Beginners checklist for the new hunter.
Let's face it, hunting solo can be a bit intimidating. This is my third year hunting and I honestly prefer hunting with a skilled partner, but that is not always an option. So I had to learn to do it by myself. Last year, my friend offered me a spot to hunt, but I had to do it solo! So while I sat up in that magnolia tree, I thought of a few tips to put on your checklist before you try a solo hunt.
Safety first! Before you climb that tree, use a safety harness with a carabiner and use a lifeline. A lifeline harnesses you to the tree before you even begin the climb. See photo of myself with the lifeline. They sell these at Bass Pro, etc. Use them.
Carry a small backpack with the essentials. My pack includes a Realtree EZ saw, rangefinder, knife, snacks and water, flashlight, EZ hook for my bow, hunting license, bow release, extra sight light batteries.
Tell someone where you are going. I don't care if you are an experienced hunter, someone should always know where you are in case you don't show up. Someone can get you help.
Always have a full tank of gas. I have been on a solo hunt where I almost ran out of gas on the way back....not fun, especially at night.
Always have a full charge on your phone when you hunt. I'm going to harp on safety again. Hunting is dangerous and you need to stay safe. I always carry a full charge on my phone.
Think before you say yes to a hunt. If someone offers you a place to hunt make sure you trust them and know that it is safe. Of course having the opportunity to hunt land is always exciting, but be aware of who is inviting you to hunt. Know who they are and their true intentions.
When walking to your hunting spot, note the path. Always know how to get in and out. You do not want to get lost in the woods at dark!
Bring a jacket. You may get hot walking to your stand, sweating, etc.....then you sit in that stand for hours and you may feel the cold creep up on you. (Please note that I live in South Louisiana and if it is October, I am not carrying a heavy jacket.....let me tell you it is sweltering hot. But I will be sure to carry a Thermacell. Mosquitoes are real.)
Before you hunt, take note of where your shot deer may run to. If you hunt near other's properties, always ask permission to access their land if your deer runs onto it. You do not have automatic permission to go on someone's land even if your deer runs onto it.
Before you try a solo hunt, I highly recommend going with a skilled hunter the first time! I went on multiple hunts with skilled hunters before I ever went solo. You can learn a lot from others who are willing to teach you!
Be safe, have fun, and enjoy the hunt! I spent a full week up in that magnolia tree this year. I wasn't able to harvest another deer, but I did get to see deer among other creatures. Every time I go on a hunt I learn something new. Enjoy the process and when you make your first solo hunt, drop a comment below. I want to hear all about it!
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