If hunting is your interest and you want to take a step further, read this post to equip yourself with some hunting skills for a new hunter to survive.
#1: Navigate by the Sun
The first important thing is always include in your hunting bag a compass and a map of the local area. Believe me, you will regret putting all your trust on your mobile phone. Only God knows when your phone runs out of battery or no service is available.
I once relied on my phone instead of bringing the paper map since the phone was so convenient. However, my first hunt turned out a nightmare when I got lost in an out-of-service area. You couldn’t imagine how terrible I felt then until I got help from a group of locals. It’s a lesson I can’t ever forget.
So, if you accidentally go beyond your usual trail where there’s no GPS, still knowing where you’re standing is vital.
In broad daylight, the most potent navigational tool you should rely on is the Sun. Knowing the east and west through the sun, together with the general understanding of that area, you can get out of that maze and back to a more familiar trail or road.
#2: Equipped with Safety Gear
When heading for a hunt outside, I always remember to cover myself in Orange. Thus, I am confident that people can still recognize me from a distance.
But, to ensure the highest safety, Orange is not enough. A pair of shooting glasses to resistant shatters is another vital item. It provides needed eye protection in case I have to wade through a lavish brush or my weapon suddenly malfunctions.
There will be unforeseen accidents such as snapping bow strings or uncontrollable firearm barrels. So, I advise you to cover your hands in good gloves. They come in handy when you have to grab barb-wire fences, go through the thick bush or struggle with the extreme elements.
Good gloves are to protect my hands while good boots shield my feet from dangers. On rough terrains, you’re highly likely to tumble, not just once but several times. So wearing a reliable pair of boots helps avoid any twisting injuries and protect the ankles.
#3: Shoot at a distance
Hunting is an art full of challenges. Among those is that you can’t shoot an animal by getting as close to it as you like. So, for distance shooting, you need a sturdy rest, a blow of wind and good understanding of the trajectory of your bullet.
Pick up an appropriate spotting scope to help you observe the targeted prey. Thus, you can fire your bullet precisely.
Remember not to shoot at the entire animal nor shoot when the crosshairs are trembling. Shoot at that natural pause that follows your exhaling. The precision of your shot lies in the way you control the trigger. To boost your success rate, you need a lot of practice before heading for a hunt outdoors.
#4: Purify Water
Up to 80% of our body is water. It’s the most vital source for the survival of human beings. We can do without food for several weeks, but only three days with no drops of water can put us in danger.
If you’re going to drink from a stream, then give up that bad idea. The reason is that streams from high mountains can still contain Giardia which can spoil your trip. Therefore, you should hard-boil the water in a pot and let the rolling boil last for more than five minutes. After that, let the water cool down. Now, your water is purified and safe for your health. Yet, its taste may be flat because it lacks oxygen, so to restore its flavor, you should shake your bottle.
#5: Start a Fire
Here I’ll tell you a surprising fact: many hunters still have no idea how to obtain a fire from a spark or without the help of an accelerant. In fact, it’s an essential skill for survival. Afterall, there are still so many hunters carrying a lighter.
You may prefer using matches or lighter to the age-old but trusty fire steel. Whichever way you go for a fire, there is one thing you need to remember: burning larger wood pieces needs more energy. For that reason, I advise you to begin with dry ignitable tinder such as dry grass. Then you can continue to burn dry thin kindling small-sized sticks, move up to dry pencil-sized wood a little bit thicker. Only after that can you flame up logs and branches.
Once your fire has started, you can dry out some pieces of wet wood and let your fire burn slowly. The golden rule here is to gather the fuel of different sizes before striking a spark.
#6: Respect Your Firearm
For safety reasons, you should always suppose that you’re carrying a loaded weapon which will fire whenever it can. Every year, I am unceasingly amazed to know that some hunters, even the experienced ones, still don’t practice the proper safety for firearm. You should cradle your gun with its barrel pointing towards the trail or skywards.
Nevertheless, there is one more important issue. Well maintaining your weapon not only helps avoid potential misfires or mishaps but also helps you shoot more accurately and effectively.
All hunting skills mentioned above is all I have learned from my experience. Hope it will help you well prepared for your next hunting trips and please share with your friends if you find it useful!