Hunting

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Hunting Trip

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Hunting Trip

When was the last time you went on a hunting trip? An entire trip dedicated to hunting is something that almost every hunter dreams of, yet not as many actually go through with it. Whether it’s a financial concern, a lack of knowledge or even just not understanding how to plan a hunting trip, people are always able to find some reason why they aren’t able to go.

We believe everyone should get to experience the joy of a hunting trip, which is why we’ve put together this guide to planning a hunting trip — check it out!

The Planning Phase

Obviously, before you can go on any hunting trip, the first step is to plan it. While you can technically plan for a hunting trip at any point, it’s recommended that you get the basics of the planning process done as early as you can. This will help guide you and your crew so that you can each continue to do your own research, gather supplies and figure out the next steps.

The initial things you need to figure out when planning a hunting trip are:

Decide What You’ll be Hunting

First and foremost, you’ll want to figure out what it is you’ll be hunting. Are you going to stick with a target that’s in your local area, such as a deer or turkey, or do you want to try to travel a bit further and try some sort of region-specific hunt, such as a bear, elk, or pig?

There are plenty of fun hunts that you can go on, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and try something new! It may seem like a daunting or expensive task at first, but if you do your research, you’ll be able to find a hunt that fits your budget. We’ve compiled a list of affordable hunting trips for budget-minded hunters, so be sure to take a look at that for inspiration.

Research the Best Locations

Once you’ve picked out your target of choice, it’s time to pick a location. There are plenty of factors that go into choosing the best hunting location, including:

  • Price
  • Type of accommodation (hotel, lodge, camping, etc.)
  • Guided or not guided
  • Terrain

You’ll also want to do plenty of research to find out if other hunters have had success in the area. An unsuccessful hunting trip is still a fun time, but it’s infinitely more fun when you’re entering an area where your chances for success are high. For example, if you’re going on a deer hunt, you’ll want to be sure that you are entering a state with high populations and low pressure from other hunters. Take a look at this blog post to learn about the best deer hunting states in 2021.

Snowy Hunt

For even more ideas, head to our list of the 6 hunting trips that you should make within your lifetime.

Know Your Hunting Method

Now that you know what you’re hunting and where you’re hunting, it’s time to figure out how you’re hunting. There are two things to consider when thinking about your hunting method: your approach to the hunt and your weapon of choice.

Determining your approach depends a lot on the land that you’ll be hunting on. If you can, try to find some images of the land and read some first-hand information about how the land is laid out. This will help you get a clearer picture of whether you’ll be better off stalking or ambushing, for example. Obviously, you’ll be able to adapt your strategy once you’re actually there, but having some sort of plan for the trip helps to make you more prepared.

Once your attack strategy is put together, you can better understand which weapon you should bring with you. The weapon you use on your hunt will likely depend on getting a tag in the region and the local laws, but if you are given a choice, factor your strategy into the decision. Will you be getting close enough to an animal for a shot with a bow, or will you want to bring some sort of firearm? Figuring this out will also help you get more prepared for the upcoming hunt, and preparation is the secret ingredient to success.

Preparing for the Hunt

You’ve planned out the basics and the hunt is starting to get closer. This is when you can start to think about the logistics of the hunt and get yourself ready for the trip.

Create a Packing List

Planning out what to take on a hunting trip usually depends on the region that you’re hunting in, but there are a few basics that you’ll need regardless of where you’re going.

Reloading shotgun

These basic items include:

  • Weapon
  • Ammunition
  • Tags and license
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Food
  • Knife
  • Backpack, fanny pack, or any other way to carry loose equipment
  • Flashlight
  • Scent killer

Map Out the Terrain

At this point in the planning process, you’ll want to get as detailed of a look at the terrain as possible. You don’t want to be showing up before sunrise on the first morning and not have a plan of attack, so do whatever you can to map out the terrain and plan out a route and strategy for each day that you’re there.

If you live far away from where you are traveling, you’ll want to utilize the Internet to make this happen. You can find websites where people will lay out detailed plans of what you should do, so use these first-hand accounts to your advantage. There’s no teacher-like experience, and every bit of information you gather will help you get a little bit closer to success.

If Possible, Scout Ahead of Time

Scouting the land before hunting is perhaps the most valuable thing you can do if you’re granted the time and opportunity. Even if you can get to the location a day early to look around, this will go such a long way towards the success of your hunt.

Taking the time to scout is perhaps the biggest variable that separates average hunters from good hunters. There are so many different insights that you can gain by scouting, and as you continue to pile up information, your brain will help you to make better decisions when the time for hunting actually happens.

Confused about how to scout? We have a full blog post featuring tips for scouting deer.

Get the Proper Gear

Did your scouting show you something about the land that you weren’t originally expecting or weren’t initially familiar with? If so, take this opportunity to load up on any extra gear that you may end up needing for the trip!

Some ideas include:

  • Binoculars
  • Rangefinder
  • Shooting sticks or a tripod
  • Bait
  • Calls
  • A suppressor

While spending more money on your hunting trip this late in the process may not seem all that appealing, if it’s an accessory that will benefit your hunt, it will be worth it in the long run. Once you’ve made it to the location, you won’t want to be held back in the field because you’re missing an accessory that could have helped you out. If you can swing it, it’s usually worth it to spring for the extra accessories that can help you out. You’ve made it this far — you may as well give yourself the best chances possible for success.

Find The Right Silencer

Most Importantly, Enjoy the Trip

No matter what type of hunting trip you take, be sure to enjoy the things that go right and embrace the things that go wrong. Hunting is not a year-round event, so any time that you can get out into the field should be cherished and appreciated, as they don’t come around as often as we would like.

Want to go the extra step to increase your odds of success and make your trip count? Look into hunting with a suppressor. Suppressors help you maintain the element of surprise, improve your accuracy and enhance your hunting experience overall. Learn more about how a suppressor can help you on your hunting trip!

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