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Hello hunters! Total newbie here!

Old 11-07-2011, 08:19 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Hello hunters! Total newbie here!

Hey all,

I've been meaning to learn, or at least to try, deer hunting for a while and I'm finally going to take steps to do it. This weekend, I'm going to take the hunting education course required by my state. I'm already watching videos and reading the workbook issued by the state. All this so I can get a license.

I do not even have a long gun - yet. And this is where your expertise would be highly appreciated.

My state (New Jersey) has rifle/muzzleloader days and shotgun days. From what I understand, shotguns have far shorter ranges than rifles, right? Which would mean that shotgun hunting would be significantly more difficult than rifle hunting?

Also, in addition to a weapon, ammunition, winter clothing & boots, a stand, orange vest, a knife for dressing, what other gear will I need?

And lastly:

1. How easy/hard is it to learn how to dress a deer? I am not squeamish; the thought of opening up the body of a dead deer does not freak me out at all.
2. How easy/hard is it to "fillet" a deer's meat, after the outer skin & fur and organs have been disposed of?
3. As a beginner, should I expect a few outings where I will have no kills?

Thanks much!!!!
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:33 PM
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Nontypical Buck
 
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Welcome! Good luck with your HSC!
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:46 PM
  #3  
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Correct, however there are shotguns that are accurate over 100 up to 150 yards. As for other gear, small set of binoculars would be good, some cover scent, other than that just look around in stores and test things.

It's not hard to learn how to field dress, there's a few videos on youtube if you search.

I find it easy to butcher the deer once I get it home, but I've been doing it for years even before I hunted, otherwise there are usually places that will process it for you.

Even as an expert you can expect a lot of outings without kills, which is the beauty of hunting in my opinion. Get to be out and appreciate nature, and you should definately know that you will not get a deer every time you hunt.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:54 PM
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Spike
 
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Good luck with the hunter's safety course! One thing to remember after you get all that squared away is to not get discouraged! It's definately not as easy as they make it seem in some of the hunting shows. If you could find someone to take you under their wing so to speak and show you the ropes I believe it would help you alot. Good luck and welcome to the site.
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:26 AM
  #5  
Typical Buck
 
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Originally Posted by Shotgunny
My state (New Jersey) has rifle/muzzleloader days and shotgun days. From what I understand, shotguns have far shorter ranges than rifles, right? Which would mean that shotgun hunting would be significantly more difficult than rifle hunting?
Check if it is legal to use a muzzleloader during shotgun season. I don't know about NJ, but Ohio allows it. When I went to hunt with my cousin in Ohio a few years back during shotgun season, I didn't have a shotgun for deer. I only had a double barrel upland bird/squirrel shotgun. So I used that as an excuse to get an inline muzzleloader. These modern inlines can shoot very well at 150 yds and beyond.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:50 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Shotgunny
From what I understand, shotguns have far shorter ranges than rifles, right? Which would mean that shotgun hunting would be significantly more difficult than rifle hunting?

Also, in addition to a weapon, ammunition, winter clothing & boots, a stand, orange vest, a knife for dressing, what other gear will I need?

And lastly:

1. How easy/hard is it to learn how to dress a deer? I am not squeamish; the thought of opening up the body of a dead deer does not freak me out at all.
2. How easy/hard is it to "fillet" a deer's meat, after the outer skin & fur and organs have been disposed of?
3. As a beginner, should I expect a few outings where I will have no kills?
Generally speaking, shotguns do have shorter ranges than rifles. Some shotgun slug setups are capable of 200+ yard shots and are effective on deer to that range. But if you throw rifled slugs in your bird gun, you'll probably be staying inside 100yds.

There are way too many options for additional gear. But I'll throw up binoculars as a good one.

1) Not hard. Cut deer open, pull guts out. Hardest part will be the A-hole It's best to watch videos on it if you won't have help.
2) I'm not a master butcher, so I think it's easy. Maybe if I did a neater looking job, I'd say it was harder...
3) I STILL expect to go out and not get anything most of the time As far as whitetails, I usually see some when I'm after them...so much easier than mule deer.

What you should consider doing, is making good use of the search function. You can find more answers to all the questions you've just asked. There was even a 'new hunter' thread a couple links down. The more you read, the more you will realize things you don't know, and you will be able to learn about them.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:27 AM
  #7  
Spike
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Originally Posted by ADVWannabee
Check if it is legal to use a muzzleloader during shotgun season. I don't know about NJ, but Ohio allows it. When I went to hunt with my cousin in Ohio a few years back during shotgun season, I didn't have a shotgun for deer. I only had a double barrel upland bird/squirrel shotgun. So I used that as an excuse to get an inline muzzleloader. These modern inlines can shoot very well at 150 yds and beyond.
It is. NJ forbids the use of centerfire and rimfire rifles for hunting deer. In fact, the hunting education course will involve the use of shotguns and muzzleloader rifles.

So my question is... do you guys recommend I get a shotgun or a "combo" weapon? I have seen some manufacturers, such as Rossi, produce and sell "matched pairs/sets." Here is an example.

I've also read, though, that pump shotguns make solid deer hunting weapons - but if I'm correct, such shotguns, while good for beginners like myself, are not "convertible" into muzzleloader rifles; in other words, they dont' come with muzzleloader barrels which can be swapped onto the stock & action. The Rossi products I just linked above are break-action, single-shot weapons.

Any recommendations? I've shot shotguns before, but not muzzleloaders (and will get my first experience this weekend). Do you know of any similar matched sets/pairs manufactured by Mossberg or other fine manufacturers?
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:56 AM
  #8  
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If you want to spend the money, you can get a Thompson Center Encore Pro Hunter that has interchangeable barrels. You can get a blackpowder barrel along with various shotgun and rifle barrels. They may not be as accurate as buying single purpose guns, but they are plenty accurate enough for hunting. I got my wife one with the blackpowder barrel. Once she has a couple seasons under her belt I will get a .243 barrel for it. Eventually I would like to get a shotgun barrel for turkey for it. I think if I were starting from scratch today, I just might consider getting the Encore and various barrels instead of several complete guns.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:28 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by ADVWannabee
I think if I were starting from scratch today, I just might consider getting the Encore and various barrels instead of several complete guns.
Sound financially, but where is the fun in that?
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:24 AM
  #10  
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Welcome and good hunting be to you as you learn this amazing skill called hunting. I second you going out with another hunter who has some hunts under his or her belt. I would add that you study where to shoot, then get a life like deer target and see if you can hit those vital areas consistantly. Knowing when and where to hunt increases your odds on every hunt which will never stop being a learning process. I have 2 seasons behind me and this is my third year for Deer. I Turkey hunt as well which has cross over skills with Deer hunting. The wind is your best friend while Deer hunting use it for success. Minimal movement is critical and good cover is a great help when hiding from the best nose,ears and pretty good eyes as well. Your must be patient and persistant,the more you get out the better your chances. You will not see Deer every time you go out and success is limited based on many factors. If you choose to get high always have a safety harness on and stay focused no matter what on gun safety. Never shoot at what you can not clearly identify and like them or not obey the laws governing your states hunting. God bless and get out there prepared for a great time.
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