Why Must You Learn to Recognize Key Characteristics of the Animal You’re Hunting?



For any hunter, whether they are complete beginners or veterans with years of experience, it is important to have some basic wildlife identification skills.

There are many reasons to get skilled in this, as it can help you to shoot adequately and even protect yourself from other dangers.

So why must you learn to recognize key characteristics of the animal that you are hunting?

Hunting is a lot of fun but comes with a lot of responsibility.

There are always some dangers associated with this pastime, especially if you cannot properly identify game. This can pose risks stemming from the animals themselves, and you can also pose a risk to other people or animals yourself if you shoot without proper identification.

This is why learning to recognize the key characteristics of the animals that you are hunting is a must for any hunter heading to the woods.

Only when you can do this, and properly plan to target a specific animal, can you come up with a great hunting strategy and have a successful hunt.

If you make mistakes in wildlife identification, you could end up making mistakes such as:

  • Harvesting an illegal animal, and pay the penalties for it
  • Have an accidental shooting involving people or other animals
  • Create more danger to yourself and wildlife

What Are Key Characteristics of Animals to Use to Identify Them?

There are many key characteristics that hunters can use to quickly and easily identify an animal from any others, such as:

  • Shape
  • Size
  • Usual Colors
  • Distinctive markings such as horns, tails, antlers, etc.
  • Usual habits and movements

A responsible hunter will use a combination of these key characteristics to identify the animal that they are looking at long before they ever consider pulling the trigger.

Every species of animal will be unique to others and will have their own usual size, shapes, colors, and markings.

Even among animals of the same species, age and gender will have a large effect on these characteristics as well.

As a hunter, it is your responsibility to research and now the specific characteristics of the specific species, gender, and age class of the animal that you are after!

How Can You More Easily Identify Animals?


There are a few things that you can do to increase your odds of quickly and easily identifying an animal and a few pieces of gear that make this process much easier!

The first and one of the most important things to do first is to be prepared and do some research.

Look up pictures of the animal that you are after, and see all of the key characteristics for yourself.

Know what to look for, and what some of the common mistakes others have made before.

Another thing you can do to better prepare is to come with the right gear. Some of the gear that can help better identify animals include:

All of these things are optics that can help you better see and identify the animal that you are looking at.

A pair of binoculars or a spotting scope can help you find the animal you are after, and analyze it to confirm it is what you think it is.

A quality AR-10 rifle scope can then confirm what you saw as you prepare for a shot (or whatever firearm you are using to hunt with).

Heading into the woods with the right preparation and the proper equipment will ensure that you are ready to identify any animals that you may find, and make sure that you fill your tag with the specific animal that you are hunting for.

Final Thoughts

As responsible hunters, it is our duty to be able to properly recognize key characteristics of the animals that we are hunting in order to avoid potential problems and accidents.

If you can, take some time to properly prepare for your hunt and know these key characteristics.

Have some patience when you do find an animal, and use your gear to help you properly identify it.

If you do these simple things, you will not only have a safe hunt but a successful one as well!

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