Most Hunters are typically born into a hunting family, introduced at an early age, watching and learning from their family. It’s a lifestyle and a passion.
However, there is a new breed of hunters - adult onset hunters - that are learning as an adult.
There are a few reasons people feel compelled to hunt - for the sport and the thrill, to experience the wilderness, test your skills and for those that have a passion for knowing where their meat comes from and for providing for their families.
What is your goal? Your purpose?
Understanding why you are taking up hunting will help better guide you in this new endeavor. Some possible reasons to consider:
You want to:
- know where your meat comes from
- challenge yourself
- save money
- spend more time outside
- discover the sport, friends or family have told you about
- learn patience
- learn new things
- travel and experience new places, while reconnecting with nature
The above may be some of the reasons and likely you have your own. Take some time to understand why you want this and how you will make it fit into your life.
Where do you begin?
There are lots of options, here are a few suggestions to help you get started.
The very best way to learn the sport is to book a hunt with an outfitter that has a good reputation for getting high reviews from customers, such as Oak Creek Whitetail Ranch, they have a good reputation for taking the very best care of new and experienced hunters alike.
Find a mentor or community : Learning from experienced hunters is another great way to pick up skills and tips and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with this quiet sport. You can started by just shadowing them to see how you feel about the experience up close and personal. Move on to hunting yourself, under their guidance.
Learn about licensing for your state: Contact your state Fish and Game office to learn more, as each state varies. After you have completed all requirements, purchase your license for the states you wish to hunt in, or if hunting with an outfitter such as Oak Creek Whitetail Ranch, check with them to see if they provide your license for you.
Determine which weapon you will use: Rifle or bow are the most common choices. Your weapon will likely dictate where you can hunt or the time of year you can hunt. Spend a lot of time practicing. Spend a lot of time at the shooting range practicing. Safety and skill are crucial and you will perfect both with practice.
Determine what animal you want to hunt, if you haven’t already. Examples: game birds, mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, bear, and other game animals. Learn as much as you can about the animal you select - understanding behavior patterns will help your hunting.
Tags: Once you’ve decided which animal you want to hunt, this will help you determine where and when you can hunt. You need to contact your Department of Fish and Wildlife to know what tags you will need for your hunt. Or hire a professional guide which will take care of this for you.
Purchase your gear: Talk with your mentor, friends, family or the destination of your first hunt for advice on what gear you will need.
It’s also helpful to get out and hike, make sure you are sturdy on your feet if hiking isn’t part of your life already.
Hunting is an exhilarating experience and one that most who try, fall in love with.
Have respect for the animals, follow all laws and regulations, practice and prepare and make the most of your first experience.