7 Hunting Mistakes That New Hunters Make


You’re totally new.

We’ve all been there: heading out on a first hunt. You are ready, but you have a few butterflies in your stomach.

You’re going to make mistakes. That’s expected.

But are you going to learn from your mistakes?

We hope! Fortunately for you, we have listed 12 mistakes all new hunters make, so you can go from amateur to still-amateur-but-smarter in 5 minutes.

1. Scouting The Field

Nothing prepares a hunter for success more than proper scouting.

Far too many hunters wait until the week before the season starts to begin scouting.

Proper scouting never stops. One should start at least a month in advance and continue through the end of the hunting season.

Deer are quite good at avoiding humans and it will not take them long to notice one.

A great scouting tip to consider: look for areas with vast agricultural crops and creeks. You are looking for where the wild game will be, not where they are.

An expert hunter would scout two or three areas. Try to avoid hunting in the same area day-after-day. As the deer adjust, so should the hunter.

2. Too Much Call, Too Much 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. Utilize 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 definitely not fooling any deer!

3. Patience While Hunting

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.

Make the move to shoot slowly, calculate the placement and control the shot. It is important to find a stance that you are comfortable in since you will likely be waiting for long periods of time.

4. Dress Appropriately

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

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

During the fall and winter months, layers will keep you insulated and comfortable. You can shed back or add some layers when the temperature changes throughout the day.

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 two layers of socks are essential in the cold.

5. Hunting Laws & Regulations

Before going hunting, make sure that you know the laws!

There are guidelines that govern the hunting grounds within each state, and they can change from season to season. As a responsible hunter, it’s important to stay informed about regulation changes.

Officers can approach you at any time. They are responsible for protecting hunters and their resources. They also have the authority to report violations with consequences that can vary from citations all the way to jail time. It is imperative to always carry the proper paperwork, such as hunting license. 

Respect the land and game to avoid any consequences!

6. Share Hunting Plans

Not telling anyone where you are going is one of the biggest and most dangerous hunting mistakes.

No one plans to get lost while hunting, but the weather, the excitement of the chase, or the failure of knowing your exact location can leave you turned around.

Before setting out, get to know the grounds where you will be hunting. Let someone know who you are hunting with and the route you will take.

This will help the search-and-rescue team if you are reported missing.

7. Hunting Equipment & Accessories

Getting geared up can be costly and confusing. A few of the essentials a hunter will need are camouflage, a firearm, ammunition, hunter’s orange, hunting license, and land.

The camouflage is meant to conceal you. It does not matter what store the camo is from, as long as the hunter matches the pattern of the landscape.

Buying a rifle can also be very complex. How do you know what to get? It is a matter of personal preference and comfort.

Depending on the hunting season, every hunter should be wearing hunter’s orange. It is to keep other hunters aware and for personal safety.

Lastly, the most important item is the hunting license. Without it, you would not be able to hunt!

Happy hunting, and make sure that you stay safe out there.

About Big R

Bill and Pat Crabtree originated the Illinois Big R Stores in 1964 opening the first store in Watseka, Illinois. To date 20 stores have been opened in Illinois and Indiana; 2 stores in Ohio and 1 store in Wisconsin and we are still proud to be family-owned and operated. Our 12 Illinois stores are located in Watseka, Gibson City, Danville, Tilton, Pontiac, Morris, Pekin, Washington, Rochelle, Homer Glen, Streator and McHenry. Our 8 Indiana stores are located in Warsaw, 2 locations in Elkhart, Rochester, Wabash, Crawfordsville, Michigan City, and Marion. Our 2 stores in Ohio are located in Lima and Findlay. And 1 location in Wisconsin in Burlington. The offices and warehouses for Big R remain in Watseka, IL. 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 store locations 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.