The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting

Posted by Printed Kicks Team on

The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting

Hunting is an art that has basically existed since the beginning of humankind. At first, hunting was a necessity for survival. Over time though, it has evolved into a popular sport for fun and a beloved pastime for many people. 

Before any hunting laws and guidelines were formed, the objective of hunting was as simple as you’d imagine: kill an animal. However, there are many rules surrounding this hobby that people need to adhere to. Despite its primitive origins, hunting is a nuanced, complex sport that needs to be respected.  

When starting out, you may find that hunting is actually more complex than you probably originally thought. It’s going to take more than just a single trip to your local outdoorsman shop to become situated with the sport. From the education and preparation needed before hunting to the precise technique and strategy required when actually out in the wild, hunting can be very intimidating for beginners. 

Don’t fret, though. We’ve got you covered! We’ve put together an extensive guide for beginners to get started hunting, no matter what age or skill level you’re at. Here are some basic tips to jumpstart your journey and fill you in on what you can expect moving forward as a hunter. 

Hunter’s Education

If you’ve already done a few searches online for hunting guides, you may find that many of the articles are based on teaching your son or daughter how to hunt. In the hunting community, it is very common for people to teach their children from a young age how to hunt. In fact, it is more common for people to learn how to hunt from their parents or grandparents than from a formal instructor. 

However, we’re here to provide valuable information for hunters of all ages. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re from a hunting family or not. Anyone can learn, and anyone can enjoy the beautiful nature of hunting. Just expect to endure a fairly steep learning curve. 

Before diving face-first into the hunting lifestyle, decide for yourself whether this is truly something you want to pursue. Becoming a hunter is a significant commitment that will require a substantial amount of your time and effort. Every hunter needs to undergo an official hunter’s education course offered by their state. Every state provides an educational course for hunters of some kind. 

Preparation

Learning how to properly load, unload, and handle your firearm is a task within itself that will require a decent amount of time to master. And we haven’t even spoken about actually shooting yet. You want to be completely comfortable with your gun and know it inside-out before embarking on a true hunting trip. If you’re hunting with a rifle, you’ll need to sight in your scope before your trip as well. Failing to take these precautionary steps will lead you to be unprepared when it’s time to hunt for real. 

Even experienced hunters have to take time to refine their skills before going hunting. It is recommended for hunters to start practicing taking shots a few months prior to their next hunting excursion. You’ll need to pay close attention to the dates that you can legally hunt in your state and plan accordingly. The dates of when you can hunt usually depend on the location you’re in and the species that you’re hunting. 

You can only hunt certain types of animals in specific seasons and certain types of terrain as well. In the west, the archery season is typically in the month of September for most larger game animals. Conversely, the archery season is usually in October or November for those in the Midwest and Eastern regions of the country. 

A regular hunting trip will demand a lot of your time, if not your entire day. Much of the experience is simply waiting or seeking out your prey. You will also spend a huge chunk of your time just scoping out the land and familiarizing yourself with the environment you’re in. 

If you can afford it, some higher-end grounds like private ranches sell guided hunting experiences that give you a higher chance of running into animals. Hunting grounds like these use their knowledge of the land and different herds of animals’ patterns. 

Lastly, you’ll need to find a hunting license that suits you. Conducting research on the different types of licenses in your area can be taxing, but it is necessary. If you are a resident of your state, a license will be relatively inexpensive, but if you aren’t, it could be over $100. 

Pick Your Prey

The rates of harvest rates vary vastly by species and state. In most states, though, there are usually many more hunters than there are harvested animals. Don’t psych yourself out before a trip, thinking that you’re going to be making catches left and right. Hunting is a slow game and requires immense patience. 

With all of this in mind, choose an animal to hunt based on what environment you’ll enjoy most. Don’t solely choose your prey based on what it’ll be like hunting it. The majority of your time out there, you won’t even be engaged in any type of action. Try to enjoy the experience overall, and don’t get too caught up in seeing animals. 

If you like walking through the prairies, perhaps you’d enjoy hunting pheasants. If you’re more of a fan of the marshlands, maybe consider hunting waterfowl. Allow your intuitions to lead you to a favorable environment.  

Whether you enjoy hunting deer, duck, turkey, or pheasants, we’ve got you covered at Printed Kicks. We have custom graphics for every type of game people like to hunt. A stylish sweatshirt or mesh hat could make your next hunting trip just a little more enjoyable. 

Choose Your Weapon

For big game in the West like elk, antelope, deer, and bear, you’ve only got three options: a rifle, a muzzleloader, or a hand-held bow. For bird hunting and some deer hunting in the Midwest and East, the ideal weapon to have is a shotgun. 

Before choosing your weapon, consider its effective range. Effective range is the length at which you can consistently shoot a shot within a circle the same size as an animal’s vital organs. Every weapon has a different effective range. For instance, a bow and arrow has a much shorter effective range than a rifle, meaning you’ll have to get closer to it to shoot it. 

Typically, shooting from a further distance is easier for beginners. Comfortably getting yourself 50 feet away from an animal is a skill that takes years to develop. It is an entirely different game than shooting from 100 yards or more, as it requires more stalking. 

Your weapon selection also depends on the season, as some seasons align with certain prey and hunting equipment. For example, archery season for big game starts in September because it lines up with the mating season for elk. If you want to hunt during a specific season, you want to choose a gun that is suited specifically for that season and its prey. 

You’ll want a few other supplies as well, like food and water and possibly a first-aid kit. It may be worthwhile to bring a visor or cap with you as well. Here at Printed Kicks, we offer a variety of different hunting-related apparel and accessories. 

Find a Mentor

Hunter education classes will teach you the basics, but there’s nothing like learning from an experienced hunter that has been doing it for years. If you have any family or friends that have hunting experience, definitely try to have them teach you.  

If you don’t, there are plenty of hunting mentors that will escort you on your next trip and give you step-by-step instructions on how to find and hunt animals. Alternatively, there are plenty of tutorials on Youtube and on other websites. That said, it is ideal to practice with someone in-person and receive hands-on teaching. 

Conclusion

Hunting is an intricate sport that has existed since the stone age. There are literally thousands of years of techniques to draw from, and they are constantly being updated. It can be intimidating to get started, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you’ll be on your way to planning your first trip. 

Hunting is an art that individuals of any age, background, or skill level can enjoy. If you’re looking for some extra spice in your life, it could be the perfect hobby for you. You might find even it to be more of a lifestyle than a hobby. 

There’s nothing more invigorating than making a clean catch in the wild. After your first one, you’ll be hooked. There’s no doubt about it. Let’s keep this sacred craft alive for years to come. 

 

Sources

The Beginner's Guide to Hunting | Outside Online 

How to Start Hunting as an Adult | Gear Junkie 

How to Start Hunting - Beginner's Guide and Checklist | Nature Sports Center 

How to Hunt: A Step-by-Step Guide for New Adult Hunters | Outdoor Life 

How To Get Started Hunting as an Adult Who Never Learned as a Kid | Mantripping

How To Get Into Hunting: A Beginners Guide To Your First Deer Hunt | Hunting Sage

 


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