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Hunting is a thrilling and intimidating outdoor experience that requires patience, skill, and the right gear. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned hunter, having the right hunting gear can make all the difference in your adventure, especially in terms of comfort and safety. This article provides tips for choosing gear that is not only of high quality but also functional, with a focus on hunting Texas hogs.
Determine Your Hunting Needs
Before looking at the tips, you need to determine what you’re looking for. The factors you consider are the hunting terrain, weather conditions, choice of weapons, and the type of hog you want to hunt. This information will help you narrow down your options to purchase equipment tailored to your needs.
1. Right Clothing
Wearing clothing that can camouflage or blend in with the surroundings is a good idea when out hunting. The Texas landscape includes mossy oaks, shadow grass, and Realtree, so choosing clothing pattern prints similar to these will disguise you well with the environment.
In addition, it is also important to note the season and weather conditions of the place you intend to hunt. For example, summer seasons have a temperature as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas cold seasons go down to an average of 36 degrees Fahrenheit. So dressing accordingly is important.
Invest in lightweight, waterproof fabrics that are made from high-quality materials such as Gore-tex, polyester, or Cordura nylon, which is also abrasion-resistant. Along with high quality, make sure the fabric is comfortable and breathable so you don’t suffocate in harsh hunting conditions.
2. Comfortable Footwear
In Texas hog hunts, you’ll likely be walking long distances to capture one. In that case, invest in comfortable, durable, and waterproof boots. Look for boots with rubber soles to give you good support and better traction on slippery surfaces.
3. A High-Quality Backpack
A good quality backpack will not only carry all your hunting gear but also snacks, water and first aid. Invest in backpacks with a lot of pockets and compartments to keep everything organized so you won’t have trouble finding what you want in the middle of a hunt.
4. Choice of Weapons
When it comes to choosing the right weapon to hunt, there are many options.
When choosing rifles for hunting, look for accuracy, which is easy to carry. Also, consider the caliber of the gun. For instance, if you’re hunting a hog, you’ll need a larger caliber, such as 308 Winchester or 30-06 Springfield.
Shotguns with 00 buck can take out animals of any size. However, the downside is that you’d have to be a lot closer to your game to hit. Another downside is that shotguns tear up a lot of meat, so rifles are your best option.
Look for crossbows with the highest possible diversity of drawing weights, velocity, construction quality, ergonomic designs, safety features, and lightweight. Additionally, crossbow models such as Centerpoint Sniper 370 or TenPoint Vapor are easy to carry, whether you use a padded crossbow sling or not.
Also called “atlatl” (pronounced as at-lah-tul) by American scholars, it is a hunting tool invented and used at least as long ago as the Upper Paleolithic period in Europe. Today, the handles on the spear are much shorter, and the shafts are characterized as being thick and strong to make it easier and safer for the hunter to wield.
Unless you’re an experienced hunter, it would be safe to hunt using rifles rather than spears, as the latter requires close contact with the game, which can prove to be dangerous.
Hunting knives are important to skin and clean your game. So it is essential to pick ones that are comfortable, sharp, durable, and made of good quality materials. When selecting knives, naturally, there are some features you need to look for:
- Sturdiness: You can pick a fixed blade or a folding type made of stainless steel.
- Handle: The shape of the handle should be comfortable to hold and made of material that can still be grippy even when wet. Micarta or hardwood handles are preferably the best in this case.
- Sheath: Sheaths made of leather or thermoplastic work and look great.
- Handguard: To prevent the knife from slipping forward during a thrust.
- Quality: Hunting is dangerous, so don’t compromise on quality. Get the best one; even if it’s costly, it’ll serve you well in the long run.
- Size: Typically, a 6-inch blade is enough, but there are blades with sizes ranging from 10 – 12 inches. It depends on which one you’re comfortable using.
5. Binoculars & Scopes
Good-quality optical devices are a game-changer when it comes to hunting. They allow you to see and track your game from a long distance, increasing your chances of a successful hunt. Invest in binoculars or scopes with 6 to 12x magnification. If you’re hunting at night, a good pair of night-vision goggles will help you spot your game in the darkness.
6. Hunting Game Calls
Game calls are devices that mimic animal noises. It drives the game towards the hunters close enough to take a shot. These are effective in attracting hogs, ducks, deer, geese, and moose, to name a few.
You can also use these sounds directly from your smartphone through a hunting game call app. Electronic game calls are effective in attracting games from a distance as they can be really loud.
7. Food & Snacks
Whether you capture your game or not, you’ll need all the energy to hunt. Therefore, carry food and water in your backpack that is packaged and ready to eat or requires less hassle. Foods that you can take on your hunting trip are:
- Bananas: A healthy source of fiber, vitamins, and potassium, bananas are energy boosters. Not only are they a healthy snack, but you can also eat them quietly, unlike apples. Chomping down apples makes noise which may scare away your game.
- Energy Chocolate Bars: Chocolate bars such as Snickers can calm your hungry tummy and make you feel full for hours: delicious and filling, all in one.
- Jerky: If you’re successful in your hunt, you’ll probably have your own jerky. But still, bring one with you. It’s loaded with proteins, and some varieties also have fat.
- Crackers: These carbs will make you feel full. To make it fancier, slip in some jerky and cheese and make your own charcuterie board.
- Instant coffee packets: Making coffee is an easy feat. Pack instant coffee packets (a lot of it!) and make classic brews for the day.
If you plan on preparing ready-to-eat meals or even coffee, don’t forget to bring a small pot (for boiling water or frying jerky), some cutleries, a plate and a small jar of oil.
8. Communication Devices
When out with other hunters, keep communication lines open. You can use walkie-talkies or any two-way mobile radio transmitters. Keep your phone with you always and navigate your way around the area using a GPS on your smartphone. This way, you can find your way back in an emergency without any hassle.
9. Safety Gear
Hunting can be dangerous, and things may take a turn for the worst. So for those possibilities of worst-case scenarios, you must take safety measures before taking off for hunting. Hunters must wear orange vests, hats, and/or jackets to be viewable from a distance.
Similarly, camouflage clothes, sturdy boots, rugged pants and gloves can be worn for safety. Also, carry a first aid kit in your backpack that’ll treat basic injuries. Essentials such as bandages, band-aids, tweezers, rubbing alcohol, ointments and pain medicines.
A good rule of thumb: hunters need to be first aid and CPR certified so that in the event of an emergency, you can save someone’s life – or even your own.
Hunting is an exhilarating outdoor activity that can be thrilling and rewarding at the same time. Therefore, choosing the right kind of gear makes all the difference for a safe and successful hunting trip. Whether you’re hunting a Texas hog or any other animal, it is always a good idea to go prepared. Wear visible and bright-colored clothing, comfortable and sturdy footwear, and carry weapons that are tailored to your needs. Always keep your communication devices open and easily accessible. Invest in high-quality hunting gear, and you’ll never regret it. Happy Hunting!