Hunting In the South: What You Need to Know
If you like to hunt, and also enjoy eating your game, you’ll be happy to know that the South has plenty to offer you. Of course, you don’t want to jump into hunting in the South without the right knowledge and gear. These tips will help you make the most out of your next hunting trip no matter where you set up in the field.
Knowing Where to Hunt
In the South, most hunting is done on public land or with hunt clubs. You aren’t going to find a lot of private land hunting. In other words, it’s a good idea to do your research to be sure there are deer where you’re going. If you’re trying to catch the biggest buck possible, you need to make sure you’re going where you can find some.
There are a few different ways that you can find out information on where to hunt. First, it’s a good idea to research online. There are plenty of hunters in the South that run blogs or post opinion pieces about where it’s best to find game. It’s also helpful to talk to any locals you might know who can tell you the best places to go.
When you’re hunting on public lands, it’s also worth looking into local trends. Local hunters tend to stay in touch with the local game populations. So, if they notice, for example, that the whitetail population is low in one area and high in another, they’ll migrate to the more highly populated area. This isn’t just out of ease of access either. Hunters in the South respect the land they hunt on and the populations on it; they aren’t just there to take from it. This means that they work to preserve that land and those populations and migrate to where they do the most good for the environment, rather than disrupt the ecosystem.
This also means you’re going to have to commit to some good, old-fashioned scouting. Remember, no matter where you hunt, you aren’t going to be very successful if you don’t know where the game is and how they move. So, if you have the chance to scout before hunting season, make sure to do it.
Make Sure You Have the Right Gear
This is a pretty general rule for hunting as a whole, but it’s still important to highlight that you need the right gear to get started.
For visitors to the South, specifically, it’s important to make sure you double-check any firearm laws that might vary from state to state. Luckily, you aren’t likely to run into too many problems, but it’s always best to check to keep your hunting trip on track.
You’re going to want to make sure that you choose the right firearm for the job too. There are plenty of different choices across different state allowances and for the type of game you’re after. For example, air rifles are making a name for themselves in hunting for their versatility. They’re easy to pick up at any skill level as well as lightweight and often less expensive than their counterparts.
Make Sure You Have the Right Paperwork
When you’re hunting, of course you need a license. The specific regulations vary from state to state, so you should make sure that you have the paperwork you need to hunt legally. Hunting without a license invites a host of safety issues as well as can cause you legal repercussions.
If you’re hunting out of state, you probably won’t need to worry about the same residence license laws as someone who lives in the state. However, that isn’t to say that you don’t need any paperwork at all. Most states have a non-residence hunting license program. These vary in price and requirements. If you aren’t spending an entire hunting season in a state, you can usually turn to a temporary non-resident hunting license program.
No matter what type of license you have, make sure you keep it on you while you hunt. This way, you have proof of your right to hunt on you at all times and won’t run into any problems while you’re out in the field.
Hunting is a rewarding experience and there are plenty of Southern locales where you can find not only a successful hunt, but also beautiful landscapes. Whether you live in the South and you’re trying hunting for the first time or if you’re coming in for a hunting trip from another state, you’re going to have a truly unique and priceless experience in the South.
Photo credit: Quail hunt by Torrey Wiley from Flickr Creative Commons.