How to Prepare for a Day of Hunting

How to Prepare for a Day of Hunting | The American Outdoorsman

Hunting is a unique sport that requires more specialized outdoor gear than others. Guns, particularly hunting rifles and bows, are the most prominent hunting gear, but there's much more that goes into it. As both a physical and mental activity, many hunters need to refresh their skills and prepare as each season approaches.

Why Preparation is Necessary

It's simple: hunters who prepare have more success. Why? Because hunting requires mental, physical, and tactical strategies that need consistent practice and training. You can certainly head out on a hunt on a whim, but if you don't prepare, you aren't setting yourself up for success. 

Mental and Physical

Many hunters make the mistake of thinking that the sport is just physical. You hike for miles, shoot a gun, bag your prize, and head out. Neglecting the mental side of the game is a novice mistake. Hunting is both psychological and physical, and here's why. 

When you exert yourself physically, you need adequate mental strength to keep you going. There will be a time on a hunt where your body starts to break down a bit physically. When this occurs, mental strength is vital. It acts as a backup or a "spotter" for your body. When you start to feel weak or exhausted, your mental strength can swoop in and finish the job. Mental clarity will also help you with focusing when aiming and shooting.

Hunting Training & Practice

Physical exertion is also why it's essential to prepare yourself for a day of hunting. The sport is hard and physically demanding, so many seasoned hunters spend a lot of time hiking and working out to stay fit. As the season nears, train your body with regular hikes across varied terrain. Bring your pack and fill it with enough weight to mimic what you plan to carry. Keeping your body healthy will enable you to have more extended and more successful hunts. 

Then, get familiar with your hunting gear. Even if you've used the same gun or bow your entire life, it's vital to practice a bit before heading out for a new season. Start small with hitting targets from a shorter distance, then work your way back. In the process, you refresh your memory and train your skill. Do the same with any other hunting gear you plan to use even if it's just walking in your boots and pack, or preparing your dogs.

Hunting Shirts as Outdoor Gear

Not many hunters focus on clothing as outdoor gear, but the right apparel can keep you safe, warm, and comfortable. In turn, you have a higher chance of success. Hunting shirts are particularly important because they can keep your core at the right temperature. 

When out in damp, colder temperatures, you'll need proper insulation like flannel or fleece. In hotter climates, breathable apparel will keep you fresh when you're sweating. And if you need to peel layers, having a camouflage hunting shirt underneath will keep you protected and hidden. There are also specialized hunting shirts specific for shooting, fishing, and other activities. Other essential pieces of outdoor gear include sturdy boots, thick pants, and thermal layers during colder seasons.