If you are not yet into hunting, you may be wondering how to get started.
You’ve heard hunters speak about their expertise and have probably wondered if their stories are true.
Find out for yourself and before the intricacies of hunting gear and other accessories overwhelm you, go through this guide on how to get into hunting.
Hunting is a little tricky if you don’t know where to begin. Prepare yourself for a lifelong learning experience and get to share your stories with the pros.
Is Hunting Difficult to Get Into?
Many aspiring hunters find themselves wondering about the difficulties that they may face getting into hunting. However, it is not always that difficult as long as you have a great interest in this sport.
While it is true that getting into hunting is not easy, it is undoubtedly worthwhile. However, as a beginner, there are several things you must know about how to get into hunting before going on a trip.
One major challenge is licensing. In many states, there are regulations safeguarding hunting. Therefore, you have to go through specific screening processes before obtaining a hunting license or permit. Besides, hunting is a physical activity.
Therefore, you must be physically fit and have enough stamina to endure long walks over rugged terrain. Being physically fit and preparing yourself may sound challenging but shouldn’t be too much of a problem when you’re young and healthy.
Also, many hunters take the easy route and use their vehicles to cover massive distances to reach their prey. The point is that you will need a level of physical endurance to engage in this sport. Most hunters use a hunting rifle.
The average weight of most hunting rifles is 6 to 7 pounds depending on their capacity. Have you ever walked several miles on uneven terrain carrying such weight? Well, this is something to consider when getting into hunting.
Be ready to carry weight, get dirty, and at times even run for your dear life! Don’t forget that there are wild animals all around when you are in the wild, and you are a threat.
Unless you’re in bear country – then you must keep your eyes and ears open because you’re the prey. Wherever you choose to hunt, you will still be taking risks and must always be cautious and aware of your surroundings.
Another consideration is the skills you require to get into hunting. Hunting is certainly not for the faint-hearted. If you are a person who is afraid of the sight of blood, this is not for you.
You need to understand things like field dressing and how to skin a deer; shocking. But, it’s nothing to worry about, just get the right tools and go hunting with someone who has enough experience to show you the realities of the hunt, and you’re good to go.
Astonishingly, with all these potential challenges, hunting is fun. You get to acquire specific skills such as patience, stealth, and speed. You will know how to get close to your target without raising the alarm.
Stealth, patience, and excellent gun skills are the most important elements if you want to know how to get into hunting. Stick around and learn more about how to get into hunting, as this is a hobby that you can enjoy for a lifetime.
How Expensive Is It?
Hunting can be pretty expensive, but your hunting is as good as the equipment you carry. Therefore, your equipment is your primary expense for this sport.
Success or failure in the field relies heavily on the quality and extent of your weapon, clothing, and other hunting equipment out in the field. You also need to have a valid hunting license.
Here are some of the expenses you will incur if you want to get into hunting.
Do you want to use a rifle or a bow to go hunting?
This is the primary question to ask yourself. Also, ask yourself what type of hunting you want to do and the kind of game you want to stalk. For example, are you hunting squirrels, rabbits, deer, or elk?
There are hunting sprees that demand a rifle, while you can also use a bow to track small game like rabbits or squirrels.
Both rifles and bows are good weapons and can perform exceptionally well depending on their quality and your expertise in handling these weapons.
A good hunting bow ranges between $500 and $1300, while a good hunting rifle starts from around $600. Remember, you have to spend a few extra bucks to get the licensing for the rifle and ammunition.
When you want to know how to get into hunting, you need to understand that a hunter is as good as the equipment they carry. Your hunting equipment is your daily companion in the field, and you must have reliable equipment.
The quality of the equipment you purchase can mean success or failure, and at times it may even save your life!
Remember that there are other predators around when you are out in the wild, and you may be their target. Besides, when you take down your prey, you have to do skinning and field dressing.
Some necessary equipment that you will need includes:
- Shotgun and ammo or bow and arrows
- Shotgun hunting case
- A hunting knife
- Skinning, dressing, and deboning knives
- Hunting binoculars
- Hunting boots
- Camouflage hunting clothing
For most games in the U.S., you will need an official license or permit. There are different permits that a hunter can apply for depending on which state you live in and the type of game you want to hunt.
You can go through the costs of hunting licenses in different states and types for the various game to add to the list of things you need when you want to know how to get into hunting. You also need to pay for licenses on an annual basis if you wish to continue hunting.
4. Other costs
As a beginner, you can look at doing some outdoor training courses to help start your new hobby. These courses are typically available at a fair rate and are available through stores where you buy your equipment.
Another cost is the fee that is payable for hunting on private land, which can be expensive. The average cost of hunting on private land is $1,000, depending on the owner and the state in which you want to do your hunting.
How Time-Consuming Is It?
Hunting is all about timing and patience, so you can expect this sport to be time-consuming, but it is worth the effort.
The most appropriate time to do your hunting is in the evening or early morning when the light is low. You are more likely to stalk a deer at these times as they don’t expect you, and the light helps camouflage your presence.
Many hunting places are far from residential areas unless you are lucky to live in the countryside. Therefore, it takes time to travel to the hunting location.
Once you arrive at your destination, you will also have to prepare your equipment and liaise with other hunters or guides for your excursion.
You will then spend time in the field tracking prey or waiting patiently for something to head in your direction.
After you hit your target, you’ll probably spend time skinning the animal and field dressing. Unless you have the money to pay someone else to do this job, you will have to take time out to do it for yourself.
How Long to Polish Hunting Skills?
Hunting, like any other activity, requires practice. How to get into hunting means constantly practicing your skills.
Many people have a false notion that the number of kills is what makes a great hunter. However, what matters is how you handle yourself in the field. How you conduct yourself depends on experience, skill, and regular practice.
For you to handle yourself better in the field, you should hunt regularly.
Some of the skills that are necessary for hunters include:
- Knowing how to use a compass. A compass is essential in establishing your location and direction when out in the woods. Unfortunately, a GPS can seldom replace a compass as you may not always have a reliable connection in isolated areas.
- Making long shots is another skill that does not only require physical but also mental preparation. You should build enough experience to calculate the wind strength and direction and adjust your aim to accommodate these variables if you want to make a clear, clean shot.
- You master hunting through apprenticeship. To polish your skill, you will benefit by taking instruction from an expert hunter. With proper guidance, you will soon learn how to get into hunting and what it takes to be good at this sport.
- Don’t forget that after taking down that deer, you must skin and dress the animal. Skinning and dressing are skills that take loads of practice and depend mainly on your ability to learn and your interest to learn. Ensure you add skinning and dressing equipment to your hunting kit if this is part of your hunt.
All these skills take years to polish. For an average person interested in hunting, it may take six months of regular practice to get the basics right, but you won’t become an expert hunter unless you make this a regular pursuit.
Benefits of Hunting
Hunting dates back centuries as a sport and cultural practice throughout the world. In the contemporary world, hunting serves as a recreational activity, a food source, and a way of interacting with nature.
However, modern hunting is constantly at the receiving end of animal rights groups who consider this practice barbaric.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, hunters defend this sport by justifying the benefits to the environment through animal population control.
Overpopulation of wild animals results in food shortages for these animals, leading to their starvation. Food shortage overwhelms the overall ecosystem, but hunting prevents wild animals from starving as humankind encroaches on their territory.
Hunting meat is also a great source of organic nutrition. Wild animals have very little fat and less or no foreign hormones or chemicals in their meat than livestock. Wild game meat is healthy, poses less of a threat to your cholesterol levels, and is more nutritious than farm animals.
Hunting also requires physical exercise through long-distance walking in the woods or over mountainous terrain.
The physical impact of hunting in remote regions can be taxing but is also extremely healthy. You see more of the world, get to breathe fresh air, and sleep under the stars. Hunting is also a great way of bonding with family members and friends as you pit yourself against nature.
Hunting also adds to the economic prosperity of a region. Licensing is yet another way to collect revenues that boost State coffers.
Is It Worth It?
Is it worth the effort to get into hunting?
Any hunter will respond in the affirmative and lament the fact that they don’t get enough opportunities to pursue their passion.
Hunting is worth the effort and expense for hunters. It is a fun pursuit and one that contains valuable benefits. Hunters get to follow their passion, get in some excellent physical exercise, and renew their energy with this relaxing sport.
If you enjoy nature, exploring the outdoors, and gaining a greater sense of the world you live in, hunting is definitely worth your while.
Even though this sport may be on the more expensive side, small-game hunting is less costly.
Start small and go big later after building your experience and hunting kit, or stick to small game hunting, which can be just as rewarding.
When you take up this sport, you actively interact with nature and bond with hunting companions. If you want a new recreational activity, consider hunting.
It will expose you to many skills necessary for survival in the wild and skills to improve your ability to survive in the concrete jungle.