At 9 Bar Ranch, we love to hunt both solo and in small groups for wild boar, deer, and small game that makes its home here just NW of Fort Worth, Texas. There are times when hunting solo is just the meditative experience you need, while at other times, having company along makes the hunt a fun, social event. Today, we’re sharing our own list of pros and cons of hunting alone. This list draws on our experiences, but will likely apply to you as well.
Pro: You can enjoy quiet independence.
We are highly experienced in hunting both here on the ranch and in the surrounding countryside. We know which signs to look for, how the day’s weather will affect the game, and how the direction of the wind will impact our scent carrying.
With all this shared experience, you might think we’d agree on the best approach for tracking down our game. Instead, it’s more common for us to disagree!
When we hunt solo, we don’t waste time and energy discussing our competing plans. Instead, all we have to do is think through one plan, then execute it immediately. When we’re happy with our cover, we can hunker down as long as we like. When we want to move, we just get up and move; no chatter or bickering will alert nearby game to our movement.
In short, hunting solo means you can move twice as quickly with half the noise.
Mixed Bag: No Shared Job System
Usually, a group hunting party will create a system that rotates who shoots and who calls. If you’re hunting on your own, you’ll have to manage both calling and shooting.
Now, if you’re hunting for whitetail, pronghorn, or mule deer, this isn’t an issue. These animals don’t respond to calls, and tend to present hunters with only a fleeting chance to fire.
If you’re planning to hunt callable game like turkeys, ducks, doves, and coyotes, taking a teammate with you will improve your success ratio.
Con: Recovery and Pack Out
We can’t be the only hunters who have taken down game only to be unable to find the downed animal if it bolts. This frustrating experience is less likely to happen to you if you have an extra pair of peepers helping keep a lookout.
Packing out the meat is an arduous chore for all but small game. If you have a buddy with you, this part of the hunt goes much more quickly.
Mix it Up
The alternative here is to combine your favorite parts of solo and group hunting. If you’re planning to be out for the entire day, you could spend your morning with your hunting partner, then spend the evening doing your own thing on your own. You can then meet back up to either camp or head back home.
There’s no one approach that’s better across the board. Instead, consider what you want out of your hunting experience, then factor in the kind of game you’re going after. For some hunters, the result is all that matters, while for others, the experience is king
Anyway you go, we wish you happy hunting!