John’s Note: There is some type of hunting available in all states. However, game species, hunting conditions, seasons and bag limits vary greatly across the nation. The smart hunter first will do his research and take advantage of all available sources of information relating to the deer hunting in the state where he is. Then he will select the equipment most suited to his region, develop hunting techniques that apply to his area and find out where to hunt. By following these steps to successful hunting, you will increase the likelihood of taking game. Try these suggestions, and watch your hunting results soar.
A spotting scope in the southern swamps is as useful as a short-sleeved shirt in Alaska in January.
Knowing what type of gun, clothing and equipment to carry into the field in a new place is almost as critical as knowing where to hunt. The lack of proper equipment can prove fatal whether you are a new hunter or a veteran, there are aids that are vital in the woods.
* A compass is needed by even the most knowledgeable hunter, since he can lose his way in thick brush or on overcast days. A compass often can be the difference in spending a cold night in the woods and being home for supper. Be sure to take a compass reading before you leave the car to insure your safe return.
* A GPS (global positioning system) receiver will keep you from being lost and help you keep up with your stands and deer-hunting information. It also will show you where you’ve walked and the shortest way to your vehicle.
* Matches are a must. Some type of waterproof match container with a good supply of easy to strike matches may help you start a signal fire or keep you warm, if you become lost in the woods.
* A map lets you see where you are. A map can save hours of dragging a downed animal. I met a hunter in the woods one day who had been pulling a nice buck for 2 hours. After talking, he asked where the nearest road was. He was hoping to drive close enough to load his deer without having to drag it any further. After showing him my map, he realized he had killed the deer only 200-yards from a road. “If I’d had that map I’d already have been home,” he said.
* A space blanket enables you to stay warm, even if you become lost in unfamiliar territory. The best rule of thumb is to expect to get lost, prepare for being lost, and then if you don’t get lost, you are still a safer hunter than the hunter who fails to take proper precautions. A space blanket is a lightweight foil covering that can be purchased at outdoor stores and most backpacking shops. This easily stored and carried covering will help form a barrier against the weather and/or the ground while preserving your body heat.
* Candy, fruits and a dog biscuit will come in handy. In colder climates, some type of chocolate bar cannot only quell hunger pains but also provide quick energy. And, you won’t enjoy eating a dog biscuit, so you still should have it for emergency situations, even if you’ve eaten everything else.
* A fanny pack like a Tenzing (www.tenzingoutdoors.com). One of the best investments a new hunter can make, in my opinion, is a quality pack. A Tenzing pack is light, comfortable and holds plenty of gear. A hunter can carry survival gear, maps, lunches, skinning equipment, ropes and all the vital extras that make hunting more enjoyable. There are many more items one can carry and probably should carry into the woods to insure safety. But sportsmen in your region will be able to advise you on more specialty equipment.
To learn more about deer hunting, you can get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” and “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” or to prepare venison, get “Deer & Fixings.” Click here to get these books.
About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors.