Let’s face it. Covid has been tough. We have all adapted to the reality we now live in, some better than others. One good thing that has come out of the last two years though, is a renewed interest in the outdoors. Supply chain issues have seen people looking for new and better ways to secure their own food, instead of relying on the whims of the trucking industry and commercial farm operations. For the first time in years, we have seen an increase in the number of hunting licenses sold, and the number of new hunters getting outside for the very first time.
If you are one of those hunters who is just getting started, you have a lot of questions. Hunting is one of the most daunting passtimes to get into, especially on your own. A majority of hunters have grown up with it. They have been taught by parents, grandparents and other mentors from a very young age. How does someone who has just decided to take up this pursuit even get started? Well, we can help you learn to hunt. Maybe.
Your First Step
Where to even begin? Step one is making the decision to hunt. Hopefully, you’ve already crossed that bridge. Let’s assume you’ve done the research. You’ve decided you want a healthier food source. You want a connection to your food. You realize that meat doesn’t just appear on a piece of Styrofoam at your local store. Now what?
The best starting point, and a requirement in most states, is a hunter education program. This is a requirement most places. It’s also an invaluable tool that will help you feel much better equipped for your first hunting adventure.
Next, you’d need to decide what to hunt. Many people start with upland birds or waterfowl. Depending on where you live, upland birds may very well be plentiful on public land. While many people hunt birds behind dogs, it is perfectly feasible to hunt them up yourself, flushing them with your own two legs.
Assuming you are heading out into the woods to hunt your first ruffled grouse or pheasant, you are going to need to acquire something to harvest that game with. In this case, that means a shot gun. Hopefully, you have someone in your life who can help guide you through this process if it’s your first time purchasing a firearm, but if you don’t, YouTube is filled with videos that can help. Like this one.
I’m Armed. What now?
You’ve decided you are going bird hunting, and you’ve armed yourself for the task. Next up on the learning to hunt journey is licenses! I know, super fun, right? This is going to vary by state. I’d suggest punching your local Department of Natural Resources into your search engine of choice and going from there. Make sure you adhere to all local and state regulations. Your bound to run into your local game warden eventually, and they will make very clear to you that ignorance of the law is not a justification for breaking it. It can be a bit overwhelming making sure you are within the limits of your local laws regarding hunting, so make sure you take some time and delve into this subject thoroughly.
You’ve done everything mentioned so far. You are ready to head out to the woods. Or are you? Our next part in our Learn to Hunt series will cover your next steps.