6 tips for the up­com­ing hunt­ing sea­son

The Covington News - - LIFESTYLE -

Hunt­ing is a pop­u­lar hobby and sport en­joyed by mil­lions of peo­ple across North Amer­ica. Over the last 10 years, data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice in­di­cates that more and more fe­males are tak­ing up hunt­ing.

Many sea­soned hunters re­al­ize hunt­ing sea­son does not be­gin on “open­ing day.” Rather, it can take weeks or months to get ready for a suc­cess­ful sea­son. Con­sid­er­ing hunt­ing sea­sons can be brief, prepa­ra­tion helps hunters make the most of their time spent in the field.

* Pur­chase your li­cense, tag or stamp.

Many wildlife de­part­ments re­quire hunters reg­is­ter in ad­vance of the sea­son, and this regis­tra­tion in­cludes se­cur­ing a hunt­ing li­cense. Be­cause there is a limit to how many an­i­mals each hunter can hunt, tags for the an­i­mals they’re hunt­ing also will be is­sued. Hunters plan­ning on go­ing out for the sea­son should stay ap­prised of when li­cens­ing and regis­tra­tion be­gins and ends so they can hunt le­gally.

* Scout ar­eas.

The land­scape can change from year to year de­pend­ing on a host of fac­tors, in­clud­ing con­struc­tion, com­mer­cial­iza­tion and weather. Ar­eas once open to hunt­ing may now be re­stricted lands. Map out your po­ten­tial hunt­ing lo­ca­tion and be aware of any new land­marks or changes.

* Check and re­plen­ish gear.

In­spect weaponry, field-dress­ing sup­plies, cloth­ing, and other sup­plies for wear and tear. Ad­dress any is­sues that need to be fixed, or re­place items as nec­es­sary. If a ri­fle, bow or shot­gun hasn’t been fired in a while, take it to a range to ver­ify ac­cu­racy and sight­ing. If you hunt out of a tree stand or blind, make sure it is sturdy and in good con­di­tion prior to use.

* Get in shape.

Hunt­ing of­ten re­quires hik­ing in and out of the great out­doors in var­i­ous ter­rain. It’s help­ful to in­crease phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity lead­ing up to the hunt to pre­pare your body for the phys­i­cal de­mands.

* Or­ga­nize and pack gear.

En­sure your equip­ment is clean, in work­ing order and packed away in your travel bags. Es­tab­lish a sys­tem of or­ga­ni­za­tion and a check­list so you’re cer­tain you will have what you need. Don’t for­get to bring along your hunt­ing li­cense and an­i­mal tags; oth­er­wise, you may be levied with costly fines.

* Al­ways hunt safely.

It is quite easy to get swept up in the mo­ment when track­ing game. Don’t let overzeal­ous­ness cloud ra­tio­nal judge­ment and safety pre­cau­tions. Oth­er­wise an in­jury or even death can oc­cur.

Hunt­ing sea­son is on the hori­zon and that means pre­par­ing now for the few weeks of sport to come.

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