November is hunting season in Montana! If you or someone you know is new to hunting or if you know of someone who is going for the first time, please pass these tips along. Most would seem like common sense, but you'd be amazed at some of the hunter horror stories we hear every year. Be safe, be smart and good luck in filling your freezer. Happy Hunting!
By Anthony Meyers
If you plan a winter hunt when it might snow, don't purchase a white SUV or 4 wheel drive pickup. You want to be able to find your vehicle in a blizzard.
Leave a hunting plan with a relative. Cell phone service is spotty in many mountainous areas where hunting is allowed. If you don't return on time, your family needs to know where to send a search team.
Don't hunt on private property without permission. Posted No Trespassing signs mean no hunting.
Be familiar with the terrain where you plan to hunt. Take the family on a few picnics in the months before hunting season. Familiarity may help you hike out if you lose track of where you are as you retrieve the game you shot.
Have a pack animal or sufficient numbers in your hunting party to carry out an elk or a deer. Do not waste what Mother Nature has provided. It's not nice to only eat the choice cuts and leave the rest behind to rot. Eat what you shoot.
Be prepared for the weather conditions. Camouflage colors depend on the season. Always bring plenty of water. Wear sun screen and a hat to avoid sun burn. Layer your clothes so you don't get hypothermia when the sun goes down.
Leave the alcohol at home; it actually contributes to dehydration or hypothermia.
Be aware of other hunters. Be careful of ricochet events and that there might be another hunter behind that bush across the meadow.
Bird hunting can be disappointing for young hunters. You may want to pay to hunt on a pheasant or quail farm for a child's first hunting experience. These guided hunting parties may be expensive, but it ensures that the child has a positive first hunt. The guide dogs are able to retrieve birds saving time hunting for what was shot. The hikes will also be shorter and not too taxing for the youngster which lowers chances for someone getting lost.