17 Hunting Tips That Will Sharpen Your Hunting Skills

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Hunting Tip #1: Where To Hunt

Do some scouting before hunting season begins and during the season to learn where the game is migrating! Proper scouting never stops.

If the game is changing landscapes, it might change the hunter’s luck. An experienced hunter would have a game plan of multiple areas to stakeout.

Try to avoid hunting in the same area over and over. As the wild game adjusts, so should the hunter.

Hunting Tip #2: Wild Game

Choosing an area to stakeout all depends on what kind of animal you are hunting. When hunting deer, look for areas with cast agriculture and creeks.

Finding an area with a food source is key. The deer will spend most of their time in that spot.

You want to stakeout in areas that the wild game will be, not where they are. When hunting for duck, check areas with bodies of water, such as lakes or ponds.

Consider hunting duck in the early morning or evening when the birds are searching for food.

Hunting Tip #3: Choosing A Gun

Having the right tool for the right job is crucial when hunting. Depending on what you are hunting, there are different factors that go into choosing the right gun.

If you are planning on making long shots, consider using an extra-accurate rifle.

If you are planning on hiking a lot or hiking uphill, look into getting a lightweight rifle to haul.

Archery is becoming popular amongst turkey hunting. The advantages of using bow and arrow are cheaper and quieter. However, it requires more skill.

Otherwise, using a shotgun would be another option. It does not require much skill and it is as equally accurate.

Big R’s Hunting Bows start as low as $49.99.

Hunting Tip #4: Laws Of The Hunt

Before you start hunting, double check with the state’s hunting laws. Each state has different guidelines governing hunting and they vary by season.

Look into which guns you are allowed to hunt with, as well as the limit of game you are allowed to kill. It is important to stay up-to-date with regulation changes.

Officers are allowed to approach you at any time. Make sure you always have the proper paperwork on you, such as your hunting license.

Hunting Tip #5: Shooting Practice

Whether you are hunting with a rifle or a bow, the more you shoot, the better your accuracy will become! Hit the shooting range for a few weeks in preparation for the upcoming hunting season.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the weapon. If you are planning on shooting from a long distance, practice some long range shooting.

Also, you can consider practice shooting on flying disks to prepare for duck season.

Hunting Tip #6: Four-Legged Companion

If you are a bird hunter, spend the weeks before hunting season getting your dog into top form. Just like an avid hunter, dogs can get a bit rusty during the off-season.

Make sure you put your pup through the paces before opening day.

Practice and reinforce the commands, and your dog will remember just how much fun it is to find and retrieve birds.

Hunting Tip #7: Get Organized

One way to ruin a perfectly good hunting trip is leaving an important piece of equipment at home or finding an item in poor quality or not working.

Make a checklist; lay out every piece of equipment on the list and look it over and double check everything is working properly.

Also, do a dry run of packing and loading the car. Half the battle is playing Tetris with all of the luggage that you need for your trip!

Hunting Tip #8: Getting In Shape

Some of the most successful hunters are those who can cover the most ground in a day, whether the ground is flat or on a steep slope.

If you are in good enough physical condition to hunt from early morning to late in the evening, your odds of hunting success increase.

Shaping up before the hunt is important. You need the stamina to be on your feet all day and lugging the dead weight of the animal.

Start walking, jogging, or climbing stairs – try doing this while wearing boots to break them in. By opening day, you will be in-shape and totally prepared.

Hunting Tip #9: Dress Appropriately

Proper clothing can make a significant difference in the enjoyment, safety, and success of hunting.

It is important to wear clothes that are tailored to the climate you will be hunting in.

Big R offers clothing options from matching camouflage suits to windbreaker jackets, starting at $49.99.

Do not forget about shoes. They need to be reliable, support your ankles and knees, and be sturdy enough to endure the terrain.

Also, a hat or cap, gloves, and layering up on socks are essential. You can find a wide range of headgear ranging fromcamouflage beanies to leafy facemasks, all starting at $4.99!

Hunting Tip #10: Proper Equipment

Once you’ve outfitted yourself with the proper clothing, the next step is to start looking at hunting gear.

Pack all of the appropriate hunting equipment and ensure you’re never stuck out in the field without something you need.

Having a pair of binoculars to spot game from longer distances is a huge benefit out in the field.

A hunting knife may also serve as a crucial survival tool.

Other basic, important items to always carry on you: your phone or walkie-talkies, a flashlight, gloves, a first-aid kit, a map, and of course your hunting weapon.

Big R is your one stop shop for hunting accessories – $12.99 gloves and $7.99 flashlight!

Hunting Tip #11: Share Hunting Plans

The number one biggest hunting mistake is not telling someone where you will be.

Not everything goes to plan.

Getting caught up in the excitement of the chase or change of weather may play a factor in your plans getting turned around.

Before setting out, share your hunting plans with someone and keep them informed with a change of plans. This will help the search-and-rescue team if you are reported missing.

Hunting Tip #12: Wait For It

Do not be fooled by the animal once it falls from a shot. It might seem the animal is dead, but sometimes the animal falls to the ground from shock, then recovers itself and runs off.

Other times the animal that was shot runs off, then later falls. You do not want to be next to the animal once it leaps up, at that point you are too close to take action.

When the animal drops instantly, wait a few minutes and prepare for a follow-up shot. It also helps to toss some rocks at the animal to get a reaction.

Hunting Tip #13: Patience

Hunting is a sport that requires a lot of time and patience. The number one skill a hunter can have is to sit still and remain as motionless as possible.

A lack of patience can lead to an increase of anxiety for when the opportunity arrives. A hunter must learn not to overreact.

Deer are extremely in-tune with their surroundings. Any fidgeting will send them running away.

It is important to find a stand to be comfortable waiting in for long periods of time.

Hunting Tip #14: Check The Weather

Be sure to check the weather report before heading out. The weather conditions have an enormous influence on duck hunting.

Foul weather is actually considered a duck hunter’s greatest blessing. However, if the weather intensifies, rain and/or sleet, the ducks will scramble for shelter.

To be a successful duck hunter, you must remain mobile and be able to adapt to wind change. Ducks will fly lower to the ground to get around in the slower air. Changing of the winds can actually work out in the hunters favor!

Hunting Tip #15: Skinning The Kill

You want to skin the smaller wild game, such as rabbit, as soon as possible. The skin peels easily when it is warmer.

It is common for the game to harbor fleas; so the quicker you skin it, the least likely the fleas will migrate to you.

You can find different types of hunting knives at Big R starting at $12.99.

Hunting Tip #16: Watch Out for Bears

Be careful if you are hunting in grizzly country. Most bear confrontations with hunters occur around meat or a run in with a cub.

Whatever you do, DO NOT run. Bears can outrun Olympic sprinters, so your chances of getting away are very slim. Steer clear of bears when you can, but if you are unable to avoid coming face to face with a bear, be human, wave your arms, shout loud, and show that you have the potential to do damage to the bear.

Hunting Tip #17: Call and Scent

Scents and calls are valuable tools for the hunt. The most effective time to use deer calling and scents are during the breeding phase.

Utilizing scents helps to lure the wild game into your stand. However, saturating an area with scent day after day is not very productive, and is not fooling the deer.

Big R carries different forms of wildlife scents starting as low as $3.99!

About Big R

Bill and Pat Crabtree originated the Illinois Big R Stores in 1964. The first store opened in Watseka, Illinois. To date 18 stores have been opened in central Illinois and northern Indiana.

We have 11 stores in Illinois including Watseka, Gibson City, Danville, Tilton, Pontiac, Morris, Washington, Rochelle, Pekin, Homer Glen and McHenry. Our 7 Indiana stores include Warsaw, Wabash, Crawfordsville, Michigan City, Elkhart, Marion and Rochester. We recently expanded to Northwest Ohio, adding stores in Lima and Findlay (Coming Soon).

The offices and warehouses for Big R remain in Watseka, IL. Joining the company in 1973, Jerry Gibbs now provides family leadership for the company. New generations of the Crabtree family continue to participate in the business.

Farm and Ranch store owners in the western states started the Big R brand name; they chose the name “Big R” to convey the “Ranch” identity. The Big R group is now comprised of 12 independent owners with a growing 75 + stores throughout the U.S. They all are members of Mid-States Distributing Company of St. Paul, MN. The Mid-States Coop has over 600 stores throughout the United States and Canada.