Yes, it’s an exciting world to become part of hunting. But it’s a hobby during which you can’t let down your guard even for a second. This applies to the hunt itself and preparing for it beforehand. It requires your full attention to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
If you haven’t planned one before, we’re here to help. Use our checklist to help prepare for your first hunting expedition. Follow this and avoid some of the challenges that experienced hunters found out the hard way.
Prepare Your Gear
You need to plan two aspects: what you’ll wear and what you’ll carry.
A comfortable outfit designed to camouflage you, such as tactical gear from Kryptek, will give you an advantage. Make sure you dress according to expected weather conditions, but always make sure you have a warm jacket so you don’t risk hypothermia.
In your pack you need to carry items for every eventuality: getting hurt, setting up camp, surviving if you get lost. This calls for a gear list that includes a first aid kit, rope, a tent or space blanket, compass, knife and more. If you’re going to be out at night, night vision equipment is paramount.
Don’t run the risk of forgetting essential items at home: make a checklist and work through it before you leave.
Are Your Licences on Par?
The legal requirements for each hunting trip can differ between areas and you need to do your homework on what’s needed for yours. Don’t simply follow what your friend did the last time!
You need a small game license for most upland bird hunting, but for hunting big game, you’ll also need species tags along with your specific license. Don’t forget about harvest report cards and migratory bird stamps.
It’s a lot, but you’ll find most information online these days.
Prepare Your Gun
Gun maintenance is as important as purchasing quality guns and ammunition. Clean your gun before you leave and test it thoroughly.
Important: is your gun with its ammunition relevant to the animals you’ll come across in the area where you’ll hunt? You don’t want to be shooting at a moose with birdshot, after all.
Practice and Exercise
It may be smart to arrive on the premises a little early before you want to start hunting. Test your gun out on-site, whether it’s with dry firing or shooting clay pigeons. Feeling comfortable with your gun will help you perform well in the field.
When out in the field, your success can often correlate with how much ground you’re able to cover. After all, you can’t predict where animals hide, so you may have to move across vast distances to find them or track them. You won’t get far if you’re unfit! It’s worth it to get fit before your first excursion, so exhaustion doesn’t ruin the experience.
Where Are You Going?
Don’t simply pick a random hunting spot or go where everyone else is going. Researching your hunting grounds can make you successful.
Firstly, you’ll avoid arriving at spots that may not allow hunting at that specific time.
Apart from that, familiarity will count in your favor. If you can take a walk on the grounds before your hunt you’ll feel more at ease. You can even study animals’ daily routines so you know when the best time is to go out.
Handy tip: contact landowners and introduce yourself. Make sure what they allow and follow their rules. Build a relationship with them, and you may be given special privileges or handy advice.
Make these steps a habit, and you’ll quickly feel like a pro hunter. Do you have any other advice? Please share!