Basic Hunting Skills – Preparing for the Hunt

Preparedness minded people often do very well with hunting, that’s because the most successful hunters are the ones who carefully plan and prepare for the hunt. Those who don’t prepare often find themselves struggling through the hunt, or worse yet, they may find themselves in danger due to poor preparation and planning.

Steps you should take before going on any hunt.

Know The Game

HuntingKnowing the game that you’re going after is one of the most important parts of the pre-preparation planning for your hunt. This process is really a lifelong process, one that will improve with every trek out into the field. That being said, this is also a something that should be studied in your downtime.

Understanding the game you’re hunting is not only critical to the success of your hunt, but it’s also something that you need to know to insure you’re taking legal game. For example, when hunting birds you need to be able to quickly determine the exact species, and in some cases sex of your game, to make sure you’re taking legal game.

Know The Games Characteristics

Before going out into the field, you should have at least a basic understanding of your chosen games unique characteristics. This means taking the time to study your game, study the area where you intend to hunt, and asking others who may have more experience for their advice.

Things you want to focus on include:

  • Studying the identifying markings and traits of your intended quarry.
  • Understanding your quarries unique behaviors, and how these behaviors can change based on the environment, the weather and even the time of day.
  • Learning the Sounds of your intended quarry. Every animal makes a range of unique sounds, each of these sounds meaning something to those that know what to listen for. In your downtime, you want to study these sounds and then learn how you can use them to your advantage.
  • Learning what signs to look for while you’re on the hunt.

Use the off-season to your Advantage

Just because it’s the off-season, doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. In fact, the off-season can provide valuable information that can help you become a better and more rounded hunter.

Hiking during the off-season can be a great way to scout out new trails; it’s also an excellent way to find out the habits, behaviors and movements of your intended game.

Safety, Safety, Safety!!!

The key to being a good hunter is being a safe hunter; in order to be a safe hunter, you must be prepared for everything.

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  1. If you do not need the meat now, or are reluctant to take life unless absolutely necessary (at this very moment, I , a former trapper/hunter, and no stranger to interhuman violence either) am bottle feeding a Raccoon kitten I found lost and dehydrated near death 2 nites ago ) but want to be skilled in case you ever do..practice shooting at home (air rifle or air pistol is cheap and quiet) and practice your tracking and stalking in the woods and fields..using a camera instead of a firearm or bow..

    • great Info !!!got a 10 yrs grandson and when we hang he’s getting better with every shot w/ his red rider and soon to get his 1st air or 22cal singie. great come back from ya !!! Bow later and camera last !!

  2. Good job bucksnort!! I took it a step further by starting my kids out shooting at the age of four ( mind you now I didn’t let them run around the woods with guns like their great grandmothers from the city thought ) but I can see a difference in my son and daughters self confidence at 16 & 13. The Lord some self confidence and self sufficiency will get u thru anything.

  3. I’ll be doing some hunting soon and I’ll need to learn a lot. Especially how to track and even build snares for small game.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. I am 30yrs old me and my cuz used to hunt rabbits with b&b guns. I loved it. Since then I’ve never been hunting I live in southwest ks and have really been thinking lately about being prepared. Also I live ne’er the Cimmerians national grassland I’ve been fishing my whole life I’m good at that. I want to learn to hunt deer and stuff. I’m thinking with a bow because I have a felony and it is illegal for me to own a gun. Does anyone have advice for me. I’m a huge history guy and am very knowledgable.

    • Hey. One of the things you could do to kind of help prepare your self with being self reliant is to build your own long bow and take it out and hunt. When I was younger I made bows just to shoot at targets. But honestly it feels so much better to harvest an animal that you shot with a bow than a gun. Hunting with a bow takes A LOT more skill from tracking to where to put the arrow in the deer. With a gun it’s point and shoot. Or compensate and shoot.

      I hunt whitetail, turkey, coyote, and rabbit. All of them provide something for me. So when you go hunting for whitetail you usually wanna scout some possible running trails a couple months ahead of your season. And then once right before your season, but don’t run all up and down that trail. Ok, so after that with bow hunting you find a solid tree to put your stand up into (youtube how to put up a tree stand). Then you usually want to get that stand 20mins before sunlight, because once the sun comes up, the deer are up. If you get one to come in great, make sure you hold steady and right on the heart. If you don’t, don’t try to leave and come back to the stand a lot. Maybe leave once for Lunch and then come back about an hour before sunset if you can. Rule Suns up=Deer up Suns down= Deer down. Also when your scouting the area making sure you look to see what kind of camo you will need, ex) Light vs dark camo. Make sure you have hunting arrow tips too, not target tips. (I’ve seen hunters with target tips before) And when your done, it may sound cheesy, but thank god for your harvest. If you have any questions feel free to reply :)

      • You seem knowledgeable I’ve never been hunting before and it seems as though I cant cause harm to any animal. How do I overcome that?

        Made a bow and everything but I can never complete a hunt; its not fear I think but empathy for the animal.

        • If you eat meat, then it’s really no different and probably a hell of a lot more humane than the way animals are treated these days. It’s not a bad thing to feel empathy, it actually makes you a better hunter and knowing where your food comes from gives you a better respect for the entire process.

  5. I also prefer a bow for hunting its quieter therefore you won’t give up your position or scare other game the four or two leg versions you won’t use up ammo that you might need for defense later it causes less truma to the meat so there’s more edible meat after the kill and I just like it .

  6. A good idea for hunting any Game is to have your primary weapon, a large and small knife, a handgun to protect yourself against predators or put down your prey, alot of water but not to much, matches, lighter, emergency radio, extra ammunition, backpack, and possibly a friend if you prefer to hunt with another person and the list is really endless of bug spray is great to bring so is bear repellent if you live in areas that have bears.

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