Hunting 101: Safety Tips for Novice Hunters

Hunting 101: Safety Tips for Novice Hunters

The adage, “safety first,” is an oft-uttered but extremely vital maxim in hunting. Annually, millions of legally allowed seekers journey securely through all parts of America while chasing game. Regrettably, even trained and accredited hunters can fall victim to mishaps. Most hunting mishaps are preventable. Even those who do not engage in the practice on a regular basis can benefit greatly from a small amount of dedication to a safety program.

Gaining awareness about the sound utilization of firearms for essential protection is a significant element of every hunter’s education. Whether for maintenance, shooting, or hunting, a good hunter knows that safety should be the most important thing. Different guns and bows have different rules and regulations that change over time, so it’s best to talk to an expert before shooting a gun or bow you don’t know much about. For instance, the strategy for securely discharging a compound bow differs from the procedure for firing a hunting rifle with immense intensity. Generally speaking, four famous security steps are employed in many, if not all, cutting-edge guns with a projectile.

The 4 Pillars of Firearms Safety

Never point your firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.

It does not matter what kind of gun it is or the situation. Even if you’re sure your gun has no ammunition, never point it in a dangerous direction; doing this will help ensure proper gun etiquette and safety.

Treat every firearm as if they are loaded.

Unfortunately, this rule is not given as much attention as it should be and is the underlying cause of numerous mishaps involving firearms. Both new and experienced hunters make mistakes that can lead to the unwarranted firing of a gun. It can be especially dangerous if a weapon is pointed in an unsafe manner, for instance, at someone hunting.

Keep your finger off the trigger until you intend to fire.

Wildlife tracking over uneven terrain is grueling work, and it is not atypical to fall or stumble while tracking. It is very important not to put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to take a good shot at the target you want.

Keep your firearm on safe until you intend to fire.

Not all guns have safety measures associated with them, yet most contemporary rifles and handguns possess components that help avoid unintended discharging. Most of the time, these gadgets include levers or pins that stop the gun from discharging bullets. Put simply, if your firearm has safety, use it. 

Don’t assume that safety measures are enough protection. Follow all rules.

Safety Education Options

Now that you have complied with the four main safety guidelines, is it time for your first hunt? One’s history and privileges, which are local and regional, will determine one’s response. When hunting, it is often advantageous to have a partner or guide who is experienced and willing to teach you how to stay safe. If novice hunters complete a customized hunter safety curriculum, they will probably have more success. Before receiving a hunting license, most states in America require applicants to complete a hunter safety course.

Don’t worry if fulfilling these new safety and licensing regulations initially appears intimidating. Right now is the best occasion ever for newbies to begin hunting. Multiple resources can help you along the right path.

Getting to grips with the basics of hunting safety is just the start of your expedition. Discovering, interpreting, and abiding by all of the governmental regulations. Almost all fifty US states have mandated hunters secure a license and/or permit before hunting wildlife.

Get the Hunting License and Permit You Need

Beginner hunters might be surprised to find out that hunting for game is carefully regulated and watched by many agencies for good reasons. For public safety, permits regulate and safeguard priceless natural resources, and hunting licenses are required. It restricts the number of hunters and the frequency of their hunts. The processes for obtaining the credentials required to hunt in most US locations are below.

Hunting Licenses

There are several requirements in all 50 states where permission is legally required to hunt wild animals. Most rules and laws about hunting licenses and permits are overseen and enforced by state agencies. A few governmental or municipal organizations assist in monitoring hunters as well. Hunting migrating birds requires government authorization, and county-level restrictions on the times of the year when hunting is permitted may apply. State agencies like the wildlife and preservation departments typically oversee security planning, issue hunting licenses, and monitor those out hunting. Vendors approved by the government sell permits and handle transactions at the point of sale.

Hunting Permits

To hunt particular kinds of game during particular seasons of the year does not require permission, as opposed to a license, which is required. After paying for a license, a hunter is allowed to hunt. The license controls the hours, places, and methods they use in their sport. To be allowed to hunt in a protected section of the protected woods, you need to obtain permission from either the national or state forest service. Because the words “permit” and “license” work interchangeably, it might be hard to get the right paperwork in some states. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries of the Commonwealth of Virginia is the best example. Only people trained to use bows, crossbows, and other archery equipment properly can hunt game animals.

Human Scent

At the time, scent-masking items were becoming fashionable. I recall that the custom was to rise not long after reclining, bathe with a store-bought baking powder, and go outside unclothed. Don clothing you had laundered using an extravagant laundry detergent and left in the cold temperatures the night before. 

Deer-smelling organs are far more outstanding than a human’s olfactory system, approximating around one thousand times. If you don’t mind the smell, you might have a chance of seizing something while smoking a cigarette on a pile of sawdust. 

Determining the ideal strategy for hunting depends on where and how you do it. Ponder your body’s scent that intensifies and gets less concentrated the further away it goes.

If you are on the ground in the forest, you should pay close attention to your odor as you probably will be close to the deer. Be mindful of the wind’s direction before setting out, and ensure you are standing in the right spot.

It seems logical to face the wind so that it pushes your aroma away from you. While staring off into the breeze, the deer either move away from you or cautiously give you a wide space once the deer approach you and detect your scent from the rear.

A more effective tactic would be to search with the wind coming from the side. The plan is to spot deer traveling in a direction perpendicular to the view.

For illustration, if the breeze is blowing from the north, you would discover an area of deer path that goes north-south. Position yourself a few meters away from the path on the west side and face eastwards so that you can watch the trail. The breeze should be hitting your left cheek, and you should expect to see deer coming from the south (from your right) and heading north. If you keep your distance from the trail, your smell will not drift over to it, eliminating the chances of scaring away any deer passing along the trail.

Commercial scent-blocking products might be able to cut down on the smell you give off, so you don’t have to worry about which way the wind is blowing. Occasionally, I apply it to my outfit and skin during the day if I can recall bringing them with me. I don’t use scented detergent to wash my clothes, and keeping my hunting clothes in plastic bags or outside is not practical. Therefore, I don’t stress over that.

If you are only out hunting a few days each year, putting in the extra effort is worth it. Be mindful that regardless of what products you use, you still need to keep the wind direction and distance around you in mind, as nothing I know of can totally conceal or eliminate your smell.

Think about the odor that you are leaving behind in the forest. It is advisable to avoid the area where you will be hunting until you are actually in the act of hunting. Otherwise, you are potentially creating a mess that would fill the woods with unpleasant odors and startle wildlife before you can hunt. Try to do your scouting during the off-season. If the deer knows human presence, it may avoid the same location for the entire season.


In areas where you hope to observe deer, locate a place to set up camp that won’t affect the scent of your site. You can choose to live in a raised tree stand or a hiding location on the ground. I usually prefer to hunt from a tree stand since it gives me a better perspective of the terrain. Ground blinds, though, can be helpful as well. An elevation or hill may be desirable in an area with many mountain ranges and inclines. Ensure you have some open ground for capturing pictures just before camp. No matter how many deer you see, the sighting is meaningless if you can’t obtain a clear shot because of the forest and vegetation.

Be sure to fasten a quality safety belt when engaging in tree-stand hunting, and have a secure method for descending should you accidentally fall. Additionally, make sure your position is solid and safe. Never rely on frayed wires, broken bands, or corroded nails and screws left out for a long time.

Be careful with your gun when getting into or out of a tree stand. You should never climb with a gun with bullets in it, pull a gun with bullets in it up into a tree stand, or try to bring a gun with bullets down from a lookout point. You can raise or lower a gun with a rope, but it’s important to stay pointed in a safe direction and not loaded. Keep the gun’s muzzle above the ground when you lower it.

Build your own.

Constructing a stair and stage out of pressure-treated 2x4s, 2x6s, 2x8s, and so on is likely the least expensive choice initially if you create the space somewhere, you can hunt yearly. However, it is not transportable and would be expensive for a single season. If you don’t own the land, you’ll need permission from the owner. That means that you can’t use any public land. It is important to consistently inspect the stand for security; it may need to be fixed and eventually reconstructed.

Commercial ladder-stand

Since it may be relocated to a different tree or location and is not extremely harmful as long as you follow the safeguards, I particularly like this pastime. A ladder stand is more stable than a climbing stand, though moving is less convenient.


Despite its portability, I have a lot of doubts about this tree stand. Climbers can be hazardous, making it burdensome to shield oneself when rising. Furthermore, they are bulky and boisterous, increasing the likelihood of alarming deer when walking through the forests and mounting the tree. The effort may make you sweat more, which could leave a stronger smell in the air and scare away nearby animals. For those searching on state-owned land, this is likely their exclusive choice for hunting from a tree.