When provided the opportunity to go hunting, try to keep the following in mind.
- Be prepared: Although becoming a new hunter can be somewhat overwhelming, a little research into the activity prior to the first outing is recommended. Doing your “homework” prior to a hunting or shooting activity displays your level of interest and may be greatly appreciated by the mentor.
- Be safe, legal, and sure: Even a newbie should understand some basic firearm and tree stand safety, the significance of reviewing hunting regulations prior to the season, and the importance of properly identifying the target before pulling the trigger or releasing a bow string.
- Be on time: Hunting involves a distinct timeline, and although not always critical, should be adhered to. Avoid making your mentor wait for you due to lack of preparedness.
- Be polite: Show your hunting mentor your interest by listening, learning, and remaining respectful. It could mean the difference between gaining a new hunting companion and a one-time only outing.
- Be appreciative: Keep in mind that mentoring is the ultimate outdoor gift. Showing appreciation for it is welcomed and appreciated. If you can afford it, offer to buy breakfast, lunch, or contribute to fuel costs. Even a simple thank you is always appreciated by the mentor that provides a hunting opportunity.
- Be proactive: Some of the greatest hunting rewards and accomplishments come through spending time learning about the habitat and species being hunted. Satisfaction from hunting does not come solely from pulling the trigger or releasing a bow string and no one, no matter how long they’ve hunted, knows everything about hunting. Becoming a successful hunter is a learning process that is never ending.
- Be ethical: Responsible hunters abide by two sets of laws. One set is established by government for the protection of resources and people. The other set is based on our moral behavior. Always set an example for other hunters by being law-abiding and ethical both in and out of the field. The future of hunting depends on it.