Hunting is all about the challenge it provides. One of the easiest ways for hunters to challenge themselves is hunting on steep hills. These hard-to-access areas can be quite difficult to conquer, so you would really need to prepare yourself. And if the terrain wasn’t difficult enough, you also have to carry your weapon of choice and all your necessary gear as well. Which will have to include even more safety features as you are climbing to terrain where accidents happen with a much higher chance. This article provides tips on how to master rocky climbs and hunt on steep hills safely.

Safety First

The first rule of hunting is to always keep your weapon safe. Whether you do bowhunting or hunting with a rifle, a weapon can be dangerous if handled improperly. And when you add a steep terrain into the equation, the likelihood of a mishap happening is even greater. For this reason, you should always carry your weapon empty and in a safe way. Load it only a short time before you are ready to use it and keep it pointed away from your body.

While it’s recommended to go hunting with fellow hunters, especially on rough terrain, you will also have to keep them in mind when aiming for your target. It’s a good idea to use some kind of communication system amongst yourself, so each of you knows where the others are at any time. This is particularly important if you aren’t climbing together and some of you are more uphill than the others.

Your gear also plays a vital role in keeping you safe. For example, if you are climbing on foot, you will need to wear appropriate shoes and clothes. And if you are using a vehicle, make sure it can handle the rough treatment you will put it through.

Going on Foot

Carrying all your gear on your back and climbing very steep hills is never ideal. But for short trips, this could be an acceptable solution. If you know about a bench or mesa that is easily accessible on foot, the animals will know about it as well. In this case, you can find the nearest ridgeline and proceed uphill to the flat on foot. On the other hand, if flats are much further ahead, it won’t make much sense to go on foot. Because the long trip you take uphill will also wait on you on the way down, only now with an added weight of your prey. You would be better climbing to a treestand and hunting from there or shooting uphill from the bottom of the hill. 

Hunting Vehicles

A good hunting vehicle can make your hunting trip so much easier, especially when it comes to climbing rocky hills. You can travel much faster, and you can transport all your equipment and prey. When it comes to your means of transportation, the choice depends on a couple of factors. The two most important factors are the difficulty of the terrain and the size of your potential target. For example, for bigger prey, you will definitely need a larger vehicle, such as a pickup truck. In fact, on very steep hills, your best option might be to use a 4×4 with the appropriate suspension settings and low air pressure in your tires. This will provide you the traction you need even if the rocks are slippery. However, these large trucks make a lot of noise and leave foreign smells that scare away animals easily. 

Sometimes, using a smaller vehicle is more convenient. If you want to be careful about not disturbing the environment, using Bakcou e-bikes could be a good solution for you. Despite being robust, these hunting bikes are quiet and durable on any terrain. And unlike most internal combustion motors, these bikes run on batteries that won’t leave any smell in the wind. Your target won’t notice you, but you will definitely be able to hear them. Plus, you will be able to get to them much faster than on any other means of transport.

Additional Tips

In order to stake out your prey successfully, you would want to move as quietly as possible, which is not an easy thing to do when you have to move on an uneven terrain full of rocks. If you are going on foot, you should wear shoes and clothes in which you can make all kinds of movements without making a sound. When going on a vehicle, it’s recommended to use the one that leaves as little trace as possible but moves fast enough to change direction when needed. 

The wind on the hills can change much quicker than on a flat area, especially if the temperatures are colder. If you can adapt to the change in the wind right after it happens, you will be able to get to your prey quicker and hunt it down with more precision as wind affects the trajectory of bullets and arrows. The strong wind also affects the surface area of the ground and could make it unsafe to travel on the trail you were following, so be prepared to find a safer path.

Setting up multiple stand sites for observing and possibly hunting your target is also a good idea. But for this, you will need more equipment and move a lot faster on the ground. Many animals travel and gather around during the mornings, so this is when you want to get to the highest point of the hill where you think you might find them. Severe weather changes usually occur in the afternoon, so you will need to make sure that you are off the rough trail and able to seek shelter by then. 

As you can see, the key to hunting successfully on steep mountainous terrain is to always keep safety in mind. Whether you are going on foot, bike, or with a truck, you will need to pay careful attention to your surroundings. Find the best solution for your hunting technique and prepare yourself adequately. And don’t worry if you aren’t too successful the first time you go uphill hunting. It’s a territory that takes a while to get used to, but when you master it, you will have a lot more fun than on flat terrain.

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I've been writing since 2008 about a wide range of topics. I also love making furniture in my spare time, and birdwatching with my wife near our home in southern England.

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