Sitting at the pit of a deep dark canyon waiting for your first elk, the last thing you want is to notice you’re missing something.
Hunting is an exhilarating sport and rapidly reclaiming its popularity, especially within the surfing and action-based tribes. It’s man’s primal instinct to kill for survival and we’re seeing more men exploring this primal nature.
But before you go for your first kill, remember it’s a survival situation. The first lesson is to prepare yourself. You should be able to survive before you draw the arrow.
Make sure you are well-equipped. Ensure that you can see off the challenging situations that’ll come your way. They will.
There are some obvious things you’ll need like your license. But are you prepared if your first hunt turns into your first kill? Here’s a checklist of things you should consider before you hit the wild trail.
Before anything, choose your weapon. Know what you’ll be using to bring your hunt down. Will you be using a firearm or go bow hunting? Whatever your choice of weapon is, make sure to take a course and learn how to use it safely.
Do not attempt to polish your skills in the woods. Know your weapon and be kill-ready.
Irrespective of your weapon of choice, you’ll need a good hunting knife. Nothing can replace this and you cannot go hunting without one. This can be a full tang fixed blade like the Korudo or an unforgiving automatic that’s ready to get bloody.
Your blade will serve a multitude of tasks from first aid to skinning and boning.
Remember, quality is key. DO NOT go out on a hunt with cheap flimsy knives. You should definitely invest in a good knife or an exciting adventure can turn into a rough experience.
Choose quality blades from reputed makers. The blade should be of high-quality steel like carbon or 440. You’ll need your knife for some heavy-duty work like hacking, skinning and gutting. Make sure the handle is of the best quality and doesn’t give away.
Tip: Carry at least two knives. An automatic knife for a smooth out of the pocket movement and a robust fixed blade. When buying an automatic, check the pivot point thoroughly, this is the pressure point. Also, check the locking mechanism.
First Aid Kit
In the backcountry, there’s no one to watch your back. You need to be prepared to deal with nicks and cuts. Carrying a proper medical kit and knowing how to use it will make a hell and heaven difference in the field.
Make sure to include all the basics. These are:
- Gauze sponges
- Butterfly bandages
- Prep pads
- Allergy ointment
- Antibiotic and antiseptic creams
- Nitrile gloves
- Duct tape
- Space blanket
Hunter Certificate. It’s the Law!
Most U.S states require that you complete a hunter safety course and collect your Hunter Education Certificate. Without this, you won’t be able to purchase your license. Apart from this being a law, this course will actually familiarize you with the hunting process and show you what you might come across on a hunt.
Hundreds of camos appear in the market every year. Not all are suitable for a hunt. Choose your apparel wisely. Start with good boots and padded socks to prevent your feet from getting cold or sore. Carry spare socks as they can get wet.
On top of your base layers, wear a thick camo vest or jacket that suits the weather. You don’t want to be cold or boil during a hunt.
You should also wear a blaze orange hat. They’re visible from far and will prevent accidental shootings. This is mandatory in most states.
In any survival situation, be prepared for things to go wrong as they do. Carry a survival kit with heating blanket, waterproof matches, fire starter, compass, rope, additional batteries, water purifying tablets and reserve food supply.
When you’re in the backcountry, you’ll need good glassing optics. Without them you might as well stay home because you wouldn’t know if an elk is worth chasing or not. This is something you should not compromise quality on.
By: Ann Smarty