18 Oct 4 Ways to Prepare for Hunting Season (That Don’t Require Camo)
It is never too early to start preparing for the upcoming fall hunting seasons. A successful hunt requires more than just a gun and appropriate clothing, so preparing early will allow you to enjoy a hunt that is focused on the goal rather than the fine details.
Learn the State Regulations
Every state has different rules, regulations and laws that you are required to follow as a hunter. Brush up on the state laws and learn about any specific hunting regulations that may be in place before you start planning your first hunting trip.
The details of obtaining a hunting license, permit requirements and bag limits may change each year, states the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, so get a copy of the current regulation guidelines to ensure you are prepared to meet any legal regulations. Current regulations are usually available to download or read online on your state’s website under the wildlife or environmental department.
Take an Educational Course
Although state requirements regarding education will vary, it is generally useful to take a hunter education course before you get a license. In some states, it may be a legal requirement. In New York, every new hunter is required to take a sportsman education class before obtaining a license, states the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
The lessons you learn in an educational course range from general safety measures to hunting tips, so it is a useful way to prepare for the upcoming season. Even if you are not required to take a course, it is useful if you want to brush up on information.
Pick the Right Gun
The best gun for hunting season will depend on the animal you plan to pursue, but certain elements of selecting a shotgun or rifle are similar. For example, a Marlin 336XLR or a Ruger No. 1 Varminter K1-V-BBZ are popular choices according to Outdoor Life Magazine, but they might not be the best rifles for your needs because comfort levels will vary.
See a firearms specialist to find the appropriate rifle for your needs, suggests the National Wild Turkey Federation. Try picking up and lifting the shotguns and rifles to your shoulder to see how comfortable they are and whether they have an extra swing outward when you lift them up.
Ask to shoot the gun. If it is possible to shoot the gun before you buy it, then try it out to determine if the kick is comfortable. If it is not possible to shoot the gun, then ask about the kick before you buy it.
Plan Your Trip
Plan your hunting trip before the start of the season. If you want to hunt in a different state, then obtain the appropriate license for that state and plan your vacation several months in advance to ensure you have lodgings and the fine details worked out. You can usually apply for a hunting license for a different state directly on the state’s website.
If you are planning to hunt locally, then get out some maps and start looking for the perfect location. Narrow your trip down by finding the roads and highways around the forested areas and then working down to the fine details.
A map can provide a wealth of information, states the Washington Department Fish & Wildlife. It can show water sources, stands of rock or other terrain details that allow you to locate areas that have a higher chance of finding game. For example, areas near water are usually a good location for hunting because many animals will eventually come for a drink. Rocky areas might be better for elk hunting, but might not be the best location to find deer.
Get ready for hunting season by starting with the foundation. Learn the current laws, plan your trip and find the right gun for your hunting goals. Prepare early so that you can enjoy the trip without worrying about the small details.
Creative Commons image by USFWS/Southeast