As hunting season draws closer, the excitement starts to build. The problem is that it can sometimes get so exciting that you forget to prepare for your first trip of the season. Being prepared for a hunt is always going to result in a safer and more successful experience, which is why it makes sense to ensure that part of your hunting season is the prep work before it. You don’t want to find out that your first-aid kit is missing essential parts when you need them most or realize that your rifle sight is faulty just as you’re squeezing the trigger. If you haven’t done your prep for the season yet, here’s what you need to be doing.

Gear Prep

Your first step is to research the areas that you’re going to be hunting in. If you’ve been there before, you have the advantage because you know the kinds of terrain and the environmental issues that you might be facing. You want to have a route planned and a firm idea of the weather conditions that you’re going to face. Take the time now to make a gear checklist, or use one of the many checklist templates available online. Make sure too that you wash and repair your hunting clothing, taking care not to ruin them by using this handy Merino Wool Care Guide by Skre Gear. Check every item of clothing and camping gear, and you’re far less likely to get caught out by the unexpected.

Hunting Gear

Next, you should check your weapons. Make sure that your guns are clean and usable, and remember to sight in your rifle too. You should always have regular practice sessions, and not just for keeping your skills honed. The more familiar you are with your gear, the more natural it will feel when you use it. Check your knife and sharpen if needed, and make sure that your rifle is thoroughly cleaned. It’s a good idea to put some electrical tape over the top of your muzzle before you head off into the wilds, as this will help keep dirt and debris from getting into the barrel.

Electronics Check

There’s a good chance that you’ve got some tech that you’ll be bringing along with you, so make sure that it’s all ready to go. Have spare camera batteries and memory cards available and close to hand, and make sure that everything electrical is fully charged. You don’t want to rely on your GPS only for it to run out of battery when you’re deep in the forest. It’s often worth taking along a spare phone that’s fully charged and switched off, just in case.

Restocking Supplies

Always calculate your food needs for the duration of the trip, and account for emergencies too. Then, buy and prepare your food so that it is easier to pack. Ensure that you have plenty of fuel for your cooking equipment because there’s nothing quite like finding that you’re stuck eating cold food for the entire trip. Don’t forget to check your first aid kit, replacing anything that’s missing. You might also want to print out some maps of the hunting area so that you’re not so reliant on your phone or your GPS.

The more that you prepare, the more successful your hunting trip will be. If you fail to make these checks, then you increase the risks and the failures that you’re far more likely to encounter. Good prep makes for good hunting, and preparing for your trip should be part of the trip experience itself.

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