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A turkey, a deer, and a rabbit

By learning about your quarry before you go hunting, you will be able to:

  • Increase your chance of success.
  • Enjoy your hunt more.
  • Make sure you are taking legal game.

Birds over marshland

Animals can be identified by four basic characteristics: their distinctive markings, the sounds they make, the way they move, and their group behavior.

Hunters tracking in snow

There are various strategies you can use while hunting. These include still hunting, stalking, and posting. You may use ground blinds or elevated stands to conceal or position yourself. Game calling, driving, and flushing are techniques used to expose game. Dogs can help locate and retrieve game. Setting traps is a technique used for certain game when allowed.

Vital organs of a deer

To bring home the game you are seeking while inflicting the minimal amount of suffering on the quarry, you should learn how to place a shot for a clean kill. The most effective shots are delivered to an animal’s vital organs—the heart and lungs.

Quartering-toward shot angle

The shot angle is the angle at which the animal is standing in relation to the hunter. The different types of shot angles are broadside, quartering-away, quartering-toward, head-on, and rear-end. Know which angle offers the best chance of a clean kill for different game and which shots should not be taken.

Hunter trailing game

It is a hunter's ethical responsibility to stop the hunt and search for any wounded animal. Watch its movements, and follow signs such as blood or tracks.

Hunter approaching a downed deer

The best way to approach a downed deer or other large animal is from above and behind the head. Make sure that it is dead, and then tag it immediately.

The growth of bacteria is the cause of spoiled meat. Three factors contribute to bacteria growth—heat, moisture, and dirt—so it is best to field dress the animal immediately.

Hunters transporting game animal

When transporting game, be sure to keep it covered to take the necessary steps to avoid offending others. Also keep the dressed game cool and free of insects.

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