Many people think of hunting as only tracking down and shooting to kill wild animals. However, if you want to be a pro at hunting, you have to see it as more than just setting a target on an animal and making it fall with your gun. Hunting is a skill that is learned over time, and for you to be an expert, you have to be ready to learn.
In this article, we outline some of the things you should consider as you set out on your hunting journey.
1. Weapon Safety
Safety around firearms is one of the primary lessons that you will learn, even before you start hunting expeditions. If you are new to guns, you may have to go through a hunter education course to understand how you should be using your guns entirely. However, we can give some pointers regarding the use of weapons, especially arms and crossbows.
If you plan to use guns, always assume that the gun is loaded and could fire at any time. Therefore, you should ensure that the muzzle of your weapon is pointed in a safe direction. This means that it should not be aimed towards other people or a place such as a road. Many people make the mistake of not practicing proper firearm safety, which may lead to unnecessary injury.
Also, before you shoot, ensure that you aim at the target and keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
For the crossbow, ensure that you obey crossbow safety rules all the time while hunting. Also, ensure that you use your crossbow within your physical limitations as a hunter. Just like with gun safety rules, do not carry your crossbow when it is cocked. You can search for a comprehensive crossbow resource that will help you to fully understand what you need to do with your crossbow when hunting.
Lastly, remember to exercise before a major hunt as this will keep you in shape and carry survival gear when you are out in the field. Whichever weapon you decide to use when hunting, ensure that it is properly maintained so that it functions fully and accurately.
2. Dressing Essentials
If you want to be comfortable when you are out in the field, you have to learn how to layer in the right way.
If you pile layers of clothing on your body, you will feel uncomfortable in the field. The first layer that fits up against your skin is known as the base-layer. Use a light base-layer to wick sweat off your skin. Mid-weight and heavyweight base layers are used for colder conditions. It would help if you then had a mid-layer on top of the base layer.
Together with the base layer, it helps to trap heat and wick away the sweat. This layer should be the most flexible so that you can remove or wear it as you see fit in the field. The mid-layer can double up as the outer layer when the weather is hot. The outer layer acts as a protective shell for the hunter. Also, the layer protects your body from the harsh environment and repels snow, rain, and wind.
3. Scouting the Ground
Game trails will not always be the same, which makes it essential to scout your ground before setting up your stands.
Fortunately, technology has made everything easier for everyone. Google Earth makes it easy to get satellite views of any land. You can look up the area you want to set your stands. You can look at these areas up with a satellite map too to get a feel of the topography. After a careful study, you can visit the area to see for yourself afterward.
4. Safety Gear
Safety gear is essential when you are out hunting. While it may seem cliché to remind people to wear safety gear, some do not consider this a necessary part of hunting. Orange is a standard color among hunters. Orange is a luminous color that everyone can see in case of anything. At the same time, animals such as deer perceive this color like grey, which helps you camouflage with your surroundings.
Also, ensure that you wear gloves to protect your hands when you are in the bush or if you need to grab a barbed-wire fence. Apart from wearing bright clothing and wearing gloves, you will need to wear shatter-resistant shooting glasses, especially if you are going to shoot in a thick bush.
Lastly, remember to invest in a good pair of hunting boots because they play a significant role in protecting your feet and surrounding parts from injury. Ensure you check the local regulations to be fully updated about the hunting rules in your area.
Hunting involves more than just tracking and shooting prey. To hunt effectively, you need to understand weapon safety, how to dress when hunting, the essentials of ground scouting, and the safety gear you need.