Hunting is a never-ending journey; it can always be challenging, even to the most practiced hunters. But if you do it and you do it right, then you really never stop learning. That being said, we all have to start somewhere, right? Every hunting expert was once a rookie who just kept learning and kept practicing.
So, no worries if you’re still a little wet behind the ears. Practice makes perfect. Here is a list of the top seven rookie hunting mistakes to avoid.
1.Not Being Aware of Other Hunters
This is probably the biggest rookie hunting mistake one can make – not having awareness of where other hunters are, in relation to you! You absolutely need to know this before any kind of hunting excursion! When you’re out there, you have to keep your eyes and ears open to all of the other people in the woods and you have to give them plenty of space! Never, ever crowd other hunters. Not only can this be dangerous, but it will sour the area and make hunting difficult. If there is an issue of overcrowding, simply leave and find another location. And if they are your hunting party, make sure you all sit down before the big hunting day and create rule or guidelines of where everyone should be located. It is very important to keep that all in mind too, come your hunting trip. This way everybody can have a safe experience and maximize their hunting capabilities.
2. Over Hunting Your Stand
Maybe you’ve found a really awesome spot and have managed several successful kills in a particular area. Congratulations on your prime spot, that’s really awesome, but overhunting in any one location can be a fatal hunting flaw. Animals are smarter than you might give them credit for and they will quickly catch on to the fact that certain areas have become too dangerous to venture into. They respond to hunting pressure, so make sure to have multiple hunting spots and use different ones at different times. If any certain area becomes too predictable, the animals will eventually vanish from that spot, leaving your hunting range baron.
3. Leaving Behind Your Scent
This may not seem like much of a mistake but leaving behind your scent can make it difficult to hunt. Try not to touch anything when you’re out hunting. Don’t lean up against the trees or touch every blade of grass that you pass. Try to disturb as little as possible. Many animals, deer in particular, can very easily pick up the scent of a nearby human. Once the animal smells the human scent, it will steer clear of that area and it will ultimately will make hunting a lot more difficult.
4. Failing to Recognize High-odd Days
Another mistake a rookie hunter can make is failing to recognize high-odds days. There are many, many factors in determining what times of the year or what sort of weather is best for hunting certain sport. A plethora of variables can determine your hunting outcome; cold fronts, rain events, locations, even barometric pressure sweet spots can all play a vital role in the result of your hunt. Before you hit the woods, do some research on these outside factors. If you want a quality hunt, you’re going to have to do your homework.
5. Wearing Wrong Kinds of Clothing
Wearing the wrong kinds of clothing is another no-no when you’re out hunting. Watch the weather channel the night before a hunting excursion and check what the outside is going to feel like before you plan an entire day out in it. Bring extra articles of clothing, just in case. If you get too cold or too hot, you aren’t going to feel comfortable and then you won’t be able to maximize your time in the field. Make sure you pack even for unexpected weather, like rain and high winds. Nature can be unpredictable, so plan for everything.
6. Not Being Ready for the Worst
Speaking of unpredictable nature, you just never know what being in the outdoors might have in store for you. That being said, it is important to always remember to bring plenty of emergency gear. It is a common rookie mistake to fall into a little bit of trouble, while hunting, and then not have the necessary safety equipment. Matches, a spare blanket, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, food and water, even your phone; are all things you should bring with you. You can always shut your phone off when you’re hunting, so it won’t go off or distract you. But take it with you, just in case of emergencies. You just never know what you might end up needing if you accidently hurt yourself or if you wind up getting stuck out overnight. It’s always better to be safe than to be sorry.
7. Being Careless With Weapons
Another rookie mistake is being careless with your loaded weapons. You’ve got to think ahead and be smart about this one. If your weapon is in a car, make sure that the gun is not loaded. Not only can this cause unintentional discharge, but it also illegal to have a loaded weapon inside a car in most states anyways. It is also safer to unload your gun when making your way over fences or any kind of difficult terrain. If your gun is loaded an unintentional fall could cause your weapon to accidentally fire off, not only potentially ruining your hunt, but it can even hurt somebody around you, which is much worse. Your gun should only be loaded while you’re in hunting mode. Apart from that, keep it unloaded for extra safety. You also need to keep your other gears such as the scope, sling, arrow etc organized and handy.
Hunting can be a really fun and absolutely safe sport if you just make sure to follow these seven guidelines. Please, do not be that amateur. Take your time in easing into it, practice hunting skills and safety procedures often, and make sure you dedicate the time to doing your homework before you just jump right into it. With the right safety and skills, you are bound to be a truly excellent hunter. Be safe out there and happy travels.
About the Author: Brian Morgan works as a data analyst in a private farm. He is a hobby hunter who loves everything about hunting. Writing about hunting gears and experiences is one of the many things he does during his spare time.
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