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How to get started with absolutely no prior experience

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How to get started with absolutely no prior experience

Old 06-08-2018, 11:03 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2018
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Question How to get started with absolutely no prior experience

Hello everyone!

Me and a friend of mine have both started considering looking into starting to hunt our own food. We were looking at an extended goal to be able to hunt deer and be able to keep our refrigerators stocked year round. Neither of us have any hunting experience or experience with guns so I understand this isn't something that will happen overnight. I've been looking for a good forum to help us get started, find out what we should be reading, what we should be looking for, what equipment to buy when the time comes, necessary training, etc.

I'm guessing this is a topic that's been covered before but, when searching the forums, I couldn't quite find the information I was looking for (doesn't mean it doesn't exist, I just couldn't find it. Maybe I'm searching for the wrong things). If anyone can recommend any reading, give us any tips, even some sort of timeline to get an idea of how long we can expect before we're ready to even be able to go on a hunt with someone (without the expectation of actually shooting anything). Honestly, I'm not sure we even know what we don't know yet so we're trying to do as much research as we can (that way we don't look like two idiots charging into the woods in danger of Cheney'ing anyone . . . heh).

All jokes aside, any recommendations you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot!
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Old 06-09-2018, 02:41 AM
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Ive helped several younger people start hunting, Id suggest you take a hunter safety course
(most state game/fish departments have them)
rent , borrow or buy a dozen related firearm care, and proper use,and training videos,
buy and watch a game processing videos
rent borrow or buy a couple dozen hunting tips videos, ideally find an experienced mentor.
obviously you need to become familiar with weapon care, maintenance, proper use and proficiency.
I would not buy a rifle or shotgun,until youve tried several types and calibers/ gauges,
and become rather familiar with and at least become proficient with a few.
get out and walk the local game management areas.
youll need a freezer to store a great deal more meat than the average kitchen refrigerator/freezer holds,
you may be thinking only about a rifle, but a used 870 12 ga shotgun can be very useful and theres millions of them out there,
you should have zero problem finding one used or on sale fairly reasonably priced, under $300 and with slugs,
for deer/hogs and properly sized bird shot for small game
its fully capable of keeping the freezer full in semi competent hands

read this thread, a significant percentage of the info relate or will be similar too most areas.
Florida Whitetail Experience

Last edited by hardcastonly; 06-09-2018 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 06-09-2018, 03:39 AM
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Most states not only have hunter safty courses but require a cert. to buy a license.

While some of the stuff young people today do is OK, never ever forget the old books, you know the ones you turn paper pages to read, can carry with you and read while waiting at a doctors office and other places.

One thing is to get a copy of the rules of the state your hunting in and read it so you know the rules. Don't be tresspassing on my place and then tell me you didn't know you needed my permission. I don't play the I didn't know game, I press charges so you never ever forget again. There is a reason I spent over a year looking for the right property to buy.

While you can hunt during seasons to suppulment your food unless you have freezers for your processed food and you do a lot of hunting don't count on it lasting from one season to another.

Also don't get the idea hunting meat is cheaper than buying meat. I can buy a couple sides of beef from a farmer and get it packaged cheaper than the hunting out lay, Proper equipment, clothing and so forth.


Last edited by alleyyooper; 06-09-2018 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:10 AM
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what state are you in? most states require hunters to take a hunters safety course before getting a license. also where you are going to hunt dictates what type of clothing you will need. weither you will need cold or warm weather clothing. also the type of gun you to use. southern deer tend to be a little smaller then northern deer. there are a lot of variables when getting into hunting. join a sportsmens club to find help with getting started.
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:03 AM
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First off, what state are you in?

Register for a hunters safety course. While there ask questions, talk to the instructors and experienced hunters(there will be experienced hunters with their kids there) and anyone else willing to talk with you.

For deer hunting you'll need either a gun or bow that is legal for your area. Pick up a copy of your states hunting regulations and study them. This will answer allot of your questions, and the safety course will answer more.

After you've done these two things you need to buy and begin to practice with your gun or bow.

Find some public land, or private if you have access to it. Begin spending time in the woods. Begin learning what a deer trail looks like, what beds look like, watch where the deer are going and when they are going there. Time in the woods is very important. You can read allot of stuff, but nothing will beat actually getting out in the woods and doing it.

You can easily be in the woods this fall.

As for filling your freezers all year. Most people don't do that. I would guess statistically each season most people don't even get a deer (elk, moose, whatever it is that they are after) and of those that do get one, most probably don't get multiple.....

All that being said.... I've seen people say on this forum that it's "unrealistic" to expect to use hunting as your primary meat source... I disagee. But, it takes some money and some work, and depending on the tags in your state you may have to hunt multiple counties/areas or even states. The only time we buy beef is if we're having guests. We do buy chicken regularly.... because I love chicken. But most of our evening meals involve venison.

However, I don' know that we are saving any money. I love to hunt though, and we use all the meat. Between my wife, myself, and my dad, we typically shoot allot of deer every year.

Last year we had two cow elk, and 5 whitetail. So we use allot of venison between my family, and my parents.

Some states, both ohio and pa do, have crop damage permits that can be issued to farmers. When I had more time I did some of these and that's another way to keep the freezer full.

One option that many people scoff at (but it is a realistic option)...many game wardens and police departments will keep a list of people willing to pick up roadkill deer. If you live in a high deer area and you really want venison, then get on this list. I've only ever cut up the deer I've hit myself... But of the several I've done, most didn't have that much damage. Trim off what's damaged and use the rest. I've called people out to pick these up though and ultimately it's free venison if you want it. We just write out a tag, and the person comes and picks it up. Cut it up, and you've got 30,40,50,60 lbs of meat for free.


Last edited by Bocajnala; 06-10-2018 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:46 AM
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some useful info there , thanks Bocajnala
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Old 06-10-2018, 06:09 AM
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Join a sportsman's club, you will meet a lot of hunters some of which may be willing to take you under their wing and teach you.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:41 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2018
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Sorry for the delay everyone, getting a second job was a stupid idea . . . heh.

I'm currently in California (though hoping to move to Colorado in the next year or so but we'll see if that ends up happening . . .).

Thank you all for the great advice! Sounds like step 1 is to start getting familiar with locals laws and regulations. Looks like there's lots of great advice from there. Thanks again!
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BoobDole
I'm currently in California (though hoping to move to Colorado in the next year or so but we'll see if that ends up happening
If you move from the Land of Fruits, Flakes and Nuts to my beloved home state of CO make sure you LEAVE CA IN CA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nothing makes people madder in CO than having a bunch of transplants from CA trying to turn CO into CA.

As to the hunting, CO is kind of a hard state to do what you say you want to simply due to the way they issue tags. All deer tags are limited and you need to apply in early Apr for the tags and once you apply you can't change your mind. So what you put in for is what you put in for and there is no assurance you will get the tag. You would be better off targeting cow elk if you want to fill the freezer but you also have to apply for those tags and elk are a lot harder to get out of the woods than a deer is especially for someone with no experience. You can buy over the counter bull elk tags in CO but those would be the hardest tags for rookies to fill consistently.

My advice is learn the regs, learn how to shoot and pack game and hook up with someone that knows what they are doing.
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:53 AM
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Location: Eastern KY
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As others have mentioned. Take the hunters safety course. Safety is paramount during hunting.
Aside from that try to find any localism outdoors groups to join. Most are very happy to help with someone new.
My advice though is to get out there once you’re comfortable with safety and your weapon. First couple seasons will essentially be a learning experience. Enjoy it, they’re really no experience that compares to hunting!
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