by Nick Norris

Both federal and state public lands in America are renowned for their expansive, diverse, and gorgeous landscapes. American public lands offer unrivaled hunting, fishing, and exploration opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere. Utilizing public lands allow hunters who do not own their own land to hunt legally for a few small fees, which help fund and preserve the domains. Even many who own private lands often travel to these sites to enjoy the resources offered and hunt for impressive game.

Hunting plays an imperative role in the conservation of America’s bountiful wildlife resources, and has done so for centuries. The nation’s wildlife management philosophy has been built around the hunter, the use of public lands, and maintaining a strong respect for nature. Because of ethical hunters using public lands as a resource, wildlife numbers are kept in check, creating a more balanced ecosystem and allowing for the flourishment of other species.

The negative impacts human-kind can have on ecosystems was made clear after the extinction of the passenger pigeon and endangerment of other birds and bison in the early 1900s. To battle this phenomenon, wildlife protection efforts began to spring up. It was soon made clear that programs and resources like official public lands could help regulate hunting and steady the numbers of certain game. Thanks to public lands, many species have been able to rebound from endangerment and will survive well into the future for forthcoming generations to appreciate and hunt.

Across the nation, an incredibly diverse range of game is available to hunt in public lands. Animals such as deer, bear, elk, game birds, and antelope are available to hunt on certain American public lands.

Many of Alabama’s beautiful wildlife management areas such as the Mobile-Tensaw Delta or the James D. Martin Skyline, which are both over 50,000 acres in size, offer both big and small game hunting. Requirements to hunt on these lands can be found on Outdoor Alabama’s website.

The Mobile-Tensaw River Delta

Public lands are not only for hunters and fishers, though. Many of these lands are open for exploration and camping, allowing anyone to enjoy nature and its beauty. These designated areas are just as often used for vacations and getaways as they are for hunting trips.

Recently, the Xtreme Concepts Inc. and iK9 crews got together to explore some of the public lands available in Utah and take advantage of some of the opportunities they offer. One of these was Bears Ears National Monument, which consists of 1,350,000 protected acres and allows for the hunting of black bear, desert bighorn sheep, elk, and mule deer, to name a few.

Bears Ears National Monument

Other lands visited were Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Manti-La Sal National Forest. Each offered unique sights and opportunities, all having personalities and feels of their own.

Canyonlands National Park

Public lands are vital to the health of America’s wildlife and ecosystems. They offer unique benefits and prospects for anyone who wishes to enjoy the breath-taking magnificence of the great outdoors. By taking advantages of these resources, visitors are also helping preserve some of America’s most beloved locations and pastimes. To find public lands near you, visit the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management website