Today, I invite my friend Jenn from Little House On The 100 to tell you all about how to start hunting.
This is part of a series on how to grow a year’s worth of meat in your backyard. Since I’m no hunting expert, but Jenn is, I’m super excited to be able to share this article with you.
You can read my first article in this series, “You CAN Raise Meat Chickens (And Actually Go Through With It)” here.
You can also score a free checklist “15 Tips To Raise 1 Year Of Meat On 2 Acres (Or Less) here.
So, without further ado, here’s how to start hunting today!
Six Steps To Start Hunting
So you think you want to try your hand at hunting wild game? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it used to be as far as laws are concerned.
When my grandpa was little it was not a big deal to walk around your property and shoot animals for meat, but now there are a lot more laws that need to be followed in order for you to be legal while hunting.
Six Steps to Help You Start Hunting
Find out if you are required to have a hunter’s safety certificate in order to purchase a license in your state
Kentucky requires all people 12 and older to take a hunter’s safety class before they can hunt on their own legally.
I recommend calling your local conservation office and getting this information. We may not always like the laws that the states require, but we need to follow them and remain legal while hunting.
Pick up a hunting guide at your local Wal-Mart or local sporting goods store
Most states have a booklet you can get for free at your local Wal-Mart that let you know the rules for hunting each type of wild game. It lets you know the season dates and what is required to hunt them legally.
For instance, some wild game can be hunted from raised blinds and some cannot. There are bow seasons, rifle seasons, and muzzleloader seasons for whitetail.
Squirrel and turkey seasons usually fall during or around the same time as the whitetail season and require different weapons at certain times.
Turkeys are hunted with shotguns while squirrels usually require a .22 rifle. This booklet will have all that information for you.
Decide what weapon you are going to use
If you want to bow hunt, you need to purchase a bow and get it set up. Most sporting goods stores can do this for you.
If you want to gun hunt, you need to purchase a rifle or shotgun and get the ammunition for it. You need to practice, practice, practice with your weapon if you want to start hunting.
No one wants to wound an animal and not be able to find it.
Practicing will help to eliminate that, although, it is more likely than not that you will wound an animal someday and not find. Unfortunately, it is part of hunting.
Invest in, and wear, the proper clothing
If you live in a colder climate, I highly recommend investing money into some decent hunting clothes.
It will be no fun whatsoever to sit out in the cold and freeze. I avoided this for a long time because of my frugal nature, but after investing in some decent clothing I am so happy I did.
It made hunting much more enjoyable when I wasn’t shivering in my stand.
Get permission to hunt on land and get your spots set up
You need to have land to hunt on. If you do not own any of your own, I recommend contacting a local farmer to see if it would be possible to hunt on their property.
There are usually hunting leases available in most states, but they tend to be quite expensive. Please always ask permission to hunt somewhere. Trespassing is illegal and gives hunters a bad name.
We want hunting to be look upon favorably so doing it respectfully will help.
Watch YouTube videos on how to process your wild game
There is a ton of information on the web to help you to gut, skin, and process your wild game.
Finding a mentor who will help you to learn how to do this hands-on is the best case scenario, but for those who cannot, I recommend YouTube videos.
I am a huge fan of learning how to hunt and teaching future generations to hunt.
Hunting is a skill that all homesteaders need to learn. Not all of us can raise cattle and pigs, but we can usually find land to hunt on to provide meat for our families.
I encourage you to look into hunting as a future skill to master.
Happy Homesteading and Hunting,
I’d like to hear from you!
Do you think you’d like to start hunting to provide part of your diet? Leave a comment below!
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.