To become a hunter there are certain skills you need in your arsenal. Without them, you’ll waste time tracking game without success. You may even become lost on the hunt and create a disdain for the sport..
Knowing what the core skills are, can help you brush up on the talents you are missing, and help you hone in on areas you hadn’t considered.
Being able to mark and aim at your target is more of an art than a science. You need to understand how your gun fires, the speed of the animal you’re hunting, and how the creature moves.
It takes practice to get this balance right, as you need to develop knowledge about the animals you plan on hunting. Shooting a rabbit will be different from shooting a deer, so practice on one animal at a time, to develop your skills.
To make sure your aim is true consider these points:
- What’s your maximum range? – Don’t let the creature exceed this.
- What is your best shooting position? – Aim for this stance until you can master multiple.
- Read the wind – Knowing how the wind will impact your shot, creates a better chance for success.
2. Mental And Physical Strength
A good hunter can stay on their path even when the weather changes. The mental strength to continue on when the rain and wind have sullied your plans, is a personality trait that all good hunters have.
When these changes occur, you need to stay stealthy. This means climbing rocky sides in the rain and preventing squelching noises in the mud. To do this successfully, you need to be dexterous and have a great sense of balance.
The physical strength of a hunter is not like a gym buff. Instead, we have a strong grip to pull us up mountainsides, and strong calves to hold a silent walk through the woods.
The best gifts for hunters are ones that enhance this stealthy strength such as quiet waterproof pants and far-reaching binoculars.
Although GPSs are standard on most hunting technology, you need to have a backup if your battery dies. Knowing how to read a map and use a compass means you can find your way back to safety and civilization no matter where you are.
Once you’ve learned how to read a map and understand how your compass works, you should consider reading the stars.
Even paper can get wet, but nothing can stop you from finding a home if you can follow the map in the sky.
Bushcraft is when you use your knowledge of the wilderness and your understanding of survival to stay safe. This means knowing which bark can create great tinder, and which plants may cause a rash.
The most important bushcraft skills are creating a shelter, producing fire, and purifying your water.
If you’re learning with an experienced hand, picking up these skills should come quickly. If you’re entering the hunting life by yourself, you can learn these simple yet effective bushcraft skills through books and videos on Youtube.
We suggest creating a “How To” notebook to reference when you’re out in the wilderness and need help.
5. First Aid
You shouldn’t go hunting without knowing how to look after yourself. Even a basic understanding is essential to staying safe.
Ideally, you should complete a first aid course before attempting to hunt alone. If at least one person on your hunting trip knows how to look after the team, you should be safe. But, if that person becomes hurt the whole group will suffer.
Make this skill a priority and take refresher courses in the off-season.
Hunting is not a quick sport. You need to learn how to observe your surroundings and create a well of knowledge about the landscape and creatures, before making any moves. This is a game of patience.
You may notice that the deer follow a similar monthly migration pattern. Or perhaps your game becomes more adventurous in the rain. Learning how the creatures move and operate can help you find and strike them faster.
Knowing when to fire and when to leave is also a skill in patience. If you notice the leader of the herd is rowdy, waiting until he has passed your hiding spot can prevent a set of charging antlers from targeting you.
Take your time learning these skills before heading to the hunt. Without this knowledge, you can become lost, hurt, and ill-equipped to handle the journey ahead.