The first thing many people think about when they hold a rifle for the first time is deer hunting. Deer hunting has been popular for many generations, as it teaches patience and it is a good source of meat to provide for yourself and your family. However, deer hunting is not all about holding a rifle and shooting, it requires preparation and learning some skills before you hunt your first deer. In this guide, we will discuss the essential skills and knowledge every hunter should be aware of before going on their hunting trip.
Hunting Preparation and Requirements
You can’t just simply pick up your weapon and go hunting, as all states regulate hunting. Depending on each state, you need to pass a hunter’s Ed course before acquiring a hunting license. You should take the course nonetheless as it teaches firearms training, ethical shot placement, your state’s regulation, and many other useful topics. The good thing about hunter’s Ed courses is that they cost very little, ranging from free and up to 30$, and once you pass it, you’ll be certified for life. You can use the certificate in every state and even some other countries as well. Keep in mind that even after you acquire your certification and license, you need to practice using your weapon before going into the woods.
You don’t need to buy fancy gear to start deer hunting, however, there are essential clothing and accessories you should get. Camouflage isn’t necessary for hunting as deers shouldn’t spot you if you are hiding correctly. Boots are extremely important, especially if you’re going to be hiking for a long time. The kind of boots you need depends on the season and the activity you’ll be doing. Generally, you want a pair of boots that are durable, waterproof, insulated, and preferably mid-calf to offer more protection. Don’t forget to wear merino wool socks to let your feet breathe and stay dry.
When it comes to clothing, wearing the right type of layers will make a whole difference in your hunting experience. Needless to say, the number and material of layers differ from cold to hot weather, so if you want to keep warm in cold conditions opt for merino wool or a synthetic base layer. You may not need mid-layers if you’re hunting in hot weather to keep yourself cool. Finally, the outer layer is supposed to offer protection to your clothes from the elements, so it should be waterproof if it’s going to rain, and it should be of natural colors like green, tan, brown, or camo if you want to.
Some accessories can make the difference between success and failure on a hunting trip. Some accessories that may prove useful include:
- Blaze orange (It can save your life)
- Hunting knife
- Field dressing kit
You should choose a weapon that fits your style and preference, as there are rifles, shotguns, bows, and crossbows to choose from. Rifles are the main choice for beginners as they are easy to handle and learn. Your budget will dictate the options for your rifle, as it is the most expensive piece of equipment in the deer hunting process. You can visit local gun stores and try handling different rifles to find the one you’re most comfortable with, and read this article to learn about a few of the best varmint rifles in the market. After purchasing your rifle, you should think about getting a firearm case, ammo case, and the type of ammo used by your rifle.
Hunters’ Basic Knowledge
There are many skills and information you should be aware of before embarking on your first deer hunting trip. There are two types of hunting lands; public and private. The public lands are either federal, state, or locally owned so you have to check the regulations before hunting on these lands. The other option is to lease or buy land, which can be costly and will need regular care as you don’t want to scare off the deer from your land. Being aware of the best times to hunt deer can save you so much time and effort. Early in the morning and late afternoon are the ideal times of the day to hunt deer as they are on the move when it gets darker. The time of the season makes a difference as well, especially in the early time of season or breeding time. Numerous techniques can help you hunt and field-dress your game that will come with practice and experience.
This guide will help you get started quickly, however, it only scratches the surface, as some skills and techniques can only be learned through experience. Finding a hunting buddy or mentor can speed up the learning process considerably, and at the same time, it will be fun. Keep in mind not to get caught up in technicalities and forget to enjoy the hunting.