We consider the advantages of not going it alone into the hunting field when you’re a beginner hunter or even an experienced hunter.
Accompanying novice or friends
I have to admit I prefer hunting on my own, not something I would recommend to those new to the game, as a little help is never a bad thing. I will also take out newcomers too, as some aspects of my years of experience can be passed on to hopefully make a better and more responsible hunter, who will carry this legacy into the future. Occasionally,
I do go out with trusted and like-minded friends, as there can be advantages as we shall see.
The advantages of accompanied hunting
In its simplest form two people can bear half the load each, for example, sharing a vehicle saves money and is even more eco-friendly. Chores like recovering deer and field dressing the carcasses are much faster and easier too, plus with a novice, they will be learning valuable skills in real-time training situations.
Tactics too come into play, if for example, you are carrying out a cull plan, you can place yourselves in advantageous positions. If you know where deer come from and go to on your land, then one of you can walk and the other be a static gun, in this way you can drive the game to the shooter more easily. Other givens are night hunting as one of you can lamp and spot and the other shoot or varminting in the day range find.
Trust is important
As well as a good knowledge of the terrain
However, communication, location and trust are big factors, as it might be you will not be able to see each other, so it’s essential you understand the lay of the land. I know my various permissions very well as to where you can take safe shots, ranges etc. and more importantly where you can’t, as to arcs of fire and no-shoot zones.
When out with a friend or even friends a large scale ordnance survey map is a useful aid as are walkie talkies, although these days a mobile phone is more practical.
But beware of confusion when you’re too much
On the point of more than one companion, you should not take too many people into the field, as it could cause confusion and possible dangers, as not everyone is as responsible as you might be or think you are.
So, if you intend to separate and stalk different parts of the permission then make a plan as to getting to landmarks, high seats etc. before commencing the hunt and communicating that information to your partner.
Two or more is better for safety.
Another advantage that the solo hunter does not have is the all important question of what happens if you have an accident? I’ve hunted in the Scottish highlands and stepped into a small bog once and got mired up to my knees and despite my best efforts could not get free. Luckily there was three of us and they manged to dig and pull me out. Sounds funny, I agree, but what if I’d been on my own, that would have been a very different story!
Accidents can and do happen from a fall, twisted ankle or even more serious things like a cut etc. Make a plan to check in at regular intervals, you don’t have to talk, a text is equally good and won’t spook the deer either. If you don’t hear from your partner after a set time and can’t get in contact, if you have made a proper plan then you know where they will be, and you can go and find them.
On a lighter note there’s the real pleasure of hunting together and the spirit of healthy competition and sharing in each other’s successes or making light of the failures.
And you, do you prefer to hunt alone or accompanied?