Now that hunting season is long over in my neck of the woods, I thought I’d write a little bit about why I enjoy this pastime. First things first:
Today’s breed of hunters evokes a sea of difference from hunters of the old days. Pioneers during the Wild West era, or thereabouts, hunted not only to make a serious living, but to survive the wilds as well. While there remain a few, most people nowadays, love to go on a hunting trip for the thrill and fun of it or to simply take time out to unwind from the daily grind. Admittedly, I’m one of that breed.
Believe you me, big game hunting is not that easy at all, nor is it cheap! I need to sweat it out first to remove excess body flabs before hitting the road, lest I suffer eating the dust of my hunting buddies. Driving to the trailhead and setting up camp may just be a breeze, but walking (and at times stumbling over rough terrains) 3 to 5 miles with a 5-kilo backpack full of hunting gear and a rifle to get to the hunt site is what really gets my goat.
There’s nothing more rewarding than bagging big game like a huge elk. To achieve this, I make sure that I have the proper equipment. Rifles and ammunition must be in accordance with state laws, lest, I end up losing my license and permits for shooting deer with the wrong gun. Preparation is as important that the actual hunting. Whether I admit it or not, there’s something about restrictions and regulations that add to the excitement.
Season after season, I update my gears. There’s always something that needs improvement. Aside from the hunting outfit, hunting rifle, and other personal preferences, I relish fidgeting and spending on these hunting essentials — some of which I’ve found here.
Binoculars. I spend most of my time waiting for my prey to appear, and wish patience was one of my stronger virtues. A good pair of binoculars is a lot of help in spotting prey well before it’s at shooting distance for me to prime for the kill.
Hot seat. Patience won’t be too hard to summon if I have a good seat to keep me warm during cold, rainy or snowy weather.
Handy kit. This handy pack should contain a small first-aid kit, flashlight, compass, knife, insect repellent, sharpening stone, and butane lighter.
Tree stand. I always have one of these contraptions to help me up trees and stay there securely.
Deer attractants. I like to hunt with the best deer attractant on the market. Particularly well-liked by deer are corn, sugar beets, apples, carrots, and mineral licks.
Big boys have fun fiddling with their toys before and after the hunting season. Generally, guns and ammunition to be used for deer hunting are prescribed and regulated by state laws. All the bother and preparation would be for naught if I didn’t have the proper shooting machine. I make sure I have everything I need:
Muzzle loading rifles
Shotguns with slugs, .410 or larger (firing these shells is costly, which is why I have a good reloading press to cut the cost)
Pistols with barrels from 4 to 10 inches long, and chambered for straight-walled centre-fire cartridges, .30 calibre or larger.
Only when I have all these necessities ticked off do I say I’m good to go deer hunting. I hunt because I enjoy the whole process – from the preparation of gears like reading reviews to the reconnaissance of the area. I enjoy scouting for the thickest of thickets, high-altitude places where antlers find shelter. I challenge myself to think like the deer to find creek bottoms, wetlands or uninhabited locations where man does not usually tread.
Hunting involves outsmarting the deer in their own territory. That I get to bring my prize deer is just a proof that indeed I went hunting; but the real fun in hunting is in preparing, setting up, lying in wait and outwitting the game. It’s what keeps me hunting season after season.