Doing your homework on the area you wish to hunt will help make the hunt a success and a great experience
If you are from the western half of the United States, come late spring you will open your email or login to your state game and fish website to see if you have any tags for the upcoming year. Western hunters apply for tags either in a draw system or preference style system. Many hunters in Arizona or New Mexico have been applying for the same hunt for years and cannot draw, but there will be that one lucky day when they open up their email or account on the game and fish system and will have a tag in their name. Imagine that you have been putting in for the premier elk hunt for the past five years, and now you have finally drawn it. Like many hunters, now the work begins months before the hunt starts. If you do your homework on the area you are going to hunt you will be more successful and have a great experience.
Many hunters in Arizona or New Mexico have been applying for the same hunt for years and cannot draw, but there will be that one lucky day. . .
In most western states the results of the hunts are out by the start of summer. By that time most animals are starting to grow their horns back. If you are the one wondering what to do in the off season this article is for you. Many people like to get out, search the hills for new areas to hunt, and look for sheds. This is a great way to discover new areas. Also, while you are out in the hills if you pick up a few sheds you can make some cash. Most horns sell for around seven to fifteen dollars per pound. That might give you some incentive to go search the hills for antlers. If you have a wife that doesn’t like you going out to the woods all the time, you can justify your trip by telling her, “If I find enough horns I can pay for gas and maybe have enough to take you out to dinner.” Most hunters that are dedicated and take the sport seriously get out and start hitting the hills early; searching for new areas to hunt for the upcoming years. That dedication will pay off in the upcoming year when their hunt starts.
Many forest offices and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices can provide you with maps.
Getting out and exploring new areas will pay off. If you have nothing to do on the weekend get out and go scout. Many forest offices and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices can provide you with maps. By studying the maps you can learn new tanks that you might have passed up before. Look for areas on the maps that might be surrounded by private land or land that might not be accessible only by foot. If you haven hunted in the last few years you have probably run into that “road hunter” before, who doesn’t want to get out of their truck. Most animals are smart and know that once they hear that first gunshot to run and get out of the area. Finding places that are only accessible by foot, gives you a great advantage in finding the wildlife you are searching for. When you are out exploring new areas look for tracks and other signs of game. If you see water tanks around take a walk around the water tanks and you will most likely find animal tracks. By identifying these tracks you can learn what animals are in the area. Animals have to have water to survive. New water tanks are great places to find, because with water comes game.
Use technology to your advantage. Technology has developed over the years and its making hunting a lot easier. One of the best scouting tools a person can use are game cameras. Game cameras will tell you what is in the area. Be smart about where you put game cameras. Many hunters like to put them on water tanks which is a great tool because animals have to drink water to survive. Another great place for trail cameras are in well-traveled areas. If you find that the same big buck or bull elk keeps coming back to the same watering hole, on camera in the early summer months, you can track his antler growth throughout the year. Game cameras can enhance your experience and give you an edge on what animals are coming to your water tank. Remember, as a hunter you can only be in so many places at once, but the more cameras you have up the more you can see. The cameras can stay there and record all day and night.
Use technology to your advantage. Technology has developed over the years and its making hunting a lot easier.
Get out in the early season to find new areas for your hunt. Make time to scout and it will help you be more successful in the future. By finding new areas you might find some new places that are loaded with game. It takes years for many hunters to develop honey holes. Most hunters are tight lipped around their honey holes and will not share the information about their hunting spots. This means you have to get out and look for your own spots. Studying maps is one of the best tools for scouting. Remember wildlife moves around all the time depending on where water and grass can be found. Doing your homework in the early stages of the hunting season will pay off when your hunt comes.