Your Cart is Currently Empty
Beginner's Guide To Hunting
Hunting is a very popular sport, but it’s also a complex sport and not one that you can take up instantly. It’s not possible to simply take a trip to your local outdoor store and get started. When you do know where to begin, however, hunting can be a hugely enjoyable sport, so here are a few hints to help get you started.
Safety and Education
Safety is, by far, the most important thing a hunter must learn when starting out, so it’s advisable to take a safety course. Laws vary between states, but most require you to pass a hunter education course before you can purchase a hunting license. Even if your state does not require you to do this, you are strongly advised to do so in order to benefit from the critical safety training that these courses provide.
In addition to the vital safety practices hunters need to abide by, these safety courses also educate new hunters on hunting regulations and laws that will apply, along with providing the right hunting etiquette, a great general overview and useful insider hunting information and tips. To find out about hunter education training, you can check with the fish and game department in your state for specific details.
Once you have your hunter’s education course under your belt, you will be familiar with the safety basics of how to carry and hold your weapon. However, don’t underestimate the importance of practice. Taking time to practice firing your weapon at the range is vital for new hunters before heading out into the field.
If possible, try to find a mentor who is experienced in the area and can help you navigate the first early steps of your hunting career. Perhaps you have family or friends who are experienced hunters who could help, but if not, it’s a good idea to look for local hunting groups or clubs where you can meet like-minded people who are likely to be happy to share their experience and knowledge with you.
Laws and regulations
Hunting regulations and laws often vary between areas, states and seasons. These laws and regulations are subject to change for various reasons. For example, you might find there are tighter restrictions on hunting in a particular area this year compared to the previous year. It’s essential to make sure you are completely up to date with all of the laws and regulations.
You will need to consider where you can hunt; where the public land ends and private land begins; what you can hunt; when you can hunt; where and how you can obtain permits; and how you can hunt ethically. Forest service stations and rangers are great sources of advice, and if you are lucky enough to have a hunting mentor, they may be able to offer some guidance. Ultimately, however, it is your responsibility to make yourself aware of the relevant laws. Many of the laws and regulations are quite standard, but there are some rules that can be unexpected. For example, if you’re in Kansas, you don’t want to be caught out shooting a wild game bird on the ground as this is illegal.
What to hunt
The next step is to consider exactly what you will be hunting and what area you will be hunting in. Of course, if you venture out of your own state, you must adhere to the laws and hunting protocols of the state you are hunting in. For beginners, hunting small game such as rabbits, pheasants, squirrels and grouse can be a good start. Hunting small game or upland birds does not require the kind of specialized hunting equipment that bigger hunts would require. These are also more frequently rewarding, so the hunts can feel action-packed and aren’t as physically demanding as hunting bigger game, such as deer. Smaller game hunts offer an excellent chance for beginners to get started and perfect their hunting skills and techniques while still taking home something at the end of it.
Get to know the area you are going to be hunting in and ensure you are capable of reading a map as this is a key skill in hunting. Planning is essential, and it's a good idea to carry a medical kit such as 300 Marine First Aid Kit and the correct equipment, like this Plano Element-proof Field/Ammo Box. Planning carefully in advance will help when you are in the field.