For the last couple of months, most of my readers have asked me one simple question; why must you learn to recognize key characteristics of the animal you’re hunting? Well, there are several reasons for that. But before getting into them, let me say this.
The ability to accurately identify all animal species makes you a better hunter. It increases the type of hunting experience that you get and helps you to hunt in the right way. As such, developing the best wildlife identification skills becomes a basic requirement every hunter should have.
Even so, to accurately identify the game, as a hunter, you must teach yourself how to recognize the key characteristics of every animal that you’re hunting.
Top Reasons Why You Should Learn to Identify Key Animal Characteristics
So why must you learn to recognize the key characteristics of the animal you’re hunting? Take a look at some of the best reasons why you need to do that.
Distinguish Between Species
First, if you learn to recognize the key characteristics of a different animal that you are hunting, it will help you as a hunter to easily distinguish between similar animal species. You can easily determine which animal is a deer and which one is a bear.
In short, you can name the animals by simply looking at their key characteristics. A deer might have horns, which a rabbit doesn’t. The rabbit hops while a deer runs. The rabbit is small in size, and a deer is larger.
Understanding the Sex
Another thing in which understanding the key traits of the animals that you are hunting will help with is in the identification of the sex. You will understand which animal is male and which one is female under the same species.
This is equally helpful since, in some animals, you could be allowed to hunt the female and not the male. Or vice versa. That’s why it is important that you understand how to identify the animals that you are hunting by looking at their physical appearance.
Proper Animal Conservation
Again, if you can correctly identify animals using their traits, you will help in the conservation of animals. You won’t have illegal harvests, neither will you hunt any non-game animals. This is a great way of preserving some animals that are nearing extinction.
Proper identification is therefore vital for any hunter that wants to enjoy their sport and at the same time give back to society through animal conservation.
It’s a Basic Requirement
The need for a hunter to develop proper wildlife identification skills is a requirement by law. As a basic requirement, every hunter should learn this first before they point their guns at any game. To have an accurate identification of the game, take your time to learn how to recognize the key characteristics of every animal that you plan on hunting.
In addition to the above, any mistakes in the identification of an animal that you are hunting can easily lead to illegal harvests of the game or even the killing of non-game animals. When this happens, it can lead to cardinal offenses and, consequently, jail terms and fines.
No hunter wants this to happen to them. The best way to avoid that is to learn how to identify the animals that you are hunting by their characteristics. Physical appearance will form a great identification method.
Improve Your Hunting Skills
The sole ability to accurately identify these animal species makes you a polished hunter. It gives you a memorable hunting experience and leaves you with unlimited enjoyment on every hunting trip that you take. This is awesome and is one of the major reasons why I never let any deer hunting season pass me by.
NOTE: These benefits show you why you must learn to recognize key characteristics of the animal you’re hunting. They are simple to follow and gives you every weight that you may have required. Make sure that you take your time to add to them any other reasons that you can find.
Basic Characteristics Used for Animal Identification
What are the basic characteristics that are used for correct animal identification? To experience an easy time when identifying the right animals that you should be hunting, there are some basic characteristics that’ll help you and which you must learn. These characteristics include the following.
- Distinctive markings
- Animal sounds
- Group behavior
- Feeding habits
The other tips that you can also use to identify the animals that you are about to hunt include habitat (where they live) and the way of animal movement.
Even so, for you to properly identify the animals, you must be able to spot them. That’s what brings us to our next subtitle.
How Can You Spot Animals in the Wild
Like I have just mentioned, it is important to spot an animal in the wild before you can accurately identify it. This may not be easy, but luckily for you, I have laid out some of the best tips to help you.
Check Nearby the Transition Areas
Animals love to spend most of their time around food and water. This may mean streams, riverbanks, or around the shores of the lake. Such places provide the best camouflage while at the same time, the satisfaction of having a full tummy.
When hunting for deer, look around open sunny areas with herbaceous growth or shrubs. However, they must be areas that are closer to the forested areas for quick shelter in case of an ambush.
The mud and sand around watery areas will again leave you with great tracks that you can use to identify animal’s proximity.
Bring the Right Equipment
With the right binoculars or rangefinders, you can easily spot and identify an animal that you are hunting easily. It doesn’t matter whether it is a turkey, deer, or a specific type of bird. So invest in the best hunting equipment.
Time of Day and Year
Like fish, there are animals that will stay close during some seasons and move out when another season comes in. The same applies to the time of day. Some animals are very active throughout the day, while others will only come out at night.
The deer, for instance, are extremely active a few hours around the dawn and sunset. At this time, they are easy to spot and will make up for an easy kill.
Practice Your Animal’s Calls
What sounds does the animal that you are hunting for make? What’s their type of call? Calls and sounds are the easiest way to identify where an animal that you are hunting for resides. To be on the safe side, you can master the sounds and calls that your animals give.
Know your Targeted Species
So why must you learn to recognize the key characteristics of the animal you’re hunting? It helps you to spot your targeted species. You can easily identify a deer, hare, or turkey and follow it right away.
Get the Best Hiding Place
Animals will smell you while you are far away. Their ability to pick scents is insane, and you don’t want to be caught off-guard even before you can identify the animal. As such, you should find the best place to hide.
How you do this is again very important. Make sure that you cam way before the animals show up. A few hours before dawn or dusk would be excellent.
Choose a hiding place then and get comfortable. Some of the best places that you can use to hide from the game include the following.
- Climbing a tree
- Mounting a tree-sit
- Hiding in the shrub
NOTE: You can use camouflage hunting gears. They will help you to blend in so well in the same environment.
Watch for Animal Trails and Tracks
Next, you can watch out for the animal scat, tracks, and runways. Different animals have different types of tracks. The marks of their hooves are different too. This is one of the best ways for anyone who needs a quick identification of an animal that used the runway or trail that you are looking at. Animal trackers rely more on these scats and tracks.
With that said, here are some of the common questions that most hunters ask about animal’s identification traits.
What is classified as a legal game?
A legal game is wildlife that you can legally. To meet this type of classification, the animal must meet the following:
- Be useful primarily for food.
- Come in a large population
- Has a population that’s easy to sustain
What makes it hard to identify animals accurately?
There are several reasons for this. For instance, if the difference between the animals from the same species is small. An example is if you have to go with the size of the ears or distinctive coloring.
Why are some species protected from hunting?
Most species that are protected from hunting come in low numbers, and they hardly produce surplus numbers to harvest.
Why Should a Hunter Identify Game Properly?
Proper identification of animal characteristics will help the hunters to distinguish between similar species and the male and female breeds of a species.
So why must you learn to recognize key characteristics of the animal you’re hunting? I hope I have finally given you a satisfactory answer to this question. Make sure that you understand the best methods for spotting animals and proper identification skills.
The best way to do that is to learn from every possible platform. You can go hunting with experienced hunters. Good luck!