There has been an explosion in interest in spending time in nature and the outdoors. With people needing to continue social distancing measures, but want to get out and be active at the same time, it makes perfect sense. There are a lot of ways to get out and enjoy being surrounded by nature and hunting is one.
Not only are you getting out in nature, but you are taking care of a couple of other needs. For starters, you are helping to manage the wildlife habitat since hunting seasons are created to keep the local populations at a level that prevents overpopulation of a particular species.
It can be intimidating for people to start hunting that have never done it before. When faced with decisions like whether you need a Ruger M77 scope ring or not and whether it is better to start out bowhunting, it can be overwhelming and actually turn people away. The reality is that you should not overthink things.
In this article, we will go over the basics so you can see for yourself how you can get started hunting:
1 – Get Educated
Hunting is an extremely safe sport as long as everybody doing it is educated on how to do things right and safely. Which is why hunters will take courses before they get started hunting.
Every state has different requirements on what getting a license entails. Make sure to follow your state’s codes to the letter and beyond. It’s your responsibility to not only be a safe and responsible hunter, but to be the best one you can be. This also means that you follow the rules of when to hunt and how not just for your safety but also to make sure that you are not doing anything that would harm the animal population where you plan to hunt.
After you have studied for the license, go out with some hunters that you know without a gun for yourself just to see how things are supposed to be done. Going by the book is needed for the license but to see it in practice gives you another perspective that makes it easier to hold onto the lessons learned.
2 – Make Hunter Friends
Hunters that are passionate about the sport love to take people out that are new. It gives them a lot of pleasure to know that they are helping to continue a tradition by taking new hunters under their wing.
Among this community there will be somebody who is willing to teach you some real lessons and help you be a better hunter. It’s almost like a mentorship when you find the person who is a natural teacher and will help you understand the lessons they’ve learned throughout the years.
Remember that this is a two way street and in return for learning you should not expect them to hold your hand forever. Show them respect by taking initiative to put the lessons learned into practice.
3 – Have The Right Gear
Nothing will ruin your first outings and make you question this hobby quite like being unprepared. If you are getting wet and cold then you are not going to have a successful hunt and will not enjoy it much.
Make sure to have the right gear to stay dry, warm and safe. This means that you need to dress for the conditions. If you need to be walking through a swampy area, make sure to have good waterproof boots. If the temperature is variable, then wear layers that wick moisture away from your body.
And lastly, make sure you have a way to carry your rifle and other tools easily so you aren’t weighed down by them.
4 – Use The Right Tactics
The prey you hunt and the conditions where you will be hunting will dictate what the best tactics are for a successful hunt. However, there are some things that are universal regardless of what, where and when you hunt.
Scouting is an integral part of a successful hunt. Hunters that know the area inside and out are safer and more likely to end up bagging their prey than those that are in an area for the first time. Take the time to check out the terrain multiple times in different conditions.
The second most important thing is to be patient. Being a good hunter doesn’t happen overnight so you will need to always remember to have the patience to simply be learning at all times even when you are not bringing anything home.