Although hunting is enjoyed by millions of people every year, they don’t all define hunting the same way. There are several drastically different ways that the sport can be experienced. To make sure that you get the most out of your experience, it’s important to learn about the different hunting options, so that you can choose the method that you’ll enjoy the most.
For rifle hunting, you need little more than a rifle, ammunition, a hunting knife for cleaning, the appropriate attire for the terrain, and any general camping or hiking gear. Additionally, many consider rifle hunting to be slightly easier than using a bow, simply because it is easier to load a rifle and make a kill with a bullet than it is with a bow. Larger rifles are used to bring down larger game, like elk and bear.
Bow hunting is the preferred hunting type for those who wish to get more in touch with the primal nature of the sport. As it is quieter than rifle hunting, bow hunting often allows opportunities to bag several animals, since others aren’t spooked when you fire. However, since bows generally can’t produce the same type of power as rifles, aim and accuracy are much more important. Bow hunters generally carry their bow, a hunting knife, extra arrows and arrowheads, extra bowstrings in case of breakage or other string damage, and a rangefinder. They typically aim for only large game, as it is very difficult to bring down smaller animals with a bow.
Decoys are typically used for hunting waterfowl, although large game decoys do exist. Generally used in conjunction with fowl-enticing calls or scents, decoys are placed in the sight of hunters who are camouflaged within a hide or a blind. Decoys often reduce the skill level needed for a successful hunt, as they often bring game to the hunter. Decoys also increase the chances of having a successful hunt, which is especially important if you are hunting for meat instead of trophies.
Regardless of their weapon, many hunters choose to track their game instead of simply waiting for the game to come to them. Bow hunters are more likely to track than rifle hunters, mainly because a bow is quieter and less likely to spook game if the hunter misses. Tracking requires skill in the form of being able to identify animal tracks, scat, and other signs that your desired game has been in the area recently. A skilled tracker can almost guarantee contact with the game that they are hunting. Hunting gear for trackers tends to be sparse and lightweight, since they have to carry everything with them as they go.
BLINDS AND HIDES
The use of blinds, hides, lodges, and similar hiding spots is more common than tracking because it requires little more than patience in order to have a successful hunt. Blinds and hides are set up in areas where the desired game is common, and then the hunters simply wait in their hiding spot for their targets to arrive. Abundant hunting gear can be stored in the blind. The main drawbacks to using a blind or a lodge are that they require time to set up, and there is no guarantee that the desired game will make an appearance.