Hunting for Your Own Food: 7 Tips
In today’s world, people have the opportunity to get all the food they need from a grocery store. But do these stores provide the best, most ethically sourced food? Some people have used hunting for their food to provide for themselves and reduce waste. If you want to hunt for your food, follow these tips to ensure a safe time.
- Get a Hunting License
Before stepping foot on the hunting grounds, you must get a hunting license. You must obtain a permit from the state you want to hunt. In the United States, the individual states mostly have control of their hunting laws, making the regulations differ from one state to another.
There aren’t many federal guidelines outside rules protecting endangered species and migratory birds. The federal government does national wildlife refuges, and some of them require a special permit to hunt there.
- Check Local Laws for Seasons
Once you have a hunting license, you should research what animals you want to hunt. Most states have different seasons for each animal, so there are options throughout the year for your hunting. Hunting an animal outside the date ranges could be illegal and subject you to fines and other punishments, so researching the seasons is critical.
- Choose a Hunting Method
Another factor in determining is how you’re going to hunt. There are multiple ways you can hunt, so it’s up to you to pick your favorite weapon. The most popular option for hunting is a gun. You can buy a hunting rifle or an AR-15, which most states permit using.
You should consider different guns based on the game you want to hunt. For example, the AR-15 is a compact, semi-automatic rifle great for hunting small game because of its bullet diameter. For larger animals, like deer and elk, getting a more powerful gun like a bolt action rifle is wise. These guns have a bigger bullet diameter, which is necessary for heavy animals. The average elk can easily reach 500 pounds to over 700 pounds.
If you don’t want a gun, a crossbow may be the right weapon for you. A significant advantage of using these weapons is many states start hunting season by allowing archers to hunt before anybody with firearms. A majority of states allow people to use crossbows during archery season, and the rest of the states have different regulations.
Crossbows are generally quieter and have minimal recoil compared to a gun. If you miss your first attempt, you likely can try again because of its stealth. If your bow has a scope, you can increase the accuracy and hit your target the first time.
- Grab Hunting Clothes
For your hunting gear, the clothes you wear are among your most crucial choices, whether you’re in the woods, swamp or any other environment. If you want to hunt in the fall or winter months, pick clothing that will keep you dry and warm throughout the day. Hunting on an early winter morning can see temperatures dip below freezing, so warming your body is critical. You may not have any other way to warm up while waiting for an animal.
The laws vary by state, but it’s important to know what colors you should wear to follow the law. For example, some states require you to wear an orange vest because it will be easy for other hunters to acknowledge your presence and avoid an accident. Even though it’s bright, an orange vest won’t alert animals like deer in the area.
- Learn Animal Processing Tools
After hunting the desired animals, you’ll need the proper tools for processing your game. You can take it to a business that will process the meat for you, or you can give it a try by yourself. This equipment may include a pelvic saw, processing knives and a tail puller.
Gutting an animal, especially for the first time, can be challenging and messy, so staying patient is important. Once you’ve gutted the animal, you can use a meat grinder, meat chopper, sausage stuffer and other machines to make your portions of meat easy to store.
- Store in a Freezer
Once you’ve processed the meat, you’re ready to store it. Put the meat in a refrigerator if you know you will use it within a couple of days. Storing the meat in a freezer is best if you want to keep the meat for a long time.
When storing your game in the freezer, use vacuum-sealed packing to ensure there is no air touching the meat. Ensure your freezer is at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to stop bacteria growth.
- Use All Animal Parts
One of the main reasons people hunt is for sustainability and to reduce waste. Americans annually waste between 30 and 40% of the food supply. Sometimes consumers let their food spoil from storing food at an improper temperature, or a restaurant or grocery store will throw away unused food.
It’s essential to use every animal part and let little go to waste. For example, you can take the deer you hunted and use every part of it. You can use the deer’s blood for fertilizer, the bones for soup broth and the urine as a lure for future hunts. You can also use deer urine as a cover scent. These options are just some ways you can use all parts of the animal in addition to the meat.
Hunting Safely and Mindfully
If you’re interested in self-sustainability, hunting your food may be an excellent choice. It’s something our ancestors relied on for thousands of years. While we have supermarkets and other stores, hunting can be a rewarding experience that saves you money on buying meat and reduces waste. Follow these seven tips before you take your next hunting trip.
Author Bio: Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded, where he writes about food, fitness and more. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates of his work.
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