Tips to remember when hunting
Hunting is a very exciting, outdoor activity with more and more enthusiasts year after year; furthermore, it's an activity learned by sons by their parents and transmitted from one generation to the next.
Not much time ago, the only way to learn the basic and advanced skills for hunting was to go out to the field with a mentor and learn as much as possible on each hunting raid. Later, after years of experience one person was able to masterize the art of hunting, but there was still a limitation since it was possible to learn from one or two mentors, all other learning was assay and error, making the process longer.
Nowadays there's the possibility to learn not only from mentors, but also from different resources, including books, magazines and online information; thus there are many ways to obtain knowledge from different sources, making the learning experience easier, faster and more complete since there's a way to know many things from many, experienced hunters, even when we don't know them!
On this regard, the following is a compilation of the most important tips from experienced hunters to follow as a general rule, especially for newbies. By following these tips, you will increase not only your knowledge but also your success odds and, the most important, you will be safe all the time. Remember, hunting is a funny activity but also dangerous!
Next, the best of the knowledge taken from experienced hunters, on the field, books and online resources:
1. Knowing the hunting area is essential, so doing a pre-hunting scout or to count with a local guide is essential for success.
2. You must know as most as possible about your game. Knowing about calls, breeding and feeding areas as well behavioural patterns of a particular game will give you an edge when hunting.
3. Stealth is the key. Animal senses tend to be much more keener than human's, so stealth is mandatory for success. If you are not able to undercover your presence, it won't be possible to succeed.
4. Be aware of rules and regulations. Wildlife oficials are stric and regulations change from one place to other as well from one season to other. There are no excuses to break the rules and oficials will punish infractors regardless they didn't know regulations, so be sure to be familiar with local rules for a given season.
5. NEVER hunt without a permit.
6. Respect the bag limit; that's the only way to render hunting sustainable for further generations. It's mandatory to learn from our ancestors to find the balance between hunting and conservation.
7. Safety must be a top priority, never walk around on a hunting area without using the mandatory orange vest.
8. Be aware of elements and be prepared to face all kind of weather conditions. From extremely hot up to freezing conditions, depending of the area and season where you are planning to hunt on.
9. Layer clothing is the best way to guarantee proper protection from weather, especially on windy or cold days.
10. Check all your gear before leaving to hunt and verify that everything is working good.
11. Essential gear must include a primary weapon, a secondary firearm, a hunting knife and a carving knife.
12. NEVER forget your first aids kit!
13. Your backpack always must include a map, a compass and a gps. It's better to count with redundant orientation devices than getting lost on the woods.
14. Pack rations and water for a couple more days of what you are expecting to be out. That's a good way to face unexpected delays on the woods.
15. Include on your pack at least two communication devices as well extra batteries. It's necessary to assure communication with civilization when you are out for hunting.
16. Provide a detailed schedule of your hunting trip to someone at home, as well how much time you pretend to be out. This way it will be easier to locate you in case of an emergency.
17. If you are hunting with dogs, don't forget to pack enough food, dog's orange vest as well protection clothing according to your hunting schedule.
18. In case you are hunting from a blind, install it and cover its position a few days before hunting. If possible, avoid brand new fabrics and equipment since its odor will be detected immediately by local fauna. In case you need to use new apparels, the best idea is to use it for a couple of week even on your backyard, allowing dirt and dust to cover its "industrial" escent.
19. Be familiar with field dressing techniques. Once you have taken down your game, the last thing you wish is to lose edible meat because of improper field dressing.
20. Remember that firearms are dangerous and you don't wish to hurt yourself, your dogs or your fellow hunters, so follow firearms safety guidelines at all times.
Following the aforementioned tips, you will have most of the basics covered, afterwards with practice, reading and experience you will learn much more and will become a master on the art of hunting, just like our ancestors, but quicker!