Author Topic: How to Get Started Hunting?  (Read 7208 times)

Offline yoshi

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How to Get Started Hunting?
« on: December 06, 2011, 06:37:28 AM »
This has been on my mind a bit lately, so I figured I would ask for suggestions. I should mention up front that my desire to get started with hunting is not immediate, but probably in a little while once I get some more ducks in a row.

My question is how to actually get started hunting. I literally know absolutely no one that is a hunter, and so my chances of tagging along with someone with experience to show me the ropes is non-existent. I can only imagine that it's a bad idea to try and go it alone, so I'm interested in opinions on what would be the best way to get started. Are their classes you can take? Do beginner hunting courses exist?

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2011, 06:54:23 AM »
I was in the same boat about 2 weeks ago, so I went to the local gun range and they hooked me up with a few guys there who were hunters.  Didn't find a best friend or anything, but they put me in the right direction as far as local laws and what I can do to be ready to hunt come next season.  I don't have a rifle and just got a shotgun, so honing my skills is at the top of the list for now.

Offline FromScratchWoman

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2011, 08:43:27 AM »
Well think wide open and don't limit yourself to stag (aka deer elk) find out what still open in your area by picking up a sanopsis they will have then anywhere you can get a fishing licensee..most likely some highland bird and rabbit..you can take a hunters safety course and you probably should hunting for small game alone in no more dangerous than going to the woods alone as long as you know how to safely handle your gun.. take advantage of getting the feel for hunting and the land with small game then come next tag season go for it! 

Offline Wingman115

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2011, 06:50:04 PM »
First thing I would do is take a Hunters Safety Class and know the laws of your state. At the class you may meet folks that would be glad to pair up with you and go out. Get on some of the hunting forums I'm met a few and gone out hunting with a few folks. Talk about it with friends they may also hunt or know and turn you on to someone that does. Just first rule know what your shooting at I've seen to many folks just start blasting at any noise they hear..

Offline Cedar

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2011, 07:42:29 PM »
Could you do yourselves a favor before you even go out and get a gun? Butcher a rabbit... You have no idea how many times the guys have called me at work. On one such incident -

Guys: "Hey, we got a deer today, you want some meat?"

Me: "Uh... Ok sure.. thanks." (as I am the only person in the front office and I have 12 people and animals to check out)

Guys: "Ummmm.. Cedar, you butcher right?"

Me: "Uhhh yeah?"

Guys: "We don't know what to do with it"

Me: "What do you mean?"

Guys: "We shot it and now don't know what to do with it"

Me: "Are you kidding me?"

Guys: ".........................."

Me: "Well take it over to my house and in the shed with the light in it, hang it by the back feet and I will be home ASAP."

Guys: "Well, we have to go get it".

Me: "Get it?"

Guys: "Yeah.. it fell down a cliff when we shot it."

Me: "........................"

Me: "How long ago?"

Guys: "An hour or so ago?"

Me: "Umm.. did you gut it?"

Guys: "No?"

So in front of clients I am quietly telling these guys how to gut a deer.. in the dark... in Canada.. where it is -15F that day I think. I get home a couple hours later, they kick back with beers and I skin the deer which they thankfully had gutted by now. After I get it all done, I asked if they had cut out the scent glands. Soon after the poor buck had garbage bags duct taped around his hind legs as I was not taking it down at this point after it was all washed and done.

It actually amazed me as I thought these guys were pretty bush savvy, as they work out in the bush all day but apparently killing animals was not part of their repertoire. But these same guys could light a fire with soggy logs, no tinder.

Butcher a couple rabbits. It will teach you the same principal as what is required for a deer/elk/moos/cow on a much smaller scale. No rabbit? Try a goat or sheep.

After cutting and wrapping that deer alone too.. I deserved those backstraps hehehehehhehe

Cedar
« Last Edit: December 26, 2011, 07:52:20 PM by Cedar »

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2011, 07:56:35 PM »
Oddly I put out an ebook called Start Hunting Now!

Its really not too bad.  Like another poster mentioned get the hunters safety course as well as a gun safety course.  Go out with a mentor the first time and with no ammunition.  That's right, don't carry ammuntion.  Live to learn from your mistakes.

J

Offline Wingman115

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2011, 09:54:16 PM »
My first time shooting at a deer when I was a kid in Northern Maine, I had got buck fever and jacked every round out of the gun thinking I was shooting the deer... Man I felt stupid when the deer walked off... We all have to start somewhere It's better if you have a mentor but not needed. I was blessed that my grand father taught me about hunting and trapping. Man he could skin and butcher a deer really well. I guess it's different when you have to seeing he was in his prime during the Depression era.

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2011, 05:23:01 AM »
I have moved around the country a lot in the last 20 years and have had to learn how to hunt in several different environments.  Here's some thoughts that might help you:

1. Take the Hunter's Safety Course.  It is required in most states to get a new license now and most honor other state's certificates.  This will introduce you to a lot of the laws and give you a good forum to ask questions.

2. Check into some local hunting clubs.  If you can find one that is accepting new members, you might be able to find a mentor that will take you under his wing.  It will also give you a chance to scout the area well before the season starts and talk to people who can tell you when and where to hunt.  The big drawback is the cost of joining a club.  They are getting astronomical.

3. Research state gamelands and national forests in your area.  You have lots of time before the next hunting season to go hiking and learn the areas.  Look for sign and think about what you will need to give you the best chances of success in that area (optics, stand, etc).  Talk to a game warden if you can.

4. Consider what you will need to hunt with.  Will you be hunting a wide open area with long shots or thick woods with limited sight lines?  Will you be using a bow or rifle?  Are you going for big game or small game?  Scouting and learning the area will keep you from making an expensive mistake on a hunting weapon.  Again, ask lots of questions and talk to people with experience.

Hope this helps some.  I have made lots of expensive mistakes in the past because I was too pig-headed to ask questions.  You are on the right track by researching first.

Offline yoshi

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2011, 06:22:15 AM »
Thanks, everyone. Hunters Safety Course will be #1 on my list, probably even before I buy a shotgun or long gun (if I can do so). I'll do the course first and go from there.

Offline clayfarmer

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2011, 01:38:53 PM »
Yoshi,
In addition to all the other suggestions above, I'd recommend you check out some of the hunting podcasts that are available.  I started a deer hunting podcast (www.deerhuntingpodcast.com) about 3 months ago, and there are others as well.  Just search for "hunting" in iTunes.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2012, 10:06:27 AM »
Could you do yourselves a favor before you even go out and get a gun? Butcher a rabbit... You have no idea how many times the guys have called me at work.

Okay, I'm game.  So how do I go about finding a rabbit and butchering tools for the butchering?  How much do you think it'd cost to buy a few small butchering rabbits?  I imagine having someone teach me how to do it would have some cost.

Offline jcarsey

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2012, 04:31:29 PM »
not sure where you are located, but in the Portland Oregon area there is a group called The Portland Meat Collective (http://www.pdxmeat.com/) that teach classes on Chicke, Pig, Rabbit, Beef, and all sorts of slaughter and butchering.  I took a couple of classes to make sure I could successfuly kill and then butcher animals.  My wife took one class with me (Pig Butchery) and she loved the information too.  Maybe there is a group like that near to you?

Word of caution: their main customer is foodie types who want hard-to-find cuts of meat, so I found some of the conversation interesting, but I also got some people to think about stuff that they hadn't thought about before.

Offline djjluv

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2012, 05:00:24 PM »
Thanks for all the info guys! I, too am wanting to learn to hunt, but I haven't had the opportunity to. It seems like you have to have a deer lease or know somebody with land to hunt in Texas. Ther is public hunting lands, but it is very limited.

Offline NC_Wildman

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2012, 12:21:49 PM »
First thing I would do is take a Hunters Safety Class and know the laws of your state. At the class you may meet folks that would be glad to pair up with you and go out. Get on some of the hunting forums I'm met a few and gone out hunting with a few folks. Talk about it with friends they may also hunt or know and turn you on to someone that does. Just first rule know what your shooting at I've seen to many folks just start blasting at any noise they hear..

Very well said!

Offline Pchitti

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Re: How to Get Started Hunting?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2012, 06:39:55 PM »
Thanks for all the info guys! I, too am wanting to learn to hunt, but I haven't had the opportunity to. It seems like you have to have a deer lease or know somebody with land to hunt in Texas. Ther is public hunting lands, but it is very limited.

Where in Tejas are you?