Well everyone, spring is in the air. The flowers are in bloom, grass is starting to slowly turn green, the air is heavily scented with lilacs and apple blossoms and all of that means one thing here at Pro-Tracker: it’s time to go hunt us some delicious turkeys. Normally this is an exciting time of the year, but this year will be especially awesome because we get to take a few bowhunting newbies with us. To us, there is nothing more fun that teaching what we know to someone new and watching the excitement of their first hunt, be it turkey or otherwise, bloom across their face. We’ve been going over various trip possibilities, but one we kept coming back to was the idea of hunting out of state. We know many hunters that have licenses and tags in multiple states, and it seems as the years go by the numbers of inter-state hunting are rapidly increasing; as it well should. For those of you who haven’t gone to hunt in a different state, you should most definitely give it a try.
There are several pros to hunting out of state. One of the largest pros (in our humble opinion) is the ability to take advantage of the different states hunting seasons. By hunting in different states, we’ve been able to elongate our hunting season by at minimum one month and at most three; depending on the type of animal we are looking for. A perfect example of this is turkey season. Here in Idaho, turkey season begins in mid-April, however if we decided to get a permit in say Florida the season would have already been underway in March.
Another reason we love to hunt in different states is we love to see the variations in scenery and also partake in the challenge of hunting in the different terrain. Not only does the ability of tracking and hunting in a variety of terrains and locations make you a overall a more well rounded hunter, the challenges you will face in different areas will make the hunt that much more exciting; and your prize that much more worthwhile when you catch it. In addition to the increased knowledge travel can give you, the different terrains and plants also mean a larger variety in your animals. Since an animal’s taste is largely influenced by its diet, but widening the areas in which you hunt you are opening your palette to some new (sometimes amazing, sometimes gamey) flavors.
Now, looking at those pros, we’re sure many of you are thinking, “Well heck yeah, that sounds awesome! So, why don’t more people do it?” The answer is as many things, both simple and complicated, all at the same time. The main reason people opt to not travel across state lines to hunt is the inherent cost. While we love hunting in different states, it can get to be a pretty pricey experience. Not only do you need to cover travel costs, you also have to take into account the cost of whatever tag you have a desire to hunt. In some states, the prices for those are very reasonable for out of state hunters, but in many states being a hunter from out of state is going to make your wallet flinch. The second issue is the availability of tags for out of staters in the state you desire to hunt in. With some animals (like turkey) getting an out of state tag is generally pretty easy; however with other animals (like bear) getting a tag for an out of state person is a difficult process.
Looking at both the pros and cons, we are firmly in the camp of traveling to hunt when we can. Not only does the traveling help cure us all of our insatiable wanderlust, but it acts as a mini-vacation as well. There is something about hunting away from home that is instantly soothing and allows us to let all of the stress just ease away that we adore. We don’t always get to hunt out of state, as with all things in life sometimes we can’t afford to go, but when we can we jump at the chance. Fortunately, it seems that many of you bowhunters are agreeing with us. In recent years more and more bowhunters are beginning to cross state lines and taking the opportunity to test their skills across the country. We, for one, couldn’t be more excited. Just don’t forget to bring your Pro-Tracker along with you; sometimes those new environments can throw you for a loop and we want to be with you to help make sure you don’t lose your quarry.