It is speculated that there are more hunters in the U.S. than in any other country. This is because of the number of issued licenses every year by the states and other agencies.

How true is that?

With reliable hunting statistics from the right sources, it is easy to back up whatever hunting claims. In this post are of how many hunters in the U.S. that there is and the most hunted animal in the U.S.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on HunterExperts. For more information, read full disclosure here.

How many Hunters have a license in the U.S.?

Hunting licenses are usually issued by the provincial wildlife agencies or by the state itself. They are either given in the form of a certificate or a card, and in some cases, you are eligible for both. With this, you can get a hunting tag and enter draws as the licensing acts as proof that you are well educated.

How many Hunters have a license in the U.S.

The age and time at which the license is gotten are different from state to state and even by every province. With this, the amount of hunters in the U.S. has gone up over the years.

Here is a table of the progression in the last seven years:

YearTotal No. of Licensed Hunters
201435,238,092
201535,850,931
201636,331,433
201736,824,655
201837,007,122
201935,900,913
202038,854,259

This table contains the number of hunters licensed in the U.S. in the past seven years. This data was gotten from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Hunting License Data and has proven reliable regarding hunting in the U.S.

Note, even with the high number of hunters licensed offered each year, what percentage of Americans hunt is still at four percent. Compared to the number of Americans living in the U.S. that is a deficient amount number of hunters in the general population.

How are hunting licenses gotten in the U.S.?

Hunting licenses are used as a sign of approval that a person could hunt in the U.S., and without that, it is illegal. This means that it is a crime to go on a hunt without getting a license, and it could attract dire consequences. However, there are steps to getting a hunting license in the U.S., which is based on this section.

Here are the steps to getting a license in the U.S.:

Step one: Get a hunter’s education.

A hunter’s education is the most crucial step towards getting a license, and the procedure takes getting a certificate. About seventy years ago, the idea of having a formal hunter education was introduced, and the goal was to ensure that the public is protected.

How does it work?

After the initial years of the educational program running outside the classroom, it advanced to involve classroom instructions. These instructions are given by already licensed hunter safety instructors as well as other online educational platforms. For either of them, they have to pass through some screening themselves and be approved by the state and wildlife agencies.

That’s not all:

Currently, most states and provinces now accept that some part of the formal hunter education can be received online if necessary. With this, the amount of time that a hunter has to spend in their classroom is reduced considerably.

In several states and provinces, the online part of the learning is followed by a hands-on practice accompanied by a hunter education instructor. Note that this follow-up class or day at the field is used to cover a considerable part of the certification process, leading to getting a hunting license.

After the field day practice, the formal hunter education then requires that you get a test that serves as the final written exam. If there is no provision for a final exam, then it could be just a hands-on evaluation or even include a review of certain hunter safety material.

Step two: Pay for the License.

Once you have successfully gotten the formal hunter education degree, then the next thing is to get the license. With that in mind, you are expected to pay a certain amount to the state, province, or agency that is meant to issue your license.

What does this do?

The license price differs from the place it is being obtained, so there is no clear cut price for obtaining the license. However, getting the voucher that leads up to the license still resides within the same range in almost every location where it is being issued.

What next?

Once you have paid the one-time fee required to process the license, you can head on print your online voucher. With this voucher, you can head on to the next stage of getting a license.

Step three: Attend the state follow-up class and get the license.

At this point, as an applicant, you are expected to attend a follow-up class that is organized by the state or province closest to you. This class aims to ensure that you have all that is needed before going on a hunt.

This is the last stage, and it is meant to validate whatever platform you have used in the educational program. At the end of this, you are issued the license as either a card or a certificate. In some cases, you are even given the two simultaneously, and with that, you can confidently hunt without running into legal problems.

Note, the goal of having a certificate for those that have passed the formal hunting education and even issuing licenses is for hunting conservation. Without the right regulations, hunters can easily hunt and kill animals that are meant to be preserved.

How many hunters are in every state in the U.S.?

According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Hunting License Date, in the year 2020 alone, over thirty-eight million hunters got licensed. This data is collected annually and based on their database, which has proven to be reliable over the years.

However, these licenses are based on the states, and some have more licensed hunters than others. In this section is a state by state analysis of the hunters licensed issued all through the U.S. for the past year, and it is based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Hunting License Date.

Knowing how many hunting licenses are sold in the U.S. would be easy to gauge the hunter demographics accurately.

Here are the number of hunters by state:

Alaska- A.K.

Averagely the amount of paid license holders in Alaska is placed at 90,406, while those with Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps are summed at 400,176. For those that have the Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps are at 47,585. With this, the total amount of Hunting licenses, tags, permits & stamps are placed at 447,761.

Alabama- A.L.

For the case of Alabama, they have a total of 503,144 paid license holders and 493,001 Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits holders. There is also a sum of 37,674 Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits holders in the state. With this, there are 530,675 Hunting licenses, tags, permits & stamps issued in total.

Arkansas- A.R.

Arkansas has a total of 507,918 hunter licenses, tags, permits, and stamps that have been issued in total. When split out, the amount of paid license holders is at 293, 356, while the Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps is at 360,810. The Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps are then summed at 147,108.

American Samoa- AS

Paid license holders: 0

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 0

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 0

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 0

Arizona- AZ

Paid license holders: 304,789

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 426,354

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 79,727

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 506,081

California- C.A.

Paid license holders: 267,170

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 968,752

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 23,145

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 991,897

Colorado- C.O.

Paid license holders: 295,451

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 471,558

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 111,398

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 582,956

Connecticut- CT

Paid license holders: 34,340

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 105,477

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 4,728

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 110,205

District of Columbia- D.C.

Paid license holders: 0

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 0

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 0

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 0

Delaware- D.E.

Paid license holders: 16,291

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 47,566

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 6,117

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 53,683

Florida- F.L.

Paid license holders: 189,706

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 284,819

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 18,737

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 303,556

Georgia- G.A.

Paid license holders: 625,142

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,217,408

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 163,816

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,381,224

Guam- G.U.

Paid license holders: 547

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 547

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps:

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 547

Hawaii- H.I.

Paid license holders: 10,614

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 10,732

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,225

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 11,957

Iowa- I.A.

Paid license holders: 218,483

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 578,244

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 80,830

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 659,074

Idaho- I.D.

Paid license holders: 288,613

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,270,017

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 219,419

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,489,436

Illinois- I.L.

Paid license holders: 297,243

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,352,722

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 85,013

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,437,735

Indiana- IN

Paid license holders: 253,611

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 351,437

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 21,192

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 372,629

Kansas- K.S.

Paid license holders: 248,430

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 300,247

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits and Stamps: 168,236

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 468,485

Kentucky- K.Y.

Paid license holders: 334,342

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 468,895

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 112,338

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 581,233

Los Angeles- L.A.

Paid license holders: 396,621

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 554,753

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 52,588

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 607,338

Massachusetts- M.A.

Paid license holders: 56,985

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 240,449

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 16,202

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 256,651

Maryland- M.D.

Paid license holders: 119,202

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 280,815

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 345,327

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 64,512

Maine- M.E.

Paid license holders: 154,580

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 199,058

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 33,231

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 232,289

Michigan- MI

Paid license holders: 665,431

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 2,073,763

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 56,383

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 2,130,146

Minnesota- M.N.

Paid license holders: 550,087

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,320,033

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,364,972

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 44,939

Missouri- MO

Paid license holders: 486,025

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,855,335

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 90,918

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,946,253

North Mariana Islands- M.P.

Paid license holders: 308

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 308

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 2

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 308

Mississippi- M.S.

Paid license holders: 288,287

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits and Stamps: 304,201

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 89,749

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 393,950

Montana- M.T.

Paid license holders: 224,248

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 858,002

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 172,569

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,030,571

North Carolina- N.C.

Paid license holders: 603,995

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 295,312

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 26,732

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 322,044

North Dakota- N.D.

Paid license holders: 131,043

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 366,236

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 127,732

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 489,968

Nebraska- N.E.

Paid license holders: 183,516

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 315,848

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 91,968

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 407,816

New Hampshire- N.H.

Paid license holders: 56,001

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 129,306

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 20,256

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 149,562

New Jersey- N.J.

Paid license holders: 71,300

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 283,229

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 125,139

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 408,368

New Mexico- N.M.

Paid license holders: 110,194

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 110,194

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 93,148

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 386,978

Nevada- N.V.

Paid license holders: 69,681

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 115,329

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 27,953

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 143,282

New York- N.Y.

Paid license holders: 556,897

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,341,561

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 48,388

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,389,949

Ohio- O.H.

Paid license holders: 361,199

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 813,949

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 104,362

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 918,275

Oklahoma- OK

Paid license holders: 558,374

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 406,555

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 27,161

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 433,716

Oregon- OR

Paid license holders: 326,663

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,227,831

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 61,943

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 1,289,774

Pennsylvania- P.A.

Paid license holders: 930,815

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 2,537,824

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 108,896

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 2,646,720

Puerto Rico- P.R.

Paid license holders: 5,864

Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 3,638

Non-Resident Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 9

Total Hunting Licenses, tags, Permits, and Stamps: 3,647

Note, this estimate is based on the 2020 review and is bound to change overtime. So, always take note of the improvements that would be made over the years.

What is the most Hunted Animal in the U.S.?

Understanding the most hunted animal in the U.S. is quite easy to decide as several animals can be found in the country. However, the deer is one of the most hunted animals in the states. Both the white-tailed deer and the Mule deer list the top five hunted animals in the U.S.

deer is one of the most hunted animals in the states

The number of deer hunters by the state is hard to determine since they are found in almost all regions in the country.

  • White-tailed Deer: The white-tailed deer is found in almost every state in the United States as they thrive in several habitats.
  • Black Bear: The black bear is one of the most hunted in the U.S. because it is easily found in Spring Season. They are one of the most hunted because there is rarely any other animal found during spring, so they make the top of the list.
  • Elk: Elks are majorly found during the rut period, and they are super exciting animals for bow hunters. They are easily located in September of every year, and with a bit of skill, bow hunters can find them.
  • Pronghorns: For several states in the U.S. the Pronghorn season is considered to be found during the late summer season. They can strive even when it is hot or cold.
  • Mule Deer: The big Mule Deer can be found in the high country where they live, and they make for rugged yet beautiful scenery. Hunters can easily sport and spot the muleys, unlike the whitetails. Even with less popularity than the Whitetail, it is still one of America’s most hunted animals.

These are some of the most hunted animals in the United States.

How many Deer hunters are in the U.S.?

There are speculations that deer hunting is on the decrease in America due to the reduced amount in the last year. However, considering the COVID-19 pandemic that has plagued every sector of the country, it is only normal for fewer hunters to be out on a hunting trip.

There’s more:

Another thing to consider is the type of hunters that hunt for deer in the U.S., and they are categorized based on the equipment used.

Here is a breakdown of the various hunters:

Equipment usedA number of hunters.
Hunters that use both bow and guns2.59 million
Hunters that use bows in hunting2.04 million
Hunters that use firearms for hunting.9.36 million
Total deer hunters that are based in the U.S.11.4 million

With this, it becomes more visible that deer hunting is the most popular form of hunting in the states as no other animal beats its numbers. This makes up for 3.35% of the United States’ hunting population out of the 4% of total hunters. The remaining is left to those who hunt things like a bear, elk, pronghorns, and more.

What state has the least hunters?

With millions of years’ worth of record, it is convenient to say that hunting has built a reputation as one of the oldest form of human activity. However, based off the record of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service there are states that have gotten more licensing than the others and in this section are some of these states.

states with the lowest numbers of hunting licenses

Unlike the early years of hunting, the activity has evolved from being a necessity for most into being a sport that people consciously chose to engage. And with this, there has been a sharp decline in the amount of hunters licenses issued in the United States

So, below are the states with the lowest numbers of hunting licenses:

#1: California

The state of California itself has covered about 0.7% of the total population of the hunting population in the U.S. However, the amount of paid hunting license holders are about 267,170 when summed up. In general, the total hunting license, tags, permits and stamps holders in California are 991,897. This is one of the lowest in the hunters in the United States.

#2: Rhode Island

Rhode Island is another state that has enough hunters to cover about 0.7% of the total U.S. hunters in the world.  But, the sum of paid hunting license holders are 7,208 while the total hunting license, tags, permits and stamps 26,690. With this it wins the second spot as the state with the most hunters in the U.S.

#3: Hawaii

Another state that comes to the bottom of the list when it comes to hunting in the U.S. is Hawaii. It makes about 0.7% of the total hunters in the United States. There are about 11,957 paid hunting license holder in total for the state of Hawaii. So, there are about 11,957 hunting licenses, tags, permits and stamps made available for those in Hawaii.

#4: New Jersey

New Jersey, unlike the other two covers for about 0.8% of the residents in the United States with paid hunting licenses. When it comes to those with paid hunting licenses then you have a sum of 71,300 hunters. However, on the general note there are about 408,368 hunting license, tags, permits and stamps issued in total.

#5: Massachusetts

Massachusetts is just like New Jersey as it has 0.8% of hunters that are in the United States in general. Still, the total number of paid hunting license holders that are available in the Unites states are 56,985. But the total hunting licenses, permits, tags and stamps in Massachusetts are 256,651 which is still below the bar of total hunters.

Note, this list is based on the review of 202 alone and is bound to change overtime. Therefore, ensure that you watch out for the new additions in the coming years.

Summary

Based on the hunting statistics provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Hunting License Date, it is easy to measure the available hunters. They have speculated that the hunters based in America alone make up for 4% of the total population. With this analysis, you also get to see where several of the hunters are based.