Mountain hunting is truly wild and one to experience. However, there is a little more to prepare for when mountain hunting. When it comes to mountain hunting, your physical fitness is tested to the limits. You also need to have the correct gear to have a successful hunt. A successful hunt is as good as you prepare for it.
As more people are drawn towards mountain hunting each year, there is a need to be equipped with the right skills. The vast landscapes of mountains can be intimidating and dangerous. You will come across some steep slopes that drain your energy. There are a few things to always keep in mind. Preparing for mountain hunting can be prepared into three categories.
Physical and Mental
Your physical and mental state is also crucial for a successful mountain hunt. There is no shortcut, if you’re heading up the mountains, do yourself some favor and work on your physical fitness. The first step towards physical fitness is conditioning your body. Understand your hunting terrain and get used to it. Running on a treadmill does not compare to hiking 3, 000 feet.
Get out there on your boots and put some miles. Start with little weight and a few miles per day. You can then increase the weight and miles steadily. You don’t have to put your body to exhaustion by running 10 miles on the first day. Start months earlier and build your stamina each day.
Mental strength goes together with physical fitness. You need the mental strength to push through when your body hits a breaking point. You also need to have mental focus when shooting to have accurate shots. Having confidence and knowing you can do it is half the challenge of mountain hunting.
Hunting Gear Preparation
Getting the right gear and setting it up correctly is the first steps towards a thrilling mountain hunt. There are several areas to focus on when choosing the right gear. First, you need the right optics to easily spot and zero on your target. As we indicated earlier, mountain landscapes can be vast, and hard to spot wild animals. Make sure you choose a budget hunting binocular to easily spot animals at long ranges.
Apart from optics, you also need the right boots, clothing, and backpack. The mountain trails can be steep, sharp, and dangerous. Boots are your boots out there. You need a solid pair of hunting boots to protect your feet from blisters. Consider boots that break-in for you, are comfortable, durable, and have enough support. You don’t want to slip down a steep slope because of the wrong boot.
When it comes to clothing, choose a good layering system that will protect you throughout the day. Depending on the hunting location, you can choose clothing with rain protection, a base layer, and insulation. Lastly, look for a backpack with a good suspension system, strong frame, and load filters. If you don’t pack well, you might never reach the peak and enjoy the great scenes from the top.
Having the right gear helps you stay longer and safe in the mountains.
Learning Fundamentals and Practicing Shooting Skills
Lastly, you need to learn the fundamentals of mountain hunting. Shooting in an open straight field is quite different from shooting in the mountains. Mountain hunters understand a lot about the geometry of shooting and bullet trajectory. The first step is learning to build a stable shooting position. It is worth noting that mountain terrains are steep and uneven. For effective shooting, you need to have a stable position for accurate shots. This is something you need to practice before the hunting day. Remember, time is of the essence as targets will not be in a stationary position for long.
Look for a training environment that best matches the hunting environments. You need to simulate the incline and decline angle shooting. Since you’re likely to have bullets traveling downrange, you need to understand how to adjust for correct elevation. Shooting angles in mountain hunting is an essential skill that every hunter must learn. What happens to the bullet flight when we shoot up or down?
Apart from the shooting angles, learn to extend your shooting range. You need to understand your limitations. For hunters with rifles, practice at 300-400 yards. Bowhunters need to feel comfortable at 60 yards. The last thing you want is to wound an animal and leave it bleeding. Mountain hunting presents you with few opportunities for a perfect shot. You might be tempted to shoot at longer ranges when the bull of dreams appears. This is why practicing beyond your ranges is recommended.
There is nothing that best prepares you for mountain hunting other than regular practice. You need to feel those terrains and test your body to the limits. Hunting in the mountains is something that takes hold of your heart. Make sure you’re ready and as the opportunity awaits you to take a big game.