Perparing for Hunting Season

Posted: 06/29/2012 in Hunting, Hunting Camp, Tips and Tricks
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It seems like I’ve been reading articles by Massad Ayoob most of my adult life – handguns, tactics, gear, almost all if relating to self defense or law enforcement.  This is the first time I’ve found an article of his relating to hunting.

For a great many rural folk, big game hunting season is a high point—often the annual high point—of their involvement with firearms. In some locales, the big game in question may be a moose or an elk, or even a bear, though the latter is certainly not the favored meat for the larder. In most of America, though, big game hunting means deer season!

It might be a big Western mule deer. It might be one of those cute little Texas blacktails. For most of my own life, and still, the likeliest quarry was the Eastern whitetail. They all taste good. They all bring natural, chemical-free protein to your table.

Whatever your quarry, the real trick of filling your tag during hunting season is to start your preparation well ahead of opening day.

If you want to have a successful hunt instead of just a pleasing series of long walks in the woods while carrying a firearm (not that there’s anything wrong with the latter), it would be a great idea to plan your strategy well in advance, and make sure that all contingencies have been provided for. This goes double—maybe it goes tenfold—for those who are new to the whole hunting thing. New to the gun…new to the wilderness…new to the stalking and harvesting of wild game.


Start early. Develop a plan. Study the quarry. Analyze the terrain where you plan to hunt. Be prepared.

Let’s look at some of those preparations, and why they’re important.

Know thy turf. Topographical maps and, today, even Google Earth printouts are available to you. Print ‘em out, put ‘em in those plastic 8½x11-inch transparent plastic sleeves you find in the school supply sections of your local department store (or, if you’re lucky enough to live in the real backwoods, the general store). They’ll lie nice and flat in a backpack or knapsack, and when you need them, they’ll be worth their weight in gold. The plastic will proof them against rain and snow.

A part of that worth is that they’ll help you stay oriented to the areas you’re hunting, and help you to better find your quarry.

A much greater and more important part of that worth is that they will help to keep you from being lost.

Now, it’s axiomatic among us macho hunters that “we never get lost, we just get turned around a little bit, or take the scenic route.” Yeah, and smoking cigarettes is respiratory therapy, by that standard. Let’s be frank here: people get lost in the woods!

And getting lost can kill you.

Read the rest at


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