Any experienced hunter will tell you that the workload of preparing for hunting season opening day begins months before that calendar date. While hunting is a recreational sport, the amount of time it takes to “have all of your ducks in a row” is a lot.
Elk hunting season opening day is in the mid-fall and you can bet that skilled hunters being their prep work mid-summer. The reason for this is because hunting season is short and you don’t want to waste any time learning about the big game, getting your equipment, and making sure your license is up to date.
Here are some tips for making sure you’re ready to hunt when the day comes.
Physical challenge – Hunting requires agility, balance and strength. You don’t have to be a pro-athlete, but you should have the stamina it takes to wait it out in a blind, lug a load of equipment as well as your prized big game catch.
Begin a regiment of endurance training by running and then lifting weights. You will need both upper and lower body strength. Make sure you eat well-balanced meals as well because hunting is a long and strenuous process.
License and requirements – it is essential to update your hunting license if you need to and double check the regulations of the area you plan to hunt. Ideally, you need to be sure that the grounds you are hunting on are public and not private as well as educating yourself on the big game roaming the area. Never assume last year’s regulations are the same as the current year.
Familiarize yourself with maps – a map of the area where you plan on hunting will provide a wealth of information on the landscape, water sources and any obstacles that may pose a problem.
Get out and scout – Before hunting season, it is wise to visit the place you plan to hunt if you are able.
If you are hunting with an outfitter, pre-scouting is done for you ahead of time and your opportunity of success increases dramatically. A guide helps the client understand the lay of the land and the patterns of animals that you have chosen to hunt.
Practice shooting – visit your local range to sight in your weapon whether it be a rifle, muzzleloader or bow. It is typical when coming to New Mexico for a big game hunt that you sight in your rifle or muzzle loader at 3 inches high at 100 yards. Usually dead on at 200 yards and minor adjustments at 300 yards are preferred.
For a bow, we are asking the hunter to be comfortable out to 40 yards.
Get organized – gather up your gear, make sure everything is in working order and purchasing new if needed. Make a checklist of your packing items and place everything in the same place.
JACO Outfitters have guided hunts in New Mexico that are all-inclusive. Scouting big game and hunting on acres of amazing landscape, we provide the ultimate hunting excursion. Contact us when you are ready to start planning your next hunting adventure.