HUNTING IS ONE OF THE MOST challenging outdoor sports. Like other outdoor activities such as hiking or mountaineering, you must learn various skills before going on your first hunting trip. This includes basic survival techniques and marksmanship. With these skills, you can enjoy an all-natural source of meat that’s nothing like what’s sold at supermarkets.
But even though you excel at survival or marksmanship, it doesn’t mean you’re already equipped for hunting. Charging straight into the field with only this information won’t guarantee a successful hunting experience. That alone might ruin your desire to go on future hunting trips.
Here are some tips you should follow to ensure you start strong in your hunt:
Dos For Hunting
Since you’re new, you might find hunting much better as a concept than in actuality. After all, you must consider various matters before picking up your chosen weapon and going on your first trip. While they may seem tedious, these tips are crucial for your hunting trip to go along smoothly:
Although you’re equipped with your firearm of choice, it doesn’t guarantee your safety out on the field—nor will it be enough to ensure you’ll have a successful hunt. Fortunately, training is available for those who want to learn the full extent of what it takes to be a hunter. Ensure that the program is certified to teach new hunters and that they will teach you everything you need to know.
Under the hunters’ education program, beginners have the opportunity to take multiple courses that will serve as stepping stones toward being an excellent hunter. Some of the default courses you must take are basic firearm and archery handling. After all, whichever weapon you choose will act as your right-hand man on the trip.
Even though you’re looking for quality Leupold scopes for sale or a highly reputable bow, they’re only there to support your marksmanship, not automatically perfect it. On top of that, the firearm course isn’t limited to honing your aim. A certified instructor teaches you the safety etiquette for using these weapons. Remember, mishandling a firearm could hurt you more than the game you’re supposed to hunt.
Aside from firearms, the hunters’ education program teaches courses to enlighten beginners on hunting. After all, learning how to handle a bow or gun isn’t all there is to hunting. Appreciating nature and realizing how fascinating wildlife is are lessons you’ll put to heart along the way. Ultimately, everything you’ve learned brings you one step closer to becoming a legitimate hunter.
Once you’ve graduated from the hunters’ education program and passed all your courses, you’re finally qualified to be a certified hunter. Because as mentioned, hunting is a legal activity. Obtaining a hunting license and other documents signifies that you are a certified hunter with the proper training.
Since you’ve taken the program, you likely know the rules of tagging your game or the permits required for hunting specific animals. Managing paperwork might seem tedious compared to hunting down scrapes and rubs. However, these documents are crucial for recording your hunting history and ensuring you don’t violate any laws.
Your hunting gear plays a significant role in your trip. Everything you bring can significantly contribute to your comfort and convenience. However, there’s no need to splurge on fancy, expensive gear immediately. Since you’re a beginner, you have to secure the essentials, and you’re good to go.
Proper clothing must be high on your hunting gear list. Animals are biologically equipped to handle anything that comes with their territory, from the weather down to the terrain. Considering you’re from another species, you’ll need all the help you can get to keep up with your game. Invest in layers for cool environments, but always keep waterproof clothes on the list.
Aside from appropriate clothing, pack enough ammunition or arrows to last the entire hunt. Consider adding extra knives, an ice box, and white vinegar as part of your processing equipment. Always include a first-aid kit in your gear to lower the risk of worsening any injuries you might receive.
Although regulated, plenty of game options are available in different states. With so many options, it’s only fitting to study various strategies to lure the game within your target. Invest time analyzing techniques that you can use to your advantage. Even hunting down squirrels and other small game requires a well-thought-out plan to be successful without exerting yourself too hard.
Tracking and hunting game is your ultimate goal. However, exterminating everything in the area will ruin the environment. After all, every living organism has a role in the local ecology, from plants to large predators. For example, grizzly bears are excellent seed dispensers, considering berries are part of their diet. On top of that, they regulate herbivore populations to prevent overgrazing in the ecosystem.
Although hunting a bear is a thrilling experience—not to mention how much meat you’ll get from it—many states have added grizzlies to the endangered list, and harming them may get you into legal trouble.
Before taking the hunters’ education program, look into the hunting regulations placed by your state. Check if the game you’re interested in is included in the list of legal animals you’re allowed to hunt. Understand them to avoid getting fined during your trip.
Don’ts For Hunting
Since you’re new at hunting, mistakes are bound to be made, especially rookie ones. However, once you get used to it, the experience will help a great deal in influencing your decisions. But for now, here are some things you must avoid:
Even after taking the hunters’ education program, it’s different from hunting in person. After all, many factors could affect the hunt, especially unpredictable ones. Weather changes often ruin the hunt. In one moment, there’s blistering sunlight, and before you know it, it’s already raining.
Once you’ve managed to soldier through the wait, what comes next is the harvesting phase. If you think killing the game is much easier to swallow, harvesting it might not be for the faint of heart. Harvesting often leaves a bloody mess, from hauling large game to butchering them to pieces. Hunting may seem cool, but doing it in person might change your mind.
There’s nothing more brag-worthy than gunning straight to the top. Deciding to hunt down something as large as a bear is bound to earn you points. However, doing all that while you’re still new at hunting could do you more harm than good. Your performance would be affected without any experience serving as a stepping stone.
Training is another world apart from hunting live game. After all, shooting at artificial targets is much simpler—not to mention cleaner—than killing wild game. Once you’re on the field, beginner hunters often freeze up just before they shoot at the animal. However, even a moment’s hesitation could cost you your game.
Some animals follow an ‘internal calendar’ every year, depending on the season. For example, springtime is when turkey season starts since male turkeys seek hens to breed. Hunters take advantage of that by imitating calls. Being unaware and hunting off-season lowers your chances of getting any game.
Hunting is undoubtedly one of the most challenging sports on the field. That’s why you must always be prepared. Otherwise, you might put yourself and your game on the line. But as long as you’re familiar with what you’re supposed to do and avoid, you’ll soon become an expert hunter.