Outdoors

How to Be Smart and Courteous When Hunting

Hunting is an enjoyable hobby if it is done the right way. Taking the time to properly prepare and following all protocols closely ensures a hunt can be enjoyable and safe at the same time.

Hunting is a time-honored tradition that many people have been enjoying for generations. It’s important to know important factors before going hunting to make sure that you are as safe and courteous as possible before you begin the hunt though. The following guide provides a few tips to make sure your next hunting trip goes as smoothly as possible.

Know Where You’re Hunting

Many people don’t realize that they can’t hunt anywhere they choose. It is illegal to hunt on someone else’s property without their permission. You can be arrested and fined if you do so. If you don’t have land of your own to hunt but have someone who is willing to let you hunt their property be sure to get written permission to hunt. This allows you to provide proof to a game warden if they question you about your right to hunt on the land. Also, have the landowner show you where you can hunt. You don’t want to accidentally go on their neighbors property and hunt. Knowing the boundaries of the property can save a lot of irritation, hassle and confusion.

Know When You Can Hunt

You cannot hunt for any animal you want whenever you want. Each jurisdiction has specific dates you are allowed to hunt for specific animals. Contact your local Wildlife and Game Department to find out when the timeline for specific hunting is for the area where you plan to hunt. You should also talk to them about getting your hunting license if you don’t already have one. It is illegal to hunt without a hunting license and it’s essential to report certain kills so that an accurate account of the wildlife population in the area can be maintained.

Properly Protect Yourself When Hunting

Having a gun or bow with you may provide you with protection from animals, but you also need to protect yourself from accidents that can happen when hunting. Wearing bright orange makes you easily visible to other hunters. Hunt during times of good lighting to ensure you aren’t mistaken for an animal and to provide yourself with a clear line of sight when hunting. Be sure to also dress properly for the weather. It’s often cold during many hunting seasons so wearing thick, warm clothing is essential.

Be Respectful When Tracking a Kill

There are times when an animal can run onto someone else’s property after they are shot. It’s best to contact the landowner directly and ask them for permission to track the kill onto their property. It is not required in every jurisdiction to contact the landowner, but it is good practice to be as respectful as possible at all times. There are restrictions as to how you can track an animal in some localities, as well. Many jurisdictions prohibit hunters from tracking an animal onto someone else’s property while carrying a firearm. You would need to place your weapon in your vehicle or secure it somewhere before tracking it.

Be Careful When Running Dogs

Some hunters choose to use dogs when hunting. The dogs scare the deer and cause them to run into more open areas where hunters are waiting for them. When running dogs, it’s important to have tracking collars on them so that they can be easily located after a hunt. It is also a good idea to avoid running dogs in areas where you know there are numerous homes in the direct vicinity. This is simply to decrease the chances of the dogs scaring someone, people feeling threatened or for a fight to break out between one of your dogs and the dogs within the neighborhood.

Hunting is an enjoyable hobby if it is done the right way. Taking the time to properly prepare and following all protocols closely ensures a hunt can be enjoyable and safe at the same time.

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