Whether you’re hunting antelope, black bears, or mountain lions, hunting is a difficult sport. Your first few hunting trips will likely involve several mistakes. This is normal and shouldn’t diminish your enthusiasm. However, you can reduce the likelihood of these mistakes by being aware of them beforehand.
You’re unprepared for higher elevations
Many beginner hunters don’t realize the impact mountain elevations can have on their body. Humans start to experience altitude sickness after reaching more than 2500m above sea level. Here in Wilsall, MT, we sit at roughly 1542m above sea level, and this number will continue to rise once you start hunting in the mountains.
But even if you are below 2500m, your body will still have to adjust to the change in altitude. Higher altitudes mean less oxygen, forcing your heart and lungs to work overtime. You may not get altitude sickness, but you could get tired and out-of-breath quicker than you would have.
We recommend training 3 to 6 months before your hunt in order to strengthen your cardiovascular health.
You rush your shots
Many beginner hunters are eager to get their first kill. However, this can cause them to rush their shots. Hunting is a practice in patience. If you want a successful hunt, then you need to wait for the right time to take your shot. Ideally, you would have located your target before dawn, and then get close to them as the sun comes up. Wait until they’re in range and in the right position before trying to shoot.
You call too much
Hunting calls can help attract animals to your location. While this can be especially advantageous, there is the risk of calling too much. Once again, don’t let your impatience get the better of you. Blow a hunting call sparingly, as less is more in these situations. If you’re unsure when to use a hunting call, you can always ask your guide for advice.