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Big Game Hunting and the Essentials You’ll Need
Hunting has been around for as long as the human race. What once started as a necessity for food is now considered a sport or hobby for many people around the world. In the North American region, hunters prepare for the season each year and plan trips around their hunting goals for that year.
However, this sport is not to be taken lightly. There are licenses, firearms, and regulations involved. The traditional sport of hunting comes with the knowledge that there is danger in the natural environment. Hunters need to be strategic and smart about their choices, especially when hunting wild big game.
Why Hunt Big Game?
Hunting is not a quick sport. It takes time, patience and strategy. Most hunters enjoy the activity because it’s been a long-standing tradition in their family through generations — it reminds them of family members or friends and the fun bonding experiences they’ve had together. Beyond tradition, people hunt for a few key reasons.
1. Experiencing Nature
Ask any hunter and they’ll tell you that the majority of their day is spent observing. They go out into forests and fields in the hopes of catching a glimpse of their prey. All the while, they take in the sights, sounds, and smells that surround them.
Experienced hunters will know where different species like to keep their bedding or when they like to travel to the local water hole. Hunting is a spectator sport in some ways. People must remain calm, patient, and reflective in nature. Hunters experience the things around them by becoming one with the environment. Hunting becomes meditative for some, while others see it as thrilling.
2. Getting Food
The most humane reason for hunting has always been for food. Some people feel it’s safer to catch and process their own meat than to rely on others. Their discomfort in industrial farming drives their need to hunt every season. Many of these hunters believe in using the entire animal to feed themselves and their families. This approach brings value to their hunt and gives a purpose to the killing of an animal.
3. Connecting With Wildlife
While it may seem counterintuitive to connect with wildlife while on the hunt to kill animals, the connection is more with the natural food chain — with humans being at the top. Hunting connects humans to their natural place in the world.
Humanity has taken over a large part of the land that used to be shared with wildlife. Many animal species, like deer, geese, turkeys, and black bears, live in the same areas people do. Wild animals become habituated inadvertently when people leave waste, pet food, and edible household items outside their homes. Animals can overpopulate in these areas, which could lead to diseases carried from animals to humans in close proximity.
Hunting helps eliminate overpopulated areas and keeps animals in places where they won’t cause harm to themselves or others. In this way, the connection to wildlife acts as the preservation of many animals.
Types of Big Game You Can Hunt
There are a variety of different animals you can hunt in North America, from deer to bears. These animals vary in size, and some are difficult to come across because of their limited capacity in a cold climate or mountainous environments. Some of the wildlife you might pursue on a big game hunting trip include:
- White-tailed deer
- Mule deer
- Bears, including grizzlies and black bears
- Exotic animals
Hunting for big game takes time, patience, and the right tools. You’ll want to remain conscious of your location and the dangers that may present themselves in the wilderness. Hunters will need to be especially careful when hunting larger animals like bears that could potentially cause harm. This type of hunting requires training and experience, and it should not be taken lightly. For this reason, you’ll need some tips for your next big game hunting trip.
12 Essential Tips For Big Game Hunting
As hunters begin to think about starting the season, it’s good to freshen up on the tips and tricks of the sport. Whether you’re a beginner or have been hunting for many years, rules and regulations change. Be sure to stay up to date with the laws in your hunting region.
Here are 12 essential tips to remember when starting your hunting season this year.
1. Monitor Changing Patterns in the Season
You should make a scouting game plan each season. In the United States, every state differs in its seasons. By creating a game plan, you can hit all the areas you’d like to and maximize your hunting skills.
Monitor patterns that change every season to make sure you know the appropriate times, dates, and locations where you can hunt. The earlier, the better — you should give yourself ample time to find all the best spots without the pressure of the season ending. The best hunters are always prepared.
2. Connect the Dots
While you’re on the hunt, search for the popular areas that animals may visit throughout the day. Instead of staying stagnant in the areas they may pass through, think strategically about the food sources, watering holes and bedding locations you find nearby. Connect the dots as to when certain animals may visit those places and keep your sights moving forward. Thinking one step ahead will give you a clear advantage throughout your hunting trip.
3. Pay Attention to Your Environment
This tactic will help you hunt where the animals are going, not where they are. The small details in the environment will help you search for the right game and keep you from getting lost in the wilderness. This could mean finding the best campsite for your group or avoiding unclear paths and areas that look unsafe.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by your environment, which is why it’s always important to keep maps, compasses, and other navigation tools with you at all times to help you pay attention to the space around you.
4. Be Patient
Hunting is a sport that takes a lot of time and energy. It’s important not to force anything, even if you feel like nothing is happening. The slightest movement or quick change in direction could throw off hours of a carefully planned hunt. Animals are smart and can sense when danger or predators are near, so you never want to draw attention to yourself. Stay calm and meditative and take the time to hunt the right way.
5. Be Prepared
Big game hunting trips require the right amount of nourishment, comfort and shelter. Always carry enough food to sustain yourself and the rest of your group for the entire time you’re out in the woods, and bring a few extra supplies.
Being prepared with food can also help you in your hunting endeavors. You can throw or drop apples, potatoes or even corn on the cob to create the perfect rustling and movement to distract an animal in the distance so you can make your move.
6. Stay in for the Long Game
Patience is a critical part of the hunting process. You may go an entire day without seeing the game you’re looking for regardless of your own skill. Other days, you might spend your time observing wildlife so you can make a move when the time is right. Stay in it for the long haul because you like the sport or you enjoy the company — not just because of the trophy.
7. Try Different Areas
Every hunter knows there are a few key places to look for game, such as around sources of food and water. Sometimes it takes a few days of exploring and observing to find these spots.
Remember to bring navigation tools with you wherever you go and explore one small section at a time. You may be amazed at what you find.
8. Hunt One Animal at a Time
Stick to one species on each hunting trip. When you focus your attention on searching for one specific animal, your mind can clearly make the distinction when the time is right. You may also need different gear to hunt different game, so focusing on one type of wildlife will help you lighten the load.
Take time before your trip to study the animal you’re hunting. There are plenty of great resources out there on what to look for when hunting deer, moose, elk, bears, and many other animals.
9. Stay in Shape
There’s a reason hunting is considered a sport. It takes mental strength to come up with the right strategy and tactic, and physical strength is also essential. Walking and crouching through the woods requires strong legs and core muscles. You’ll also need to carry gear with you during the majority of the day, so back and arm strength are critical.
Simple cardio and bodyweight strength exercises will make it easy to stay in shape for hunting. Keeping up with a regular workout regimen throughout the year will give you more stamina when you’re out in the wild.
10. Dress in the Right Gear
Most hunting seasons begin in the fall season and last through winter or spring. As the weather becomes chill and the days become shorter, you’ll want to gear up with the warmest clothes and outdoor accessories you have.
Because of the darker days, you’ll also want to wear reflective gear that will let other hunters know where you are. Wild animals don’t perceive colors in the same way we do, so you’ll still remain hidden when it counts.
Dressing in the correct gear will take one more thing off your mind while you’re in the hunting zone. Instead of worrying about how cold you are or whether you can be seen, you’ll free up your focus for more tactical approaches and a game plan for your hunt. Dressing appropriately is one of the best ways to stay safe during the hunting season.
11. Enjoy Your Time Outdoors
One of the main reasons people hunt is to experience nature. Once you have your gear and supplies to stay warm and comfortable in the wilderness, it’s time to take it all in. Enjoy the time you have in nature and observe everything that makes the environment beautiful, especially during the fall when all the leaves are changing.
You’ll also have a front-row view of the birds, animals and insects that live in the wild. While you’re hunting, you should remember to respect the animals that call that wilderness their home.
12. Remember That Safety Is Key in Big Game Hunting
Above all, hunters need to remain safe throughout the season. When firearms and other weapons are involved, it’s crucial to get the right training and keep to the best practices. The right gear and tools will keep you warm and aware of your surroundings. Stay alert and remember the tips above to have a great season of hunting.
Protect Yourself With XINSURANCE
Any sport has a level of danger to it, but big game hunting specifically leads people to take extra precautions. During the hunting season, it’s in everyone’s best interest to stay responsible and safe. Liability insurance will give you peace of mind so you can focus on the game ahead of you.
XINSURANCE provides liability insurance solutions for the most high-risk situations, including gun owners who want protection on their hunting trips.
Get a Quote for Big Game Hunting Insurance
If you find yourself gearing up for another hunting season and want to make sure you have the coverage you need, it’s time to talk to XINSURANCE. Give us a call at 877.585.2853 or contact us online for more information on how to insure yourself for this upcoming season.
Disclaimer: We can provide liability coverage solutions for foreign trips if the insured’s (individual or business entity) primary location is in the U.S., and suits must be brought back into the U.S.
Authored by Rick J. Lindsey, President, Chairman, and CEO of XINSURANCE
Rick J. Lindsey hails from Salt Lake City, Utah. He began working in the mailroom of his father’s Salt Lake City insurance firm, getting his introduction to the business that became his lifelong career. Rick J. Lindsey quickly rose through the ranks while working in nearly every imaginable insurance industry job. As an entrepreneur, specialty lines underwriter, claims specialist, risk manager, and a licensed surplus lines broker, Rick J. Lindsey is highly skilled in all levels of leadership and execution. As he progressed on his career path, Rick J. Lindsey discovered an urgent need for insurers willing to write policies for high-risk individuals and businesses. He was frequently frustrated that he could not provide the liability protection these entities desperately needed to safeguard their assets. He also formed the belief that insurance companies acted too quickly to settle frivolous claims. Rick J. Lindsey decided to try a different approach. He started an insurance company and became the newly formed entity’s CEO. This opportunity has enabled Rick J. Lindsey to fill a void in the market and provide a valuable service to businesses, individuals, and insurance agents who write high-risk business. XINSURANCE also specializes in helping individuals and businesses who live a lifestyle or participate in activities that make them difficult for traditional carriers to insure. If you’ve been denied, non-renewed, or canceled coverage, don’t give up quite yet. Chances are XINSURANCE can help.