Hunting is one of the most ancient outdoor recreational activities. It has been with us from time immemorial and may continue to be part of the humanity. Our forefathers, no doubt did it for one reason – as an economic activity. However, as time moved and our society advanced, mankind found more reasons to go hunting. Today, it is considered more a leisure activity than an economic one.
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Be that as it may, one thing that remains true is that you have a target you need to hit. Whether hitting this target will ensure food at your dinner table or simply give you some bragging rights is not the question; the real question is how you go about having a successful hunting expedition. In this article, we shall discuss the various hunting tips for the beginners. So, we may see exactly what they need to do, what to avoid and possibly some of the gears that should always form part of their hunting itinerary.
But just so we are clear on something, the word beginner here should not be taken to construe a hunter with less sophisticated equipment or low-profile hunting gear. It actually implies someone (young or old, trained or untrained etc) who is making their first forays into the often dark and unpredictable world of hunting. The following are just some of the hunting tips which may seem to be of value to you.
1. Conduct Adequate Research
One of the first hunting tips for you is to research. Research is pretty much a prerequisite when intending to venture into any activity these days, and hunting is no exception. The internet is awash with information on virtually everything so you can make use of it to research on some pertinent issue regarding hunting. There is so much to learn as a beginner.
You can search on the available hunting opportunities in your area as well as research on the commonly used techniques. The internet will also come in handy when it comes to getting familiar with the rules that touch on hunting in your jurisdiction or in the jurisdiction where you intend to take your hunting expedition.
Even some commonly assumed issues like licensing are explicitly explained online. And because such issues may differ from state to state, it is important that you specifically hear your research towards the relevant state bureaus so that the information you obtain is specific to the state you want to go hunting in. And while you are at it, take advantage of the ’how-to’’ videos as the visual appeal in them will go a long way in illustrating some of the points that may not come so clearly when simply explained in text.
2. Start From The Beginning
Starting from the beginning implies practicing basic skills. Hunting is an art and as such, you need to master some basic skills that are related to the handling and operation of your hunting gadgets. Normally, you would begin by practicing these skills at home though there are some that can be practiced at a range. Even better you may opt to practice in the field and the best way to go about this is to do it out of season.
Some of the skills you would normally practice at home include day-firing exercises to familiarize yourself with the basic equipment you will need for hunting. On the other hand, live firing is recommended while at the range. This is mainly intended to improve your firing accuracy, precision as well as your estimation of limits. The accuracy learnt at the range will enable you to dispatch your game as quickly and mercifully as possible instead of subjecting it to unnecessary pain before it finally dies. As a general rule, remember to practise as many tactics as possible before launching into an actual hunting environment. Have a look at one of the most basic hunting skills here –
3. Get Proper Gear
This is yet one of the most important hunting tips for beginners because when you are out on the wild, your survival chances are largely pegged on your gear. Because not all hunting trips are safari tours, it is important that you select the right gear depending on various factors.
One of these factors is of course the terrain you are going to hunt in and as a general rule, the more unforgiving the terrain, the tougher the gear you should choose. Another factor that determines your choice of proper hunting gear is your actual target. For instance, there are those targets that may require stalking up until you are within reasonable distance and with such targets; you may need some camouflaging gear.
Some of the most common hunting gears for beginners include arrows and bows, ammos and guns, appropriate clothing, helmets etc. To influence your success rates, you may also opt for the best folding knife. All in all, remember to read online reviews on what gears work for which hunting expedition so you are well-armed.
4. Care For Your Gear
Maintenance of your hunting gear should not be an annual practice. Many beginner hunters only remember to check and service their gear after the hunting season is over. However, proper care and maintenance of your hunting gears should always be a matter of priority. The maintenance should be as regular as possible to avoid any mishaps during your hunting expedition. Ideally, it is important to check and service the gears prior to any hunting trip as well as after. Using the same gears repeatedly without checking and maintaining them is the most dangerous thing to do as a beginner hunter. It is never too late to have a quick checking session of the tools before commencing the hunting trip.
Regular cleaning not only ensures safe and effective use of the gears during the hunt, it also improves their condition and makes them usable for longer period of time. Moreover, it is important to use the recommended materials and cleaners from the approved manufacturer for the cleaning and maintenance purpose. Apart from the hunting tools and gears, the hunting clothes should also be equally taken care of. The clothes should always remain scent free and the camouflage should be protected from fading.
5. Observe the Weather
One of the most forgotten hunting tips for beginners is observing the weather. There is no denying to the fact that the weather plays an important role during the hunting trip. All the outdoor trips completely rely on the weather anyway. Observing the signs of the weather prior to embarking on the outdoor trip is very essential. When it comes to hunting, the weather conditions can completely change the hunting experience.
Unfavorable weather can make the hunting trip significantly dangerous as well. For this reason, remember to check the general weather forecast before starting the hunting trip. Along with that, remember that the changing weather conditions will also influence how the targeted animals respond or behave. A good and sensible hunter is the one who makes it a practice to observe and check the weather before venturing into the woods.
Along with observing and checking the weather forecast, it is also important to know and understand the typical climatic condition of the place you intend to go hunting. Generally, the woods receive more rainfall as compared to the city area. Therefore, suitable measures should be taken to deal with any unexpected weather condition and appropriate tools and gears should be carried in case of any encounter with unfavorable weather.
6. Keep It Local
As already mentioned, being a beginner, it is important that you ensure you have a list of items ready for your hunting trip. These hunting items can be sourced either online or through brick-and-mortar stores. You will get several online stores where you can shop for the hunting accessories and weapons that you desire. Though there are several online websites to help you, it is better to choose those that are more local.
When it comes to buying hunting weapons, you must remain restricted to local stores. This is because they are more reliable and trustworthy. You can locate the general local stores for hunting accessories near your area. When you come in direct contact with the storekeepers or owners, they may act as an ideal guide for you. As you tell them about your hunting plans as a beginner, they may give you some useful shopping tips. In fact, they may offer you a companion that will also give you proper demonstration to assist you in mastering the sport.
7. Give Some Thought to Scouting
Scouting is yet another one of the great hunting tips for beginners. When you decide to go hunting, it is important to learn about the locations available for the same. Scouting is the process of researching on the lands available for the activity; it is more like a reconnaissance. This research not only helps you plan everything accordingly but also lets you know the dangers associated with the area. There are various public lands that you may consider but not all of them allow hunting. Scouting can also help you to learn of the private lands available for hunting. To hunt on private lands, you must have permission from the land owners.
The private landowners will allow you to enter their premises. However, they will charge a fee for the same. Some private landowners may also allow you to enter their places in lieu of a portion of the harvest or assistance in the proper management of land. Once you get a place for hunting, you must continue scouting for the game trails available in the area along with natural food plots that will help you to decide the exact spot for hunting. For the novice you are, a four-wheel drive truck is recommended while hunting once the location is finalized after proper scouting.
8. Hunt With a Professional
Hunting as a beginner is quite entrapping in that there is so much to learn. To begin with hunting for new spots alone as a beginner is difficult. This is where professionals come in. They help ease the process of hunting and iron out your path to becoming an excellent hunter.
It is true that there is no shortcut to success in any field. However, hiring an expert as a beginner will quicken that journey to becoming a pro in a new recreational activity. A hired professional acts as a user manual to understanding the code pro cues in your hunting ground. They help accelerate your learning speed, turning you into an expert hunter in a matter of time.
It may be hard to know where to hunt or even how to search and land a new hunting spot as a beginner. Hunting with a professional straightens this out for you. They are not mean with their knowledge, and they especially love teaching newbies. Having been in the game for long, they have more hunting skills than you can ever imagine. They also know that the fun is in sharing those skills. They inculcate these skills in you, teaching you how to hunt and lookout for your own new hunting spots.
9. Comply With All Legal Requirements
There are many local as well as state laws and regulations in gun and bow hunting. Familiarizing yourself with these rules is the only way to start and maintain a long-life hobby in fishing and hunting. Otherwise, making an enemy of the game warden takes you out of the fishing grounds faster than you went in. You can easily find these laws in your state’s fish and wildlife website.
These laws dictate many things and factors in fishing and hunting. For instance, they determine when and where exactly the state and local government allow and do not permit you to fish or hunt. Knowing the laws and adhering to them is not the only legal requirement you need to fulfil. Before beginning your newfound vocation, you need to fill out and apply for a series of licenses. Failing to do so may lead you to legal problems ending in a swarm of fines.
It is a necessity in most states that you be certified before you can apply for and buy a license. This is merely a safety precaution that some states don’t exactly follow on. However, it does not harm to be careful by taking an online hunting course before joining these gaming sports. After all, you want to be the hunter and not the hunted.
10. Stay Safe
Lastly, staying safe is one of the most important yet commonly overlooked hunting tips for beginners. Hunting is a very adventurous activity. The thrill of venturing into the wild and staying very close to the wild animals makes hunting a very exciting activity to do.
Most beginners in their first hunting adventure tend to underestimate their personal security and do not abide by the basic safety measures. The need to stay safe while in the wild cannot be overemphasized. Safe hunting should be the principle of your hunting career because apart from being adventurous and thrilling, hunting is also very dangerous. A little lack of the concentration of the hunter can led to big unfortunate incidents.
But how do you stay safe? There are many ways and most of these simply depend on instincts. Avoid open traps. For instance, stay away from an area when you have information that a lioness is on the prowl as you may have a deadly confrontation. Additionally, never leave your protective equipment such as your guns behind and even as you carry them around, always ensure they are well-loaded and ready to use whenever danger emerges.
Hope, the above tips will make your first hunting adventure an unforgettable experience of your life. Also, don’t mind to tell us your thought about hunting and it’s safety and don’t forget to share your feelings after your first or next hunting expedition with us. Have a good day and enjoy hunting.