Gearing up for hunting season

By Metro Creative
Recreation & Fitness

Big game and migratory bird hunting is a billion-dollar industry that attracts millions of enthusiasts across North America. According to Statistics Brain, 12.5 million people over the age of 16 hunt annually, and 220 million days are spent hunting each year.

Nature-based tourism and resident and nonresident hunting is also big business in Canada. According to the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia, these industries generate $120 million and employ roughly 2,000 guide outfitters in this province alone.

Hunters provide a necessary service besides keeping game animal numbers within reason. They are the eyes and ears on the ground, and help inform wildlife management decisions. Hunting also generates benefits from hunter-supported organizations like conservation groups, habitat enhancement services and restoration outfits.

Hunters require certain gear to ensure safe and productive trips. Here are some must-have items for any hunter’s packing list.
• Hunting knife
No hunting expedition is complete without a quality knife, which is an invaluable tool. Knives come in different sizes. Many hunters carry a fixed blade knife to field dress a kill and for self-defense against larger animals.
Every day carry knives, or EDCs, also are another sound investment. EDCs may be paired with other gadgets to form a handy multi-tool, which is vital in many different applications.
• Trail markers/light strips
Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts can mark their way to a hunting spot or tree stand and see the path in the dark thanks to illuminated light strips. This helps avoid getting lost at dusk and dawn.
• Hunting apparel
Hunting apparel includes coats, pants, waders, boots, hats, gloves, and much more. Depending on the game to be hunted, attire will be patterned in camouflage to blend into surroundings or blaze orange to set hunters apart and make them more visible to fellow outdoorsmen. Deer cannot distinguish color, so bright orange is commonly worn during deer season. Sales associates from popular outdoor equipment retailers can advise about appropriate attire. Considerations to habitat and weather should be made.
• Storage pack
Hunters require a lightweight, accessible pack that provides easy-to-reach storage. A variety of options are available, and there are even models that have a tree stand work shelf, rifle and bow mount, as well as a removable small items organizer.
• Swiveling bi- or tripod
A small tripod can help hunters stay on moving game and remain steady for the shot. Pivoting or swiveling action keeps a hunters movement smooth and on target.
• Binoculars
Every hunter can benefit from a good set of binoculars. High-quality binoculars will feature glare- and fog-resistant lenses.
• Tree stand

A tree stand platform gives hunters the advantage of an elevated position, which offers better vantage points and keeps them out of the scent line of prey. Tree stands should be coupled with safety harnesses.

Investing in quality hunting equipment can make for a higher success rate and greater comfort while engaging in this popular hobby.