Are you new to hunting? You’ll need these top 5 hunting tips to help you get off to a flying start. Starting anything new can be daunting, and that’s especially true of hunting – from gear to animal behavior to learning about the environment around you, there’s plenty to think about, and plenty to research.
Hunting takes time, practice, and patience, but there are plenty of ways to make your first hunting trip a success. Here’s a quick-start guide for new hunters:
1. Get Your Gear Sorted
You’ll need a lot of gear for hunting. From bows to rifles to whistles to ammo, there’s a lot to think about. Take your time, research each item, and try to find the gear that suits your needs specifically. You can always borrow gear from friends if you’re new and you just want to get a feel for hunting before investing in your own stuff. Generally speaking, it’s better to invest in the best quality gear that you can afford.
One thing you can do is to buy a good hunting backpack. This needs to be able to haul heavy weight whilst not damaging your back. It needs to be durable, quiet, and comfortable enough to wear all day long – this hunting backpacks review can point you in the right direction.
Of course, it goes without saying that you’ll need to get your hunting license sorted out first. Each state has its own hunting license requirements, so you’ll need to make sure you get the paperwork done as a first step.
2. Do Your Research
Carefully research your first hunting trip. If you can, look it up online – you may be able to find satellite images, which will show you the lay of the land, giving you an idea of where you can go. If you can, visit the land before your trip. This will allow you to assess things in person, so you won’t be hunting around for the best place to stand on the day.
You can also use your research time to learn more about your prey. Learning deer sounds and deer behavior will give you a huge advantage, allowing you to anticipate what a deer will do before you attempt to hunt.
You should prepare for all eventualities, too. You may not be successful on your first trip, and it may take some perseverance to keep going. But you need to be prepared for what happens if you are successful. How will you transport the meat, and how will you stop it from spoiling? It’s worth learning how to do field-dressing (this is the process of removing entrails to slow down the growth of bacteria). You can find tutorials online that will lay it out step by step.
3. Choose Your Time Wisely
Animals don’t work on human schedules, so learn about animal behavior in order to catch them at the best time. For example, deer move around more during twilight hours, and at dawn and dusk. This means you can anticipate where they’ll be going, depending on the time of day. Again, taking a bit of time to learn facts about deer is a good investment. Choosing the best time is going to make your life a lot easier, and will save you from waiting around all day for no results.
4. Make Yourself Invisible
Or at least, as close to invisible as possible. The more you blend in, the better, so go for camo clothing and gear in order to disappear as much as you can. Anything that you wear that could make you stand out – from shoes to jackets or even watches – may startle an animal, so make sure you’ve taken every aspect of your gear into account.
It’s also important to think about scent. Animals can pick up on the faintest of smells, so it’s important to use odorless soaps and detergent for both yourself and your gear. You can use cover-up deer scent, too, which will help to camouflage your scent even more – take it with you so you can apply it throughout the day.
While we’re talking about scents, you can also use scents to attract deer to you. Using scent drags strategically is a great way to encourage deer to get closer to your location. It may take some practice to use this effectively.
5. Buddy Up With an Experienced Hunter
Practice makes perfect, and it’s always a good idea to learn from those who are further down the path than ourselves. Buddying up with a more experienced hunter will allow you to learn from them, and they may be able to stop you from making mistakes. You can even shadow them on a hunt to pick up on some of the small tips and tricks that they have learned.
This means you can benefit from their hard-earned wisdom, helping you to find your feet much more quickly!