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therhino 01-18-2013 02:38 PM

How did you learn to hunt deer?
This past winter (early 2012), I decided I wanted to learn to hunt turkey. I did a ton of reading, watched a lot of videos, and other research. I geared up, went out, and got my first bird. I was most concerned about properly dressing the bord, but managed to din a few illustrated books and a couple YouTube videos of proper methods.
This coming fall (2013) I'm thinking of attempting to hunt deer. Turkey was a little intimidating, but manageable. I'm extremely intimidated by the prospect of hunting deer. Bigger animal, greater chance of ruining the meat by improperly dressing, etc. I've also never tracked an animal, so I'm afraid that if I hit what I'm shooting, and it takes off, I'll have killed and wasted an animal.
How did you folks learn to hunt, track, and dress deer? I know most will say "family", but no one else in my family is a hunter. I have some friends and acquaintances who hunt, but a few are guys I don't want holding a loaded rifle near me, and I'm not sure the other acquiantances want someone else tagging along. Never hurts to ask, I suppose.
Would hiring a guide be a good idea for a new hunter? It's expensive, with no guarantee I'll learn anything (for example, if I go, never see a deer, and therefore don't learn the skills I need!).

Any tips?

Renegade44 01-18-2013 03:15 PM

As far as field dressing the deer goes, watch videos since you have no one closer to show you. If you're interested in processing it yourself how to a processing house and they'll usually be glad to show you or you could decide to let them do it. As far as shooting one, you always stand the chance of messing some meat up or it running off after the shot. Again videos are good again. More meat us ruined by rupturing a urinary gland when cleaning it than an actual shot. Shoulder shots are usually the preferred shot, good luck hunting.

303tom 01-18-2013 03:28 PM

My Dad...................

hiwall 01-18-2013 04:13 PM

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Remember people have been hunting since there were people. It is not that hard. As far as field dressing your deer, at the very worst you could spoil a little bit of meat(not enough to worry about). As long as you get the deer to the butcher as fast as possible you will be fine. Most deer run off when you shoot them. Read alot before you go and try tracking animals before you go hunting. When you shoot a deer the blood usually sprays out of the deer. The blood leads the way to your dead deer. Many states offer hunter ed classes or even advanced hunter ed classes(species specific). Read, get out in the woods some and then enjoy your hunt.

tri70 01-18-2013 05:06 PM

Family taught me but also gained experience from going myself and learning how to move slow on the ground. Watch game trails and know what lives in the woods. Most animals pick up on movement, they will stand still and let you walk by without you knowing they are there. You have to watch the wind direction too, try to stay upwind of the animals for best shots. Go hang out with the old guys at the coffee shop or donut shop, game wardens can be good help to, most are very friendly. Local gun shops have knowledgeable folks as well that can help. Good luck!

cottontop 01-18-2013 10:29 PM

father teach

jpattersonnh 01-18-2013 10:52 PM

Your in Maine!! Tons of people hunt whitetail. Come on down to NH or I'll come up to your neck of the woods and show you the basics of tracking and stalking. I'll show you sign and what would be a good place to still hunt and explain why.
Cleaning is not that hard. I'll show you the knives I use and have used. Send me a PM. 1st off, lets go shooting.

jpattersonnh 01-18-2013 10:54 PM

BTW, We need to get Cotton up to the great white north. I think he'd like it.

cottontop 01-19-2013 06:43 PM


Originally Posted by jpattersonnh (Post 1099801)
BTW, We need to get Cotton up to the great white north. I think he'd like it.

Oh, you betcha!

c3shooter 01-19-2013 09:38 PM

I started learning at the age of 5 or so sitting with my Dad, Uncles, Granddad. RABBIT hunting I learned from my Mom (hell of a shot with a single shot .410, she was!)

Since it appears you are beyond that option now, check with your LGS, and check with the Game Commission for a hunter safety class- and network from the folks you meet there. Also check to see if there are local hunt clubs, and inquire amongst the members thereof.

Be sure to learn how to make appropriate responses to inappropriate inquiries about your hunting-

Q> How can you shoot that precious innocent little deer?
A> He sassed me.
I only shoot the guilty ones
They make funny noises if you eat them without shooting them first
My psychiatrist said it might help diminish my desire to shoot nosy people

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