As the famous dictum goes: ‘fail to prepare and you prepare to fail’. Never is it so true than regarding hunting, especially big game hunting that is expensive, time–consuming and often limited by the daylight or what equipment you have available. As there are only small hunting windows, you have to be ready to hit your target straight away. For the truly artful hunter, shooting and killing is only a small part of the process. Ensuring you are fully prepared, staking out your prey and plotting a route should take up a significant portion of your time. Follow these simple procedures and be as ready as you can be when September rolls around.
Permits, Regulations and Equipment
Those wanting to hunt in Oregon, have millions of acres of public land available to them to do so. As in all States, big game such as elk, deer and bears are managed by wildlife management units. These groups will establish numbers and set the limits of controlled hunts. There is a limited entry for most big game hunts throughout Oregon, all firearm hunters need a permit, and anyone seeking to hunt large animals will need a tag. This can be purchased prior to the start date of the controlled hunt. Save yourself a headache and make sure you have all your permits with you and keep a copy of the hunting regulations on you at all times.
2. Choose your spot wisely
Using a hunting map, pick an area for your hunt. You want somewhere accessible, with some coverage but also good open spaces so you can line-up free shots. Ideally, you would pick a place off the trail enough to limit your encounters with other hunters. Nothing messes up a kill like somebody else on your patch, but it’s also dangerous having someone venture into your territory.
3. Stake out some potential Targets
Having decided upon a spot, visit it in the month leading up to the shoot and try to gather as much information about the animals there. Notice where their water source is, where they congregate and which areas of your chosen zone they inhabit the most. With the advancements of modern technology, it has never been easier to capture images of your prey from a long distance. If you don’t already, consider digiscoping, and get images from hundreds of miles away. By investing in some hi-tech kit, like a digiscope from , you will put yourself at a great advantage.
4. Take your Time Packing
Mistakes are made when you are in a rush. It is easy to get carried away in anticipation of a big game hunt, but whatever you do, leave yourself enough time to pack. Make yourself a hunting checklist and be sure to account for emergency situations. As with all outdoor activities, ensuring you are covered in the event of an injury or a flat phone battery is crucial. If you are going deep into a national park, take manual equipment as well as digital equipment, and if necessary, take a satellite phone. It’s always better to be over prepared and safe, than under prepared and in danger.