How to Get into Hunting : A Beginners Guide
These days we are seeing a sharp decline in hunters, but today, some individuals are very excited to know about hunting and are very eager to get into hunting.
The nice thing about hunting is that both the old and young can enjoy this sport which means a dad can spend some quality time with his son and teach him how to hunt.
The families that don’t have a history of hunting don’t tend to produce any young or new-gen hunters, but the families who have been into hunting for a long time have many youngsters coming through as hunters.
Although many hunters begin very early and get their learning from their grandfathers and dads, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t start when you are an adult or at an older age. The most skilled and professional hunters out there are some of the most dedicated and committed hunters as well.
As a hunter, you will have to give it time, buy the necessary gear, and of course, you have to be interested in it. However, you can learn so much about nature and the wild thanks to hunting.
We could go on about so many other reasons why hunting is so good, but now it’s time to get into the thing that matters.
We have compiled a step-by-step beginners guide that will help you know more about hunting and how to get into hunting and learn about the skills that you will need to be a top-notch hunter. So without a further adieu, let’s crack on.
How to Start Hunting
Before you go out and start hunting, you will need to tick off a few boxes, so make sure you follow the instructions given below before you begin your hunting vacation.
Make sure you Complete the Hunter Safety Education Course
A new hunter will need to enroll them into a hunter safety education course right off the bat. This course is essential to hunt legally because hunting in all of the states is illegal without it.
Another reason to take this course is that everybody will benefit from it and learn as well. In the hunter safety education course, you will discover many in addition to being a safe hunter.
Basic firearms, archery safety, and different rules will help you stay safe while being out in the wild. You will also get to know about the most known hunting regulations, how to identify different animals, and target practice as well.
In contrast to earlier days when completing a hunter education course took centuries, you can achieve almost half of the course online, which means you won’t have to waste all of your time rotting in a classroom setting.
Get Yourself a Mentor
Many of the hunters that get into hunting are usually because of their families. A family with a history in hunting basically trains the new generation, and that is how a crop of new hunters emerges in a family.
But if you don’t belong to a hunting family, then the road to becoming a hunter is not that simple. Not having someone to learn from is a very common obstacle for a hunter, and even if you complete your hunter education course, it doesn’t guarantee that you will become a top hunter.
Learning to hunt without anyone can be very hard. That is why you need to get yourself a mentor or get into a mentorship program.
These mentorship programs provide fantastic opportunities to novice hunters and teach everything that is involved in hunting. You will learn how to call turkeys and will also get to take part in mentored elk hunts.
Not just this, but there are several other programs where they give you time to sight in your rifle at the shooting range in the presence of some certified instructors.
They also arrange many seminars which provide you with some fundamental knowledge regarding how to field dress animals the right way.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have someone who can teach you hunting because if you join these programs, you would not need anybody since you will most likely find a new hunting partner thanks to these programs.
Other Ways to Learn Hunting
If you didn’t have any luck with state-managed mentorship programs, you really don’t need to worry because there are tons of other ways by which you can get quality exposure to hunting stuff and learn from the best.
If you want some information regarding your planned hunt, you can rely on the fish and game agencies that will provide you with some crucial information. These fish and game agencies give you the exact information you need for your hunt like they will provide you with maps so that you head to the correct location.
You can also join the hunter conservation groups where many of the top hunters get together, which means you can meet hunters and have a chat with them.
Local chapter meetings are the place to be if you want a new hunting buddy and just wish to know and tell a few hunting anecdotes.
There are also various sportsmen’s clubs that are famous because many great hunting mentors go there, so you can go there and find a mentor for yourself as well.
You can learn and gather so much priceless information from these clubs just by supporting them and taking a bit of time out for them.
There are so many seasoned hunting veterans that are in these clubs who can help you loads in your hunting journey. Also, you must always keep educating yourself by constantly reading books on hunting.
It’s not All about the Big Catch
Every newbie on the block loves to catch a big fat steak on their maiden hunt. Of course, it is always great to dream big and see big, but you must remember that it doesn’t have to be that way, and you can begin with the small steps with ease.
Go for the miniature game species and build up your confidence and learning. Although small game hunts like rabbits and squirrels are easy to hunt in the long run, they do a world of good for your confidence.
Another advantage of going for a small game is that there are very few to no people in the minor game seasons in the forests, so you can efficiently complete your objective.
There are also very few hunters who are interested in catching small game species like rabbits and squirrels these days. You don’t even have to travel long distances to catch these small game species.
Another benefit of hunting small game is the budget which is very cheap as you don’t have to buy highly sophisticated gear, just a pair of boots, clothes, a backpack, and a knife, and you’re good to go.
People often underestimate the importance of hunting small games. However, you must remember the small wins will push you to greater heights which you will know when you will enjoy the rabbit or squirrel that you have caught.
What kind of Hunting are you Into?
Some people will just say that they love to hunt or like to hunt and have pretty vague descriptions of why they want to hunt.
While the truth is that you cannot hunt just like it, you need to learn everything in between and especially answer for yourself which type of hunting you want.
There are so many options and many different types of hunting that you can enjoy. For example, you can hunt big game species like deers, hunt small game species like rabbits and squirrels, or even hunt wild boars.
You just need to decide for yourself and think clearly about what type of hunting you enjoy the most.
If you are interested in bow and arrow hunting, then have a look here: How to Make Bow and Arrow
Step Out and Practice
The key to being a top-notch hunter is practicing. Whoever said that practice makes perfect really knew what they were talking about.
Just sitting at home and learning from all tutorials and books won’t make you a quality hunter, but going out and practicing will so head out to the state parks or mountain biking clubs and see if you notice some deer behavior. One of the most valuable skills of a hunter is reading deer signs.
That’s why if you want to become better at hunting, you must go out and practice and don’t wait to rot in your house for the hunting season to arrive.
Go out to Hunt with a Hunter
One of the best someone can gain is experience, and experience will come when you go out in the wild and hunt.
You must be attentive and constantly notice everything around you see. The tiniest of details can make all the difference when you are hunting an animal because they will always leave something behind.
Don’t focus only on where you will be hunting, but also keep an eye on state parks or the areas where you are not allowed to hunt.
Don’t confine yourself to one place; always be on the lookout and keep learning. Here’s the thing about learning to hunt, when you learn with someone who was a hunter, then you are likely to learn very quickly.
A man who knows what he’s doing will, without a doubt, provide you the best advice and information regarding hunting. In addition, you will get to know some cool hacks and also the things that you should do while hunting.
You need to get people on board who share the same goals and into the same type of hunting or interests.
Take notes and learn from them because you will often find hunters who are happy to teach and share their experiences. Pay close attention to their stories and experiences because they will be helpful to lessons for you.
Don’t do the Same Things Over and Over Again
When you keep on doing the same thing over and over again, it becomes a routine, and in the end, the thing which used to excite you now bores you to death.
Things are pretty much the same with hunting because, after a few hunting journeys, you start to develop a routine that makes it no longer exciting after some time.
You must avoid this and make sure you make the most of your environment and thoroughly enjoy it.
If this means going on a new hunt for new species, then go because a change of scenery might be just what you need. This will bring back the enthusiasm you have been missing, making your hunting sojourn enjoyable again.
Volunteer and Learn
You can learn how to hunt alone, but when you go out in the wild and meet other hunters like you, the experience can’t be put into words.
This is why you must go out and volunteer for different initiatives. For example, you can volunteer for various initiatives like fish and game agencies, wildlife advocacy groups, etc.
There are also many habitat management and clean-up projects that help you gain essential experience in how you can help the wildlife, and you also learn about game behavior.
Just make sure you always do your research before you volunteer for a project. You also need to keep studying and learning in order to become a proficient hunter.
Many hunters don’t tend to learn at all, especially about their prey. You should know about whatever animal that you are going to catch a deer, rabbit, or turkey.
There is no shortage of resources these days, so there is absolutely no excuse not to learn about the age of an animal or its range. You must also learn about the animal’s habitat, the food it eats, and what happens to it during the mating season.
To become the best hunter and reach your true potential, you must make the best use of both your knowledge and experience.
Hunting Hacks for Beginners
One of the best ways to hunt easily for a beginner is to go to an area where there is a maximum presence of deers. As a beginner, you are not very comfortable in going out and hunting. That is why you must choose an area where deers are in abundance. Also, as a beginner, you will have an easy time tracking in a place where there are lots of deers.
Whatever you do, never compromise on your safety. Safety is paramount when, you are out in the woods, so take every step well thought and calculated. One wrong move can have brutal and terrible consequences for you. So make you head out pretty early in the morning, and you stick to your plan.
Don’t crib about what you are missing or don’t have. Just make you focus on what you have and how you can make it better. Moaning about all the equipment or things you don’t won’t make your situation any better, and yes, it really doesn’t matter if you don’t have the perfect bow. Just complete the best of what you have got. So get out there and enjoy the great outdoors. After all, that is what it’s all about.
Always make sure you have enough resources to fall back on if things go south. You must always have a plan or always prepare for the worst and hope for the best when you are out in the woods. Keep some phone numbers of people who can help you in case something goes wrong. These small preparations go a long way in keeping you safe in the woods.
Always remember to keep the phone numbers of the wild game butcher, houndsman, taxidermist, and the game warden. These four people are very helpful when something goes wrong and can be your savior because, in these conditions, safety is paramount.
Things you should Avoid while Hunting
Make sure you enjoy your time in the woods and have some fun. Keep a close eye on the mature deers, and remember antlers always hide when you make it to the ground.
Make sure you surround yourself with good company, people who push you to be a better version of yourself every day. Don’t go hunting with hunters who don’t follow any sort of rules and regulations and have zero ethics.
Don’t rush and start taking stupid shortcuts which might put you in big trouble. Adhere to the safety violations. Don’t break them. Remember it’s not about being slow or going slow it’s about reaching home in one piece and safe and sound.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can hunting be self-taught?
Although you can teach yourself about hunting, it is much better if you learn it from a seasoned hunter because his experience and learnings will help you a lot. Also, after learning about the basics of hunting, make sure you get out to hunt with your teacher or any other hunting professional because it is not safe to go hunting for the first time on your own.
Can I hunt without the hunter safety education course?
No, you cannot hunt without the hunter safety education course, at least not legally. The hunter safety education course should be one of the first things you need in your hunting curriculum vitae (CV). Without the hunter safety education course certification, it is illegal to hunt in just about every state.
Many hunters dream about going on a fully guided hunt, including hunting top-notch and elite species like moose, sheep, or deer.
But not all hunters are wealthy enough to afford this, so if you are fortunate enough to get into one, make sure you make the most of it and really enjoy it. Hunting is a truly interesting sport, and it doesn’t matter if you have been taught hunting from a bit of age or not.
If you have the enthusiasm, then with a little bit of guidance and support, you will hunt as good as anybody.
We hope our in-depth guide on how to get into hunting will help you kick start your hunting sojourn. So now, get out there and hunt!