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Hunting is a time-honored tradition that has been practiced for hundreds of years. It’s also a great way to relax, enjoy nature, and connect with fellow hunters.
Planning for a trip can be overwhelming, though, especially if it’s your first time. Many things need to be considered before heading out into the wilderness.
But don’t worry! The following is a compiled list of considerations that’ll ensure you’re ready to go once you leave the civilization behind.
Best Time Of The Year For Hunting
The perfect time of the year to go hunting depends on what type of animal you’re looking for. By far, the most popular animals to hunt are deer and turkey, followed by bear, elk, and bobcat.
The mating season is the time when animals mostly come out into the wild, making it significantly easier to hunt them. Different animals have different mating seasons, so knowing when these seasons occur will ensure you don’t miss out on opportunities. If you want to go red stag hunting then the best time would be March and April, for instance.
The mating season for bucks is typically in the fall, making it an excellent time to hunt them. Be advised, however, that the deer will be very active at this time, which means they’re going to be on the move and easier to spot but a bit challenging to hunt.
You’re going to cover a lot of ground while hunting deer in the fall and spring, so bring plenty of food and water.
Bears typically mate in springtime, making it a popular time to go out and hunt them.
- Elk and turkey
Although these animals don’t have official mating seasons, hunting is best at certain times of the year. Elk will be easier to hunt once winter has passed and vegetation has started growing again. Knowing this will give you an edge at spotting them as they forage for food.
Meanwhile, hunting turkey is best in the summertime since their mating season is during spring. Therefore, they’ll be more spread-out during this time of the year.
It’s best to hunt bobcats late after the snow season. It’ll be difficult to spot them during winter months since they’re usually hunkered down in dens.
It’s necessary to identify what animal you’d like to hunt before choosing the best time of the year to hunt them.
Your Weapon Of Choice
Hunting is a sport of numbers. The more animals you can bag, the better your chances of taking home dinner for the evening. Since that’s the case, you should choose your weapons wisely when hunting.
There are two common types of weapons for hunting: rifles and shotguns. Rifles come in many shapes and sizes but tend to be more expensive than shotguns. They’re also able to kill an animal further away, making this gun an excellent choice if you’d like to hunt alone.
On the other hand, shotguns are less accurate and typically aren’t as powerful as rifles, but they allow you to bag multiple animals at once. If you’re going hunting with a group and your aim is good, then a shotgun may be the better choice.
Whether you choose to use a rifle or a shotgun isn’t extremely important as long as you know your weapon well and practice often.
Licenses And Permits
You can hunt certain animals legally, but it requires acquiring the proper licenses and permits according to your state. Anytime you go hunting, be sure to have these on hand, otherwise it can get pretty pricey.
It would also help to double-check if it’s legal in your state to hunt the animal you’re planning to course, as many of them have been protected due to being endangered or at risk of extinction.
In the United States, there are several different organizations that provide hunter education resources, such as the interactive courses offered at https://www.ilearntohunt.com/. These classes teach students about firearms and ammunition, how to safely hunt, ethics in hunting, and wildlife identification techniques.
Camping Or Hiking
Whether you’re camping or hiking is a matter of personal preference. Hunting typically requires a lot of ground to cover, so if you plan to go out in the wilderness for a few days, it’s best to bring your camping gear.
However, if you’re only going on a short hunting trip, it’s okay to sleep under the stars. Make sure to research first where it’s legal to camp or hike. You’ll also want to pack extra supplies in case of emergency.
Your Hunting Budget
The next thing you’re going to need before heading out into the jungle is money. Of course, hunting can be an expensive, yet lucrative hobby, so most people are willing to pay a little more to enjoy it properly and even earn from it.
But if you’re like most people and don’t have a lot of disposable income, there are many ways to save money during the hunting season.
Many hunters prepare for hunting season by purchasing firearms earlier so they can take advantage of holiday sales during the fall. It’s also essential to look for hunting tags early so you can grab them at discounted price.
Another money-saving tip is to obtain your hunting license online or buy cheaper licenses if applicable in your state. For example, Virginia offers lifetime licenses for around $200, whereas Ohio’s are only $20 per year.
Prices vary by state, but these are very good examples of the many ways you’ll be able to save money on licenses.
Now that you know what animal to hunt and when your trip will be, it’s time to pack up all your hunting gear!
Here are things to tick off your list when packing for a hunting trip:
- Backpack for your gears
You’ll want a backpack with plenty of storage space so you can bring all your gear. Make sure the pack is comfortable to wear and will support the weight of your weapons and equipment.
Your tent, sleeping bag, water supply, and other hunting gear should also be kept in your pack. It’s always an excellent plan to bring a smaller daypack that you can carry around if you need to go on a short hike because it’s easier to move with that than with your entire backpack.
- Your hunting outfits
Weather conditions can change drastically in the wild, so it’s essential to prepare for every situation. Bring at least one heavier jacket, pants, and boots, if applicable, to stay warm in chilly weather. You’ll also want to pack extra layers in case the weather gets warmer. It’s also a great help to check the weather forecast so you know the conditions before you go.
- Your food supplies
Some hunters like to bring portable stove so they can cook their food on longer trips. Just to make sure, check that it’s legal to have open flames or any other kind of flame-producing device at your campsite or wherever you decide beforehand.
It’s also essential to bring plenty of water on any hunting trip, especially when camping. If you don’t think it’d be safe to drink water from the wild, you can buy relatively cheap bottled water in most convenience stores.
- Your safety kit
Whenever you go out into the wild, it’s crucial to have a first aid kit with you at all times. You’ll never know what could happen out there, so it’s best to prepare for the worst, including minor and major injuries.
It’s also wise to pack an insect repellent for when you encounter mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects. You may also want to bring some sunscreen and lip balm if you’ll be spending a lot of time under the sun.
- Your navigation tools
Lastly, if you’ll be hunting in an area with no cell phone service, it’s crucial to bring a GPS, so you won’t get lost. Plenty of smartphone apps are available for GPS navigation, and if you’re planning to use one, it’s best to ensure you fully charge it before making your way out. Also, you should probably know how to use a map and a compass if you choose not to bring a GPS device. And don’t forget the extra battery pack.
Ready To Go Hunting?
These are just several tips for getting started, and hopefully, you found them helpful. Remember, hunting is a fun and fulfilling hobby if you make safety your number one priority.
If you follow these tips, pack all your gear correctly, and do your research before going out into the wild, then you should have no problem enjoying a successful trip.
Good luck and happy hunting!