So you’re a new hunter looking to conquer the great outdoors. That’s great but you can’t just tromp into the woods unprepared and uninformed and expect to be successful. You need knowledge, insight, and just a touch of luck.
With this series we’ll present you with the best information to get you started in the world of hunting. And for those of you with a few seasons already under your belt, maybe we can give you a refresher on The Basics.
The first thing every hunter, regardless of experience, should do before taking into the woods is to check with the state’s agency in charge of wildlife management. Most states have websites dedicated to providing hunters, fishermen, and outdoorsmen with up-to-date rules and regulations regarding use of public land as well as game limits and seasons. From deer to doves, every creature big and small is regulated to maintain good population and protection for future generations.
The US Fish and Wildlife department website provides a state-by-state listing of wildlife departments http://www.fws.gov/offices/statelinks.html. Find your state or the state you will be hunting and either click the link to the department or call the number listed to find out more information. Some states, including our home state of Missouri, require new hunters to participate in certification programs. These programs are valuable sources of safety information, tips on identifying game, as well as hunting regulations.
Once you are certified and know the rules and regulations, you’re ready to buy your license. License vendors vary by state but most sporting goods stores that carry hunting equipment can issue hunting licenses. Simply provide identification and any additional certification information your state requires.
Keep your license with you at all times while you are hunting. You’ll need it to tag the game you take. You’ll also need it if you are stopped by a game warden or authority to prove you are a legal hunter. And while many states have gone to a phone check system for harvested game, you’ll still need your tag for transporting your animal to camp or home.
In the next installment of The Basics, we’re working from the ground up. We’ll help you pick the right boots for the right situation.