There’s no doubt about it: hunting is a rewarding experience. According to Hunting Mark, there were 15 million hunting licenses issued in the U.S. in 2020. The population of the country in that year was 329.5 million, which means approximately 4.6% of the country’s population was issued a hunting license in that year.
A National Shooting Sports Foundation report also suggests that hunters spend a whooping USD 27.1 billion or more on hunting expeditions.
But if you’re new to hunting, it can be overwhelming. We have compiled a few tips to help you plan and prepare for your next trip.
Let’s take a look.
Find the Right Location
Finding the right location to hunt is important because it can make or break your trip. You want to ensure that you’re going somewhere with plenty of game and isn’t too crowded, so do some research before heading out into the woods.
- Research the area you are going to hunt by looking at maps and reading books about it. You may also want to talk with locals who have hunted there before.
- Understand regulations regarding hunting in different areas, including seasons (for example, bow season vs. gun season), bag limits (how many animals one person can kill), license requirements (if any), and restrictions on weapons/gear used while hunting (such as muzzleloaders).
- Be aware of weather conditions in your chosen location. The type of terrain will affect how much sunlight reaches certain parts at different times during day/night cycles, as well as anything else that might affect visibility, such as foggy days or rain storms.
Many websites will give you top-ranking hunting sites in America to choose from. For example, Forbes lists the top 10 states for hunting expeditions, ranked by experts. According to the site, Alaska is the number one choice for hunters because of its big game hunting. Colorado comes at number two with many public hunting places. And Montana is at three because of its vast, open forest and rangeland.
Get Your Permits and Licenses
Before you can start planning your hunting trip, knowing if you need a license and/or permit is important. Some states require both, while others require neither. Check with your state’s wildlife agency for more information on their hunting requirements so you can be sure not to miss anything when preparing for your adventure.
Richland Source reported that Ohio is the leading state in the U.S. in terms of the sale of hunting permits to non-residents. Hunters in Ohio have purchased 409,672 permits for all hunting seasons, and for the 2022-23 hunting season, hunters from all 50 states have purchased deer permits to use in Ohio.
Other states that rank highly in issuing non-resident hunting permits include Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia.
Plan Your Shooting Gear
Whether you are hunting a big game animal or just target practice, it is important to have the right tools for the job. This can include firearms, ammunition, clothing, and safety equipment.
You can find a one-stop shopping solution to all your shooting gear needs online on websites like Freedom Outdoors. This site offers a wide variety of high-quality hunting gear, including firearms, ammunition, safety equipment, and clothing.
With expert knowledge and a wide selection of products, they are the perfect one-stop shop for all your shooting gear needs. On this site, you can shop with confidence, knowing you’re getting top-quality products and exceptional customers.
They also have an easy-to-use website and fast shipping, making it a top choice for shooters of all levels.
Practice Proper Firearm Safety
It’s important to practice proper firearm safety, especially when you’re out in the field. Here are some tips:
- Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. This means that if your gun were accidentally discharged, it would not harm anyone or anything behind you. Always make sure there is nothing behind or below you before firing a bullet.
- Only place your finger on the trigger once you are ready to fire.
- Keep all firearms unloaded until ready for use, and make sure they stay that way until then too.
Practice Your Hunting Skills
To ensure that your hunting trip is successful, it’s essential to practice your skills before going out on the hunt. Familiarize yourself with the area where you will be hunting and scout out potential prey.
Practice shooting at targets or other objects to get used to firing a gun or bow and arrow. If necessary, practice stalking animals as well as hiding from them, so that when an opportunity arises during your actual hunt, you’ll be ready.
Plan for Emergencies
Plan for emergencies. Pack a first aid kit and other supplies to prepare for any unexpected events. You should also bring a signaling device, such as a whistle or flare so that you can signal for help if needed.
Consider Hiring a Guide
Hiring a hunting guide can be a great way to ensure your next hunting trip will succeed. A good guide can help you find the right location for your hunt, as well as assist with the legal aspects of hunting and logistics.
They also know how to prepare for hunts in their region, which means they’ll know where the best spots are for certain types of games and what time of year is ideal for them.
You should remember that not all guides offer the same services. Some specialize only in fishing or bird watching, while others focus mainly on big games such as deer, elk, or bear. If possible, try talking with other hunters who have used guides before so they can give recommendations based on previous experiences.
Don’t Forget the Post-Trip Logistics
Don’t forget to plan for post-trip activities, including processing and storing meat and properly caring for your hunting gear. Cleaning equipment is an essential part of the process too, and if you’re going to be eating what you’ve hunted (or given away), all parts of the animal must be thoroughly cleaned before they reach your kitchen table.
Respect the Environment
Respect the environment. This applies to both you and your hunting gear. When you leave, make sure that all of your trash is packed out with you. Don’t just leave it somewhere for someone else to pick up after. This will help keep our lands clean and beautiful and show respect for nature and its inhabitants (including humans).
Be careful not to leave any damage behind while hunting or camping in an area, and don’t be a nuisance to other people who may share that same space with you. Make sure that if there are rules or regulations about how long someone can stay in one spot, follow them exactly.
Finally, remember that no matter how much fun it might seem like hunting would be right now, it’s ALWAYS more enjoyable when done respectfully towards animals AND humans alike.
Enjoy the Experience
The most important thing to remember is that you’re there to have fun. You’ll do yourself a disservice if you spend all of your time thinking about how many animals you bagged or whether or not it was worth the money.
Enjoy the experience, enjoy the company of others, and enjoy the food. Enjoy the activity itself, as well as its challenges (and rewards).
We hope you enjoyed this list of tips for a successful hunting trip. We know that it can be a lot to take in, but if you follow our advice and practice your skills before going out into the wild, there’s no reason why your next adventure shouldn’t go off without a hitch.