How to Hunt: A Beginner’s Guide

October 21, 2021 3 min read

aiming rifle behind shadow blind

Hunting is a thrilling pastime. It helps you learn about the natural world, including native wildlife and habitat conservation. It allows you to hone your outdoor survival skills, and it provides a supply of healthy, natural meat that frees you from reliance on the commercial food industry. Hunting is a worthwhile hobby, but getting started can feel a bit overwhelming at first. If you are new to hunting, follow this helpful how to hunt beginner’s guide that tells you the basics you need to know to get started on your first hunting excursion. 

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1. Find a Hunting Mentor

One of the first things you can do to start hunting is find a hunting mentor. While not an official position, a hunting mentor is an experienced hunter you can learn from and ask questions of when needed. This can be a family member, friend or someone you meet in a hunting group in-person or online. Ideally, your mentor will be someone from your area, as hunting laws vary by state, and they can provide you with accurate insights and advice for your state’s specific laws, seasons and regulations. 

2. Obtain Hunting Licenses

Every state enforces its own licensing requirements, and it is up to you to learn what they are and obtain the appropriate licenses and education courses. To find out your state’s requirements,visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service webpage. Also, keep in mind that there are federal requirements for certain types of hunting. For instance, to hunt migratory waterfowl, you arerequired to obtain a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp as well as a state hunting license. 

3. Learn the Local Laws

An essential part of being a responsible hunter is becoming well-versed in your state’s local hunting laws. These laws tell you everything you need to know about hunting in your area, including:

  • Harvest/bag limits
  • What animals you can hunt
  • Hunting season dates
  • Where you can hunt
  • The gear you are allowed to use during a hunt
  • The method you are allowed to use to hunt
  • Special licensing and education requirements

Hunting laws change almost every year, so you must regularly check your state’s information for updates. 

pair hunters in blind

4. Choose the Right Clothing

When choosing hunting apparel, make sure you invest in neutral-colored or camouflage clothing that you can wear in layers and opt for wicking fabrics that keep you warm in the cooler months, even if you sweat. Also, keep in mind where you plan to spend time. If you’ll be in a fully enclosed hunting blind during the summer, wear light moisture-wicking clothing that keeps you cool. Or, if you plan to sit behindan open mirrored ground blind in the winter, wear thermally insulated base layers that keep you warm.

5. Get Your First Hunting Gun

As a new hunter, it is important to start out slow and safe with guns and ammo. If you’ve never held a gun before, take a gun safety course before buying any firearms and practice with a safer option like an air rifle. Once you’ve learned how to handle a gun, you can begin to research the different types of guns for specific animals and invest in one that you’ll be using the most often. Start with low-caliber, low-recoil options until you become used to handling your firearm while hunting.

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6. Try Different Tactics

It is good to try different hunting tactics as a beginner to find what works for you. It is also beneficial to try new strategies becauseyou will eventually learn what is a limiting factor and how they can force you to change up your strategy mid hunt. Some hunting methods to try out are:

  • Still Hunting
  • Calling
  • Baiting
  • Stand Hunting
  • Hunting with Dogs

The best hunting method for new hunters is stand hunting because it allows you to stay in one place and observe your target. Even if you don’t harvest on your first few trips, you’ll become accustomed to how the animal behaves and what you need to do to succeed in your hunt. Other methods require tracking skills and knowledge of baiting strategies, but you can take your time and immerse yourself in the habitat with stand hunting. 

looking out rifle scope in blind

Start Hunting with Shadow Hunter Blinds

To protect yourself from the elements and improve your odds of bagging your prey cleanly and humanely, consider investing in a top-quality hunting blind. Shadow Hunter Blinds offers professional-grade, expertly engineered hunting blinds that are made to last. Ground and elevated blinds can improve your hunting experience and increase your chances of filling your hunting tag.