Whenever a hunting season approaches, there’s requirements that you will need to keep in mind, such as getting your hunting license, making sure that you’ve got the right gun for the job, and keeping the right ammunition in stock. These are all important, but they aren’t the only aspects of preparation. Here’s a quick list of different ways that you can make sure that you’re ready once the season’s arrived.
When you’re practicing or testing a rifle, make sure you wear your hunting gear. You’ll want to be familiar with using the rifle while you’re dressed for warmth during the season. Whether it’s the ease with which you can disengage the safety, or even something as simple as comfort when carrying the rifle, it’s better to test it with everything that you’ll have on in the field.
It should go without saying that this counts for shooting as well; if you’ll be wearing anything on your head or face, you will want to be familiar with that as well.
Make a checklist, and check it. If you’ve ever been to a hunting area that’s had an expensive store of supplies outside, you know that there’s a pretty big market for people who just forget things that they should have brought along with them. Have your checklist well prepped and read before you go out on the hunt.
The right weather clothing is important, but so is having any back up pairs of glasses, medications, and any first aid supplies. Your check list should also include making sure your cell phone is charged, because who hasn’t left the house without realizing it was in the red?
Get familiar with the terrain. Comfortable shoes aren’t as effective unless you know the terrain you’re going to be hunting on. If you don’t know the area well, there are plenty of free maps that you can either download or get a physical copy of. You should take at least one day to check the area out before any hunting begins.
If you know anyone that’s familiar with the area, get to know them as well, so that you can ask any important questions. Knowing the terrain will also tell you what your hunting distance from camp will be; dragging an elk several miles is good exercise, but it isn’t very fun.
Make sure you’re safe. With your first aid, you should be covered in the event of an accident, but you should also make sure you’re wearing the regulated amount of fluorescent orange while you hunt. Most camouflage orange won’t count toward the requirements that states have in place.
Your clothing should be visible to other hunters, and it should be warm. There isn’t much else to say, but if you’re having difficulty finding the right outerwear for your hunt, it’s recommended that you try to sort it out sooner, rather than later. Wearing an ill fitting coat, or a pair of gloves, will definitely hinder your performance.
Forming Good Habits
The best part about preparing the right way for rifle season is that you really only need to think hard about it the first time. Once everything works out for you, the next year should just make everything “click” well before rifle season arrives; do you have the right gear, is everything in order, and how well did knowing the terrain pay off?
If anything failed to make it on your list, you will definitely remember it the next year as well. If you really want to make sure that everything is taken care off, you can also make a post-season list based on your experiences during rifle season so that you know what you needed but didn’t have, and what you had but didn’t need, during your hunt.
If you’ve read our article on “Hunting on a Budget,” your preparation list can also include finding great prices on the items that you’ve needed, and used, during rifle season as well. This will help you to shave a little extra money from your hunting budget, and get better yields from the game that you do bag.