There are several steps every hunter should take before leaving the house to go hunting.
Before you start acquiring supplies for your upcoming hunt, you should make sure that you are aware of the requirements for the area in which you intend to hunt. Some states require different equipment for different types of hunting. You can review your own state’s requirements by contacting the applicable state wildlife agency. You do not want to show up in the field with an extended tube magazine on your shotgun when you are not allowed to have more than three. Non-firearm hunting supplies are essential too, such as a game processing set, game call, game scent, game decoy, and binoculars.
If your state requires completing a hunter education course, you will need to take the course before you hit the trail. You will also need to purchase a hunting license. There are usually several different options for hunting licenses, so make sure you choose the correct one for the type of hunting you plan to do. Some states, however, offer an “apprentice hunting license,” which allows licensees to accompany an experienced hunter before taking a hunter education course.
I highly recommend reviewing the firearm safety rules for obvious reasons. This will help you remember to bring certain items, such as hearing and eye protection, as the rules require. Speaking from personal experience, being anywhere near an AR-15 type rifle with a muzzle break when it goes off is conducive to hearing loss.
Taking your primary hunting handgun, rifle, or shotgun to the shooting range before a hunt is always a good idea. Time at the range lets you confirm your zero while providing a good excuse to clean your firearm before hunting time. Dirty guns are more prone to malfunction and decreased accuracy than clean guns. Besides, shooting is much more fun when your gun(s) work properly.
With all of the residential and commercial construction expanding out into the suburbs, don’t forget to confirm the location of, directions to, and boundaries of the property you plan to hunt before you leave. The boundaries can easily change in between, and even during, the seasons. It can be costly to get all the way to your intended destination only to find the entrance is closed, causing you to have to go all the way around to another entrance several paved miles away; or scrap the hunt all together. Also, driving or walking onto land that was previously open for public hunting, but is no longer open to the public, can make for an interesting situation. Add to that: getting your truck stuck in the mud; having to call for a tow truck to yank it out; and having the local Game Warden randomly show up. All this while on non-hunting property and within three hours of waking up—you get a very non-fun experience. Ask me how I know.
In summary, if you observe these eight steps:
- Know your area rules and requirements
- Take a hunter’s education course
- Get your hunting license
- Review gun safety rules
- Use ear and eye protection
- Warm up at the range before the hunt
- Clean your firearms
- Confirm location
All there is to do after that is get outside and have a great time! If you liked this post, please leave a comment or share with your friends.