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Have you always wanted to go on an out-of-state hunting trip with friends? Do you know how to plan a hunting trip? Going on a hunting trip is one of the goals of most hunters but sadly many never get it marked off their wish list. Going on an out-of-state hunting trip allows you to hunt other terrains and game animals than what you normally hunt. It is an enriching feeling. In this article, we discuss how to properly plan a hunting trip.
How To Plan a Hunting Trip
- DIY or Outfitter
When planning an out-of-state hunting trip, one of the first decisions you and your hunting partners will have to make is whether you will hire an outfitter or do a DIY hunting trip. This is a very important decision to make from the beginning because if no one in the hunting team has any experience hunting in the state and area your want to hunt, then the best choice will be to hire a guide or an outfitter.
When hiring an outfitter, you have to do your research and find out all the services that you will get from the outfitter and the cost. You want to really get a good idea of the experience of the outfitter concerning the area and the animal your want to hunt before committing to the guide.
Look for reviews and talk to other hunters in that area that you can find on social media. An experienced outfitter can cut your learning curve and be a reliable source for hunting the game animal. However, if there are members of your hunting party that have hunted in the area and are familiar with the terrain, game animals, and the hunting laws in the area, then your might consider doing a DIY hunting trip.
2. What To Hunt
The proper way to plan a hunting trip involves some thinking and planning. If want to plan a hunting trip with other hunting friends, then one of the first things to consider is what animal will be hunted. Will you be hunting whitetail deer, mule deer, elk, pronghorns, wild turkeys, moose, caribou, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, bears, or other game animals? The area you and your hunting buddies want to hunt will determine the game animals your will hunt or vice versa.
3. Where To Hunt
When planning an out-of-state hunting trip, another important decision to make is where you and your friends want to hunt. Will it be a state close to the state your live in or will it be for a unique experience far away in the country? As stated above, the game animal your want to hunt will determine that area to hunt or vice versa.
If you know which game animal your want to hunt, then the research phase of the hunting trip begins. You want to research which states are the best states for the game animal that your want to hunt. This information can easily be found online and this research will help with the planning of the hunting trip.
4. Hunting Laws
Another important part of planning an out-of-state hunting trip is to learn what are the hunting laws in that state and the county or city that your will be hunting. You want to be aware of all the laws regarding hunting the game animal your want to hunt in that area.
Which weapons are allowed, which hunting methods are permitted, are there any types of bait that are illegal, can your hunt at night, and many other things related to hunting? Will you need permits, tags, etc?
If you know the area that you intend to hunt, then you can do more research by using Google Earth and hunting apps like HuntStand, HuntWise, or onX to study the landscape and look for possible cover where animals may reside, possible bedding areas, water sources, valleys, funnels, transition zones, travel routes, etc. You want to mark possible areas of interest that may be possible hunting areas to target.
6. Wildlife Biologists
If you want to go the extra mile, you can find the state or county wildlife website and find the wildlife biologists that are assigned to the area your want to hunt. With the information you gather from Google Earth or hunting apps, you want to talk with wildlife biologists about your hunting trip and the game animals you intend to hunt.
Most likely, the wildlife biologists will give you valuable information about the movements, behaviors, population, possible bedding areas, migratory patterns, food sources, etc. of the game animals you want to hunt.
7. Social Media
If you start planning well ahead of your hunting trip, you can also go online to social media sites like Reddit, Facebook, hunting forums, and other hunting sites where you can chat with other hunters from the area who will give you information about hunting in that area.
You may also learn the best hotels and motels to stay in that will be closer to your hunting area. This can yield very valuable hunting information about the area if you go the extra mile and interact with other hunters from the area on social media platforms.
8. Hunting Method
You and your hunting friends will need to decide which weapons will be used during the hunting trip. Will it be firearms or bow hunting? Will you be implementing spot and stalk, using treestands, or another hunting method? The hunting laws in the state or area will determine which hunting method can be used for hunting
9. Delegate Responsibilities
Planning an out-of-state hunting trip involves many things. You have to coordinate arrivals and lodging, arrange car rentals, plan meals for the hunting trip, check if everyone has the required licenses, hunt and safety clothing, and many other things. One or two individuals can’t shoulder the responsibilities of the camping trip. You will have to delegate some tasks to other members of the team and follow up with them to make sure they are done.
10. Check The Weather
Another important point to factor into planning an out-of-state hunting trip is the weather. You want to look at the weather for about 4 weeks during the time of the planned trip. You want to know what will the weather be 2 weeks before the days you want to hunt and 2 weeks during and after the days you intend to hunt. This will give you an indication of the weather for the period of time and help you plan well to avoid bad weather.
11. Packing Checklist
When planning an out-of-state hunting trip, it is important and very helpful to create a packing list. To bring everything that your will need on the hunting trip, creating a packing list will help everyone plan for the trip and minimize the possibility of forgetting important hunting gear, licenses, permits, or equipment.
There are many things that you will need for the hunting trip and creating a list that will be given to everyone, will help to make the trip a successful one. As much as you want to create a checklist to bring everything you need for the hunting trip, you also do not want to overpack. Below are some of the hunting items regularly used on a hunting trip:
- Scent Killer
- Hunting Knife
- Camouflage Clothing
- First Aid Kits
- GPS Units
- Game Bags
- Field Dressing Kits
- Emergency Signaling Devices
- Trail Marking Gear
- Zip Ties
- Cell Phones & Chargers
- Hunting Optics
- Extra Batteries
- Fire Starters
- Water Filter Gadgets
The Bottom Line
Planning an out-of-state hunting trip requires a lot of thinking and meticulous attention to detail. An out-of-state hunting trip is the wish of many hunters and you can achieve that dream by planning for it. It is an awesome experience and will be even better when you go with some family members or your friends.
How to plan a hunting trip is not as difficult as it may seem. In this article, we outlined and discussed the steps to take when planning an out-of-state hunting trip. If you want to improve your hunting skills, you can read how to hunt, how to hunt deer on public land, how to hunt deer at night, how to ship meat after a hunt, and how to field dress a deer.