Public interest in hunting had hit a bit of a lull between 2015 and now. However, 16.9 million hunted in Spring of this year, up from 16.5 in 2016. With interest trending back upwards, you might be interested yourself. So, what does it take to be a hunter in the USA?
In this article we’ll go over the equipment, basic skills and legal licenses you may or may not need to pick up the rifle and get on the trail.
Possibly stating the obvious, but you’ll need some form of equipment to catch your game. The first step when you get to a hunting area is to survey your surroundings; especially if it’s a wide open space. For this, you’ll need a spotter. These come in various forms and prices. However, there is a spotter for any price range that will do an ample job for the would-be hunter.
Second is the rifle and scope. Again, there are plenty of options out there for all price ranges. Don’t purchase anything too powerful for your needs; there’s a huge amount of experience and learning that goes into guns and you will need to become comfortable with your rifle. It’s not a bad idea to take lessons. Remember as well that overpowered rifles can cause a noise that will discourage game in a wider area than is convenient, and put you at the ire of other hunters.
There are a lot of skills that can go into hunting. From survival skills, to scent tracking, to simple learning about your prey and its patterns of movement and habitation. An important aspect of hunting is tracking. The Alaskan state department recommend tracking for hunting, and it’s a great idea. Knowing what prints in the snow and mud mean can also keep you safe, ensuring you don’t walk headfirst into an aggressive or jumpy animal.
Predictably, there are different laws for different states that dictate where, when and how you go hunting. If you fall afoul of the laws you can pay severely, and there have been a number of high-profile scalps in the news. These have set the example that anyone, even celebrities, can be hooked for illegal hunting practices.
In order to make sure that you’re following the law of the land when you go on your hunting expedition, make sure you thoroughly research the state you intend to visit. There are a number of online websites providing hunt information so there really isn’t any excuse for falling foul of the law.
There are of course, plenty of other aspects to going out hunting. Gear for camping, survival and even vehicle choice. However, if you’re looking for the basics on how to get up and running and out hunting, you can’t go much wrong with the above points.