Some people think that if they know how to shoot a gun and know how to hunt, then they’re ready to hunt. However, that’s not always the case. That’s because the wilderness can be an unforgiving mistress, so the hunter should have a skill set that exceeds simply knowing how to operate a firearm or knowing where to hunt. They need to have outdoor skills that will enable them to master their environment and allow them to get out of a scrape if they find themselves in a survival situation. That’s why we’ve decided to write this article on the Wilderness Survival Skills That Every Hunter Should Know. Okay, let’s get started.
Knowing How To Setup A Backcountry Hunting Pack
One of the first skills any hunter is going to want to know is how to set up their backcountry hunting pack. This means packing the tent with some of the items the hunter is going to need without weighing it down with a bunch of unnecessary items. A backcountry pack should contain a multi-tool, fire starter, sleeping bivy, tent, clothes, spare food, and maps. They should make sure that the pack is packed with the heaviest items at the bottom of the bag and lighter items towards the top. And they should make sure that the weight is evenly distributed for maximum comfort.
Knowing How To Start A Fire
The next thing that the hunter is going to want to know is how to start and maintain a fire. This means not only starting a fire in their backyard but also starting a fire in wet and/or snowy conditions. And the hunter should practice on it until they’ve mastered the skill. You never know when you’re going to need to be able to start a campfire when you’re out in the wilderness.
Knowing How To Sharpen Knives & Hatchet
Keeping your knives and hatchets sharp is an absolute necessity out in the field. Not only do you need to keep your knife sharp for skinning or gutting game, but having a sharp hatchet can be quite useful for chopping wood for a shelter or a fire, or for busting up an elk’s pelvis. The hunter should know how to use a whetstone to keep their knives and hatchets nice and sharp.
Knowing How To Resight A Scope In The Field
A hunter may have spent a considerable amount of time and effort sighting their scopes at absolute zero, but any number of different mishaps in the field can ruin all of that work. That’s why the hunter needs to know how to resight their scope in the field. This is usually done by approaching a tree trunk and performing some test shots and then making adjustments to bring the scope back to a proper zero.
Knowing How To Sight Without A Scope
Since we’re talking about scopes, what happens if a hunter drops his scope and ends up breaking it? Well, if he or she knows how to scope with iron sights, then it’s no big deal. However, if they don’t, then they might as well pack up and go home. Knowing how to sight game both with and without a scope is a skill every hunter should know and train on. This will ensure that they’re prepared for any inevitability.
Knowing How To Make Rope Knots
Another handy skill for any hunter to know is to tie a bowline. This type of rope knot is useful in securing loads to trees or other lashing points. However, that’s not the only knot useful to the hunter. There are also several other types of knots that can make hunting a lot easier—if the hunter is willing to learn how to tie these knots. These knots include:
- Sheet Bend Knots
- Two Half-Hitches
- The Square Knot
- The Clove Hitch
- The Taut Line Hitch
- Figure 8 Knot
- The Rolling Hitch
- The Timber Hitch
- The Prusik Knot
Knowing How To Disassemble And Clean Firearms
It’s also important for the hunter to practice disassembling and cleaning their firearms out in the field. Although this skill won’t be used very often, especially if the hunter properly maintains their firearms in the first place, it’s still quite a useful skill to know. As we all know by now, just about anything can happen out in the field, so the hunter has to be prepared for just about anything.
Knowing How To Navigate Without A Compass
Another skill that’s extremely important is the ability of the hunter to navigate without a compass. This includes not only being able to identify direction by the stars but also using the location of the sun to determine direction. It’s also a pretty good idea if the hunter learns how to make a working compass out of a needle or nail.
Knowing How To Build A Shelter
It’s our opinion that everyone who ventures out into the wilderness should learn how to build a shelter. It doesn’t matter if they’re a hunter, camper, hiker, mountaineer, a fisherman, or simply a person who likes to walk through the woods. Everyone should know how to make a shelter because an outdoorsman never knows when circumstances are going to arise that result in them becoming lost or trapped in the wilderness. In those instances, a shelter may be the only thing that stands between them and exposure and/or death.
Knowing How To Purify Water & Forage
Hunters should also know how to purify water while they’re out in the wilderness as well. And that’s for the same reasons that they’re going to want to know how to build a shelter. The hunter never knows when they may end up in a survival situation that requires them to secure potable drinking water.
It’s also a good idea for hunters to know what plants and fruits are edible in their hunting area. Although no one needs to become a wilderness expert to hunt, being able to identify some of the foods that can be foraged, if necessary, can ensure that the hunter is safe if they ever do find themselves in a survival situation.