You enjoy hunting, and you would like to learn about how to field test hunting gear. Maybe you are a blogger, and you want to increase readership of your hunting blog, or maybe you want to write field test reviews for magazines. Perhaps you just want to be able to one up everyone with stories about field testing hunting gear back at the cabin after a day's hunt. In any of these circumstances, here is how to get started.
To field test hunting equipment you will need:
- the equipment you want to field test
- a hunting license
- tags for the game you hunt
- transportation to and from your hunting grounds
information for family or friends of where you will be and when you should be back, in case the field test goes awry
- Select the gear you want to field test. It is best to start with one piece of equipment you would like to test. For example, if you want to field test a new skinner that just came on to the market, get the knife and focus on testing just that piece of equipment. The rest of your equipment, especially when you are starting out, should be your standard rig.
- Do an initial test under controlled conditions. It is always important to make sure the hunting gear is functioning before taking it out for a field test. If you are testing a new rifle, shoot it at the range and sight it in before trying for a 500 yard shot in the field that you've never attempted before. If you are testing a flint for starting a camp fire, make sure you can start a small fire in a park grill before you get stuck, cold and wet with fresh game you can't prepare, because you don't know the basics of the gear you are field testing. Those new boots that look great on the web could give you a nasty blister if you don't test them on an evening stroll around your neighborhood.
- Create a backup plan. Bring a piece of trusty, old gear you know you can rely on to back you up on your field test of new hunting gear. If you are testing the flint, bring the camp stove you've used for years. You'll be thankful when you strike your usual waterproof matches and see that blue flame leap up. With the rifle, have your buddy cover your shoulder with standard gear you both know well. If the new rifle is off target, you don't want an animal suffering while you try to stalk it through the field. Take a quick follow-up shot using your trusty old hunter and evaluate what went wrong with the new rifle.
- Notify your friends and family. Every hunting trip starts with a hunting plan, and learning about how to field test hunting gear is no exception. It may be more likely you will need help when using new gear because of your lack of familiarity.
- Go into the wild. Field testing hunting gear can add an edge for advanced hunters who know their way around the hunt. This is where you execute your plan and take the risk on the new equipment. Take the challenge and commit one-hundred percent.
- Come back with new knowledge. Every hunt teaches you something new about yourself and your environment. Field testing hunting gear is a way to heighten your experience and to increase the challenge of your hunt.
During the next hunting season, go ahead and give it a shot. There are always new scent covers, knives, rifles, boots, jackets and more developed for hunting. Give yourself the challenge, and maybe pass on some tips and tricks to the next generation.