Most of the information about starting hunting is targeted towards parents wanting to help their children develop an interest in hunting. This, and the fact that hunting is often something handed down through families, might suggest to adults that they are too old to take it up, but that’s simply not true. Hunting is a fantastic hobby for people of any age, as long as they have the physical capacity and mental agility. There is a lot to learn, but it’s possible to become a hunter at any age. If you are considering taking up hunting as an adult, this guide will take you through the key steps to take.
Work out what kind of hunting you want to do
Hunting is a general term which encompasses a lot, so your first step is to work out what type of hunting you would like to do. There are plenty of opportunities to hunt different game in the US from birds to bigger game like bears and wolves.
Get your safety certification
Regardless of the type of hunting you will be doing; you will need to get your safety certification. This will teach you about the legal and ethical side to hunting such as where you can hunt, the seasons of the year during which you can hunt and how you can do so safely. There is plenty to learn so take lots of notes and study as much as you can. The course is also a great opportunity to make friends with others who are just starting out with hunting and to get advice from the experienced hunters running the course.
Research your hobby
Try to learn as much as you can about the animal you will be hunting. Understanding their preferred sources of food, mating and migration habits, their calls and the signs they leave behind in the wild will be an essential tool in your hunting kit. When you know what they prefer to eat and the kind of environment they dwell in, you can target your hunting in those areas.
It may seem like an obvious statement, but many people talk about wanting to hunt without actually getting out there. While books and video tutorials are helpful, the best way to learn is to practice. There are a lot of shooting ranges which will enable you to practice shooting, but you will need to get out in the wild to pick up on stalking, calling or rattling techniques. Visiting state parks and nature reserves will also enable you to study the behavior of wildlife and pick up on the signs they leave behind such as prints, droppings and disturbed plant life.
Get the right clothing and gear
When you are comfortable with your new hobby and are sure you will be carrying on with it, it’s time to invest in some clothing and gear. You will need some basic equipment and appropriate clothing such as insulating base layers, camouflage outerwear and strong boots. Fabrics like Merino wool, for example, are ideal for hunting.
Don’t get stuck in a rut
When you have been hunting the same game in the same areas for a few seasons, you may find that you lose some of your enthusiasm for hunting. If this happens, it’s time to shake things up. Try a new type of hunting or book yourself a hunting trip in a different state or country to enjoy new surroundings and new challenges.