Hunting is hard-wired into our DNA. It used to be necessary for our survival. Nowadays, it’s a chance to return to our roots, find natural food sources, and it makes for an excellent social activity.
The modern hunter has various tools and strategies to help him hunt more effectively.
These include a good set of optics, decoys, and even scent hiders to help you stay hidden until it’s time to take the shot.
Let’s go through some of the most important things to keep in mind when going on a hunting trip, what to prepare, and what to do to ensure success.
The 10 Do’s and Don’ts When Going Hunting
Here are some of the most important things to remember before hunting.
1. Prepare Yourself and Know Your Preferences
The ancient hunter-gatherers were built to hunt. They could chase animals for hours without passing out and still had enough strength to chuck a spear.
You may not have the endurance of a marathoner or the strength of a javelinist, but you still need some level of physical fitness to hump across the forest for the entire day.
This means building your core, practicing hiking, and familiarizing yourself with your chosen equipment.
2. Know Your Opponent and Your Battlefield
It’s important to understand the geography and terrain of your hunting ground. If it’s a park or a nature reserve, you also need to know the rules.
You will also need to consider your opponent. You may need a shotgun for ducks and pigeons. You’ll need a hunting rifle for big game like deer. If you want to be silent, you could even use a bow and arrows.
Once you understand your game animals and field, you can strategize and prepare your tools accordingly.
3. Take Safety Precautions and Understand Regulations
Hunting doesn’t offer as much free reign as it used to thousands of years ago. You will need to obey firearms and ammunition regulations in your area.
You will need to secure the proper hunting permits and obey all policies of the hunting ground you’ll be working on. Be careful where you point your weapon and be judicious with your shots.
As important as camouflage is, you will need to wear a reflective vest to ensure that other hunters in the area know you are a human and not prey. Better to be safe than sorry.
4. Bring the Right Gear and Equipment
This comes from understanding your terrain and your game. You might need to bring a tent or tarp when going to a rainy area.
You might need duck calls, decoys, and overalls to wade into a pond. You might need something to mask your scent and something to trace wind direction.
You will need binoculars, and you can benefit from bringing a first aid kit and a 24-hour survival kit if the hunt extends to the night.
5. Train Your Aim
You may be an average joe 6 days a week, only spending enough time on your rifle to call yourself a “hunting enthusiast.”
You don’t need to go to sniper school to hunt, but you will need to train with your weapon.
This means taking practice shots, zeroing your weapon, and practicing your fundamentals.
The good hunter has the patience and endurance to track their target and the stability and accuracy to make the shot.
6. Be Aware of Those Around You
Whether you’re hunting by yourself or setting up with a partner or a group, you need to be accountable for those on the hunt with you. Establish a buddy system. Communicate.
If the area has a high hunting population, be sure to have some signal to let other hunters in the area know you’re on the prowl too.
7. Take Time to Set Up Right
Once you arrive at your hunting ground, take some time to prepare your gear. Pack everything and secure it well. Place trail cameras where you need to.
Choose your stomping ground and where you’d like to corner your target. Set up a sniping position or a preferred trail that you’d want the animal to go through.
Be patient. It’s going to be nearly impossible to track your prey and go back and get something in the car.
8. Stalk Patiently
Once you’re on the field, the game is on. There will be a lot of waiting followed by a sudden burst of intensity. If you nail your target, it should be followed by a reassuring thud.
Revel in the silence, waiting in the arms of mother nature who provides. Don’t rush your prey.
Use your skills and knowledge to follow its footprints, its scent, looking at snapped twigs and disturbed leaves to see where it will go. Hone your senses.
9. Be Sure When You Shoot
The sad thing about modern hunting is that you have to consider loads of other factors before pulling the trigger.
Am I shooting legal prey? Will I hit someone hiding in the bushes behind the deer?
One of the cardinal rules of gun safety is to be sure of your target and what is behind it.
Take your time and line up your shot. Align your scope and gently squeeze on the exhale.
10. Clean-Up and Don’t Be Afraid to Get Dirty
Hunting, at its core, is tracking an animal and killing it to get meat, fur, and even bones and horns. You’ll have to deal with a bloody mess.
Hunting isn’t for those who are squeamish. You mustn’t be afraid to dig your knife in and divide your game into parts. You shouldn’t be afraid to handle the blood and guts.
Preparation is key when it comes to hunting. Once you’ve got all the right clearances, you must also be physically and mentally prepared for what you’re about to do: kill.
Having the right tools and equipment may help you greatly, but in the end, you are your most important asset.
© 2023 The Havok Journal