Hunting with a Partner – NRA Tips & Tactics with Mia Anstine


A close family friend and I were chatting about hunting. She comes from a hunting family and told me a story about how she did hunt, way back when. She described an incident that frightened her and caused her to cease in her pursuit of game. It involved hunting with a partner and lead to me sharing this tip in my new NRA Women Tips & Tactics training video, ‘Hunting with a Partner,’ sponsored by Cabela’s Outdoor Fund. Click to watch and share. Remember to share outdoors, hunting and safety with your friends and family. Cheers, Mia

Most people come to hunting by way of a mentor. We spend time with our parents or grandparents, and if we’re lucky enough, they’ll enroll us in a hunter’s safety course. We get out certification and then head out to the field, to become a hunter.

Whether you’re hunting or not, being in the outdoors is incredibly enriching. Quite simply it’s good for the soul. Adding the pursuit of game to is is the icing on the cake, but any time we’re in the outdoors, just as wild animals know, there is safety in numbers.

When we start out hunting, we most often have a mentor along with us. Hopefully, you’ll have a teacher who is experienced both in the hunt and survival. If a storm arises, and you’re in an area far from camp or home, together you can find or create shelter. God forbid, you have a slip and fall or accident, but if you do, you’ll have someone with you to apply first aid techniques. This person can also be someone who boosts your morale when you have an arduous hike back up the mountain. It’s great to have someone to keep you going.

I do enjoy hunting alone, but I look highly upon the opportunity to spend quality time with my husband, daughter, and friends in the outdoors, during a hunt. The experiences you’ll have will be priceless. It’s a joy to teach a youngster about tracks, scapes and other sign in the field. I also appreciate the bonus of having extra eyes to spy elusive wildlife.

As a guide, I’ve learned that there is no way to become a better hunter than to spend time in the field, in real life scenarios. I’ve also learned that things can get exciting in a hurry when a hunter spies the animal they’re pursuing.

If you’re new, you’ll want to control the excitement, and if you’re a mentor, you’ll want to control the excitement. When humans are excited, we tend to get tunnel vision. It might be said that the tunnel vision is even greater when someone spies a creature with large antlers or horns. Regardless, we have to cover some safety concerns, which could lead to tragedy in the field if they’re overlooked.

Always know the locations of other hunters in the field. This is a key focus when we’re upland hunting, but it also applies to big game hunting. If your guide or partner is walking ahead of you, do not shoot. Know your zones of fire. These zones can change, if an animal is moving, or if your partner is walking. If both you and your friend or family member have hunting licenses and are both pursuing animals, it’s fair to discuss who shoots first. If you’re together and spy an animal, who gets to take the shot? Have these chats, because it will help in preventing accidents. Never shoot past your hunting partner.

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