As the leaf’s turn colors and the cooler air sets in, the hunting season for most species ramps up. It is vital to know and understand the species you plan to hunt, know the local, state, and federal laws surrounding such, and the equipment you will utilize to harvest your game.
Know the Species/Game
Different wildlife is located throughout the United States. The most common wildlife in the United States that is hunted and harvested is white tail deer, waterfowl, and upland birds such as pheasant and quail. Other species are more geographically centered such as mule deer, moose, elk, and birds such as chukars. Ensure you know the species that you plan on hunting. Know their habitat, common traits such as movement, diet, breeding seasons, and different in markets, species gender etc.
Local, State, and Federal Laws
Each specie within the United States has unique laws and regulations that cover the ins and outs of harvesting such species. Every state has offices that oversea the laws, regulations, seasons, license requirements, and harvest, etc. of each game that is legally harvested in that state. For example, in North Carolina, hunters can easily review such information at Hunting in North Carolina (ncwildlife.org). Every state within the United States has similar sites in which a hunter can go to review information to ensure they are licensed properly, understand the seasons, understand the harvest restrictions, and all other information to be a ethical hunter.
Not all states require the completion of a hunter’s safety course. Many times, older hunters who have had previous license are grandfathered in from attending hunter’s safety. I did not require hunter’s safety in North Carolina due to this clause. I did attend later in life when my son needed to attend before the age of 16. It was a great, rewarding experience attending with him.
It is vital to understand the type of equipment required for the game that you plan on harvesting. There is a plethora of open source, free information available on the internet. If you are not a seasoned hunter, it is important to attempt to join in with other hunters who are experienced. They are the key to understanding the game, the type of firearm and ammunition, and types of clothing etc. to be an effective, ethical hunter.
The proper use and training in firearm safety is vital. Know your equipment. Ensure you shoot and zero in you scopes or shoot trap and clay pigeons prior to actually hunting. The ability to effective place a lethal shot is key to good, ethical sportsmanship. Know how to harvest and field dress your game and also understand how to properly clean, store, and prepare you harvest.
Hunting is a great sport and pastime. Ensure you understand the local, state, and federal laws. Know your equipment and prepare ahead of hunting season by being proficient in your firearms or other means of taking a harvest. Ensure you have the other required equipment for whichever season and area you are located. Have fun, introduce a child to ethical, legal hunting, and enjoy the prize of a good harvest.