Hunting season is not the best to learn hunting. As a beginner, you will want to learn hunting a few months before the season begins. Early practice will help you to start the season with confidence which will ultimately help you succeed. Early start will also help you get familiar with your new hunting gear and how to use it properly.
Enroll In a Hunter Safety Course
This is the first step you will have to take in order to become a successful hunter. Enrolling in a hunter education or safety course will help you understand the various aspects of hunting and wildlife. Though this course is also available online, my suggestion is that you undertake it in person, if possible. Attending in person will allow you to meet other guys like yourself as well as qualified trainers in real, which can help you a lot in due course. Also, in many states, these courses include some real time shooting sessions which can prove to be handy when you actually go on hunting.
Safety Comes First
Before you can actually try using a gun, learn basic safety rules intended for firearms. This applies even to experienced hunters as well. Checking the safety rules and keeping yourself updated with them from time to time and revising them promptly before you go on a hunt is a very good habit. Most of these rules also apply to archery equipment as well.
Practice Makes Hunters Perfect!
Practice as much as you can before you actually go on hunting. This stands good even if you are well versed with guns or bows. Just head to the range and start shooting. The practice should start well before your hunting schedule and if possible, should end just the day before you go hunting. Wondering where to practice? Please visit the NSSF’s website and you will find your answer!
It will be great if you can find someone to mentor you. Accompanying an experienced hunter as an apprentice will help you understand the tips and tricks of the trade. Watching them hunt will help you get the real feel of it. In some states, you may apply for apprentice license even without completing hunter safety course. However, I suggest that you complete this course before applying for an apprentice license and give hunting a go. Once you are confident, you can apply for a proper hunter’s license and go hunting on your own!
What To Opt For – Bow or Gun?
As far as I am concerned, bow hunting is not for the beginners. As a beginner, you should be using a tool that gives you the best possible results. And for that to happen, you should be using a gun, because using a bow is far more difficult compared to firing a gun. Bow hunting can be exciting for hunters who already have enough experience with guns.
Please do not buy a gun in hurry. In fact, do not buy it while you are still in the practicing stage. If you have a friend or family who owns a gun, try to borrow it from them. If they are willing to accompany you to the range and let you shoot their gun, that’s even better! If you are unable to borrow from friends or family, try calling your local ranges, they may be able to help you. Most ranges have this facility of leasing or renting guns. So it is advised that you give it a try.
Also, tell them about your shooting experience and the kind of animals you want to hunt. They will let you know what kind of gun is suitable for the game you have in mind and may also help you in hiring an appropriate firearm. Once you get hands on experience with the borrowed gun, and are comfortable using it, purchase a similar gun and start practicing with it for a few days before you hit the woods.
Basic Hunting Gear
As an amateur, you need to have some basic gear before you go hunting. This includes comfortable clothes and footwear, a sharp knife, light yet strong rope and of course, a bow or gun. Here you need to understand that as a learner there is no need to spend a fortune on high end hunting guns or clothes. Just make sure that you buy a gear with which you can remain comfortable, safe and dry, and are able to perform all hunting related tasks such as retrieving and dressing with ease.
Small Game Hunting
As a starter, you should first concentrate on small game hunting as it is easy and chances of succeeding are more. It also serves as a great stepping stone for starters who want to make their own mark in hunting as they move on to hunt larger animals in the future. Small game hunting also helps beginners to learn important woodcraft skills, such as the stealth, apart from helping them in getting familiar with the woods.
Are You a Woman Hunter?
If you are a female and want to learn hunting, please check-out the program known as, “Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW),” jointly sponsored by the University of Wisconsin and Stevens Point. Established in 1991, the program offers various workshops for women who want to learn hunting. An important point to be noted here is that all the equipment needed for hunting is provided by the sponsors themselves, and the only thing needed from you is a strong desire and willingness to learn hunting!
Follow the Rules and Regulations
Before you go on real time hunting, check your state’s rules and regulations thoroughly to make sure you are qualified. Also, check the regulations for the animals you want to hunt; because a statewide hunting season may or may not apply to the state controlled hunting lands, these include public sectors such as wildlife management areas (WMAs) as well.
Please bear in mind that most WMAs have certain restrictions in place regarding what you can hunt and when, and you will have to follow them strictly. Also, before entering any hunting area, please find out what kind of hunting equipment is allowed and what tools are restricted. Keeping the above in mind will help you hunt legally and within the jurisdiction.
Hope that the above information will be of some help for beginner hunters. If you have any questions or experiences that you want to share which may help your fellow “to-be hunters,” please feel free to contact me at https://lifeundersky.com/
Happy Hunting, Chao!!