The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Hunting is a hobby, sport, and lifestyle for those who feel the call. It doesn’t have to be a bank-breaking activity, but there is a slight hurdle when it comes to equipment. First-time hunters should be ready to spend a minimum of a few hundred dollars to adequately equip themselves for the task. You should also know how to properly handle dangerous equipment, particularly the weapon, before you even think of shooting in the wild.
Licenses and Permits
The first thing you need to do is make sure you are licensed and permitted to hunt at your target destination. This includes checking to make sure your weapon and chosen game are in season as well as finding any restrictions that may apply based on animal size or gender. Hunting without a license is a serious legal offense and is definitely not worth the risk.
Weapon and Ammunition
Your gun or bow is the most dangerous, most important, and one of the most expensive pieces of equipment for any hunter. First, you need to be a legal owner of the weapon in your home state as well as any state you hunt in. Second, you need to know how to properly maintain, handle, and discharge the weapon. Whether you are an experienced hunter that uses custom rifles or a first-timer with a basic gun, you need to learn to use the weapon in a controlled environment first.
The clothes you wear can make or break the trip. Ideally, you want to cover as much of your body as possible with the durable, protective fabric without overheating. Winter hunting is usually a matter of bundling up, which isn’t hard to do if you bring enough clothes. Hunting in hot weather is a bigger challenge. Just remember that shorts mean more sun exposure, more bug bites, and more thorns on your skin.
Lures and Calls
Using lures and calls depends on your chosen game, season, and location. It may be pointless to hunt without a duck call in one lake, but easy in another. Do a little research on game habits in your target area and learn from local hunters. A little bait can make your life a lot easier.
Emergency Med Kit
Don’t go anywhere without emergency medical supplies. At the very least, you want to have the ability to disinfect and bind up wounds to prevent bleeding. This means some kind of durable, cloth bandages and rubbing alcohol. You should also carry any kind of personal medications for life-threatening conditions like epinephrine pens for allergies or insulin for diabetes.
The key to enjoying your hunting experience is to take it seriously, know what you are doing, and think through each step. Just remember that you are handling dangerous equipment and people make mistakes, so always err on the side of caution.
About the Author
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.