Wanting to hunt at night? Not sure where to start? It might sound intimidating or difficult to master, but as long as you follow a few guidelines we are confident that you will be a pro in no time. Follow these 11 starter tips to help you have a highly rewarding pursuit.
Know the law. Understand night hunting and night vision laws and regulations within the state you plan on hunting in. Do you know whether or not it is legal in your state? There are states that prohibit the use of night vision and some states will not allow you to hunt at night.
Choose your weapon. Choose your weapon based on the type of terrain you plan on hunting and the distances you will be shooting. Also take into consideration the type of animal you will be hunting. A feral hog will take a different weapon than a raccoon.
Choose your scope. Depending on where and what you are hunting, you might find that you prefer to use a thermal scope over a night vision scope. Do your research to find the best rifle scope for your prey and environment.
Wear camo. It is extremely important to blend in with your hunting environment. Fox, coyote, and hogs are smart and have keen senses. Pay attention to detail, cover your face and hands, especially if you plan o n moving often while hunting.
Know the direction the wind is blowing. Nocturnal animals have a very acute sense of smell because their eyes cannot be their primary sense at night. If you keep the wind in your face, your scent will be blown away from the prey your are hunting instead of towards your pray. It is also very important to pay close attention to your stand when you are approaching it, so that you don’t pollute your target area with the smell of your scent.
Minimize noise. Make sure to move as silently as you can. Similar to scent, noise is something that nocturnal animals rely on. Their keen hearing and their sharp sense of smell are the primary senses that they will be using. Moving slow and purposefully, make take some time, but it will be worth it in the end because you won’t scare off your prey.
Identify your ranges. Planning is key. If you have planned your hunt and already know your distances between specific landmarks you will be in good shape. Try using a range card or drawing up a small map with landmarks and their measurements. This will help you be confident in your shooting position and distances. Don’t forget to know your rifle’s ranges as well as the drop at various ranges.
Plan to hunt under the light of the moon. If you are able to plan the date of your hunt based on the availability of the moon, your hunt will be easier. Hunting with the light of the moon will be so much easier than planning on a completely overcast night.
Select and secure your calls. There are a wide variety of calls available based on prey you are hunting. If you are hunting in cold climates, make sure to choose mouth calls that won’t freeze in sub temperatures. Reed calls are notorious for freezing up. Make sure you secure your call to a lanyard so that it is easy to find and won’t get lost.
Know when and where to call. Depending on the predator, you might find yourself calling and at different times and places. Make sure you know your prey in order to find the times that will offer the best action.
Be ready to move. Especially when hunting prey like hogs, you need to be prepared to move after you have fired. They are smart animals and will not return to the same location.