You are in good company if you enjoy spending time out of doors, and the clean, fresh air, the smell of the forest, and the serenity you find there are definitely appealing. This is the reason that learning how to hunt may interest you, and because of the potential danger involved along with the enjoyment it can bring, you will want to go about it the right way.
Taking those first steps
There are many excellent books to read on the subject, and you will also find a variety of videos on the Internet that will prove to be equally helpful. To narrow down your choices, you might want to determine the type of game you plan to hunt, from waterfowl to deer and elk, for example. If you intend to hunt with a gun, consult with someone who is knowledgeable and skilled in using firearms, perhaps even certified. A significant amount of practice is also essential if you want to improve your accuracy and succeed when you go after game.
You should also be prepared to enroll in a safety class for hunters, and based on the state where you live and your age, you may discover that this is mandatory in order to obtain a hunting license. You will learn the right way to handle a gun, how you can protect yourself and others while you are hunting, and other valuable safety essentials.
Anyone learning the sport will need to become familiar with the hunting regulations that are in force in their area and be certain that their hunting license is kept up to date. For example, there are limits to the number of male and female game you are permitted to kill, laws controlling the use of bait, and game-specific regulations that you will be obliged to follow (including the opening and closing dates of the official hunting season).
If you can arrange it, spend some time with experienced hunters as well. They will provide you many practical hunting tips, and at the same time, point out where the good hunting spots can be found.
Technically, the tips that follow are to be used for duck hunting, but the basic principles can be applied to any game you may be after:
● You will need outwear that blends in with the landscape, and you can chose from the numerous camouflage prints that are on the market for sports enthusiasts today. Ideally, in cooler weather, this will include a hat, jacket, face mask, and two pairs of gloves. For a more economical choice, find an inexpensive camouflage rain suit.
● Based on your location, find a good pair of waders—heavily insulated if you live in the north, and a light weight, breathable version if you are in the south. Another alternative is to restrict your hunting in fields or purchase low-cost vinyl waders.
● Remember that you will need a set of decoys and a bag for carrying them. If you hunt in a marshy area, you will need pintail, teal, and mallard decoys, and on the open water, you will want redhead, bluebill and canvasback decoys. Note that weighted decoys right themselves when they are thrown into the water, but water-keel decoys are not as heavy to carry, and the choice is yours.
● Find a duck call that is right for you at a sporting goods store, and practice using it to get the effect you are looking for when you go hunting.
● Study the area where you want to hunt. This involves seeking out various spots where ducks are landing, taking note of their position on the water, and spreading your decoys so that they blend in with the live ducks that are already there and waiting for you.