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Deer vs. Bird Hunting?

Old 09-12-2015, 05:28 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Smile Deer vs. Bird Hunting?

Hi,

I have wanted to start hunting for quite some time now and finally I will be moving somewhere where it's actually possible (Scotland).

So after reading a bunch about it it seems that there are 2 popular things to hunt here:

1. Deer
2. Birds

My gut says it's more fun to hunt deer, as it's more of a "real animal". But bird hunting might be better to start with?

I am a beginner. Have never hunted nor do I know anyone who has ever hunted.

Which kind of hunting would you start with, and what kind of rifle should I buy?

I know that with a Shotgun, I could potentially hunt both deer and birds. With a rifle, I can only hunt deer.

Any tips welcomed.
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:52 AM
  #2  
MZS
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There is a big difference between how you hunt birds vs deer. For birds, you typically walk and flush the bird out, shooting them on the fly (or on the ground if you do not care about sport). A dog is helpful to help flush them out.

For deer, if you flush them out, generally it is a deer you have no hope of getting a decent shot.

For the beginner, bird hunting might be a better choice. You will get a lot of action right away, even if you do not come home with game. And as you bird hunt, you will encounter many deer, so you get a better grasp of where they bed down during day hours. Also, as you bird hunt, you can take note of deer trails. So your bird hunting this year can also serve as deer scouting for next year.

Deer hunting comes in two common forms: You can hunt from a stand at an area you expect to the deer to travel through or feed, and wait for them - archery works well for this as well as a gun. You can stalk (still hunt) a deer - this requires that you move at a snails pace (1 meter per minute or slower), keep quiet and make little movement - you have to be a lot quieter than when you bird hunt! Still hunting is the most challenging, but is perhaps the most rewarding - generally you still hunt with a gun, as it is difficult to get a good archery shot. Other ways to hunt are with a deer drive and also tracking - both of these require a LOT of land and a deer drive requires a group of hunters.

For deer hunting you need to hunt the wind and keep your sound, sight, and smell undetected by the deer.

If you go with a shotgun, get one with an additional interchangeable rifled barrel. Then you can use for both deer and birds.
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:03 AM
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First thing you need to do is get rid of the "deer hunting" is hunting a "real" animal compared to bird hunting or other small game, hunting nonsense in your mind. While some folks "still hunt" for deer, moving very slowly, a step or two at a time, stopping and looking before taking another step, actually hunting, and there is still some deer driving, a group of people pushing deer to others on stand so they can shoot one. However mostly deer"hunting" is more deer "waiting" in a stand that actually hunting. Climb into a tree stand or a ground blind or simply stand against a tree and wait for a deer to maybe walk by. The trick is to learn deer habitat and seer sign and learn where the best spots are to ambush one. Bird hunting and other small game hunting is actually hunting where you go the the habitat they live in and actually hunt by walking them up, with with or without dogs. Using dogs is much more fun and more effective. Starting out hunting small game in my opinion is the best way to go, a right of passage so to speak before you move to big game. Additionally, hitting a moving small target with a shotgun takes more skill than shooting a large animal with a rifle. There are people who started with big game but I think I can safely say most started with small game and learned things there that helped them when they started big game hunting, at least a few decades ago. Today, everyone seems to want the instant gratification of starting at the top. I know you didn't ask for a lecture and my post wasn't meant to be one. I suggest if you know any hunters talk to them, including small game hunters and find a sportsman's club and join, you will meet lots of hunters and maybe find a mentor, as well as having a rifle range a clays fields to practice your marksmanship rather than ask what kind of gun to buy and strike out on your own. You will also need to take and pass a hunter education class in the US in order to be able to buy a license to hunt. I just now noticed you said you are moving to Scotland, I am assuming you are talking about the country not a city or town in the US. Europe has laws for gun ownership and hunting that are a lot more strict that in the US so if it is off to Great Britain for you you need to do your homework on what is required before you go. Hunting is a lot more than buying a gun and going out and killing something.

Last edited by Oldtimr; 09-12-2015 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:23 AM
  #4  
Spike
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Originally Posted by MZS View Post
There is a big difference between how you hunt birds vs deer. For birds, you typically walk and flush the bird out, shooting them on the fly (or on the ground if you do not care about sport). A dog is helpful to help flush them out.

For deer, if you flush them out, generally it is a deer you have no hope of getting a decent shot.

For the beginner, bird hunting might be a better choice. You will get a lot of action right away, even if you do not come home with game. And as you bird hunt, you will encounter many deer, so you get a better grasp of where they bed down during day hours. Also, as you bird hunt, you can take note of deer trails. So your bird hunting this year can also serve as deer scouting for next year.

Deer hunting comes in two common forms: You can hunt from a stand at an area you expect to the deer to travel through or feed, and wait for them - archery works well for this as well as a gun. You can stalk (still hunt) a deer - this requires that you move at a snails pace (1 meter per minute or slower), keep quiet and make little movement - you have to be a lot quieter than when you bird hunt! Still hunting is the most challenging, but is perhaps the most rewarding - generally you still hunt with a gun, as it is difficult to get a good archery shot. Other ways to hunt are with a deer drive and also tracking - both of these require a LOT of land and a deer drive requires a group of hunters.

For deer hunting you need to hunt the wind and keep your sound, sight, and smell undetected by the deer.

If you go with a shotgun, get one with an additional interchangeable rifled barrel. Then you can use for both deer and birds.
That sounds good, I think hunting birds might be a more fun thing to start with if I can get some more action right away. Then after I've learned the game a little bit, I can move on to deer.

Thanks for clarifying how they work, definitely game me a better picture.

First thing you need to do is get rid of the "deer hunting" is hunting a "real" animal compared to bird hunting or other small game, hunting nonsense in your mind. While some folks "still hunt" for deer, moving very slowly, a step or two at a time, stopping and looking before taking another step, actually hunting, and there is still some deer driving, a group of people pushing deer to others on stand so they can shoot one. However mostly deer"hunting" is more deer "waiting" in a stand that actually hunting. Climb into a tree stand or a ground blind or simply stand against a tree and wait for a deer to maybe walk by. The trick is to learn deer habitat and seer sign and learn where the best spots are to ambush one. Bird hunting and other small game hunting is actually hunting where you go the the habitat they live in and actually hunt by walking them up, with with or without dogs. Using dogs is much more fun and more effective. Starting out hunting small game in my opinion is the best way to go, a right of passage so to speak before you move to big game. Additionally, hitting a moving small target with a shotgun takes more skill than shooting a large animal with a rifle. There are people who started with big game but I think I can safely say most started with small game and learned things there that helped them when they started big game hunting, at least a few decades ago. Today, everyone seems to want the instant gratification of starting at the top. I know you didn't ask for a lecture and my post wasn't meant to be one. I suggest if you know any hunters talk to them, including small game hunters and find a sportsman's club and join, you will meet lots of hunters and maybe find a mentor, as well as having a rifle range a clays fields to practice your marksmanship rather than ask what kind of gun to buy and strike out on your own. You will also need to take and pass a hunter education class in the US in order to be able to buy a license to hunt. I just now noticed you said you are moving to Scotland, I am assuming you are talking about the country not a city or town in the US. Europe has laws for gun ownership and hunting that are a lot more strict that in the US so if it is off to Great Britain for you you need to do your homework on what is required before you go. Hunting is a lot more than buying a gun and going out and killing something.
That's great advice, and the reason I posted here on this board. Thanks.

So it seems I'll probably start with hunting birds then. At least once so I know a bit how it works.

But what I'd really want to do later is to go out in the woods myself, sneak up on a deer and shoot it.
Then set up a tent, cut up the deer and eat it right there.

Looking at videos, hunting bird seems more like a tourist-thing to do. It's not man vs. nature in the same way.

Last edited by stolpioni; 09-12-2015 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:33 AM
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Serious question, how old are you?
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Old 09-12-2015, 02:55 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Oldtimr View Post
Serious question, how old are you?
Twenty four. You?
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:25 PM
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68 yo, been hunting since I was 12 yo. The reason I ask is you seem to have some juvenile romantic ideas about being a hunter. You would be hard pressed to stalk a deer, kill it and butcher it and then set up a camp and eat it even if you owed the land because you must abide by seasons. I detect some kind of romantic idea about being a hunter, those days are 100 years behind us. You think one year of small game hunting will prepare you to be a big game hunter. News flash, it takes years, if not a decade to become a good hunter big game hunter. You don't go from novice to expert in one year. You said you were moving to Scotland and totally ignored the question of is it Scotland GB or some town in the US named Scotland. You would have even less of a chance to go out and pretend to live off the land in Europe than in the US because of the strict hunting and gun laws. I suspect the books you have been reading may have been relevant decades ago but not any longer. I am not trying to dissuade you from hunting but you need to think about doing it in the real world, not in fantasy land. Bird hunting a tourist thing? Really? Try it and see. Man vs nature really? I am not even sure at this point your post and questions are serious or just a joke to pull the chains of those who are willing to help a Novice.

Last edited by Oldtimr; 09-12-2015 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:13 PM
  #8  
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Good luck stolpioni, My daughter married a nice guy from Scotland, He is an avid hunter over here in the US, he is a US citizen now. Anyway he only got to deer hunt one time in Scotland, he says deer hunting was very expensive, and it's difficult to own a rifle over there.
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:32 AM
  #9  
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from my under standing all hunting in Europe is way different for the most part than here in the states.

First thing I would do is hunt for a sportsman club, people who gather together to talk hunting shoot a few shot gun games like skeet, trap and sporting clays. Also maybe have a rifle range.
Get to know those people and learn about hunting the way it is done there and not HERE in the states where it can differ from state to state even.

Al
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:42 AM
  #10  
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Hello, contrary to popular belief many people in Scotland own firearms, any British citizen can own a firearm (rifle or shotgun) that is of sound mind and has a reason to own a firearm, such as hunting, recreational (member of a gun club).
The process is quite simple and straightforward. Obviously if you are not a criminal you have nothing to worry about.

You can find more up to date info here: http://www.scotland.police.uk/about-...rges/firearms/

There is private (estate) and public land hunting. I have never been to an estate, we always hunted on farmland with permission from the owner which is pretty common as most people like some sort of population control. With regards to public and private land you can hunt animals like roe deer, foxes. Lots of game birds like pheasant, partridge, woodcock, ducks, geese, wood pigeon, feral pigeon, doves.

Where in Scotland will you be moving to?

Last edited by remington_girl; 11-03-2015 at 04:36 AM.
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