Hunting Terms and Definitions


“Words do two major things: They provide food for the mind and create light for understanding and awareness.” ― Jim Rohn

If you’re looking to learn some hunting terms and definitions, this is your article!

Here are 24 definitions of words and phrases every beginner hunter must know.

Antler: Deer have antlers. Antlers shed each year. See the definition of horn for the difference.

Archery: Hunting with a bow and arrow.

Binos: Slang for binoculars.

Blind: A place you hide when you are hunting.

Buck: A male deer.

Conservation: You’ll hear a lot of hunters talk about conservation. It’s a broad concept meaning the protection of wild plants, animals, and their habitats. Hunters know that by shooting or harvesting an animal, we are helping to conserve the population by keeping them within carrying capacity.

Cull: Culling a deer is weeding out the less desirable deer and/or keeping a population in check. You want a certain buck-to-doe ratio and to keep your land within carrying capacity.

Doe: Female deer.

Exotic: Species of animal or plant that was brought in and is not native to the land.

Fawn: Baby deer.

Feeder: Used to feed deer, usually with corn.

Glassing: This is when you use your binoculars to view a large area of land. I guess it’s because of the glass in the binoculars.

Horn: Goats and sheep have horns. Horns grow and never fall off.

Lease: The land you rent to use for hunting. Someone else owns it, but you pay a fee to hunt it.

Native: Native species are those that are indigenous to the land. Basically, they were here first.

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Public land: Land that is open to the public and owned by the government. Anyone with a hunting license can hunt it, but check your local regulations.

Rack: A deer’s antlers.

Rifle: Rifles use one powerful bullet. A rifle is measured by caliber and is used for bigger game hunting.

Rut: The time of the year when females go into heat. Also, the time that bucks are oblivious to anything in the world except for mating, so it’s prime hunting time!

Season: This is not spring, summer, fall, or winter. This is the time you are allowed to hunt a certain animal or use a specific method of take. Dove season may be from September 1 – September 21 or archery deer season may be from October 1 – October 31, for example.

Shotgun: A shotgun sprays pellets. Although some think shotgunning a beer or riding shotgun, I’m talking about the gun. A shotgun is measured by gauge, i.e. 12-gauge, 28-gauge, etc.

Stalk: When you sneak up on an animal after spotting it from far away or find animal prints.

Trail cam: A camera you put out to take photos of animals feeding or walking down a trail.

Trophy: This is a buck that is awesome! This is one you will hang on a wall with pride.

Did you already know these hunting terms and definitions?

Which ones are new to you?

And, if you’re looking for more on learning introductory hunting information, check out my e-book!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>