[Updated on 1 August 2021] Whether your novice or a veteran in the bow hunting game, it’s never a bad idea to plan ahead before the hunting season starts. This guide serves as a list for newbie and veteran bow hunters alike to prepare for a hunt and to stay safe out in the field.
Table of Contents
60+ DAYS BEFORE OPEN SEASON
Securing Hunting License & Permits
Each state processes licenses diﬀerently. No two states are alike as they have diﬀerent requirements and procedures. Some states may require you to purchase tags with a hunter’s license.
Hunter’s Safety Course
Regulations will likely diﬀer as breeding conditions change year to year. A hunter’s safety course is aimed to keep hunter’s safe as well as residents near the area.
45 DAYS BEFORE OPEN SEASON
While Google maps are one of the best available resources, it wouldn’t hurt to gain more information by looking up other available maps, specifically those that show elevation as you can identify lookout spots. Do not expect to have internet service in the ﬁeld since it’s likely to be spotty.
Scouting the area
After acquiring useful information from available maps, note key positions on the ﬁeld while coming up with strategies.
Identify the best entry and exit routes and sources of water. Do some research to predict the animal’s behavior by locating feeding and bedding grounds.
30 DAYS BEFORE OPEN SEASON
It’s always a best practice to have a list of what you’ll need on any trip. Start composing your list as early as 30 days and add more items as you think about your strategy.
Keep in mind the weight of your pack when you traverse through your route. Too much weight will hinder your movement and exhaust you the longer time you carry it.
- Food / Water
- Towel / Change of clothes
- Sleeping Bag
- Med Kit
- Personal Identiﬁcation
- Documents for Hunting
Equipment for Hunting
- Hunting Tags
- Range Finder
- Camo Clothing
- Fresh Batteries
- Field Knife
- Gutting Gloves
- Fire Starter / Lighter / Match
- Radio / Cellphone
7 DAYS BEFORE OPEN SEASON
Bow Tune Up
As any archer knows, there is nothing like shooting a ﬁnely-tuned bow at a target. Tuning your own bow requires a personal touch and a visit to the range.
Take notes on calibrating the sight and balance of the bow and make the necessary adjustments on your bow string to give you the best shot.
Arrows Tune Up
Broadhead arrows are your primary ammunition and you can only carry with you as much as your pack allows. Needless to say, every shot counts.
- Check and sharpen the blades if necessary.
- Inspect ﬂetchings and nocks and replace if necessary.
Reviewing Field Regulations
Take a second look at the ﬁeld regulations, especially if you’re an
The last thing you would want is to pay a hefty ﬁne or have your game prize taken away!
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
What should be included in a hunting plan?
A hunting strategy outlines where, with whom, and when you anticipate returning. It should also include instructions on how to get to your destination and any alternative locations you might want to visit if the weather prevents you from traveling. Include your phone number and mobile network.
What is the most important consideration for bowhunters?
Clothing is the most relevant aspect of your gear after bow and arrow when it comes to hunting. Your clothing should be designed to keep you safe and comfortable while on the hunt and also be able to withstand the elements and rough terrain.
What is the primary reason for planning carefully for a hunt?
It’s critical to plan ahead of time for the hunt to avoid or minimize problems. Responsible hunters anticipate potential complications and make plans to address them.
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