The Ultimate Guide to Hunting Tattoos: Ideas and Inspiration

Brittany Young // April 9

If you're a hunting enthusiast looking to show off your passion, a hunting tattoo may be just what you need. From realistic depictions of game animals to hunting-themed quotes and symbols, there are endless options. Check this guide for some of the best hunting tattoo ideas out there.

I read a billboard recently that said, “Go ahead and get that tattoo, your family is probably disappointed in you anyways.” This made me laugh. I got my first tattoo on a whim at 19 and was still living at home. It’s right on the top of my foot and I foolishly thought I could hide it from my parents. Ha! Yeah, not so much. That lasted maybe five hours before I heard that parental tone and “Brittanyyyy, what is that!?” For the next tattoo session, I brought my younger sister along and we both left with ink. Thankfully, we are still around to tell you about it!

 I am currently wanting my third and have been searching for a long time for the perfect hunting tattoo that will represent something that is such a huge part of who I am.

If you’re looking for a hunting tattoo, we’ve done the research for you!

I started pinning on my personal Pinterest tattoo board more than 10 years ago and below are some of my personal favorites.

Hunting tattoos are a great way to show off your love for the sport and the outdoors. Some of the most popular designs include realistic animal portraits, such as deer, elk, and bear. Hunting scenes, such as a hunter in a tree stand or a pack of hunting dogs, are also popular choices. Hunting equipment and tools, such as a bow and arrow or a rifle, can also make great tattoo designs. Finally, hunting-themed quotes or symbols, such as a compass or a deer skull, can add a personal touch to your hunting tattoo.

Placement of Tattoos

When it comes to the placement of hunting tattoos, the options are endless. Many hunters choose to place their tattoos on their arms, particularly the upper arm or forearm. This allows for easy visibility and the ability to show off the tattoo while wearing short-sleeved shirts. Other popular placements include the chest, back, and legs. Some hunters even choose to get smaller tattoos on their fingers or behind their ears for a more subtle nod to their love of hunting. Ultimately, the placement is a personal choice and should be based on your own preferences and comfort level.

Choosing the Right Artist

When it comes to getting a hunting tattoo, choosing the right artist is crucial. Look for an artist who specializes in realistic or nature-inspired tattoos, as they will be able to bring it to life in a way that truly captures your love of the sport. Don't be afraid to ask for examples of their previous work or to read reviews from past clients. It's also important to make sure the artist uses sterile equipment and follows proper safety protocols to ensure a safe and successful tattoo experience (duh!).

Caring for Your Hunting Tattoo

Once you've gotten your hunting tattoo, it's important to take proper care of it to ensure it heals properly and looks great for years to come. Follow your artist's aftercare instructions carefully, which may include keeping the tattoo clean and dry, avoiding direct sunlight and swimming for a period of time, and applying a healing ointment or lotion. It's also important to avoid picking or scratching at the tattoo, as this can cause scarring or infection. With proper care, your tattoo will be a lasting tribute to your love of the sport.

Interested in a few more hunting and nature-inspired tattoos?

Here are a few additional hunting tattoo ideas:

Animal Tracks Tattoo

Get a series of animal tracks tattooed on your arm or leg, representing the game animals you love to hunt. You can choose tracks of deer, elk, bear, or any other animals that hold significance for you.

Camouflage Tattoo

Consider getting a camouflage pattern tattooed on a part of your body, such as your forearm or shoulder. This can symbolize your connection with nature and the stealth required in hunting.

Bowhunter Silhouette Tattoo

Have a silhouette of a bowhunter drawn on your upper arm or back. This design can showcase your preferred hunting method and passion for archery.

Hunting Dog Tattoo

If you're a fan of hunting with dogs, consider getting a portrait or a silhouette of a hunting dog tattooed on your calf or forearm. It can be a tribute to the loyal companions that accompany you on your hunting adventures.

Antler or Skull

Get a detailed tattoo of a deer antler or skull, which can represent your love for hunting and the beauty of these majestic creatures. You can choose to add additional elements like arrows or hunting equipment to enhance the design.

Wilderness Landscape

Consider a tattoo of a scenic wilderness landscape, depicting mountains, forests, or lakes. This type of tattoo can symbolize your appreciation for the great outdoors and your hunting grounds.

Symbolism in Hunting Tattoos

Hunting tattoos often go beyond simple depictions of animals and hunting gear. They can carry deep symbolic meanings, representing various aspects of the hunting experience and the connection between hunters and nature. Here are some common symbols found in hunting tattoos:


Different animals hold specific symbolic significance in hunting tattoos. For example, a deer may represent grace, agility, and the pursuit of challenges, while a bear can symbolize strength, courage, and primal instincts. Wolves are often associated with loyalty, teamwork, and the pack mentality.

Weapons and Tools

Hunting tattoos may feature bows, arrows, rifles, or other hunting tools, symbolizing precision, focus, and the hunter's skill. These elements represent the means by which hunters engage in the pursuit and harvest of game.

Nature Inspired Symbols

Many hunting tattoos incorporate symbols inspired by nature, such as trees, mountains, or rivers. These symbols represent the natural environment where hunting takes place and evoke feelings of adventure, freedom, and respect for the wilderness.

Tracks and Traces

Animal tracks and traces can be incorporated into hunting tattoos to symbolize the tracking and stalking aspect of the sport. They signify the hunter's ability to read signs and follow game, showcasing their connection with the natural world.

Feathers and Antlers

Feathers and antlers are commonly featured in hunting tattoos, representing the beauty and majesty of game animals. Feathers can symbolize freedom, spirituality, and connection with the sky, while antlers signify strength, dominance, and the cycle of life.

Tribal Hunting Tattoos

Tribal hunting tattoos have a rich history and are often influenced by indigenous cultures that have a deep connection to hunting practices. These tattoos typically feature bold and intricate tribal patterns, combining elements of hunting and cultural symbolism. Here are some key aspects of tribal hunting tattoos:

Cultural Significance

Tribal hunting tattoos draw inspiration from specific indigenous cultures, incorporating their unique symbols, patterns, and motifs. These tattoos pay homage to ancestral hunting traditions and reflect the cultural identity of the wearer.

Animal Motifs

Animals hold great importance in tribal hunting tattoos, representing spiritual guides or totems. The chosen animals can vary depending on the tribe and its beliefs. For example, a wolf may symbolize strength and unity in one culture, while in another, it could represent stealth and cunning.

Geometric Patterns

Tribal hunting tattoos often feature bold, geometric patterns that enhance the visual impact of the design. These patterns can represent various elements of nature, such as mountains, rivers, or sunrays, emphasizing the connection between the hunter and their environment.

Placement and Flow

Tribal hunting tattoos are designed to flow with the natural contours of the body. They are commonly seen on the upper arm, shoulder, or chest. The placement and arrangement of the tattoo often follow specific cultural traditions or personal preferences.

Hunting Tattoo Styles

Hunting tattoos can be created in various tattoo styles, each offering a unique aesthetic and interpretation of the hunting theme. Here are some popular tattoo styles for hunting tattoos:


Realistic hunting tattoos aim to capture every detail with precision, resembling a photograph or a lifelike portrait. These tattoos can showcase animals, hunting scenes, or hunting equipment in an incredibly detailed and accurate manner.


Neo-traditional hunting tattoos combine elements of traditional tattooing with modern techniques and vibrant colors. They feature bold outlines and rich shading, giving a bold and dynamic appearance to hunting-inspired designs.


Blackwork hunting tattoos use primarily black ink to create intricate and striking designs. They often incorporate elements such as animals, weapons, and nature motifs, utilizing varying degrees of shading and linework to achieve a visually captivating effect.

Hunting Tattoos for Women

Hunting is not solely a male-dominated activity, and many women are passionate hunters who want to express their love for the sport through tattoos. Hunting tattoos for women can embrace femininity while still celebrating the thrill and connection to nature. Here are some popular ideas for hunting tattoos for women:

Floral Accents

Combine hunting elements, such as animal silhouettes or hunting gear, with delicate floral designs. This juxtaposition adds a touch of femininity to the tattoo and represents the harmony between the beauty of nature and the thrill of the hunt.

Small and Subtle

Opt for smaller tattoo designs that can be easily hidden or showcased, depending on personal preference. Consider getting a small arrow, animal track, or a minimalist bow tattooed on the wrist, ankle, or behind the ear.

Watercolor Style

Embrace the softness and vibrancy of watercolor tattoos to create hunting-inspired designs. This style allows for a blend of colors and a more artistic representation of animals or landscapes associated with hunting.

Hunting Tattoos for Men

For men passionate about hunting, tattoos can be a way to display their dedication, strength, and love for the sport. Here are some hunting tattoo ideas tailored specifically for men:

Full Sleeve Designs

Men often opt for larger tattoos, such as full sleeves, to showcase their hunting-themed artwork. A full sleeve can incorporate various hunting elements like wildlife, hunting scenes, and intricate details of hunting gear.

Aggressive Animals

Depict powerful and aggressive animals associated with hunting, such as bears, wolves, or wild boars. These tattoos symbolize the primal instincts, strength, and determination required in hunting.

Textured Realism

Choose highly detailed and realistic tattoo designs that capture the essence of hunting. A realistic portrayal of a game animal or a hunting scene can showcase a man's connection with nature and his proficiency as a hunter.

Memorial Hunting Tattoos

Memorial hunting tattoos allow individuals to pay tribute to loved ones who were passionate about hunting and have passed away. These tattoos serve as lasting reminders of their presence and shared love for the sport. Here are some ideas for memorial hunting tattoos:

Portrait Tattoos

Get a realistic portrait tattoo of your departed loved one, capturing their likeness and their hunting spirit. This tattoo can be placed on the arm, chest, or back, and can be accompanied by hunting-related elements, such as their favorite game animal or hunting gear.

Dates and Quote

Incorporate meaningful dates, such as birth and death anniversaries, as well as hunting-related quotes that held significance for the departed hunter. These elements can be combined with symbolic imagery, such as crossed rifles or a silhouette of a hunter, to create a personalized memorial tattoo.

Traditional Hunting Tattoo Motifs

Traditional hunting tattoo motifs draw inspiration from cultural and historical hunting practices. These motifs often carry symbolic meanings and reflect the traditions and beliefs associated with hunting. Here are some traditional hunting tattoo motifs to consider:

Arrows and Quivers

Depict traditional arrows and quivers in your tattoo design, symbolizing the hunter's skill, accuracy, and preparedness.

Animal Spirits

Incorporate animal spirits or totems revered in hunting traditions, representing traits such as courage, wisdom, or cunning. These animal motifs can be combined with other hunting elements to create a visually striking tattoo.

Hunter's Tools

Include traditional hunting tools like spears, traps, or hunting knives in your tattoo design. These elements showcase the resourcefulness and ingenuity required in traditional hunting practices.

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About the Author

Brittany Young