How to Get into Hunting

By Randy Angwin

Apr 01
How to Get into Hunting

Most people experience a desire to do something new in life. For many, hunting is the key to satisfying this desire. But more often than not, those people have no knowledge of where to begin. How does one get into hunting, especially when you don’t know anyone who hunts?

Follow this guide and you will quickly get up to speed with what is needed to get into hunting. From what apparel is recommended for use, all the way through to the best rifle accessories to suit your newfound style of hunting.

Hunting Types and What to Pick

An obvious first step to any hunting expedition is deciding on what type of hunting you will be doing. It is recommended to start with the easiest type of hunting to get yourself comfortable and confident in this unfamiliar territory.

There are various types of hunting. Pick the one that sounds most exciting and do the appropriate research about the hunt. It’s also worth turning to other hunters for advice—even if you do this via online forums or social media groups.

Make sure that the hunting type you decide on is legal in your state and confirm when hunting season starts & ends. Have a look at the list below and decide from there.

  • Small game: Rabbit, raccoon, skunk, squirrel
  • Big game: Boar, elk, bison, caribou, deer
  • Waterfowl: Geese, duck, swan
  • Game birds: dove, pheasant, grouse
  • Predators: Wolf, coyote, mountain lion
  • Furbearers: Fox, bobcat, pine marten, beaver

Hunting License

No matter where you are in the US, every state requires you to have a license for hunting. Make sure you are allowed to hunt in the area you desire. Remember that not all weapons are allowed in every area for hunting. Keep up with regulations to know the rules of hunting in all areas and avoid being on the receiving end of a hefty fine.

Hunter Safety Card

Most states require you to have a hunter safety card. This card is evidence that you have successfully completed a hunter safety course. You can acquire your hunter safety card online and it will be valid & recognized in every state.

Groups and Practice

Find online groups to help you familiarize yourself with all there is to know about hunting. You will discover that many hunters enjoy sharing their knowledge about their hunting skills, flashing their rifles or their new gadgets and gizmos. There is a lot to learn from experienced hunters as they share stories about their previous hunting expeditions that are invaluable.

Whether you use a bow or a rifle for hunting, it is imperative to keep practicing and making sure that you’re aware of how every piece of equipment works. There’s nothing worse than going hunting and not knowing how to adjust or activate the thermal scope of your rifle. Know your equipment thoroughly before you decide to trek through the bushes at night on a hunt.

Hunting Equipment

Depending on the hunting type you decide on, there is always a specific checklist of equipment that is required per hunt.

The most commonly used rifle for beginners is the Savage Axis hunting rifle. There are many other options to pick from—it all depends on what is most comfortable for you and what you’re hunting.

Start with the basics and work yourself up towards using professional rifles like the Winchester Model 70 or the Ruger Hawkeye.

Beginners List of Basic Hunting Equipment

  • Ammunition 
  •  Thermal scope
  • GPS
  • Spare batteries
  • Gloves
  • Boots (Comfortable and waterproof)
  • First aid kit
  • Food and water
  • Knife
  • Folding pocket saw
  • Rope
  • Binoculars
  • Lens cloths
  • Matches or lighter
  • Flashlight
  • Game bags
  • Blaze orange ribbon for trail marking
  • Camera
  • Suitable wear

Suitable Wear

When you go out hunting there are many situations that are taken for granted. For many years, hunters have lived by a dress code that not only keeps them from sight but keeps them warm and dry. Hunters have a dress code they live by called ‘The three-layer system’ which consists of the following:

  • Baselayer 
  • Middle layer
  • Outer layer

Baselayer

This is the layer closest to your skin. Its purpose is to keep moisture away from your body. The base layer is the most important layer as you will always wear it in both hot and cold weather. Most hunters recommend merino wool for its heat-regulating properties.

Middle layer

The middle layer is for insulation. It’s known to keep your body temperature controlled by using different types of materials. Merino wool is recommended for the middle layer, though you can use polyester fleece long sleeves or vests too. These materials are suitable for controlling body temperatures.

Outer layer

The outer layer is also referred to as the shell layer. This layer guards you against wet weather and harsh winds & must be breathable. The outer layer is not as much of an insulating layer as what you would expect. Outer layer garments that insulate are available but tend to be much heavier.

Blaze Orange

This is perhaps the most important apparel that must be worn during all hunting expeditions. Whether hunting in a group or alone, be sure to wear blaze orange. This is purely so that other hunters can identify you. It has got nothing to do with the hunt itself and is entirely for your own safety.

Blaze orange apparel comes in many forms but the most common is a jacket or hat. Make sure you’re aware of the regulations in your state with regards to what apparel needs to be worn when hunting.

Final Thoughts

Hunting provides a thrill of excitement that can set your entire body ablaze. The decision to take up hunting as a hobby, recreational activity or even lifestyle must be carefully considered and can’t be an overnight decision.

You must be sure of what you’re doing and always ask questions to those who have the experience. Hunters are a friendly bunch and there will always be a hunter out there that is ready to introduce you to their world.

Happy hunting!

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