public hunting on a military base

blog banner Public Hunting on a Military Base

When you think of an Army post or an Air Force base you think of high walls, guarded gates and military police; not exactly the type of place that you want to try to snoop around with your hunting rifle. In fact, it’s worth looking into your local military reservation as a legitimate hunting spot. Contrary to what you might think, most military installations allow public access to hunting. Public hunting on a military base is easy as long as you abide by their hunting regulations. I know what you’re thinking, great, more regulations. But in fact, it’s straightforward as long as you know where to look. Just like you’re comfortable with the hunting rules in your state, you can soon be just as comfortable hunting on a military base. Just so long as you don’t get spooked by coming across the occasional spent flash bang canister in the woods…

Public to hunting on a military base or fort is a great idea

Controlled access can actually be a good thing

While the controlled access that comes with hunting on a military base may seem like a pain at first, it can actually work to your advantage. Military bases divide the land into hunting units so they can control access. A specific number of hunters can be ‘checked-in’ at any given time in each unit. This used to mean you had to drive to a guard shack and sign in and out each time you wanted to change units. Not anymore! This can now all be done on your smartphone. This really becomes a benefit to you during high traffic hunting times, like opening day of whitetail season. What if you could reserve your own public hunting land spot? That’s exactly what this does. This controls the number of people to a predetermined amount so when the sun comes up, you don’t see a field of orange vests. Sometimes, that’s all you want!

A military base might have the best hunting land in the area

Some military bases actually have great trophy animals. Fort Campbell, KY is one of the best public hunting spots for trophy whitetail hunters in the country. While Fort Campbell is known for monsters (they’re literally hitting record size bucks with cars), some military posts are just a good way to access land. Near large cities many military installations serve as defacto wildlife preserves. These bases can be a great local hunting option that isn’t way out in the sticks.

Rules and Regulations are straight forward, brief, and easy to find

Here’s the best part. The rules and regulations are easy to find. The Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) organization manages each military installation’s hunting. These hunting regulations are about 10 pages long that addresses everything from firearm transportation to harvesting rules. Simply Google “Fort “XX” MWR Hunting” and you’ll be able to download a PDF on that base’s MWR website as well as find other good information (here is Fort Campbell’s MWR hunting page). I wouldn’t recommend going to the military base’s homepage to try to find MWR from there. It’s not always easy to find that way. You’ll have to buy an additional hunting tag but all that information will be included in the PDF document. The season dates and basic regulations will usually follow the local and state regulations. Be sure to pay attention to the rules on firearm transport and rules on checking-in and out of hunting areas.

Whats your closest Military Base or Fort?

So, if you’re searching for your next ‘go to’ hunting spot or just want another option don’t get spooked by an Army, Navy or Air Force installation. Public hunting on a military base might just be your secret hunting spot.

Deer Killed on Military Base
Whitetail buck taken at the United States Military Academy

 

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