Often times, we hear go big or go home. I think this is a common thought to just about anything in life. If you are going to buy a car, make sure you get it fully loaded and make sure it’s huge! If you shoot a deer, it needs to have a massive rack, etc. Big game hunting is a very addictive form of hunting and it is very exciting to say the least. However, if you are just getting started in the outdoors, if you want to experience a hunt that’s a little different or you just want to hunt more often throughout the year, small game hunting is a great option for you.
How does it differ you ask?
For one, I think you can let loose a little more and have a bit more fun small game hunting. You aren’t worried about rabbits having an amazing sense of smell and sniffing you out with the wind direction. You see, when you are hunting big game, you have to watch every step, you have to play the wind and you ultimately need to be pretty darn fool-proof to find and stalk a big deer or elk. When you are small game hunting, your objective is to walk around through the brush and get birds to flush out. When you hunt rabbit, you want to hike around and then freeze from time to time because your lack of motion all of a sudden freaks a rabbit out and it bolts out of nowhere. This ultimately gives you a huge upper hand. It’s almost as if your objective small game hunting is to get animals out from their hides holes to harvest them. The ability to hike around, flush animals out and get some miles on your boots is a great benefit that you can share with friends to make it enjoyable.
Time is also a big benefit. You can do a pretty short hunt and manage to get a lot done. A 1 to 2 day period is plenty of time to meet your objectives. This isn’t typically the case big game hunting out west, where a week to 10 days is a typical length of time for a hunting trip. In 2 days small game hunting, you can have the opportunity to harvest and see multiple animals. You typically can’t say that with other hunts.
Hunting in off times. Most hunters are up early morning to either glass or get into the tree stand and then they are back in camp or taking a snooze in the mountains during the middle of the day. This then leads into a late afternoon evening hunt. When you are small game hunting, you can do it at all times of the day. Certain species of animals react differently and also have different life patterns that yield an huge opportunity for hunters. If you don’t want to wake up at 4am, getting out at 8am is still good!
Most importantly, small game hunting will give you the opportunity to still scout for other animals and you get experience out in the wild. You will see tracks and trails to a bunch of other critters that will yield to many waypoints and memories of where you saw a deer track, elk track or coyotes. You can put this into your knowledge bank and use it for your next years tag application process if desired.
As you can see, there are many great reasons to get out and experience some small game hunts. No matter what, being out and experiencing the outdoors is better than being on the couch. Go get out there and have some fun.
Here is a short video of a small game hunt and a new hunter learning about some new tracks.
Scout, Hunt, Repeat