If you are totally new to the hunting world and you don't know where to begin, you can start with small game. Beginner hunters often find small game hunting to be a great place to start since it is quite accessible to them. If you are interested in the sport of hunting small game like duck, pheasants and dove, you will find all the information needed in this guide to help you become an expert at hunting small game once you have read it.

What's Small Game Hunting?

Small game hunting refers to the hunting of animals such as rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, ducks, pheasant, doves, geese, and other small animals. It is important to note that hunting small game requires the same level of skill and knowledge as hunting large game animals. Further, it is important that you always adhere to the regulations and laws pertaining to hunting in your local area.

Take A Hunter Education Course and Get Hunting License

A hunter education course is required to obtain a hunting license. Visit your state's wildlife or game commission website to find out more about courses in your area or to sign up for a hunter education course.

These courses are typically free or inexpensive and are taught by wildlife education specialists. They cover a lot of ground: wildlife management, conservation, basic firearms safety, hunting ethics, laws and regulations.

The purpose of hunter education is to educate hunters to be responsible, knowledgeable, and actively engaged hunters, as well as to comply with hunting laws and to act ethically when hunting.

Check the rules in the area where you intend to hunt; failure to comply with these regulations can lead to penalties or fines.

a hare sits in the grass

Small Game Hunting Gear

A powerful hunting rifle is vital when it comes to hunting big game, as you need a weapon that is capable of piercing the body of that huge, nature-hardened animal from a distance that could be hundreds of yards away. Compared to large game, the hunt for small game is more straightforward as small game can be hunting with any kind of weapon, even those with a low lethal effect.


A .22 caliber rifle is an excellent choice for small game hunting, since they are lightweight, accurate, have low recoil and can be handled easily even by novice hunters. The .22 caliber rifle is powerful enough to take down small game such as rabbits and squirrels.

Furthermore, another factor that makes .22 rifle a good choice for hunting is that the sound of the rifle firing is much quieter than that of other types of firearms, ensuring a more pleasant hunting experience.

Rifle Suppressor

In the hunting equipment of all small game hunters, a rifle suppressor is one of the most important items they should have. Using a rifle suppressor when hunting small game will make the hunt safer, since it will lower the noise of the shot and keep other animals out of the area from being disturbed by the gunshot.

The muffled sound of a gun also makes it easier for animals to remain in their natural habitat, since they are less likely to flee if the sounds of a gun are diminished. Lastly, the use of a rifle suppressor in the process of hunting can also improve the safety of other hunters and nearby residents, who might otherwise be startled by the sound of a loud gunshot.


Bow hunting for small game is a very skillful sport, and it requires a great deal of practice and skill on your part. However, it is possible to become proficient at bow hunting for small game with enough practice.

Animal Call

In order to effectively hunt small game, hunters need to have access to an animal call. The animals call helps hunters to be able to imitate the sounds of the animals they are hunting and, as a result, gives them the ability to attract the game they are hunting so that they can get a clean shot upon it. There are a variety of small animal calls available, such as rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, and coyote calls.

Right Ammo Size

When hunting small animals, you need to make sure that the ammo you use is of the right size. A .22 rifle or a 12- or 16-gauge shotgun loaded with No. 5 or 6 shots, is the best weapon to use when hunting small game, such as rabbits, chickens, and squirrels.

The caliber of the weapon required to take down small game animals is usually a .22 or slightly smaller caliber. These rounds have less power and are less likely to cause excessive damage to the animal, and they are also more accurate at longer ranges.


Compared to large game, small animals make smaller targets, which means that they are easier to miss than large game. With the help of a scope, it is possible to engage small game from a distance with a high degree of accuracy.

pheasants are foraging in the snow


Hunting small game requires less specialized gear and can be done with minimal prior experience, and a small game hunt is a great way to hone hunting skills before attempting to hunt larger game. You will be more prepared to move on to bigger game like turkey and deer once you've mastered the techniques of small game hunting.

Read this small game hunting guide before you head out on a small game hunt to make sure you are well prepared.

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