How to Prepare for Your First Hunting Trip
For many, going on a hunting trip is a rite of passage. If you are heading to the country for a first-time hunting experience, you will undoubtedly be feeling a little anxious. It’s unchartered territory and possibly quite out of your comfort zone. To help you relax, here are some hints and tips to make the trip a success. (Image Credit: Pixabay)
Know the Terrain
Just because this is your first trip out, doesn’t mean that you can’t get an understanding of the terrain that you are going to. Use technology to help you get a clear picture of the location you are going to; Google Maps is a great tool to assist you in scouting the area.
Early morning and late evening are the best time to scout for deer; it’s when they are more active. If you are hunting on public land, it is a good idea to scout several areas, as on the day you go hunting, there may be legions of other people with the same idea as you, so you’ll need a backup location. If you scout the location in early summer or fall, remember to wear tick repellant. Tick-borne diseases are prevalent and can seriously impact your health for the long term.
The clothing that you wear hunting is important. It needs to be camouflaged for the terrain that you are visiting, but it also has to keep you warm and dry. Chances are high that to get to the best location, you will need to hike some distance before setting up in position. Layers are best; you will be warm while you are active but can chill when stationary. Merino wool clothing is the best. It keeps you warm but also wicks away the cooling sweat so that your body temperature remains stable and insulated.
Yes, your body odor needs to be addressed. While you may relish bathing in luxurious salts and foams, your prey will smell you before you see them. It’s important that you use scent-free soap to wash with before you head out. The same applies to the clothes that you wear. Make sure that your hunting attire is washed in scent-eliminating detergent and kept in a sealed plastic bag to avoid contamination.
You know the importance of wearing camouflaged clothing, but tree stand blinds provide an opportunity for total concealment out of the line of sight of the animal and can give protection from the elements. Always be safety conscious and use a harness in the blinds as this is where most hunting accidents occur.
If you do manage to harvest a deer, have the foresight to take with you the tools that you need to take it back to camp. You may make the newbie error of just taking a knife; however, you’ll also need a length of rope to hang the deer while you continue hunting, and a tarpaulin to enable you to drag the deer back to the truck or cabin without collecting debris.