Hunting is a fun and adventurous hobby or profession, but there can be risks associated with it. The most important thing to do before you let your hunting spree run wild is to prepare a thorough hunting plan. For those who are wondering, what does a hunting plan even mean? A hunting plan is a blueprint of your whole trip. It contains information about different aspects of your hunting trip like the place you are going for the hunt, the route you are going to take, people you are going with, your expected time of arrival at the destination and back home, duration of your trip, etc.
What else should a hunting plan include? Here we list down the most important information you must include in your hunting plan:
1) Location of your hunt
The first and foremost thing you need to mention in your hunting plan is your destination. We understand the thrill of keeping your location hidden from others (especially from your competitors), but you need to prioritize your safety; therefore, you must tell your hunting location to local wildlife agency or law enforcement officials, as well as to any of your family member. Your hunting plan must also include;
- The details of the precise routes you are going to take to reach your destination.
- The location of the spot you are going to park your vehicle
- The location of your camp
- GPS coordinates of your location
2) Your Contact Information
The second thing you need to mention is details of your contact information, including your phone number and, in the case of satellite phones, the prefix followed by unique numbers (you must first register it with the satellite network). If you are going with a hunting group, you should also include the phone numbers of other group members, especially of the point person. Leave this information to a trusted family member so that in case of emergencies, they can contact you or others if your phone is unreachable.
3) Time of the arrival
Mentioning your time of arrival back home is another essential part of the hunting plan. It's important to include the time as it tells others when to expect you back home. Of course, you cannot possibly know the exact time you will be done with hunting as there can be genuine delays (due to bad weather, etc.); hence, leave the grace time period as well as the distress time. W0hen this grace time has passed, and you haven't returned back, and there is no notification from you, this alerts others that there might have been some issues or you could be in danger. This way, they can send the search team for you in time.
4) Hunting and Shooting Protective Gear
Before you go out in the wild, it is important to consider what protective gear you need for hunting and shooting. Just a century or two ago, safety equipment weren't given much importance, but today people know how minor accidents can cause severe injuries, and it is always best to be safe than sorry.
So, What hunting and shooting protective gears do you need? Two of the basic safety gears, which are a must for whenever you are around the guns, are ear and eye protection equipment.
Every hunter knows that when they are running after a deer or antelope in the wild field, misplaced shots or ricocheting cartridge cases are the only things that can harm the eyes. There can be many other things that can hurt your eyes, like tree branches, twigs, insects, debris, etc. Hence, it is in your best interest to protect your eyes by wearing shooting glasses or goggles. The quality safety glasses must have the following features:
- ANSI certification: It is a certification label for authentic glasses by American National Standards Institute
- Lens color: Different lens colors can help see clearer and better according to the hunting place, weather conditions, and time of the day.
- Polycarbonate lenses: these lenses are among the best lenses available out there. They are best known for their durability and impact resistance. They are also easy to carry due to their lightweight.
When a shot is fired, it makes a sharp, ear-piercing sound which is very harmful for your ears. Prolonged exposure to these sounds can have a lasting effect on your ears. It can lead to complete hearing loss or tinnitus, which is continuous ringing or buzzing in the ears. Once this damage is done, there is no going back! Therefore, you must protect your ears by wearing a hearing protector.
The types of hearing protectors:
- Earmuffs: They are just like headphones. You wear them over your head. They can be easily taken off when you need to talk to other shooters. They are highly effective for target shooting.
- Foam earplugs: Another common earing protection equipment is foam earplugs. You wear them like earphones. They block out all the external noise very well. The only shortcoming they have is that they can be easily misplaced because of their small size.
Body Protection gears
After protecting your face, it is time to gear up your body against potential dangers. Things you need for your body protection are;
- Gloves and hunting pants: You find all kinds of thorns and sharp-ended branches in the wild if you are not wearing leather gloves and proper hunting pants, you will get scraped and scratched by everything coming your way. Hence, the way to protect your body against all dangers is to wear hunting gloves and pants.
- Lightweight hunting boots: During hunting, there will be lots of running and chasing; you need durable, lightweight hunting boots for a successful and enjoyable hunting experience.
- Blaze orange: Blaze orange or hunter orange is a fierce orange color worn by hunters to stand out and avoid being shot at. In some states, it is compulsory to wear an orange vest/jacket and an orange cap during hunting, while in others, it's not. But you should always wear it when you go hunting so others can easily see you and shooting accidents can be avoided.
- Snake-proof chaps: Hunting chaps give you a whole cowboy feels, but that's not the only thing it does. Hunting chaps protect you from venomous snake bites. They are worn over the hunting boots and pants.
- Tick repellent: You don't want to be scratching your pants all through your hunting trip. Bloodsucking ticks are very common throughout America. It is best to wear hunting pants coated with tick repellent or simply spray pest repellent on your hunting clothes.
You can find all these safety gear for hunting at Walmart and Orvis at reasonable prices.
5) Hunting Backpacks With Gun Holder
After guarding yourself with hunting gears, the next thing you need to keep in your hunting plan is the kind of backpacks you will need for a successful hunt. It's obvious that regular backpacks cannot work. For hunting, you need hunting specific backpacks with a gun holder so you can easily run around and chase after your prey. The quality of a hunting backpack depends upon numerous factors like its weight, the space it provides, what material it is made of, how much load it can carry, etc. The type of hunt decides what kind of hunting backpack you will need (or whether you even need a hunting backpack in the first place).
Other Things to Mention in Your Hunting Plan
Before you depart for a hunting endeavor, you must learn basic survival skills. There are hundreds of things that can go wrong, and you might get vulnerable to the dangers of the wild. It is of utmost importance that you have learned survival skills like lighting a fire, building shelter, finding clean water for drinking, etc. Just to be on the safe side, your hunting plan should enlist all these basic skills and emergency plans.