How did you learn to hunt deer?

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by therhino, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. therhino

    therhino New Member

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    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?
     
  2. Renegade44

    Renegade44 New Member

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    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.
     

  3. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    My Dad...................
     
  4. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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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.
     

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  5. tri70

    tri70 New Member

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    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!
     
  6. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    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.
     
  7. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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

    cottontop Guest

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    Oh, you betcha!
    CT
     
  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    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
     
  10. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I did not have a hunting heritage and I am envious of you that did. I started in Alaska (Air Force) after I was there long enough to get my resident license. I went with some civilians I met on base. They took me because they would get any meat I shot. They were so bad that even I could tell it was a waste of time. I found an NCO that had a homesite and had built a cabin. I got a start from him. Got a moose. He kept half and 2 of his neighbors got the other half. I did get to eat several steaks. I did a lot of traveling in Alaska but did not get much opportunity to hunt. I did turn down a chance for a destructive bear because it would have gone to waste. I continued to find experienced hunters to learn from. Being willing to share your game helps and so does having a 4x4 pick up.
    Someone posted something that got me thinking about range and rifles built for long range. I have to say I bought into the long range rifle (300 yards for me) and had a number of different rifles over the years. That post made me realize that the first rifle I bought which was a Marlin 336T in 35 Rem would have been the only rifle I needed. I have not shot huge numbers of game animals but looking back the longest shot I made was 70 yards on an elk. I took one deer at 15 feet. The rest were about 25 yards +-5 yards. I learned from hunters not target shooters. I also hunted with a bow for a while.
     
  11. RichNH

    RichNH New Member Supporter

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    You're killing me here. Thanks for the laugh.
     
  12. Muliemaster

    Muliemaster New Member

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    It started with my grandpa, an my pa, became my lifes pasdion to chase mule deer an elk. Antalope are my 3rd fav tied with auodads.
     
  13. Muliemaster

    Muliemaster New Member

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    Passion dang phone
     
  14. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    I started going along with my dad on deer drives way before I was old enough to carry a rifle, I learned from him as well as about 15 good experienced guys in our group, I learned some from each of them, some of them are gone now including my dad but many are still here and we still hunt together sometimes, that is by far the best way to learn, I feel sorry for the folks who don't get that opportunity. It is good you are wanting to get into it without having the background, do a little reading and take up any offers you get from folks willing to take you in, hunting isn't so difficult and you should pick up on what you are doing wrong quite fast. I don't know what gun you would be using but if you limit your range to reasonable distances and have good shooting lanes you shouldn't have to worry about losing game, only take a shot if a good one is presented, the deer will likely run or walk off a little ways but if you are using a good rifle and hit them in a good spot there should be plenty enough blood to track him down.
     
  15. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    One thing you can do to find hunting friends and a place to hunt is watch your local hunting forums, want ads or hunting magazines. You will see advertisements where people are looking for others to pitch in on a land lease. Most wildlife commissions publish a map showing the number of deer per square mile in each area of the state. Look for land in an area with a high deer population. Most hunting leases in this area run around $7 an acre. Find out what landowners charge in your area so you don't get ripped off. The perfect land lease in my experience is around 200 acres that adjoin a state park or other large area of public land with no hunting allowed. As long as your group doesn't put to much pressure on the lease deer will constantly wander in from the state park.
     
  16. cgersty

    cgersty New Member

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    I learned bu tagging along with my dad, shed hunting, and just walking through the woods, also check out your local library I have read a lot of books on hunting whitetail deer and you can actually learn quite a bit from some of these books.
     
  17. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    My Dad was not a hunter. He told me he had had enough of rifles and killing in WW2 and although he had the tools, chose not to. I started hunt tweety w/ a bb gun, moved up to rabbits w/ a .22 pellet gun. Moved up to a .22. Then birds w/ a 12ga. Bought a 12ga slug gun at 16 and the rest followed.
     
  18. therhino

    therhino New Member

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    Thanks, everyone.
    Looks like I have more reading to do! Do most of you hunt solo, or in groups?
     
  19. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    I do both, we have stands where we hunt alone, we also make deer drives with groups.