Believe it or not, there is infinitely many hunting advice that can make or break your hunt. Ask ten hunters, and you’ll get ten different pieces of advice.
However, here are a few evergreens when it comes to hunting advice. Before we get to them, you need to be aware that some unique factors determine the success or failure of your hunt.
Hunting locations have a significant impact on the outcome of your hunt. The same goes for prey. Deer hunting or duck hunting, hunting in swamps, woods, or fields – all of these and more will shape your overall hunting experience.
Nevertheless, some pieces of advice are universal for every hunter. These 10 will simply never get old.
1. Patience is a virtue
Let’s face it; we’ve all been there – you get too excited, and you trail the animal too soon.
That’s why one rule is crucial: you have to give them time.
Many hunters, mostly those with minimal experience, often forget that wild animals are a lot tougher than we give them credit for. Be patient, take your time, and it will pay off even with the hardiest of prey.
2. Think outside of the box
Use every tool in your box. What does this entail? Let’s say you’re hunting ducks. A simple drake mallard call, the quiet “dweek-dweek” sound will do wonders in taking the edge off a group of ducks.
Similarly, a turkey call can be a useful gimmick. A couple of perfectly timed clucks can create an unmatched haven for deer in autumn woods.
It’s a little-known fact that wild animals respond to things unexpected even to the most experienced hunters, so make sure always to think outside the box.
3. Be prepared for close shots
Most hunters have mastered shooting in the range of 50-100 yards, anticipating our quarry will lock up or quarter away. But, when the prey is right in front of us, we’re hardly ever prepared to react accordingly.
Be mindful that the close shot can happen at a moment’s notice, and there are a few things you can do to be prepared for it. For example, spend a few moments peering through a scope until the game is pretty clear.
4. Try not to sweat
Avoiding sweating is not recommended for hygiene purposes only. It’s actually a necessity because deer can smell body odor.
It’d be a good idea to bring an extra shirt on your hunts and dress in layers so you can easily take one off if you start to sweat. Whatever you do, just remember – sweat is the enemy.
5. Take care of your feet and hands
Spending a whole day outside in the cold can take a toll on one’s body. It can influence your hunting abilities to a large extent.
Here’s one trick that completely changed our hunting trips: layer up. And yes, that goes for your feet and hands, too, even if it means wearing two pairs of socks or women’s hand gloves (they are stretchy and not as bulky as men’s) as an extra layer below your regular gloves.
6. Slow and steady wins the race
This is most true for deer hunting. The key to hunting deer is going slow and keeping a low profile. For many years, we’ve done exactly the opposite, until it dawned on us that the deer would always flee.
You must create a reasonable pace and stay behind as much as possible.
7. Track your prey
Under no circumstances should you forget to keep track of your prey.
Tag a tree or a bush near your quarry. Always keep your eyes on the prey as far as you can see and when it disappears, take a mental note if it moved a quarter toward or a quarter away.
8. Know how to drag your prey
Many hunters don’t want to scare the woods with loud car sounds, so they end up having to drag the quarry. The easiest way to do this is to pack the animal’s front legs forward by its head and cinch the legs in place, and you’re good to go.
9. Never give up
We’ve witnessed too many hunters get frustrated and give up. This is where the aforementioned patience needs to kick in.
When a trail grows cold, giving up seems like the easiest option, and it is. But it also means you’re missing out on so much. Putting a little more effort and having loads of patience almost always results in a successful hunt.
10. Grind your own meat
Care of the meat after the hunt is as important and rewarding as the hunt itself. Sure, having a professional butcher is priceless, but it’s even more so when you know how to do it yourself. Dedicating time to your harvest is what every good hunter should be about.