in recent years.
Although rarely targeted by hunters, the Hunting-License.org team has found that crocodiles are still illegal to hunt in most southern states. These enormous reptiles are believed to have been illegally introduced to the United States from Africa, and they are commonly mistaken for alligators. Sightings of this apex predator are rare, and, in many cases, the so-called crocodile was actually an alligator. Despite their extreme rareness, crocodiles have been spotted in various parts of the southern U.S., particularly Florida. Animal experts currently estimate that the U.S. crocodile population is at 2,000.
Despite their large population in North America, coyotes are still illegal to hunt in some states. Much like other large canids, the coyote is extremely predatory and highly adaptable. Over the last few years, the natural range of the coyote has expanded significantly, and a few have even been spotted as far south as Central America. There are currently 19 living species of coyote in the United States.