Know Your Quarry
Of all the steps of preparation, educating yourself about the game you’re hunting is one of the most critical. Understanding your quarry will increase your success and add to the enjoyment of the experience as well.
In many cases, knowing your quarry is also necessary to ensure that you’re taking legal game. For example, you may need to determine the sex of game birds on sight or quickly recognize protected species as they move into firing range. If you hunt in a region where white-tailed and mule deer occupy the same area, you’ll need to know how to identify both.
There are many ways that wild animals are classified, but hunters are concerned with four basic categories.
- Large mammals: Big game, such as deer, elk, and bear
- Small mammals: Small game, such as rabbits, squirrels, and raccoons
- Upland birds: Turkey, grouse, quail, and dove
- Waterfowl: Ducks and geese
It is critical that you educate yourself about your quarry when preparing to hunt. Understanding game species will add to your enjoyment and increase your chances of success as well.