Q. How can I learn how to hunt? My family is not into hunting but I’d love to learn. Could you give any advice on how to start?
In most states, (you should research for your state), there is something known as an Apprentice Hunting License. This allows a beginner to hunt alongside an experienced hunter without having to do the Gun/ Hunter safety course initially. This license gives you a two year period to decide if hunting is really for you. This also gives you the time to learn the ropes before doing the course work. It is a legal requirement to do the course, but if you have been hunting for 2 years, you’ll find the class really easy.
But you will need someone to show you the ropes. It becomes really easy if there is someone who can guide you and show you how to track, to look for signs, how to field dress your kills and more. Anything done with a friend or enjoyable company is more fun. Plus, there is the safety aspect to be considered. When you are with someone who knows what they are doing, you are less likely to shoot yourself in the foot.
If you don’t have family or friends to help you out then there are gun ranges which will help you practice getting used to your firearm. This will also be a good place to meet likeminded people who can offer information as well as allow you to tag along with their hunts.
Q. I have a gun and know how to shoot my rifle. But can I take my gun into the woods and go hunting?
No. For many reasons, primarily your own safety, you cannot just walk into the woods and hunt, even if you live next to a lovely wooded area were you see many deer hang about. Legally, you cannot kill many kinds of animals whenever you want. There are tons of restrictions, legalities, permits for which fees have to be paid, safety courses and more. Each state has its own department which deals with wildlife control and the fees or permits and regulations may vary from state to state.
Q. How difficult is hunting?
It all depends on your patience. Hunting is mostly a patient thing where you have to head out before the sun rises, and sit around in your platform or hideout and wait for an animal to come by. Even if you use all the tactics and strategies that many websites may advise you, there is an element of luck as well as persistence. Of course, your skill plays a huge role in it. If you see an animal walk past your line of sight and you don’t get a decent hit, your entire day would just be you, sitting by yourself in silence. Not the best way to spend a day. Worst case scenario, at east you’ll get a good workout. If things work out, you’ve put dinner on the table for many weeks to come.