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Lucas Nelson
Lucas Nelson

Join the Hunting Game Community and Share Your Passion for Hunting

Game or quarry is any wild animal hunted for animal products (primarily meat), for recreation ("sporting"), or for trophies. The species of animals hunted as game varies in different parts of the world and by different local jurisdictions, though most are terrestrial mammals and birds. Fish caught non-commercially (recreational fishing) are also referred to as game fish.

The range of animal species hunted by humans varies in different parts of the world. This is influenced by climate, faunal diversity, popular taste and locally accepted views about what can or cannot be legitimately hunted. Sometimes a distinction is also made between varieties and breeds of a particular animal, such as wild turkey and domestic turkey. The flesh of the animal, when butchered for consumption, is often described as having a "gamey" flavour. This difference in taste can be attributed to the natural diet of the animal, which usually results in a lower fat content compared to domestic farm-raised animals.

hunting game

In some countries, game is classified, including legal classifications with respect to licenses required, as either "small game" or "large game". A single small game licence may cover all small game species and be subject to yearly bag limits. Large game are often subject to individual licensing where a separate permit is required for each individual animal taken (tags).

South Africa is a famous destination for game hunting, with its large biodiversity and therefore impressive variety of game species. Many creatures have returned to former areas from which they were once taken as a result of being killed for big-game hunting. Commonly hunted species include:

South Africa also has 62 species of gamebirds, including guineafowl, francolin, partridge, quail, sandgrouse, duck, geese, snipe, bustard and korhaan. Some of these species are no longer hunted, and of the 44 indigenous gamebirds that can potentially be utilised in South Africa, only three, namely the yellow-throated sandgrouse, Delegorgue's pigeon and the African pygmy goose warrant special protection. Of the remaining 41 species, 24 have shown an increase in numbers and distribution range in the last 25 years or so. The status of 14 species appears unchanged, with insufficient information being available for the remaining three species. The gamebirds of South Africa where the population status in 2005 was secure or growing are listed below:

In the UK game is defined in law by the Game Act 1831. It is illegal to shoot game on Sundays or at night. Other non-game birds that are hunted for food in the UK are specified under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. UK law defines game as including:

Game meat is typically taken from a wild animal that has been shot with a gun or bow. Hunters must be absolutely certain of their target before shooting and should make every effort to get the animal down as quickly and painlessly as possible. Once obtained, game meat must be processed to avoid spoiling. The method of processing varies by game species and size. Small game and fowl may simply be carried home to be butchered. Large game such as deer is quickly field-dressed by removing the viscera in the field, while very large animals like moose may be partially butchered in the field because of the difficulty of removing them intact from their habitat. Commercial processors often handle deer taken during deer seasons, sometimes even at supermarket meat counters. Otherwise the hunter handles butchering. The carcass is kept cool to minimize spoilage.

Traditionally, game meat was hung until "high" or "gamey", that is, approaching a state of decomposition.[3] However, this adds to the risk of contamination. Small game can be processed essentially intact, after gutting and skinning or defeathering (by species). Small animals are ready for cooking, although they may be disjointed first. Large game must be processed by techniques commonly practiced by commercial butchers.

Generally game is cooked in the same ways as farmed meat.[4] Because some game meat is leaner than store-bought beef, overcooking is a common mishap which can be avoided if properly prepared.[5][6] It is sometimes grilled or cooked longer or by slow cooking or moist-heat methods to make it more tender, since some game tends to be tougher than farm-raised meat. Other methods of tenderizing include marinating as in the dish Hasenpfeffer, cooking in a game pie or as a stew such as burgoo.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority considers that children, pregnant women, fertile-aged women, and people with high blood pressure should not consume game shot with lead-based ammunition more than once a month. Children who often eat such game might develop a slightly lower IQ, as lead influences the development of the central nervous system.[7]

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The Colorado Hunting Atlas allows users to view big game concentrations and game management units displayed on top of street maps, USGS topographic maps or high-resolution color aerial photography.

In response to the severity and duration of the historic winter in the northwest corner of the state, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approved big game license quota reductions and reduced the length of the over-the-counter rifle elk seasons in certain units. Please review the big game brochure for more information.

This annual issue is loaded with great content, including hunting strategies for hot weather, advantages of antlerless deer and elk hunts, how and what to cook when in the field, and so much more! Purchase your copy today!

Florida residents and visitors need a Florida hunting license, (in addition to other required permits) unless they are exempt. The limited entry permit program offers quality hunting on WMAs. Application periods begin in early spring. For some hunts/times, no quota permit is required.

FWC cooperatively manages public hunting on 6 million acres in our WMA system. The FWC cannot give permission to hunt on other lands. Land that is not posted or fenced, including some waterbodies, may not be open to hunting. There is a directory of outfitters and guides to help you plan your hunt.

Hunters born on or after June 1, 1975, and 16 years old, must pass a hunter safety course before purchasing a license. The deferral from the hunter safety certification requirement allows certain hunters to purchase a hunting license without completing the course.

Learn how you can get the latest FWC hunting news including updates about hunting season dates, quota/limited entry hunts, regulations, conservation efforts, FWC-managed shooting ranges, where to hunt, programs, events and more.

Coyote hunting is open year-round. Coyote may be taken on private property by a property owner or designee all year if they are doing or about to do damage on private property - a license or written permit is not needed.

Note: The use of .269 caliber or smaller for the take of coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and opossums at night is permitted. Nighttime take with centerfire rifles is prohibited on all state parks and recreation areas statewide, and all state game areas within the limited firearm deer zone.

Notes: Shotguns must be plugged so they are capable of holding no more than three shells. All woodcock hunters must obtain a free woodcock stamp in addition to a valid base license, available from all license agents or online. The woodcock stamp includes registration with the federal Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP). A current-year HIP endorsement must be carried when hunting migratory birds. Hunters can promote sound woodcock management by promptly reporting all banded birds harvested, including date and location taken. To report bands, go to, or call 800-327-BAND.

A joint cybersecurity advisory issued by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), FBI and other security groups in February 2022, indicates a dip in big game hunting beginning in the second half of 2021. Their analysis suggests that adversaries may have turned to other tactics due to increased scrutiny from law enforcement, as well as diminishing returns following the May 2021 Colonial Pipeline Co. cyberattack, which was widely publicized and resulted in a partial ransom payment recovery by the FBI.

However, recent analysis from CrowdStrike maintains that big game hunting continues to be a major security concern for large organizations, regardless of location or sector. The CrowdStrike eCrime Index (ECX), which is a proprietary tool that provides a composite score for tracking changes within the threat universe, confirms that big game hunters reduced their operational tempo or ceased activity in May 2021. However, beginning in September 2021, big game hunting activity appeared to return to near peak levels, indicating that this trend is once again on the rise.

Cyber big game hunters are sophisticated players, often working as part of an organized group to take down significant targets. In many cases, these groups operate as highly structured and organized networks, not unlike corporate enterprises. They are often state-sponsored and are suspected to have ties to government agencies or prominent public figures.

As noted in the CrowdStrike 2022 Global Threat Report, big game hunting operations will continue to dominate the eCrime landscape in 2022. The access broker market will also continue as an avenue for ransomware operators to gain victims, removing the initial access step and allowing swifter deployment of malware.

To quickly identify threats and reduce the risk of big game hunting, organizations should aim to establish a robust cybersecurity strategy that defends the organization on multiple levels. Here are some helpful recommendations for setting up a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy:

"Small game" includes upland and migratory game birds, small game mammals (e.g., squirrel, rabbit), furbearers (e.g., fox, coyote), and reptiles and amphibians. Game species may be taken only during their open seasons. Hunters taking wildlife on licensed shooting preserves must comply with regulations governing those shooting preserves.


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