Hunting is a long tradition, a great opportunity for socializing and a way to diversify your menu. In order for it to bring only pleasant emotions, the hunter needs serious training, equipment, knowledge of the legal framework and relevant documents.
We will consider all aspects related to going out into the field that beginner hunters have. In this article we will talk about the most effective methods of finding game, training methods, a package of documents, and equipment that will be needed for hunting birds.
Learn from Those Who Know
The fastest and most effective way to learn is to learn from more experienced hunters. In the process of hunting, practice is combined with a lecture, and possible mistakes are immediately corrected. If there are no familiar hunters in your environment, then beginners can enroll in a hunter training course, which is completed before obtaining a hunting license.
Experienced instructors teach students how to use weapons, talk about cartridges, baits and calls. Some of the classes take place outdoors and include practical skills. Such courses will help refresh your knowledge if you are not a beginner, but have a long break from hunting. In addition to face-to-face classes, there are online classes with detailed materials.
If that’s not enough, the Department of Fish and Wildlife organizes bird hunting workshops. They will be useful to all novice hunters.
In addition, it is worth paying attention to organizations involved in the study and conservation of birds. As a rule, they have websites where you can find a lot of useful information. For example, data on habits, diet, habitats, bird migration. You might want to take part in their event. Among the participants there are often professionals who are happy to share their knowledge. From them you can learn a lot of interesting and useful for hunting.
Getting out Into the Field
In order to be in the field, you need a hunting license, a stamp and tags. Some states require a hunter’s course certificate. The package of documents varies depending on local requirements. Before going into the field, be sure to check all the nuances associated with local permits for hunting the type of game that interests you.
By the time of entering the field, the hunter must be fluent in weapons and follow the rules regarding its use. For example, not having more than three rounds in a shotgun, carrying a weapon with the muzzle down, etc. Each hunter must adhere to the orange rules and wear either an orange camo or an orange vest and hat. If this is a night hunt, then reflective elements in clothing are needed.
If hunting takes place with a dog, then the rules of orange and night apply to it. In addition, the dog must have a collar with the owner’s name, address, phone number, and a dog tag. You should have a supply of food, water and a first aid kit not only for yourself, but also for your dog.
By the time you enter the field, you need to prepare decoys and master a few melodies. If the calls are electronic, then you need to have a library of records and check the battery charge. Before going out into the field, make sure that your camouflage suits the season. If necessary, it is worth putting the curtain, boat, lures in order and checking the batteries of all equipment.
Each hunter must learn the habits of his game and be able to build a hunting strategy. For example, do not shoot at bird nesting places, but ambush at feeding or resting places. If you hunt without a dog, then you need to master the method of walking in a figure eight, so as not to miss the game in thick grass. On a group hunt, you need to know the location of each hunter to avoid friendly fire. The best option would be an online GPS to track each member of the group.
What Equipment and Gear Do I Need to Get Started with Bird Hunting?
For bird hunting, you need to have a gun with cartridges, day and night optics, hunting lights, camouflage uniform with appropriate boots, an acceptable cover option and, if possible, a dog.
As far as weapons and ammo are concerned, anything legally permitted and according to your taste will do. Most prefer a 12-gauge shotgun. Some states require a case, possibly padded, for transportation to the hunting ground. The gun needs daytime optics in the form of binoculars/monocular and a scope.
If you hunt at night, then you need night vision optics or / and a thermal imager, hunting lights and rangefinders. In most cases, a night vision scope, NV binoculars/night vision monocular will be useful. If the sky is overcast, it is better to have an infrared flashlight with you.
If you are looking for more information about night vision equipment, you may want to check out the website https://www.agmglobalvision.com/. However, it’s important to note that regulations regarding night vision equipment vary by location, so it’s always a good idea to research the laws in your area before using this type of equipment.
Many hunters do not rely on the presence of natural cover, but take blinds with them. If you have to wait a long time, then use the seat and tripod. For waterfowl hunting, you will need good waders and, if possible, a boat. Don’t forget the repair kit. To skin a bird, you need a knife, medical gloves, a bag for meat, a coil of rope.
Go Where the Birds Are
Thoughts about where to look for the bird haunt all hunters. The easiest way to find a bird is to go hunting with an experienced friend or relative.
If there is no such person, then you can handle it yourself. With the help of mapping applications, you can find habitats and concentrations of birds, assess the features of the relief, the presence of public and private areas, get directions, and get contacts. The applications have a handy interactive map with GPS to help you navigate. If you wish, you can download offline maps that will help in the absence of the Internet.
Such data can be obtained by browsing the websites of the US Forest Service, Bureau of Water Resources Management, State Public and Private Lands, State Wildlife Access Maps, and so on. Some evaluate wildfowl hunting statistics and identify areas with the highest concentrations of game.
If all of the above doesn’t work for you, get a hunting guide. It doesn’t cost a lot of money and provides a very comfortable bring up to speed.
After finding a place to hunt, you need to conduct reconnaissance. This stage takes time. You need to walk the area, marking the nesting, feeding, resting places of birds and the path between them. It is advisable to make notes on the map, in the diary and on the ground.
At the same time, you need to pay attention to signs of the presence of birds – feathers, paw prints, droppings, nests, etc. If you plan to hunt at night, then it is worth visiting the places first during the day and then at night.
Thermal goggles are useful for bird watching. They do not emit any light and will not disturb the bird. In addition, the hunter gets complete freedom of action at night. Thanks to thermal goggles, he can navigate perfectly at night, move safely, have free hands and can observe birds in reeds or grass.
What’s more, bad weather conditions won’t interrupt the hunt because thermal goggles can see through rain, fog, and snow. In a word, this is a must have for any bird hunter.
After observation, the last step is to systematize all the information received and analyze the data. You can keep records for years, comparing them with each other and finding patterns in the behavior of a bird. Based on this data, it is possible to predict the bird’s behavior and easily find the best places to hunt.
Many novice hunters are too worried about the result of the hunt and are not entirely confident in their skills. In fact, all that is required of a beginner is to stay safe, watch birds and more experienced hunters, and most importantly, have fun.
Cheerful, friendly company, fresh air, magnificent landscapes – this is already wonderful. And if you got a trophy, then you will remember these emotions for a lifetime. Be sure to take photos and videos for memory. Oh, and don’t forget to choose a recipe, because game is a delicacy and you need to know how to cook it.