Introduction To Hunting Your Favorite Game In 3 Easy Steps
One of the most daunting tasks for any hunter is finding the game he wants to hunt. You have all the equipment and understand how it operates and you have practiced faithfully. You are hitting every target in the kill zone.
Your adrenaline is creeping higher and the first day of the season is drawing near. The next most important thing on your list is to find your game. In this article, we will briefly discuss:
- How to access a place to hunt
- Identify the activities of your game
- Set up for the hunt
Finding a Place to Hunt
There are literally endless places to hunt wild game but knowing where you will be hunting is the strategic key to setting up for the kill.
It would be very difficult to load all your equipment, drive to a location on the first morning of your season, and simply find the game you wish to hunt. Your chances for an unsuccessful trip are just too great.
One of the easiest methods of finding a fantastic location for your next hunting trip is to contact a reputable hunting guide. These knowledgeable people can often give you leads to purchase the right to hunt on certain lands for a day or longer.
They can offer services to assist you with, not only locating the perfect place to hunt, but also setting you up on a stand or bush blind, dropping you off and picking you up each day and meat preparation for your kill.
Their service advertisements can be found in your local newspaper, magazines with hunting topics and of course, on the internet. It is advisable to shop around as these guides can be quite expensive and may not offer all the services you are looking for.
Another way to locate the perfect place to fulfill your hunting dreams is asking around. The corner cafe where you drink coffee holds a wealth of people who either know where to hunt or knows someone who does. Talking to your co-workers, the banker, or the local law enforcement can also yield valuable information on places to hunt in your area.
Locate area gun shops in the Yellow Pages and call for information. You are almost guaranteed to get some great tips on hunting leases or landowners who allow hunting on their property. Big box stores such as Bass Pro and Academy employees can often be a source of information as well. Just about any place that sells hunting equipment is a great place to start in locating the perfect hunting site.
Identifying Your Game
Once you have acquired a property to hunt, the next most important step to take is to identify the approximate location of suitable game to hunt.
This is where you may have to make a few decisions to be on target, such as whether you would like to take a male or female of your species as their habits will differ somewhat.
You must also take into account whether your species has a specific season when the authorities allow you to hunt them and what those beginning and ending dates are. Game that is only hunted seasonally will alter their habits before, during, and after the season. Researching the habits of your chosen game will give you an edge when attempting to locate them for the hunt.
OK, you are now on location and about to begin the search for your quarry. Deer, as with all game, must drink, feed, and sleep. Looking for signs of these vital activities will give you the best places to begin your search.
Game animals must have water. If you have a source of water on the property you are hunting, this will be one of the places to get a feel for what type of game is on your location and whether they meet your needs.
Say, you are hunting only female whitetail deer on this trip. You will look for small, pointed-toe tracks in the soft dirt around the area they would drink. Notice the direction these footprints travel back and forth into the brush or fields. This will give you a good idea of the paths they are taking daily. This will be the basis of where you may set a stand or blind to spot them as they come to water.
We can follow this information with a given fact, game must also eat. Add to that, wild game tend to eat things they like, just as humans do.
A large field of peas, for example, will be very attractive to whitetail deer, as they love peas. They will prefer this field to one with only brush. Paths taken in and out of this area would also give you a good sense of where to place a stand.
All game must rest and bedding areas are often easily identified by grasses pressed to the ground or loose dirt with imprints of their shapes where they have lain down. Dens, lairs, and sometimes just a hole in the ground will offer tips to where they sleep. Obvious travel signs to and from these areas would be an excellent area for a hunting stand.
Setting Up for the Hunt
Now that you have a good place to hunt and a decent idea of where your game will be travelling to or from a chosen area, it is time to place a stand. Depending on the terrain, and whether you want to stay dry and warm, there are multiple choices for waiting on your game.
Tree stands offer visual advantage as you can be high above your hunting area where you likely will not be seen. A disadvantage is they offer no protection from the weather and you must remain very still to avoid being spotted by the game as you move.
A purchased or hand-built box stand is a good choice for weather protection and you have more freedom of movement once inside. One of the disadvantages would be limited sight of your area as generally, only small windows are available for monitoring the area.
Building a ground blind is a final choice dependent on the type of branches or sticks available in your area. This type of stand is temporary and only requires a few cutting tools and some string. A disadvantage to this blind is you are very close to your quarry so movement and smell must be kept to a minimum.
Once you have determined where you will be hunting, found a likely area where your game will be roaming and placed a well-hidden stand, you are ready for action!In our next article, we will examine in detail each of these three steps to finding and killing your favorite game.