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Getting started...

 
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  #1  
Old 08-11-2012, 06:47 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 5
Getting started...

Hey Everyone!!

I'm new to the forum, and would appreciate some advice. I'm a novice hunter - I have never hunted. Im looking at going hunting next season 2013, I've taken the hunter safety course (which helped), have purchased a rifle and am getting a reloader next week. I live in the Pacific North West, From Illinois, and I've always had the itch.

So to the question. I know that its recommended that I go hunting with someone who already hunts, but the problem is that the people that I would trust to teach me to hunt don't want to take a newbie (which I can understand) and the people who would love to take me - I don't necessarily trust (either as an individual or to teach me to do it correctly/tribal knowledge) I'd more or less like to learn it correctly the first time without the bad habits.

I've been studying books and online for years, but I know that only helps a little. I've determined that I'd rather track and stalk than bait and blind.

Would I be better off at hiring a guide?
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2012, 10:03 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: West Central Idaho
Posts: 1,077
Re: Getting started...

Glad to see your jumping in full bore. Wow learning to hunt covers a lot of ground and usually starts when you're a kid when spending time out in the mountains with a shotgun or a rifle in your hand is all you want to do and you have the time to do it. You say you are in the Pacific Northwest so I will assume you want to hunt mule deer and elk.

It's not brain surgery. It really boils down to time spent in the mountains and learning about the animal you're hunting. Hooking up with someone who has been hunting deer for awhile that you trust as you say would really speed up the process. Just concentrate on one species (mule deer) for a few years until you become proficient at it. Learning their habits what and where they prefer to eat, where they are most likely to be at a given time of the year, their migration routes for your selected area and the list goes on and on.

The local biologist will have a lot of good info and the conversation with him is worth the effort then just go out and pound it. When you're not in the mountains looking and learning you should be shooting. It's really frustrating to learn all the skills of finding the buck you want then he gets up and is bouncing down the hill and you can't hit him.

Using a guide would probably get some meat into your freezer but you won't learn much. The trick is being able to find the animal. That is what a guide will do for you and he learned where to take you from time spent looking and learning.

Anyway it if you like the sport the learning never stops and if you get the bug to hunt the "big" guys it will really humble you just when you think you got it together! Just keep these two things in mind. Deer and elk can hear and smell you half mile away when things are in their favor. Learn the country so you don't let it get in their favor.
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Jim



There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Einstein
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2012, 12:03 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: SD
Posts: 254
Re: Getting started...

Its sometimes good to hire a guide. Where I elk hunt we go with a retired guide that knows elk. He doesn't shoot but he can guide well and lets us know where all the elk are and he says "have at it" for free. Now this guide laughs at us cause there are some elk consistantly on a bare west/south ridge that they can escape quickly to the north cold tree face. We watch them from camp as all my buddies have a good time on there vacation and know they are "unreachable" Oh by the way I have shot several nice bulls and cows here at this place so it good to get in with guide sometimes. But these bulls up there KNOW they are safe and they are BIG. You can't crawl up on them, too steep to stalk around and not spook them out and its hard to see their whole terrain. You can go to another ridge at same eye level but then you can't see the whole west ridge then you could miss out. Not as good shooting spot there. But in this one place, this one place, this one place you can see the whole deal.
You have to hike up to this one place and it takes a bit but that is no problem for a man. At this one place its about consistently 1850 yards to where these giants come out. A valley is between "my" ridge and "their" ridge. I believe the elevation is like 7000 to 9000 with 30 degrees. Im not sure on all this but can't quite remember, when I go again to this spot I will figure it out. I watched one group go up there and spook these elk out and ruin it that year. They figured out that you can't get them on foot. You have to shoot them. So maybe in your hunting you will eventually learn to shoot ELR, so if a guide shows you some elk that are "untouchable" you can now reach out and "touch" them. That maybe a long ways down the road for you if that interests you but with good help and guidance im sure you can do it.

Last edited by drbill; 08-11-2012 at 02:05 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2012, 12:27 PM
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 602
Re: Getting started...

The only secret there is to hunting is time. Everybody wants to shoot a big one but most don't spend the time. The more time you spend in the wild the more you learn and it never stops. Let the animals be your guide for there is no better teacher. It definitely helps to have an experienced hunter show you the ropes but experience comes from time. Learn what equipment works best in your area and get out there and start scouting. Scouting is hunting.

Enjoy the adventure,
Jason
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  #5  
Old 08-11-2012, 01:45 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 28
Re: Getting started...

My advise to you is get to know your rifle first. Go to your local range as much as possible and hone your abilities with the rifle. There is a whole lot of muscle memory you need to build up and that only comes with practise. Find out what type of ammo is best suited for what you want to hunt, then practise, practise. You will need to know the externall ballistics of your rifle and ammo combination and with that info you will gain confidence.

Hunting has its own challenges and the last thing you want to worry or even think about is your ability with the rifle. Other than that relax and enjoy.
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  #6  
Old 08-11-2012, 02:48 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 5
Re: Getting started...

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortpants View Post
The only secret there is to hunting is time. Everybody wants to shoot a big one but most don't spend the time. The more time you spend in the wild the more you learn and it never stops. Let the animals be your guide for there is no better teacher. It definitely helps to have an experienced hunter show you the ropes but experience comes from time. Learn what equipment works best in your area and get out there and start scouting. Scouting is hunting.

Enjoy the adventure,
Jason
Jason, I never thought of it that way, makes sense now that you mention it.


Brno308 - Thats why I was going to hold off till next season so i have plenty of time.

Thanks guys.
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2012, 03:44 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: SD
Posts: 254
Re: Getting started...

I hope I got my point across about guides in my long winded story. Sorry If I confused you. My point was a good guide can teach you the ropes about places and how animals operate in certain areas. And the animals teach as well. You just need to enjoy and relax, don't we all. Thanks
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