For many families, hunting is a long-standing tradition. It serves as a way to bond with family members, pass down values to the youngsters, and connect with the vast lands of the Earth. Read this article to find out 6 things you need to learn if you often go on hunting trips.
- You Should Always Treat Your Weapon With Respect
When handling your weapon, you should always act as if it were loaded, even when it isn’t. Assume that it could fire at any given moment. Surprisingly, a large number of hunters never practice the right firearm safety procedures. This doesn’t only apply to younger and novice hunters, but can also be seen among older and more experienced individuals as well. Hunters nowadays mindlessly cradle their guns and keep the barrels pointed at passersby, roads, and even themselves. Besides the fact that mishandling the gun is a fatal safety hazard, it also affects the shooter’s range.
There are generally 10 rules you need to follow when using hunting equipment; the first one being watching the gun’s muzzle.
- Always make sure that it’s pointed in a safe and clear direction.
- As mentioned, you should treat your firearm as if it were always loaded.
- Before shooting your target, you have to be able to properly identify its features and keep note of everything that’s in front or behind it. You should never aim at hard surfaces or water.
- Unless you’re shooting, keep your finger off the trigger to avoid accidents.
- Always check your barrel to ensure it isn’t obstructed and make sure that you have the proper ammunition.
- Leave your firearms’ actions open, carry the guns in cases, and unload them when they aren’t in use.
- Never joke around with your firearm in hand. Don’t aim it at things you don’t plan on shooting.
- If you plan on running, climbing, or jumping, ensure your firearm is unloaded first.
- Make sure that your firearms and ammunition are securely and separately stored.
- Never drink alcohol when you’re out hunting.
- Dress Safely and Appropriately
While this may sound like common sense to most people, you may be surprised by the number of hunters who don’t wear appropriate clothing and safety gear. Create a checklist before you go out to make sure you have everything you need. If you’re out hunting, you want to ascertain that you’re visible to everyone in case you get in trouble. This is why it’s a common procedure to dress up in bright orange. Many hunters worry that this will blow their cover to the deers. Fortunately, research has found that deer can’t see orange and rather see it as the color gray. If you wish to blend in with your surroundings, you can dress up in orange camo clothing. This is something that the DNR has recently approved. If you’d like to make sure yourself, visit the DNR website to take a look at the hunting regulations in your state.
Besides the bright orange for visibility, you should always wear shooting glasses that are shatter-resistant. This will keep your eyes safe in case your weapon suddenly blows off or you need to take a stroll through thick and harsh bushes. Account for the event that your fire-arm barrels may blow up or your bow-strings may break. Equip yourself with heavy-duty gloves to keep your hands safe when grabbing onto barbwires and other elements in the wild. Finally, never go hunting without a strong pair of boots to protect your ankles.
- Cleaning Your Gun
You need to know how to safely clean your gun to avoid any fatal accidents. Double-check that your gun is unloaded before getting started. You will need a cleaning rod that is the size of the bore, small cleaning rags, a cleaner, and lubricant. Remember that when cleaning a gun, you will need to disassemble it first. Spray the inside of the barrel with the solvent, allowing it to melt the residue. Use a small rug and the cleaning rod to clean the barrel until it’s shiny. Spray lubricant on a rug and run it down the barrel. Clean the action the same way you cleaned the barrel before putting the gun back together and lubricating it.
- Don’t Stick To the Same Position
If you go hunting often, you don’t want to stick to the same position every time you go. Mix up your game trails every once in a while and be sure to count the entire location. If you need guidance, use Google Earth to get a great satellite view of the surrounding grounds. If you’d like to go the extra mile, check topographic maps, too. This will give you a better view of all the viable game trails and paths, including valleys and draws. Looking at a map is vital because it helps you grasp an understanding of the overall landscape before you set out to hunt. You can take a stroll in the land during the off-seasons for a first-hand experience, as well. Going on a hike can be a fun way to explore it. Learn the ins and outs of the place and search for the inaccessible locations, as this is where the older deer typically learn to hide. Get a feel as to where the other hunters may be.
- Know Your Maximum Effective Range
There are numerous factors that impact your weapon’s maximum effective range. How you maintain the weapon, the quality and type of the ammo, and the general weather conditions are a few things that affect the range of your weapon. If you wish, you can carry a range scope when you’re out hunting so you can arrange landmarks as ranges of your choice.
- Get Familiar With the Law
Before you go on a hunting trip, read up on the hunting laws and regulations in your area. This way, you won’t have to spend money on fines. Pay attention to regulations regarding bag limits, hunting seasons, tagging, and permit-required hunting regions.
Hunting is a great way to build and enhance invaluable skills like self-discipline, resilience, persistence, and personal safety. Unfortunately, there are a few essential aspects of hunting that people have long forgotten over time. Reading this article, however, will equip you with the right knowledge to carry on the tradition.