Anyone who has ever hunted can attest to the fact that hunting is no mere hobby – It’s a lifestyle with a massive community. Often passed down from parents to their children (and their children’s children), hunting brings people together. Whether you want to build survival skills, hunt for sport or just spend a long afternoon with your buddies, the hunting community welcomes you! To help get you started, here are a few great hunting tips for beginners.

1) Know the Rules
It’s extremely important that you learn and abide by the rules and laws associated with hunting in your state. The best place to start is your required Hunter Education training course. Hunter Education is great to take with friends or family, as all hunters born after 1971 must complete this certification course. Proof of certification or deferral must be on your person when you are hunting.

Rules can vary based on location and animal hunted. Before every hunting trip, be sure you have the correct licenses and certifications. Check out Texas’ hunting licenses, stamps and permits.

2) Know Your Weapon
It may sound like a cheesy hunting line, but it’s true. You need to be confident in your equipment and your ability to properly operate it. Before the season begins, it’s important to spend ample time practicing with your weapon of choice to remove any doubts you may have had about using it. Doing this will make the difference between a clean, easy kill and that 10-point buck walking away while you fumble or freeze up in your blind.

3) Watch and Learn
It’s never a bad idea to make your first trip with an experienced hunter. Whether that means opting for a guided hunt or playing apprentice to a friend or family member, having a visual example is a great way to learn. Guided hunts are great opportunities for asking questions, making corrections and learning by example.

4) Clothing
When it comes to your gear, ask yourself three questions. Will this keep me warm? Will this keep me dry? Are these clothes comfortable? Before you buy any clothes, the answer to all three questions should be yes. It’s tempting to shell out major bucks for the latest and greatest camo, (we’ll call it the Cabela’s effect) but if you get yes’s to all three questions with something more affordable, save your hard-earned cash for mounting trophies!