Hunting has long turned from a way of survival into a pleasant hobby. Ancient instincts in modern humans, from time to time, require an outlet. So the law-abiding citizen first finds out the places where a hunt is legal, then chooses the type of game, and then turns to the modern market for hunting equipment offers. So, each geographic region and natural area poses different tasks for the hunter. Properly selected weapons and equipment help to solve these problems. Sand camouflage for desert areas, reliable trekking boots for mountainous terrain, and waterproof overalls for hunting near water bodies. However, for a good hunter, not only preparation and luck are essential, but also good optics for working at long distances or in low light.
Mountain hunting is the most challenging type of this activity. It is always brutal and dangerous to get to the habitats of mountain sheep and goats. Even if you find a game, you have to sneak further along the unusual terrain, spending a lot of energy, physical and mental. And after the game is shot, you still need to get it and go down. For more information about this you can check AGMGlobalVision.
Mountain hunting appeared in ancient times on the European mountain ranges (Alps and Pyrenees) and then spread to the Pamirs and the Himalayas. The vast Rocky Mountains of America have taken up this tradition.
Areas for hunting
Before choosing a rifle and camouflage color, it is better to familiarize yourself with where it is generally allowed to hunt.
If we are talking about America, then here are some natural areas and hunting rules in these territories:
- State forests and forest parks. Game species can be hunted in the open season, but pests – always.
- State reserves. Hunting is allowed only for hunting species and only during the hunting season.
- Sanctuaries. Hunting is permitted only for pests.
- Flora and fauna reserves and nature conservation reserves. A complete ban on hunting.
- Water catchment areas. Hunting is also wholly prohibited.
- Resorts. A total ban on hunting.
- Private lands. Hunting is allowed only with the permission of the owner of the land and only in the open season.
- Working zones and zones of significant social use. Hunting is permitted as long as there is no security risk.
- Railway tracks. Hunting is prohibited for traffic safety reasons.
Mountainous areas may be part of nature protection zones or private property. You need to contact the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and find out precisely which hills or mountains and when hunting is allowed.
What is specific to mountain hunting?
Let’s talk about how hunting in the mountains differs from hunting in the plains.
- Differences in relief. These are not just physical loads on the body when climbing to any height but also a problem with the visual perception of distances. Objects on a hill in front of the viewer will appear much closer than they are.
- Also, there are often sudden changes in weather conditions in the mountains. It is the differences in relief that affect atmospheric pressure in certain places. Therefore, the sun’s rays can very quickly hide in thick fog or among the clouds driven by a sudden gust of wind.
- Moving through hilly areas requires excellent endurance and even the correct breathing rate.
- Huge spaces. It`s challenging to make an accurate shot in the mountains because of the reasonably long distances. This means that either year of training in long-range shooting or a telescopic sight and a minimum of skills to handle it will be required.
- There is also a high probability of meeting a predator in the mountains. This means that you always need to keep ammunition closer and be able to determine the distance to the target quickly. And again, either for years to work out the ability to measure the distance by eye or trust a normal optical rifle scope.
- Some mountain animals are nocturnal. And here, the task becomes more complicated at times. A night vision riflescope will do an excellent job of searching, identifying, tracking, and aiming in the night mountains, But don’t become unfulfilled.
- Mountain hunting involves shooting at steep trajectories up and down. This means that the ballistic performance of the cartridge will differ from horizontal firing. At the same time, the target in the mountains is perceived in three dimensions because it is not in a straight line from the shooter. On hilly terrain, it is customary to aim a little lower due to the falling trajectory of a flying bullet.
Equipment for the mountain hunting
As mentioned above, mountain movement is complicated for physically ill-prepared hunters. Therefore, every gram of equipment taken is felt distinctly. However, mountain hunting requires special equipment, without which it is almost impossible to get the desired result.
- Backpack. Yes, this is precisely what will become a reliable help. Needless to say, it has to be a sturdy and dependable backpack. And it’s better to use two at once: for large equipment, a tent, and a sleeping bag; and the second for optics, food, and small equipment. But the backpack must be stowed appropriately and worn correctly. On this depends the efficiency of movement and the solution of tasks. The backpack must be waterproof or have a unique waterproof cover.
- Shoes. These are hunter tires. Shoes determine how far and high you can go while hunting. Boots should be light, durable, and tightly fixed to the shin. There are mountain shoes with ample sole tread and built-in spikes, and there are also separate systems for attaching ends to shoes.
- Clothes. Space in a backpack is worth saving, but this does not apply to several changes of underwear, mittens, a hat, socks, and a raincoat. It is generally better to have things that dry quickly with you. Ascents and descents squeeze out a lot of sweat. And mountain winds love wet travelers. Fleece is very helpful. They are thin, light, but warm. And yet you have to sweat and change clothes.
- Camping mat. Any stop in the mountains, or rest, observation, aiming requires the hunter to contact the ground, grass, moss, rock, etc. But people are not adapted in the process of evolution to such a thing. You need to have a travel mate with you to solve this problem. This will keep you from getting hurt and getting cold.
- Sleeping bag and tent. There is not much to explain here. Sleeping in the wild is much more enjoyable when using this gear.
- Flashlight. Manual or headband. With multiple modes. And some batteries for it.
- Knife. Reliable but not heavy. Foldable is better.
- Food and water. If there is a river or lake nearby, it is better to carry a small plastic bottle with you to quench your thirst and reduce the weight of the equipment. But food should be high-calorie and also compact. If possible, you can take a gas tourist burner with a cylinder and a minimum of steel utensils.
- Glasses for UV protection. The mountains have a special light regime. In the presence of snow cover, the eyes can also get tired from bright light.
- Sunblock. Yes, the sun is closer in the mountains than in the plains. And bakes mercilessly.
- Personal hygiene items.
- First aid kit. Anything can happen in the wild. Sharp rocks, thorny bushes, buzzing insects, sunburn, chafed feet, scratched hands, splinters, poisoning. Yes, a lot more. We need dressing material, a band-aid, napkins, antiseptics, painkillers, antipyretics, drugs for the intestines and stomach, colds, and a hemostatic tourniquet.
- And, of course, weapons. You will have to shoot far and along steep trajectories. Therefore, large calibers with a high muzzle velocity are needed. But do not forget about the weight of the rifle. After all, you have to walk a lot and high with this.
- Optics. Here the task is to bring enough reliable binoculars with you, through which you can view a large area, but which should not weigh too much. With proper care and operation of optical devices, the hunter can choose the most effective ones for himself. It is advantageous to choose the appropriate rifle scope, which can be used as a monocular for observing the area. And to be ready for anything, you should always choose and buy a standard night vision rifle scope.
In the end, everything is simple. If you want to do something correctly, you must first prepare. If a hunter decides to test himself in mountainous areas, it is worth stocking up on physical health, psychological readiness, and reliable equipment.