If you have never been hunting before but are in the process of planning your first ever hunting trip, it can be quite stressful both before, and during the trip.
In this article we are going to give you our top 10 tips for your first hunting trip to make sure you stay safe, your trip is a success and most important of all, you enjoy it so much that you can’t wait to go on your second hunting trip.
Find an Expert
- 1 Find an Expert
- 2 Check the Local Rules and Regulations
- 3 Always Prepare for Rain
- 4 Stay Warm
- 5 Practice Before Your Trip
- 6 Check to Make Sure All Your Equipment Is in Good Working Order
- 7 Pack Sufficient Rations but Not Too Much
- 8 Ensure Someone Knows Where You Are
- 9 Make Sure You Are Fit for the Trip
- 10 Set realistic expectations
As with any activity, if you are new to it or inexperienced, one of the most sensible actions you can take is to find an expert who can teach you. This would relate to general hunting advice and some basic principles. To take it a stage further, having someone with local knowledge of any area where you are planning a hunting trip will be invaluable.
Check the Local Rules and Regulations
There are two aspects to this tip. The first is that you make sure you are aware of the hunting laws and regulations in the area you plan to go hunting. Secondly, and more importantly, ensure that you fully understand them. If you are new to hunting and any of the terms or any of the regulations confuse you, call the appropriate authority and ask for clarification.
Always Prepare for Rain
Rain is one of those weather types that can occur without any warning. This means the forecast might have said it will be dry, but Mother Nature decides otherwise. Being soaked through is not pleasant when you are hunting, and it can magnify the cold if the temperature drops. Prepare for rain by packing waterproofs.
Even during the summer months, the temperatures can plummet during the night, and if you are camping you’ll be glad that brought sufficient and appropriate clothing to keep you warm. This is equally as relevant during colder seasons when daytime temperatures are low.
Rather than having one big thick sweater, the best advice is to have several thin layers of clothing as the air between them helps to insulate against the cold.
Practice Before Your Trip
Your enjoyment of your first hunting trip will be all the greater if when you aim and fire you get close to or hit your target. One way you can improve your chances of this is to practice before you go on your trip. Search out local shooting ranges where you can get plenty of target practice.
Check to Make Sure All Your Equipment Is in Good Working Order
Obviously, this is going to apply to any hunting gun, and the checks you should make aren’t just in relation to whether it can fire a shell. You’ll want to make sure your sights and scopes are aligned, and that any moving parts are lubricated as required.
Checking any other equipment beforehand which you are planning to take on your trip like camping stoves, tents, footwear, and even the zips on your backpack will potentially save you a lot of frustration and anguish.
Pack Sufficient Rations but Not Too Much
If the plan is to feed yourself while you are on your hunting trip, then you will want to pack enough food and water for the trip, but do not overdo it. While it may not be as big a problem as being hungry, having to carry a heavier than necessary backpack can slow you down, and may potentially cause a strain on your back or shoulders.
Ensure Someone Knows Where You Are
While the chances of anything going seriously wrong are very slim, it is prudent to let someone know where you plan to go hunting. You could use Google maps to identify the area you are going to so that your location is known.
Hundreds of hunters get lost every year and sadly some of them lose their lives, mostly from hypothermia. If someone is aware of you are meant to be, the chances of you being found quickly are infinitely higher.
Make Sure You Are Fit for the Trip
As hunting can involve a fair amount of physical exertion, and all of it outdoors where the terrain can be very demanding, it is not the sort of activity you should be undertaking if you are fighting an illness or have an injury. If your health is not 100% or you have an injury, then it is wise to postpone your hunting trip until it is.
Set realistic expectations
Even if you follow all the tips to the letter, you must remember that you will be entering an environment where not everything will be able, ready or willing to fall into line with your plans. There are lots of variables that may go for or against you, such as the weather and the animals you are hunting.
Don’t get too wound up if not everything goes 100% your way. Learn from it, and it will mean your mindset is all the better prepared for your next hunting trip.