Big game hunting is not your average adventure. It takes skill and knowledge to really be successful when you’re targeting larger prey.
Whether you’ve got a deer, moose, elk, caribou, mountain goat or wild boar in your crosshairs, strategizing your hunt will increase your chances of coming home with the goods.
Check out these 6 strategies for big game hunting success on your next trip:
6. Start with a Plan
When you’re hunting big game, you shouldn’t just head out without a solid plan in place. Whether you’re on a one-day expedition or an extended trip, each day should have a clear strategy as to how you plan to approach the hunt.
Think about things like your position, location, type of hunting style or strategy, and then use that as your blueprint as the day progresses. Let’s take a look at some of the different strategies you can use to bag the big one:
5. Posting Strategy
The posting strategy keeps you posted at one location for an extended period. You’ll either sit or stand in that same spot as you wait for wildlife to cross your path, so set up quietly and be ready for the long game.
This strategy works best when you have a familiar area you know animals tend to be in, whereas a “blind” or “stand” approach will not be as practical.
4. Blind Strategy
Next up, the blind strategy is a longtime favorite of many hunters. By rigging up a structure on the ground, you can conceal yourself and stay reasonably comfortable while you wait to spot your game for the perfect shot.
Especially effective for hunting deer, being hidden at eye level is a clear advantage over huddling behind a stand of trees. You can purchase a blind from a hunting store or make your own to blend in with the environment; but first things first, scope out the terrain and see if you’ll have any vegetation to blend in with.
Densely camouflaged areas have their advantages, but don’t be deterred if there isn’t sufficient cover available. Blinds allow you to set up your spot anywhere. Waiting for your targets quietly behind a blind in an open field allows the animal to see that the structure is not a threat, but rather something they can wander up to.
Placement and timing are important if you’re using a blind, and you’ll still need to plan for location and directions even though you’re staked out under cover.
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3. Elevated Stand Strategy
Using an elevated stand is another popular big game hunting strategy. A stand is typically elevated up in a tree or a raised location, so you’ll have the best view of the surrounding area and any game or obstacles. This gives you an extended line of sight to have a clear shot.
The downside to using the stand strategy is that you’ll probably be able to spot big game that aren’t within your range. This means you could spend a lot of time waiting for them to wander into range, especially considering that they won’t always come in range when you spot them, either!
2. Still Hunting Strategy
The still hunting strategy is deceptive in its name and nature. While you may think it’s a stationary stake-out, still hunting actually requires some stealthy movements.
Most effective if you’re in unfamiliar territory, this method works well when the option for stands or blinds isn’t practical. As you move through the animal’s habitat, you can scan the area and pause to listen for cues, or try to draw the animal closer if you’re seeking out big game in a certain area.
While it can be challenging and is more appropriate for seasoned hunters who know how to maneuver stealthily, you have the advantage of being able to move around and stop regularly to observe and listen. Don’t forget: You’ll want to spot the game before they notice you.
1. Calling Strategy
Prefer a little tactical trickery? The calling method allows you to mimic the calls of the big game and draw them in.
Depending on the type of creature you’re coaxing into your hunting domain, you can find all sorts of game calling devices to help you attract what you want to aim at.
Even with a calling device, this technique takes a bit of research and practice to get right. Studying the communication styles and sounds of the big game in your area will help you learn how to effectively mimic the calls of their nature. Mastering the correct pitch, tone and speed of their calls is the kicker, and is well worth the effort if you can perfect your technique.
And remember, when you're speaking the language of big game, it's much like communicating in the human world: The wrong call made with the wrong tone at the wrong time isn’t going to be fooling anyone!
When planning your next hunting expedition, consider the ways each of these strategies could help you bring home the big one.
Depending on the sort of big game you’re hunting and the terrain you’ll be traversing, a combination of these tactics could mean a successful hunt.
Be adaptable, stay sharp, and happy hunting!
Thank you for reading, stay strong patriots.
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