A hunting trip can be the ultimate escape from everyday life. What couldn’t be better than getting out in the great outdoors and seeing some incredible wildlife?
While hunting may sound like a get-up-and-go activity, it does take some planning. Going without a plan will decrease your chances of success drastically.
Hunting is largely a “know before you go” activity if you really want to find the animals you’re pursuing.
Don’t let that scare you away though. A little bit of prep can yield a whole lot of awesome if you’re willing to put in the word.
So what, exactly, and should you be planning? Keep reading and we’ll tell you.
Budget Saving Ideas
Hunting can be an expensive endeavor. From gear, to tags, to traveling to get to where your hunt is, the costs can really add up. Before jumping into a hunt, consider these budget saving ideas.
Local hunts will cost a lot less than those far away from you, but a hunt you have to travel for brings an extra thing to be excited about.
If you’ll be traveling, compare airfare prices and go with the option that provides the right timing and lowest cost possible. Be wary of lost cost fares, though. They’ll likely be nonrefundable. If you want the added protection of refundability, pay a little more.
If you’ll be renting a car once you get to your destination, go with an economy option. There’s no point in spending your big bucks on a vehicle. Spend it on the hunt instead.
To save money on accommodations, camp in state lands. This won’t cost you anything. Plus, camping matches your activity much better than a hotel anyway.
Plan ahead for food. Have a budget in mind and stick to it. Preparing ahead of time instead of eating out for each meal will save you a lot.
While you can’t change the price of your hunts themselves, you can limit how man you do and which ones you pursue. Stick with hunts that fit in your budget. To save even more money, process the meat yourself when your hunt is over.
Your Hunting Location
There’s no one perfect place for you to hunt, but you’ve got to make sure you’re in the right kind of place. If you’ve been hunting the same area for years without results, don’t be afraid to try somewhere else.
If you’ll be hunting an area you’re not familiar with, take time before you hunt starts to get to know the area. Even better, get to know the animals in the area, including their habits and patterns.
You want to go where there are animals, so do the prep work unless you want to wander around hoping animals are in the area.
If you want to hunt on private lands, make sure you have permission. You won’t need permission for national forest, state forest, state wildlife management areas, and the like. Make sure you know if the land you intend to hunt is private or not before you set foot on it!
Make sure you know the area well enough to ensure safety at all times. If you’re not as familiar with the area, carry GPS devices and emergency signals. Make sure you have enough or stamina to get there and back.
Keep emergency/survival tools with you at all times, no matter where you intend to hunt.
If you’re hunting out of your normal state or country, make sure you have a way to get your meat home. Pack it in ice and bring it on the plane with you, or pay to have it shipped overnight.
Know the Animals
If you want to have a successful hunt, you’ve got to know the animals you’re pursuing. Big game hunts are fun in and of themselves, but they’re a lot more fun when you get what you’re going after.
Know what signs to look for. Be familiar with tracks, scat, and any other signs that the animals have been in the area.
Know what they eat and what their habits are. Do they come down from the mountains to feed at night? Or do they like to be out during the day?
Be specifically aware of their habits during the season in which you’ll be hunting. Don’t spend hours getting to know they’re habits in the summer if you’ll be hunting them in the winter.
Is it better to wait and watch? Or hunt as a team and have someone push them out of where they’re bedded down?
Knowing these types of things will help you on your hunt immensely. If you already know a significant amount about certain areas or animals, consider starting a blog to help others get on the right track.
Time it Right
You can only perform a hunt during the designated season, so make sure you know when that season is. Before entering a drawing for a tag, make sure you choose dates that fit your schedule before you try to get a tag.
Or, if a certain hunt means enough to you, plan ahead and clear or change your schedule so those dates will be available should you draw out.
Book a Guided Hunt
For an even more thrilling time, try booking a guided hunt. Research what’s available, then book your hunt ahead of time.
Numerous guided hunts exist. Whether you’re wanting to hunt black bear, elk, whitetail deer, or something else, there’s a guided hunt available.
Learning the animals and land is an adventure all its own, but going with an expert still packs a punch in excitement. Guided hunts will get you into land and animals you otherwise wouldn’t have access to, so look into what’s available.
The Perfect Hunting Trip
The perfect hunting trip probably doesn’t exist, but planning ahead will certainly help. As you put in the effort to know the land and animals you’re hunting, your likelihood of success will go way up.
Don’t sit around expecting to march right out and get what you want on the first day. Successful hunting takes brains and planning and understanding what you’re working with.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to a hunting trip that’s fulfilling, and hopefully, successful.
Hunting is only one of many great outdoor adventures you can pursue. Let us know if you’d like to hear more about out-of-the-office living.