How to anticipate the risks of a hunting day

Published on 08 February 2019
Author: Peter Moore
Hunting is doubtless an adventure, whether you just drive a few miles to a small piece of land you have permission on or take the plunge and gear up for a trip overseas, the risks can be the same. So, an amount of pre-planning and preparedness will increase your chances of having a good time, or not having a bad one. What If? Are you prepared for your trip into the wild lands or at least the woods?

Proper equipment preparation

So, what are the essentials? The obvious things like the hardware; rifle, ammo, optics are a given, but a trekking pole is a real aid for crossing uneven ground and going up and down hills, plus makes a good single stick for shooting off.

A small day bagpack can carry essentials like water, food, a waterproof coat and a simple medical kit, resist the urge to take too much as you are going to have to hump it.

Dress for the season, so in summer/temperate times light clothing that wicks away sweat is good and a fleece should it get colder, sun tan cream is worth consideration too. Autumn/winter requires warmer/waterproof gear, but it still needs to be breathable as you will get hot walking and also dress in layers, so you can adjust as required.

Whatever the time of year decent boots to suit are a must that give good traction and ankle support, as is a sensible hat or cap and gloves.

Cardio and admin

You don’t need to be super fit for a stroll across your land, but if you’re mountain hunting, going to Africa or anywhere more off the beaten track, like in Slovenia for example, then it helps to do a bit of training beforehand.

You need to honestly gauge your level of fitness, as to the severity of the terrain and conditions, for example, I’m no spring chicken anymore, and as much as I’d like to hunt Marco Polo sheep in Uzbekistan, I know I’m not up to it.

If you’re on an organised hunt then your PH should have all the admin covered as to transport, radios, food and drink and shelter. They should also be or have a trained first aider in their line-up and some way of getting you to a hospital in a reasonable time, it’s best to check what they offer across the board.

Risks even in the territories we know

At home, the challenges might seem less, but the UK can offer some serious conditions too. Plus, it’s easy enough to fall and sprain an ankle or break a leg, cut yourself or whatever.

We all carry mobile phones these days, which is good, but it’s also sensible to let someone know when and where you are going and what time you’re likely to be back, so if you’re not they can start the ball rolling.

At home or abroad, the challenges remain the same it’s just the conditions that differ, be prepared and ready for them so you can enjoy the hunting.

And you, what is your way of getting ready before going out for a hunt?