Being a hunter is about paying attention to details. That sentiment resonates throughout these guidelines. Whether it be a log, a puddle, branches or dry leaves, if it is going to make noise when you touch it, don’t.
Experienced hunters have trained their eyes to look for things such as the flicker of a tail, the crossing of moving legs through a thicket, or the turning of an ear. Focusing on movement instead of trying to catch an entire silhouette will increase your sightings and help you see them before they see you.
Thermals, and the difference in ground and air temperature in certain parts of the day play a major role in air currents and ultimately the direction your scent travels. It surely can make or break a hunt in a more hilly terrain.
Your grandpa hunted deer in a red plaid coat. Think about that for a second.
Mossy Oak, First Lite, Sitka, Realtree. It doesn’t really matter what you have on. If you can sit still, you will be fine!
There’s nothing more frustrating than having to leave the stand early because you’re cold, or thirsty, or hungry. Either train your body to do without these things for a few hours longer or make sure to bring them with you. Easy solution. (Your cell phone dying is not a good excuse to go back to the bakkie) #agneeman
Weather changes can be some of the most rewarding times to hunt; especially if there is a major pressure change involved. Just make sure you dress accordingly to stick it out.
You are the apex predator. Own that fact. Unfortunately we have been out of the woods for a long long time and have lost a lot of those instincts. The more “ninja like” you become in your stalking and hunting the more successful you will be. Treat your quarry as if they are hunting you also. That will change the way you do everything from stand approach, scent control, and sound control.
Nothing is more expensive than regret.
We spend so much time waiting on the opportunity at a clean kill. As hard as it is, don’t rush it by a minute or two. Don’t try to thread the needle and squeeze that arrow between 2 branches or take an angle shot you haven’t practiced. It is inevitable that after hunting long enough you will lose or wound a deer. If at any point that situation becomes anything other than gut-wrenching you need to check your moral compass and decide if you are hunting for the right reasons.
I know I’m guilty of hunting a spot because it’s “pretty”. If you’re hunting mature bucks don’t just look for deer sign. Look for big buck sign!
Some of your best scouting comes in the late winter when everything is dead or close to it. Trails are easy to see, browse has become limited and rubs and scrapes stick out like a sore thumb. Next year’s hunts should always be in the back of your mind, even now.
Dedicated hunter status is issued in terms of The Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000. To obtain dedicated hunter status, a member must complete the prescribed theoretical and practical exams.
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