Being one with nature is a great way to relax and unwind after a long week at work. People do a lot of things while in the great outdoors. Some hike, some camp, some simply go there to take pictures. However, if you want a rewarding and exhilarating activity, you might want to try out a hunting trip the next time you go out.
Hunting has been around as part of human society since the stone age. It was necessary for the survival of our ancestors back then. Now, people hunt not just for survival, but also for sport. It may seem like an intimidating hobby to get into, but a lot of people actually enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
The sport itself is more than just about being good with a gun. It’s a lot of other things, including being patient, being a good tracker, and being a smart hunter. It’s not just about your skills, it’s also about the equipment you use and how you put it to good use.
Of course, hunting can seem like an intimidating hobby to get into at first. Once you get the hang and feel of it though, you’ll understand why more and more people are enjoying it. If you are going to go out hunting for the first time, then here’s everything you need to do to prepare.
You should never go camping or hunting without a first-aid kit. You can never really tell when disaster will strike during a hunting trip. Even if you’re very careful, an accident could occur, and being able to provide temporary solutions fast can save you in a life and death situation in most cases.
Some of the inclusions in your first-aid kit should include alcohol or any disinfectant, bandages, splints, sutures and surgical needles, band-aids, and gauzes. While you’re at it, you’ll need to make sure that you know proper first-aid response techniques as well.
A hunting license is one of the most important things you need to bring for your trip. Keep in mind that hunting is a regulated sport in a lot of areas. If you get caught hunting without the right documents, you are going to get fined. Worse – you can face serious legal repercussions as well.
The good news is that getting a license isn’t generally hard. You just need to pass a few tests and you need to submit the right documents as well. Some of the documents needed include a firearms license, government-issued IDs, and even birth certificates. The process can take a few days depending on the documents you provide.
When hunting, you don’t need to bring the document with you at all times. Just make sure that it’s somewhere in your bag so that if park rangers or patrol officials ask for it, you have something to show.
Hunting licenses basically let others know that you are going to be responsible not just with your weapon, but also with the activity you are about to do. This is necessary to ensure that you won’t be causing any serious injuries to those nearby.
Hunting trips usually last a day or two, which is why you need to prepare to camp as well. That means you should bring the basic necessities of a camping trip and you can’t get more basic than with a camping tent. This will serve as your base of operations and where you’ll be headed off to rest once you are done hunting.
Even if you aren’t planning an overnight trip, getting a tent for the hunting trip is very recommended. For starters, it can get hot while you’re out hunting and the tent can provide you with a decent amount of shade and comfort from the wild. It can also give you protection from some animals that get too rowdy.
There are many types of tents to choose from for your hunting trip and you don’t need to get too fancy. Go for basic tents that are easy to set up and easy to collapse. Ideally, you’d also want to bring something that’s compact and light to make your journey a lot easier as well.
If you are bringing a car along for the trip, you don’t need to bring a tent anymore. As presented on FreeSpirit Recreation, roof tents can present a good alternative. These are basically makeshift tents that you can attach to the back of your car so you can create a shade and a safe space for you and your company.
This is often the better choice as it lessens the number of things you have to carry. Rooftop tents are compact, easy to install, and very functional too. Since this is a hunting trip we are talking about, you don’t need to go and buy a fancy tent in the first place.
It can get very dark in the woods, which is why it’s important that you have a source of light ready as well. Campfires are good, but they offer limited amounts of illumination that might not be enough to keep you safe at night. Aside from that, they can get dangerous, especially when you leave them unsupervised.
With that in mind, you might want to consider bringing a readylight instead. These are powerful, long-lasting light sources that can help you get through the darkest of hunting areas. Some of these can store power through solar energy too so you don’t have to worry about bringing batteries.
Readylights are compatible with stands, so you can set it up at an angle where it can illuminate everyone and everything inside and near the camping area. Readylights are multi-purpose too, so you can use them not just for hunting, but also for camping trips, fishing trips, and many others.
Weapon of Choice
Of course, you can’t really go on a hunting trip without a weapon by your side. The traditional weapon one brings on a hunting trip is the trusty hunting rifle. This type of gun provides the perfect firepower, range, and accuracy you need for taking down your target in the wild.
There are many considerations when it comes to buying a hunting rifle. First off, you’d want a hunting rifle that’s light as it’s something that you’ll be carrying on your back most of the time. Good hunting rifles are heavy on the stock end but are light on the barrel as this can help you get a more steady aim.
It’s also good to pick the right scope for your hunting trip. Ideally, you’d want a scope that’s capable of mid- to long-range shooting. You wouldn’t want to be too close to your target as this can be a bad idea especially when it comes to targets like boars and elk that can fight back.
Another good weapon of choice for a hunting trip is a crossbow. These are more complex to handle but what you get in return is a weapon that’s quiet and very accurate. The problem with crossbows though is that bolts can be harder to set up as compared to reloading ammo.
You also need to be more accurate with a crossbow as it has less firepower as compared to a rifle. If you’re to take a shot with this weapon, make sure it’s a killing shot as it can’t immobilize prey as much as a standard hunting rifle. If you do get the hang of using a crossbow, it’s a good weapon of choice that many hunters prefer because they produce less noise.
Whatever your weapon of choice may be, what’s important is that what you’re bringing is something that you are capable of handling and something that you’ve already mastered. This gives you an edge over your target while ensuring that those around you are safe.
As a general rule of thumb, practice with your weapon on cans or other stable targets first. This can help you get a better feel for it. It’s also good for warming up.
Mapping System And Other Emergency Tools
Even if you know the hunting grounds like the back of your hand, it always pays to be prepared. One of the essentials in your bag as a hunter is a compass and a map of the area. Just in case something bad happens, you’ll always find your way out of the woods.
Alternatively, you can bring a GPS. This gives you a safer alternative as compared to a regular map, but the problem is that this relies on a good signal, as well as batteries. As such, it’s best to have both at your side so you have a failsafe to rely on in case you get lost.
If there’s reception on the hunting grounds, make sure to bring your smartphone with you. This will allow you to contact family, friends, and emergency services just in case something goes awry during a hunting trip. You can never be too sure when disaster strikes.
When it comes to looking out for prey, veteran hunters will definitely suggest that you don’t do this with the naked eye. The animals in the wild are very perceptive and they have a strong sense of hearing. As such, staying as far away as possible from them is essential. How can you spot your targets then?
A good alternative is to simply get binoculars. Binoculars will allow you to look for targets that can be hundreds of feet away. This provides you a safe and silent method to study your target without having to alert them of your presence. This is one of the most important tools to have if you want a successful hunt.
Food and Drinks
Some people who go hunting eat the animal they hunt. This is very common if you are hunting games like turkey, boar, and deer. However, you’d still want to bring food with you just in case the hunt doesn’t go too well. Bringing meat and pre-made meals is a good idea, as you can cook or heat them up over a campfire at night.
If you’re bringing food, make sure to bring those that are high in calories. Hunting can be a physically demanding activity, which is why you need to replenish your energy once you get too tired. It’s good to bring an energy bar or two just so you’re sure to have enough energy at all times.
Of course, water is very important. You should bring a few gallons just in case. To be on the safe side, bring water filters as well so you have a means of getting drinkable water from sources of water inside the hunting area. Some water filters are small enough to carry in your pocket too.
You should also bring some essentials for camping on your hunting trip. It pays to bring a utility knife when exploring the great outdoors. It helps you set up equipment, clear obstacles, and do many other things as well. If you have the budget for it, buy a machete or an axe as well, as these can help you clear obstacles ahead.
If you’re planning on starting a campfire, it’s more practical to bring firestarters too. You don’t really have to rely solely on the leaves and branches laying around. There are also portable fire starters that you can use with just the stroke of your hand. These help you start a fire in less than a minute.
Other tools, such as solar-powered chargers, portable light sources, and waterproof bags are going to be essential for your hunting trip as well. These can make the journey much easier to handle, especially if you’re a first-timer. These are a lot of things to bring but they are all worth it.
Getting this equipment and gear for your hunting trip isn’t just for your safety, it’s also to guarantee the success of your trip. As we’ve said, a good hunter is one that’s not just good at tracking and shooting, it’s also someone who has invested their money in the right equipment for their passion!