People do not need to hunt for food anymore but there is a certain charm to eating fresh deer meat that you worked so hard to kill. It must be this charm that many enthusiastic hunters gather their hunting gear every year and walk into the wood looking for action despite all the hardship awaiting them.

If you are one of those people interested in hunting your own fresh deer meat, here are 5 things you must do before going on a hunt.

1. Get your license and tag.

First thing first: Get yourself a hunting license. If you want to hunt, you are legally obliged to obtain a hunting license. Forget hunting, even if you are not hunting, you will need a license to be armed in the field during the season.

The paperwork and requirements to get a license differ depending on where you plan to hunt. State hunting regulations specify the area, time periods, and the weapons you may use to hunt among other things. In addition to the license, you may also need to purchase a tag to hunt a deer.

Most states will make you take a course on safety. The purpose of the course is to make hunters safe and responsible as well as to educate them about wildlife conservation.

2. Get familiar with your tools.

This one is pretty obvious. In order to hunt, you need to have a weapon. Whether you hunt using a rifle or a bow, be comfortable with the weapon of your choice. In addition, make sure they are in accordance with state deer hunting regulations and are in excellent condition. Get your gun checked for any faults and ensure they are operating properly and shooting straight.

In order to improve your shooting ability, confidence, and familiarity with your weapon, practice a lot. Get into a firing range and shoot from a range of distances regularly. Know your shortcomings and try to improve on them. Find out the limitation of your gun so you can know exactly when you can rely on your gun and when you cannot.

Finally, but on a very important note, always practice gun safety. You should always be sincere while handling guns.

3. Scout the area.

Knowledge about the area you will spend your time hunting will give you a considerable advantage in landing a deer. You will know what to expect from your surrounding which itself is a big advantage. Furthermore, you can make an educated guess about the whereabouts of deer.

You can start your research of the hunting region with a look at satellite and topographic maps which are just a click away. However, you will need to scout the area in person or with trail cameras days before the opening day if you’re serious about hunting.

When you’re scouting, look for signs like tracks and deer droppings that indicate whether deer are present in the area. Place trail cameras in the woods to spy on deer and find out places where they are most likely to wander.

Also, check the weather forecast of the area before you make your trip. Weather will determine the dress you need to wear and things you’ll need to pack for your hunt.

4. Pack other hunting essentials.

Aside from the obvious arms and ammunition, there is an array of other hunting equipment that you need to carry in your backpack. For example, after you hunt a deer, you’ll need tools for field dressing and carrying your prize home for which you will need a sharp knife.

Likewise, your hunt will most likely take a few days which means you will need to set up a camp. Tarps or tents and sleeping bag are necessary for you to get proper sleep.

Your hunting checklist must include items like binoculars to spot deer, ropes, flashlights with extra batteries, maps and compasses, matches/lighters, camouflage smear, first aid kit and toiletries like oil, toothbrush, wet wipes and toilet papers among others.

5. Wear proper clothes.

You will have to pay sincere attention to two things when you go on a hunt. First, make sure your clothes are in accordance with the weather. Second, do not wear something that will scare away your prey.

Once you scout the area and figure out the surrounding and weather, you can choose your clothes appropriately. The nights and mornings are colder, but days can get hot. So take warm clothes and make sure to wear clothes in layers.

You can always remove a clothing if it’s hot. Wear caps, neck warmers and gloves with yourself to keep your head, neck and hands warm. Get yourself a comfortable pair of hunting boots. In the case of rain or snow, take waterproof clothes as well as a waterproof backpack to keep your clothes.

Your clothes can be the difference between you catching a deer or returning home empty handed. Choose the right camouflage pattern so that you can easily blend in the surrounding. Deer can’t see orange, so wearing oranges is highly recommended. On the other hand, do not wear blue as deer’s eyes are more sensitive to them. Similarly, wash your clothes in scent free soap to remove odor that the deer might smell.

The aforementioned pointers are essential if you are serious about hunting. However, they will not bring you overnight success. In order to be a successful hunter, you will need a lot of practice, patience, intelligence and on-field experience.

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