Getting into hunting is a daunting task for anyone who did not grow up with it or have close friends and family to teach you the ways. I was lucky enough to grow up in the outdoors and hunting but I still find myself learning new things each year.
My goal is to set up a guide or checklist to help your get started. By no means is this a complete guide as that would be years of reading and learning. At the end, I will have links to all western states’ government wildlife websites.
Let’s begin. If you have a friend at work or a family member that is a big outdoors person ask them questions. It’s great to learn from someone you know and trust. Even asking if you can tag along on a Fishing or Hunting trip is always a good idea.
1: Hunter safety: The first step to your first hunting trip is to make sure you have your hunter safety license. All the state agencies will have a list of course dates and requirements need to get this license. You must get this license before applying for any hunting license.
2: What type of animal you are wanting to hunt. Each state holds different opportunities. From a week-long elk hunt in Colorado to a weekend rabbit hunt in Arizona. Choose your species and do your research on that animal.
3: Picking the State. This is where it can get tricky, each state has different rules and regulations for its wildlife. Make sure to read the wildlife handbook for each state that you are planning to hunt because they will be different.
4: Manor of taking. The west has 3 main forms of taking. They are Rifle, Bow, and Muzzleloader. Choose one and make sure to read the regulations for the state you are looking to hunt in. Yes, I will repeat this a lot in this article.
5: Applying for a Hunting license. Each state and species is different when applying for a Hunting license. Refer to your hunting guide from each state on these regulations. Keep in mind If you are going to apply for a license these will have deadlines usually early in the year. Also If you miss the draw deadline there are different Over the Counter (OTC) tags. Once aging refers to the hunting guide from that state.
6: Gear, from a Good rifle and optics to clothing and boots these things are key to making the most out of your hunt. Here are links to different articles that have my must-have hunting gear and my go-to gear and brands.
7: Planning the Hunt, It is a lot of steps and planning to actually get to the Hunt. Make sure to plan your time off from work. Have your hunting Tag, Where you are going to be staying/camping, How you are getting to your hunting area. Who is coming with you or are you going solo. I will leave a link to my hunt planning checklist below.
Getting into hunting is a big task but it can be done. Make sure to do your research and learn as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to call your state Wildlife agencies for help. Remember to be safe and have fun.
This by no means is a comprehensive guide to starting hunting. More to be used as an outline to be added to as you learn and grow in your hunting journeys