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Night Hunting: Tips and Safety

Doe and Buck Whitetail Deer at duskFor any day hunter, learning how to hunt at night can be exciting, new and challenging. Before planning a night hunt, check with your local Department of Fish and Game for any hunting restrictions in your region. You want to make sure you are able to legally hunt at night.

It is also important to learn about the safety measures you must take in order to have a safe hunt.

Take a look at these night hunting tips to make sure you stay safe but also have a successful hunt:

1. Location is Key

The location you choose for hunting at night is very important. Many animals have extremely good eye sight in the dark so you want to make sure you still pick a hidden spot as you would during day hunting.

The perfect location is an elevated area that will give you a clear view of your surroundings. This will make it easier to spot approaching game. If hunting cleared fields, the ideal site will also overlook a large, clear field and be covered from the back by a wooded area (assuming the wind cooperates) so you are able to remain unseen. If you are with a friend or group, sit near each other so you are able to communicate safely since visibility is limited due to the darkness.

2. Lighting for Night Hunting

Wolf at nightThe light that you use is extremely essential for having a fruitful hunt at night. Do not use a white light as it tends to scare away game such as coyotes, fox, and bobcats and may not bring them close enough for you to take a good shot. Experienced hunters have found the solution for this to be a red lens that softens the bright light and turns it into a red, dim glow that still illuminates an animal’s eyes. Just be sure to keep the light pointed slightly above its head in order to not frighten it.

Some hunters prefer using night vision when hunting at night but this technology can be very expensive so not everyone is able to obtain it. Furthermore, as seen above, night vision is not necessary to have a successful night hunt so if you do not have this, don’t worry!

3. The Right Call: Mouth Calls

Traditional game calls are highly regarded by experienced hunters and they prefer them over digital ones for day or night shooting. They like the challenge of a mouth call as it requires more skill and practice to create the right pitch than does an electronic call. It feels like a great accomplishment when they are able to successfully shoot their target after having “called” into range. Mouth-blown calls come in all shapes and sizes which makes it very easy for an inexperienced hunter to get started with them. These calls are also easier to carry due to their small size.

4. Be Patient

Patience is key when hunting. When hunting at night, animals such as coyotes tend to be less guarded but this does not mean you will always be able to find and shoot one within a short time. Continue searching the open field you are overlooking to spot any incoming animal. Also carry on using your mouth call every 3 – 5 minutes. Don’t give up too soon. If you do not spot anything after 30 – 45 minutes, you should think about moving to a different hunting location.

Night hunting can be a whole new shooting experience for the novice hunter but one they are sure to enjoy. Be sure to use these tips and others to stay safe during night hunting but also to have a successful and exciting hunt.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Dan Thompson Game Calls.

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