If you are a beginner hunter, you must have realized that there is a severe shortage of useful guidance. There are websites which are quite informative about the rules and regulations. But they don’t talk much about how to always be prepared for any kind of situation during a hunting trip. Similarly, most hunting guides talk about advance hunting techniques & tools and use terminologies that are foreign to someone who is just starting out.
Hunting is an adventurous practice. It requires you to be daring enough for any situation that comes your way and always be alert to your surroundings. It is literally a walk in the wilderness. Adventure does not mean that you have to be careful; you can have the thrill of an amazing hunting trip, even when you are prepared for problematic situations.
Once you have understood the laws regarding hunting in your area, it is time to understand the basics of safety and hunting, before you venture out into the wild. Here are a few tips that will ensure you remain safe and are able to put some meat on the table:
5 Tips for a Successful & Safe Hunting Trip
Tip #1: Carry a first-aid kit and a wilderness survival kit
Accidents don’t come with warnings. For this reason, it pays to be prepared when going into the wilderness. It is imperative to have some kind of first-aid kit, along with a wilderness survival kit on your person at all times during the trip.
A wilderness survival kit constitutes a compass, rope, a bushcraft knife, a map, and most importantly, a flashlight and extra batteries. It is very easy to get lost in the wilderness. So make sure that you have the right tools to find your way back home.
Moreover, when it comes to the quality of the elements in a kit, make sure you only get the right ones and don’t waste the limited space with useless items. For instance, getting a cheap knife might be tempting, but it will be of very little use once the metal gets corroded or when you strike a hard object and the blade breaks off. Instead, invest some time in finding a highly-durable stainless steel bushcraft knife and similarly other high-quality equipment that will never let you down when you really need it.
That’s how professionals do it– Professional hunters are already experienced in hunting in unknown surroundings. They know what kind of first-aid kit or a survival kit will come in handy. While your first-aid kit carries all types of medications, a professionals’ will only have limited medications and bandages. Similarly, your survival kit will have batteries, flashlight, and what not, while theirs’ will only have a portable charger (flashlight + batteries) and similarly, other equipment. In short, he will likely carry a smaller backpack because of his experience and expertise.
Tip #2: Make sure someone knows about your location
It is not always possible to find your way back once you are lost. That is why it is important to ensure someone knows exactly where you are hunting. Additionally, it is even recommended to carry a small GPS device with you. While putting aside technology is customary on hunting trips, GPS is one that may save your life. Technology has advanced to new levels and such situations require you to inform others about your GPS pin and let them track you when you are late in returning. Wilderness is an unexpected and usually, unexplored surrounding, it is better to be tracked than sorry.
That’s how professionals do it– Do you know what a professional hunter would do, if he gets lost? He knows that such a situation might arise, which is why he will inform his loved ones about different stopping points along with an approximate time calculation. This will allow them to have a real-time check of his whereabouts; ensuring his safety at all times.
Tip #3: Practice gun safety
Remember the fundamental firearm safety rules. These include:
- Assume all firearms are loaded.
- Unless your intention is to shoot, do not put your finger on the trigger or inside the trigger guard.
- Always make sure your weapon is pointed in a safe direction.
This is also a good time to talk about your clothing. Unless you plan on hunting with a bow, make sure you wear a bright orange vest on top of your clothes. An orange vest will allow others to spot you from a distance; ensuring your safety with their firearm. Having said that, make sure you are appropriately dressed for the weather because you don’t want to fall sick in the wilderness.
That’s how professionals do it– A professional hunter always carries two guns and a survival knife with him along with extra ammo for hunting and survival situations. One is his hunting gun while the other is a spare gun for problems like fighting back with an animal. A survival knife also comes in handy when the prey is in close quarters and shooting isn’t an option.
Tip #4: Scouting and finding your prey
Scouting the area is a critical part of hunting. Scouting allows you to understand the area you are going to hunt in. This will help you identify potential spots while familiarizing you with the area, effectively decreasing your chance of getting lost. Moreover, scouting will help you identify movement patterns and habits of the animals you are planning to hunt. This information will prove invaluable when you are on the hunt and need to locate your prey.
That’s how professionals do it– A professional hunter always knows the area inside-out. He knows what kind of animals he would encounter and take appropriate steps & precautions to hunt with utmost expertise. The best way to do this is to look for footprints, droppings, and discards of your prey. Your prey will have unique footprints and eating habits that should help you scout and find it.
Tip #5: After the shot
Always remember to have a plan for after you have shot your first deer or bird. It is important to have a plan in place to transport the animal and process the meat. Killing an animal without a clear plan and intention is not only unethical but also illegal in some places.
That’s how professionals do it– A professional hunter is always prepared with a transportation expert to transport the animal to his desired location. It is also because he is sure of a successful hunting experience.
Hunting can be a fun and exhilarating sport if everything goes according to your plan and safety. It is critical to make a fool-proof plan and be prepared for all possible situations with all possible contingencies.
Billy has been on the Perkin Knives team for several years as a marketing executive. He has been part of a great many top-of-the-line projects. Not only has he personally contributed to the service in every way, but he also happens to be one of the most revered members of Perkin Knives.