Despite Focus on Big Game, Many Hunters Enjoy Small Game Hunting

Gray Squirrel
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

Little Rock, AR -( With more than 10 million hunters pursuing the white-tailed deer in the United States, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this iconic creature reigns supreme as the most hunted species of game animal in North America.

Walk by the newsstand in the fall and glance at the covers of outdoor magazines and it would seem deer and other big game are virtually all that is of interest. But that perception would be wrong. In fact, according to a recent study by, about half of sportsmen surveyed said they had hunted small or upland game in the past year.

Species such as squirrels, rabbits, quail, pheasants and similar furred and feathered game still draw hunters into our nation’s fields and forests by the millions every year.

And what is the type of firearm of choice for these small game hunters? The survey found the low-recoiling rimfire in either .22 caliber or .17 caliber remains a favorite among these sportsmen with 67 percent of those surveyed reporting they used them when hunting. Shotguns remain tops for bird hunting, to no surprise.

About The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC)

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission plays an important role in keeping The Natural State true to its name. During the last 100 years, the agency has overseen the protection, conservation and preservation of various species of fish and wildlife in Arkansas. This is done through habitat management, fish stocking, hunting and fishing regulations, and a host of other programs.