Starting a new hobby as an adult can be intimidating, especially when so-called experts seem to lurk around every corner handing out conflicting advice. However, once you find your community, learn the basics, and bond with like-minded people, you’ll brush off the beginner jitters with ease. A particularly enthusiastic group serious about their skill are hunters, which is why learning the craft later in life can take time and dedication.
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If you’re an adult with big dreams of big game and are ready to put in the work, read on for a guide on learning the art of the hunt as an adult.
Gathering Your Gear
To kick things off, you’ll need to invest in an assortment of high-quality gear to keep you safe while trying on your newfound skills.
Though your clothing needs will vary depending on what type of hunt you’re setting out on, there are a few ground rules to cover when purchasing gear. First and foremost, investing in EMF-blocking apparel from cutting-edge providers like HECS Hunting (https://hecshunting.hecsllc.com/) is a must. High-tech clothing can keep the keen-eyed game off your scent, allowing you to approach secretly.
Additionally, you’ll want to pick weather-resistant, lightweight, and insulated apparel to keep you warm without weighing you down.
When selecting your first weapon, consult with a knowledgeable, trusted peer who can walk you through your options. Though most new hunters prefer to begin with a rifle or shotgun, a crossbow is also an option for those looking for a challenge. Just make sure you go through the proper training before operating any weapon.
Decide What You Want to Hunt
Once you’ve gathered a basic set of gear, you’ll need to learn more about the specific game in your area to learn their behaviors and track them down.
It may be challenging to start with a larger game like moose, elk, and bears as a beginner. However, if you put in the training and work with experts in the big game, you can work up to grander prospects.
Medium and Small Game
Smaller games like mink, ducks, and deer are the perfect jumping-off point for fresh-faced hunters. Not only are they easier and safer to track, but small animals require less equipment and hunting know-how.
Another hunting sector is pest control, which centers on bringing down invasive populations that negatively impact the environment or other wildlife. Animals like wolves, coyotes, and bobcats are fair game in some areas—just make sure you check your local laws before drawing your weapon.
Arguably the most critical step a beginner hunter can take is gaining a well-rounded hunting education. In addition to learning the ropes from trusted experts, you’ll learn how to keep yourself safe while out in the wild.
Your state will have education guidelines and courses available for those interested in obtaining their hunting license. For those able to attend physical classes, in-person options are available and highly recommended. However, remote options are perfect for those with a busy schedule.
If you’d like a more specialized, hands-on education, you can go the private route. Groups like Hunter-Ed provide hunting education online that is compliant with state guidelines. While state programs cover the basics required, outside organizations will go more in-depth, teaching you additional techniques and methods.
Find a mentor
One of the best ways to study any craft is to find a mentor to lead you through the bumps in the road. Consider joining hunting clubs by searching for state or community-led groups online. By connecting with local hunters, you can find a community willing to teach you the foundations and answer any hard-pressing questions.
Before you load up your rifle and head out into the wild, make sure you’re prepared to make your first shot. Hunting requires careful skill and consideration for the environment around you, so make sure you understand how to safely and respectfully hunt before jumping the gun. By joining a hunting community, studying the game, and stocking up on gear necessities, you’ll be on your way to the big leagues in no time.