So you’ve booked a hunting trip and you’re pretty excited. You can’t wait to get out there into the wilderness, track your prey and earn your keep. Don’t be too hasty, though – there are things you’ll need to remember and check if you want to make sure you’re well-prepared. There’s nothing worse than a hunt that goes awry because you weren’t sufficiently ready, so here are our 5 top tips to help you prepare for the perfect hunt.
Play some video games
No, really. If you’re looking to hold a weapon – whether it’s a rifle or a hunting bow you’ll be using – then you’ll want to make sure your hand-eye coordination is absolutely pin-sharp. Video games can really help with this by improving your visuomotor control (it’s a fancy way of saying hand-eye coordination) and sharpening your decision-making skills. Put simply, it’s always a good idea to put some time in on your favorite video games before you go hunting. Try to play something action-oriented, as this is the best way to hone all of the skills video games work on. Hey, you could even check out some of the best hunting games and hone your craft that way. Obviously, a hunting video game isn’t going to be entirely realistic, but there are some which are better than others in this regard. Most of all, video games are great for relaxation, and there’s nothing that improves your posture and poise during a hunt better than being relaxed.
Get your gear straight
Before you even think about setting out for your hunt, make sure that all of your gear and peripherals are ready. Clean your rifle thoroughly using the proper maintenance procedures and equipment, and make sure you’ve aligned your sight correctly. If you don’t have a correctly-aligned sight, then your aim will be awry and you’ll come home empty-handed. Head over to the local shooting range and make sure your weapon is properly calibrated before you begin, and you won’t run into any nasty surprises during your hunt. When we say gear, we’re not just talking about weapons, though. You’ll also need to make sure you have an appropriate vehicle lined up because you’ll probably be doing a lot of off-roading and you’ll want something that can weather that particular storm. Finally, although it’s not really “gear” per se, don’t forget about your hunting license and your identifying tags. Paperwork can shoot even the most experienced hunters in the foot.
Keep warm – and dress right
This is something that’s often overlooked by hunters, but the importance of keeping warm while hunting is absolutely paramount. If you live in colder climes and you aren’t going too far afield to hunt, you’ve probably already got a whole host of warm weather gear that you can take with you. If you’re from slightly more seasonable areas, though, you’ll need to make sure you’re warm and protected from any weather events you expect to happen. That means packing protective clothing for temperature, but it also means packing lots of waterproof and rainproof gear. While we’re on the subject of clothing, make sure you’re wearing appropriate camouflage. Desert camo probably isn’t going to do you any favors in the wilderness, however, cool it looks, so make sure you’re wearing forest fatigues if you’re looking to cloak yourself.
Hopefully, you’ll be eating what you kill. If you don’t, though (and even if you do), taking the right amount of supplies to last you a potentially long hunt is very important. There’s a wide range of meals and snacks that are appropriate for hunting but bear in mind that you’re going to be waiting, potentially out in the cold, for a very long time for an animal to appear. With that in mind, you’ll want plenty of carbohydrates, as well as sweet snacks to keep your blood sugar high. Don’t take unhealthy snacks, though – the energy that a chocolate bar promises are kind of a lie. Opt for a high-energy snack like beef jerky or trail mix, because while those foods do contain some fat, they’ve also got the right amount of nutrients to keep you going on a long hunt. Oh, and don’t forget to bring water – staying hydrated is crucial to staying energized.
Nothing ruins a hunt worse than turning up without the slightest idea of where you’re actually going. If you can’t physically visit the area before you go, then make sure you pore over a map to plan your route and camping spot way ahead of time. By doing so, you’ll not only make sure you’re prepared, but you’ll also know the best spots for hunting whatever prey you’re after, and you won’t need to wait around in vain for a long time. Look for places where animals congregate, like watering holes, dens and other prime hunting spots. Don’t stray too far from civilization – if something does happen (extremely unlikely as it may be), you’ll want to be able to act appropriately and quickly. That said, don’t base yourself right next to the road either, as animals are far less likely to come that close to human habitats.
These are our 5 top tips for preparing for the perfect hunt. Did we miss any? Do you have any to add of your own? Let us know in the comments, and good hunting!