Hunting is an excellent hobby that brings you closer to nature, your ancestors, and the food you eat. It allows modern people to achieve something tangible.
Let’s go through some of the must-haves to prepare and bring before, during, and after a hunt. We’ll also go through some tips to help you through hunting’s steep learning curve.
Here are just some of the most important supplies and equipment you will need on the hunt. The more you hunt, the better you will understand your equipment and find the best gear for you.
Before the Hunt
Before you head out into the woods with a rifle and start shooting everything that moves, you will need to secure a couple of essentials to ensure that your trip goes smoothly.
1. Hunting Clothes
Hunting involves stalking your prey across distances in a natural environment. This means camouflaging yourself to avoid arousing suspicion. Woodland camouflage jackets and pants work wonders when masking your presence.
Ironically enough, you will also need to wear an orange vest or cap to be seen by other humans. This is for your safety, though it might make you slightly less effective.
You will need the right footwear to trudge along muddy, rocky, branch-filled terrain while keeping safe from injury. Your boots should also reduce your natural scent.
3. Scent Reduction
There are commercially-available scent killers that eliminate your human musk, allowing you to get within range of the animal you’re hunting.
4. Hunting Permits and Licenses
Hunters need to follow the rules as it is a privilege in most areas unless you own the land. You will need to secure all the right government permits to ensure your trip goes well.
During the Hunt
Once you reach your stomping grounds, you will need the right tools of the trade to help you track your target without getting lost, hit it with ease, and dispatch it humanely.
A good weapon is the difference between a clean kill and a messy, inhumane one. Choose a weapon you can train with and continue to afford ammunition for.
Understand how to handle, transport, use, and clean your weapon safely. Treat it like an extension of yourself, and you’ll become a skilled marksman in quick time.
2. A Good Scope
A good optic can give you the surest shot to ensure maximum success. Fortunately, more affordable rifle scopes appear on the market as the days go by.
There are plenty of options available to get you the shot alignment you need to hit the target you want.
This will allow you to track your target while staying on the move. Your rifle can stay slung to your shoulder, allowing you to stop for a second to see your prey and move again.
You will always need a pocket knife or hunting knife outdoors because you can use it to cut natural camouflage, dig out bullets, finish off prey humanely, and even cook.
5. Personal Hygiene Supplies
The great outdoors can get dirty, sticky, full of insects, and muddy. You will need some wipes, towels and other hygiene-related supplies to clean out the blood and guts.
6. Food and Water
Bring enough snacks to sustain you for a day to 2 days and enough hydration to last you throughout the struggle.
7. GPS or Map, Compass
The last thing you want is to get lost in the forest with no way out. Make sure to have the right navigation equipment to orient yourself and find a way out.
8. Rain Gear
Depending on your climate, you will need a raincoat, poncho, tarp, or tent to stay dry and even build a hide.
9. Scent Attractor
This brings the animal closer to you as you move closer to it. The scent attractor allows you to meet the animal mid-way.
After the Kill
A good hunter doesn’t just shoot the animal and leave it for other creatures. That animal offers good meat, fur, and other materials that can sustain you if you know how to process it.
1. Ropes and Cords
You will need ropes to suspend an animal as you remove its insides. You will need it to tie them on your car roof if you’re bringing your game back whole.
2. Processing Knives
If you intend to use your game for food, meat, and fur, you will need knives to turn the carcass into usable parts.
3. Bone Saw
The bone saw allows you to get through bones and properly separate the animal into cuts of meat.
4. Cooler and Zipper Seal Bags
Storage is important, especially when storing meats. Ensure you have air-tight bags and a cooler full of ice to keep the meat fresh and ready for eating.
Tips for First Time Hunters
Here are a few things to remember as you begin hunting. Remember to treat your environment and game with respect. Obey all regulations, and never lose the sense of adventure.
Get Out Into the Field
The best way to learn is to practice in the field. Explore your hunting grounds and understand how your prey moves and works. Practice using your equipment.
Learn From The Community
Volunteer to work with wildlife organizations to understand your game and shadow more senior hunters to gain some insight and wisdom from more experienced hunters.
Be Deliberate and Safe
Obey all rules and regulations. Keep your permits in order and pay your dues. When hunting, remember to stay safe and move slowly. Take care of yourself and the environment.
Never Stop Learning
Always be open to new experiences on the field. Listen to others in the hobby and keep doing research. Hunt in new places and try new techniques.
Hunting shouldn’t have to be intimidating for those just starting. It is for everyone, regardless of strength and skill level. Use the right equipment. Stay safe.
Move carefully and deliberately, and you should be an excellent hunter in no time. Give it the proper effort, and your struggles will pay off.