If you’re new to hunting, it can seem like a lot of work.
How do you get started?
What equipment do you need?
Where should you go?
And what if something goes wrong?
These are all valid concerns, but they’re far from insurmountable! Here’s how to get started with your first hunt.
Get a Hunting License
Get a hunting license. You will need one to hunt, so make sure you get one first before attempting to do any other steps on your list. You can get a hunting license at a sporting goods store or online, depending on where you live in the United States.
You should always be aware of the laws that govern hunting in your area, as well as in any other states you will be visiting. While it may seem like a lot to remember, there are many resources available to make this easier for you.
For example, if your home state is New York and you want to hunt in Illinois:
- Visit https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/regulations/nonresidents and scroll down until you see “Nonresident Youth Hunting License.” Click on it! (You’ll need access to the Internet.)
- Click “Youth Firearm Hunting” at the top of the page, then click “Permit Requirements.” This will bring up a PDF document that details what age groups need permits for each type of firearm used for hunting purposes and other regulations that apply.
Hunt in Groups If Possible
Hunting in groups is a great way to enhance your hunting experience. The best part about hunting with other people is that you’ll have more eyes and ears to spot the game, more hands to carry the game home, and more people with whom to share your experiences on the field. Here are some of the benefits of hunting in groups:
- Safety in numbers
- More eyes and ears mean it’s easier for everyone to spot animals from afar, which increases the chances of bagging an animal.
- More hands mean less physical strain when it comes time to pack up all those heavy items into the car at the end of a long hike or trek through rough terrain.
- Sharing is caring! It’s easier for beginners if they’re surrounded by experienced hunters who can help them out if they get confused or lost.
Tell a Friend Where You’re Hunting
Tell your friend where you are going, what time you will be back, and what you are hunting; if it’s a game animal and what you are wearing. Also, tell them what kind of equipment is in your truck, along with any weapons that may be loaded.
You should also give them contact information such as cell phone numbers and email addresses if available. If the person has any questions about your safety or the safety of others around them, they can contact family members or friends who live in the area for help.
Buy the Right Equipment for Your Weapon
There are some things that you should do before you even step foot in the woods for your first hunt. You need to make sure that you have all of the necessary equipment, including:
A scope, red dot sights like the Mepro RDS Pro V2 Red Dot, bipod, a sling for your weapon, cleaning kit, and a rangefinder. This will help you identify targets with ease while keeping track of the distance between yourself and said target.
Quality pair of binoculars or a monocular if it’s just one person going hunting. When out in nature, it’s important to be able to see further than what one can see naturally so that you can spot animals before they get too close.
At least 11 million hunters utilized rifles in the United States, while roughly 7.9 million hunters used shotguns.
Learn About Your Prey
When you’re starting, it helps to know what you’re hunting. Get to know the animal’s behavior and habits so that you can spot them and get close enough to shoot them. For example, deer like to graze in fields and forests during the day, but they often bed down for the night in thickets or brushy areas where it will be hard for a hunter to see them from a distance.
Similarly, raccoons are nocturnal animals that mostly live in trees and eat small mammals such as squirrels and rabbits. But if you want some raccoon fur for your winter coat (or just want their pelts for decoration), make sure you check those trees carefully before going out hunting! When early people hunted larger game, such as antelopes, they only ate the adults, leaving younger and older animals in the herd.
Prepare for the Elements
You need to be prepared for any weather. Bring rain gear, sunscreen, and bug spray. Don’t forget extra food and water as well. You will also want to bring a first aid kit, map, compass, flashlight, and extra batteries for the flashlight. A cell phone is good but not required, but you should bring one if possible because it could come in handy if you accidentally become lost or injured in the woods.
Practice Makes Perfect
There are several ways to practice hunting and shooting. The most obvious way is to go out with friends or family, who have already got some experience in the field. This can often be cheaper than other options, but it may not always be convenient for you. In terms of getting started, this can be a good way to gain some initial experience without having to invest too much money in equipment at first.
Once you get some experience under your belt, practicing on your own is a great way to improve your skills before heading into the wilds with just one gun and no idea what you’re doing. Some websites give instructions on how exactly each type of firearm should be held. Many YouTube channels discuss proper safety precautions when handling weapons.
Practicing with live ammunition is another option—but only if it’s entirely safe! You should never shoot anything off until you have thoroughly read through all instructions first. That way, nothing bad happens accidentally later down the line when it matters most!
Hunting Can Be a Fun and Productive Hobby
During the Middle Ages, hunting as a sport was reserved for the rich and done on private lands owned by aristocrats. Hunting is one of the best ways to get in shape. You’ll be moving around, breathing fresh air, and getting your heart rate up (not to mention all the squats you’ll have to do while carrying heavy equipment). It’s sure to turn you into a lean, mean hunting machine!
Hunting will provide fresh meat for your family or friends. They don’t have to worry about grocery store prices going up because of inflation or terrorism threats.
Not only does hunting help preserve wildlife habitats for future generations, but it also helps humans understand more about their relationship with nature.
We hope that this article has been helpful in your journey to becoming a successful hunter.