According to the latest census data, there are approximately 15.2 million licensed hunters in the United States.

Hunting is a rich and rewarding pastime that allows you to reconnect with the natural world while sourcing some of the freshest wild meat available. With millions of acres of public hunting grounds across the USA, it’s time for you to take your first hunting trip.

We’ve put together this guide to help you prepare for your first foray into hunting. Whatever game you’re trying to bag, we’ve got you covered with these ultimate first time hunting tips.

Read on for everything you need to know for your first hunting trip.

Refresh Gun Safety

Even if you have experience handling firearms, you should run through fundamental gun safety procedures before your first hunting trip. North America sees nearly 100 fatal hunting accidents due to negligence each year.

Shooting a gun in the field is a different experience from range training. Alongside gun safety fundamentals, you will also need to consider your positioning, backdrop, and communication when hunting wild game.

It is your responsibility to practice safe firearms handling while hunting. Check out this article for some safety tips you should never forget.

Get the Gear

Preparation is the key to a successful hunt. Before you set out on your first hunting trip, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the right gear and equipment.

Your basic hunting kit should include:

  • Your weapon
  • Ammunition
  • A sharp hunting knife
  • A lighter and matches
  • A large cooler
  • Binoculars
  • Your hunting license and safety certificate
  • Attractant scent and game calls
  • A reliable two-way radio system
  • A GPS navigator
  • Suitable hunting attire and high-visibility vest if required by law
  • Gutting and processing overalls
  • Toiletries
  • A First aid kit

Poor planning leads to poor performance and could compromise the success and comfort of your first hunting trip. Use this checklist to ensure you’re fully equipped.

Know the Terrain

You’ll need at least a second-hand understanding of the ground you intend to hunt upon.

If possible, scout out the area with a more experienced hunter before embarking on your first hunting trip. This will provide invaluable insights into geography, mounting positions, and target movements.

If you cannot survey your hunting ground in person, satellite and GPS maps such as Google Earth can help you view the area from home. When plotting your route, keep an eye out for natural barriers, elevations, and funnels.

Your First Hunting Trip in the Bag

We hope your hunting trip will be the first of many to come. With the right advice and preparation, you’ll finish your first hunting trip ready to plan the next.

Be safe, survey your hunting grounds, and come equipped to make the most of every expedition.

If you found this article informative, check out the rest of our blog for everything you need to know about hunting, recreation, travel, and more.