How to “PREP” for a First Hunt

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Editors Note: Another guest contribution from Kevin Fleeman at LifeUnderSky.com to The Prepper Journal. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

There’s something raw and primitive about hunting. It takes us back to our roots and connects us with the environment. In normal circumstances, you can save as much stock as you like to secure your future, but this must someday run out.

 

Hunting makes you one with the wild. You get to provide for yourself and your family while having a respect for nature in all its awesome and different forms. Have you always wanted to go out hunting but never got around to it? Would this be your first hunting trip?  Well, we are here to provide you with some great tips on how to prepare.

Observe Safety Procedures and Regulations

If you look at the majority of hunting fatalities, though very low, they occurred because the hunter ignored to observe and practice the right safety procedures.

In fact if you are new to hunting, you should make it a priority to go through the training manual provided by the Department of Natural Resources or the appropriate body in your country.

Remember your safety is paramount. Do not worry about a failed hunting attempt and decide to push yourself beyond your limits. It is never worth it. Some of the best trips result in the ever-changing stories of “the one that got away” and, the bag of dirty clothes. There is no honor in stupidity and no forgiveness for mistakes that harm others.

Let Others Know

It is always a good idea to inform family or friends of your hunting trip. This will make it easy for them to mount a search and rescue in case things go awry. Hunters, like other outdoors enthusiasts in the US, die each year due to exposure from the elements or incurring injuries that limit their mobility. Having a plan before you go and sharing that with a responsible person you trust is a safety net you will never be sorry that you cast.

Another great option is to take a GPS device with you. That way you can pin point your exact location and a rescue team can pin point yours, as long as it is still working. This is a good backup, but a far second to the suggestion in the above paragraph.

Abide by the Laws

Laws on hunting should never be avoided otherwise you might find yourself paying hefty fines or worse, end up behind bars. Reality TV shows about about people arrested and fined for trying to skirt the laws. There are a lot of hunters that are taken to court every hunting season for breaking the law. Trust me; you are better off operating within the confines of the law. And most hunting laws have a valuable basis, in herd management, and the management of the hunters who do obtain permits/tags.

To be on the safe side, visit the website of the Department of Natural Resources in the area where you plan to hunt, remember, from that plan you provided that responsible person/relative above and find the applicable hunters guide. It will give you all the information you require. Rules and regulations vary from state to state and the excuse that “I am from New York” only works if you have broken a driving rule.

Emergency Medical Kit

Always ensure you have an emergency medical kit with you, period. No kit, no trip.

This will come in handy when you get an injury and there’s nobody around to offer assistance. The basic equipment should be bandages, a way to disinfect the wound such as antiseptic, water sterilizer, and a flare to give off your position, and so much more.

Also, there are some places where going cheap is beyond foolish. Medical kits and supplies are one of those, as are good hunting boots that have been broken in and waterproofed, even if you are hunting scorpions in Arizona. They will go a long way to secure you from the major injury.

NEVER leave home to go out into the wilderness without your Bug Out Bag! Never. Know its contents and how to use them through practice.

Keep it Simple

On the other side of the coin it’s easy to get tricked into thinking that you need all sorts of equipment and gear to be successful in your hunt. The truth is you only need the basic equipment to bring down your quarry. But you need to be safe and prepared.

Carrying excessive baggage will slow you down and tire you out before you can launch a successful ambush. As a rule of thumb, you should only carry the things that you will require. Sounds simple. Not doing this right puts your down a few links on the food chain.

Mask Your Scent

Remember you are going after animals that spend their whole lives escaping danger. They are well equipped with strong senses that will detect a predator coming even before they lay their eyes on them. A bear can smell you 20 miles away downwind, the nose of a whitetail deer has up to 297 million olfactory receptors, dogs have 220 million, an elk’s sense of smell has been estimated to be up to 1,000 times more acute than that of a human with humans limiting out with just five million olfactory receptors.

To increase your odds of making a successful kill, you will need to find a way to hide your scent. This is because it could drifts in the air for a good distance and land in the noses of your quarry. They will disappear before you even get a chance of approaching.

You can buy special scent control products that hide your own making it harder for deer and other animals to catch your position….as long as you minimize movement and noise. The last is very important. If you can find a “quiet place” try recording you movement when you have all your gear in tow. The results may surprise you, and indicate why you never surprise your quarry.

Learn to be Patient

It really doesn’t matter what type of gear you are packing, if you are impatient, you will either spook a perfect target or simply give up.  You are not going to the woods to take something that was meant to offer itself to you. No sir. You are going after an animal that is trying to stay alive, and does that every minute day or night. You are not its only predator.

Just pick a strategy and be patient with it, eventually, things will pay off.

Have a Mentor

This is perhaps my best advice. Learning from someone who has had a lot of experience will greatly improve your odds of being successful.  A mentor can teach you the finer details; how to read the hoof prints, how to stay down wind, how to do scouting, how to set a stand and how to keep from frigiting.

While guides tend to be expensive your experienced buddy may have some long practiced BAD skills to pass on to you. Like everything else, do your homework.

Practice

Nothing beats regular training. When you are not out hunting, you should spend a considerable amount of your time practicing. You can also learn as much as you can from training manuals.

After all you never want to miss a shot that you have been waiting for all season simply because you failed to hone your skills.

Range Time – use it well. Do remember that most wildlife do not understand the commands “stand still”, “move to the left another 2 feet”, and “come closer”. Know what a kill shot is and what it is NOT and never fire unless you have a “kill shot” lined up. Holding your breath and exercising breathing control at “that moment” and having a steady hand on sighting in and trigger control will make a big contribution towards success, a clear miss, or the worst of all cases, trailing a wounded animal to finish what you started.

Conclusion

With these tips first time hunter can go into the bush confident that they have what it takes to come out successful. Hunting is tough so in case you don’t land a kill, persevere and you will soon get the ropes.

About the Author

Kevin Fleeman is the founder of Selfpatron.com that site is dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously. Selfpatron.com provides guides on how to hunt effectively, answer reader questions, and reviews of the latest hunting gear.

 

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