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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always been very interested in hunting, but rarely had the opportunities until now that I'm an adult. Some of y'all may have seen me talking about it over on the semi-auto forum, big thanks to everyone cause I really appreciate all the advice and suggestions.

I'm getting ready, probably in the upcoming deer season, to start out and try and bag me something. I've done my research, but knowledge and experience are two different things I've learned. I ain't got the experience, but I figure y'all do. What would you tell a new hunter (mainly for deer) that you think would help him on his first major hunt?
 

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Study the hunting regulations in the state/area you plan to hunt.

GA has antler restrictions, some counties in GA have tighter restrictions than state minimums. Regulations can vary from one public hunting area to another.

The days on which an anterless deer may be taken varies widely across the state, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Study the hunting regulations in the state/area you plan to hunt.

GA has antler restrictions, some counties in GA have tighter restrictions than state minimums. Regulations can vary from one public hunting area to another.

The days on which an anterless deer may be taken varies widely across the state, too.
Ah yeah, I plan to mainly take bucks, but I'll make sure I know whats up before I go out on a hunt with the intent to bag antlerless deer as well. As far as I've been able to read, my county/the counties I might hunt in don't have any special regulations. Good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Take a hunter safety course.
I think I looked into one of those because, as far as I'm aware, its required for a hunting license in my state, and from what I remember the course mainly was about general gun safety and usage and wearing orange so you're not mistaken for game. Does it cover anything else? Cause I remember it being pretty obvious stuff, just from the overview. I may be wrong though.
 

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Ah yeah, I plan to mainly take bucks, but I'll make sure I know whats up before I go out on a hunt with the intent to bag antlerless deer as well. As far as I've been able to read, my county/the counties I might hunt in don't have any special regulations. Good advice.
When you buy a GA big game license, you get 2 buck "tags", one can be any buck, the other tag requires at least one antler with 4 or more points. This is the state minimum.

Some counties allow only bucks with 4 points or more on one antler. There are a couple of counties that require 15 inch minimum antler width.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You'll be surprised how much good info you pick up. Remember, the instructors are all experienced hunters.
Oh okay, in that case it might actually be educational rather than just some bureaucratic requirement. Good advice, thanks. Gotta admit, I'm a little embarrassed about having to take one as an adult, it seems like the sort of thing you do as a kid.
 

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Oh okay, in that case it might actually be educational rather than just some bureaucratic requirement. Good advice, thanks. Gotta admit, I'm a little embarrassed about having to take one as an adult, it seems like the sort of thing you do as a kid.
You can take it on line as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When you buy a GA big game license, you get 2 buck "tags", one can be any buck, the other tag requires at least one antler with 4 or more points. This is the state minimum.

Some counties allow only bucks with 4 points or more on one antler. There are a couple of counties that require 15 inch minimum antler width.
Gotcha, I looked into it once more and it looks like the counties I might hunt in mostly all require the 4 points. That's good to know, thank you.
 

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Dirty Harry said "A man's gotta know his limits". As a hunter, you need to know yours. What is the max range you can ethically take a deer? (and can you accurately estimate range?) Lifelong shooter, former military long range shooter. Yes, have made shots over 1 Km in the military. Wait a minute- what is the max range that you and your firearm can consistently hit a 5 inch circle- using the shooting position you will use IN THE FIELD???

Yeah, I am hell on square wheels with a benchrest and bags- but I get really tired dragging that bench around in the woods. That 5 inch circle is the size of the kill zone on a deer- heart/lung shot. Practice standing supported, and kneeling. 150 yards is probably closer to the REAL max range you should be after.

OK- you shot it. NOW what? The only deer that I have taken where that was never an issue is one I dropped from my back deck- it was standing in my garden. Have you studied how to field dress a deer? How you planning to move the deer? Do you have a sheet to slide the critter on? A drag rope? Carrying one is hard to do, puts you are risk of being shot.
 

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Depending on the deer density where you live, expect to do a lot more sitting and waiting than shooting. It鈥檚 also perfectly fine if you don鈥檛 get one every year. Here in Maine, where the deer density is low and the woods are very thick, only about 20% of hunters take a deer each year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dirty Harry said "A man's gotta know his limits". As a hunter, you need to know yours. What is the max range you can ethically take a deer? (and can you accurately estimate range?) Lifelong shooter, former military long range shooter. Yes, have made shots over 1 Km in the military. Wait a minute- what is the max range that you and your firearm can consistently hit a 5 inch circle- using the shooting position you will use IN THE FIELD???

Yeah, I am hell on square wheels with a benchrest and bags- but I get really tired dragging that bench around in the woods. That 5 inch circle is the size of the kill zone on a deer- heart/lung shot. Practice standing supported, and kneeling. 150 yards is probably closer to the REAL max range you should be after.

OK- you shot it. NOW what? The only deer that I have taken where that was never an issue is one I dropped from my back deck- it was standing in my garden. Have you studied how to field dress a deer? How you planning to move the deer? Do you have a sheet to slide the critter on? A drag rope? Carrying one is hard to do, puts you are risk of being shot.
To be honest with you, I don't have the rifle I plan to use yet, but I plan to get it well before hunting season and being as enthusiastic as I am, I'm sure me and that rifle will be well acquainted before deer season. If not, I have a deer rifle I picked up recently that I am getting some practice in with already, and I can use that. I won't be bringing a rifle I'm not familiar with on the hunt, that's for sure.

I just shoot standing or crouched most of the time at the range, so I won't need that bench or rest haha. But yeah, I will definitely get plenty of practice with it, that is good advice. I'm figuring 150 yards will probably be the limitations the terrain imposes regardless, but you're right, while I plan to practice my marksmanship with this new rifle and the other rifle at longer ranges, I'm mainly going to be hitting game at sub 100 or sub 150 yards. And as for field dressing and transport, I have read up well on that, I know how to get 'em gutted and ready to butcher.

I'm still deciding on whether I'll do that part myself or take my game to a processing place. I know a guy who knows how to skin and quarter them and I'm gonna have him with me through the whole hunt and after, so I might have him teach me about hanging, skinning, and butchering deer if he will.

Gotta say, I appreciate how straight up and serious you are about the topic. No mistake you're military, I ain't but my dad is and you remind me a lot of him. I got respect for you. Thanks for all your advice and for making sure I'm taking this seriously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Depending on the deer density where you live, expect to do a lot more sitting and waiting than shooting. It鈥檚 also perfectly fine if you don鈥檛 get one every year. Here in Maine, where the deer density is low and the woods are very thick, only about 20% of hunters take a deer each year.
I believe it's pretty dense around here, hell I passed half a dozen deer run over on the side of the road just the other day, just in one little area. But yeah, I heard its not uncommon, especially for newer hunters, to not see much, scare what they do see, etc. I suppose I'll be disappointed if that happens, but I'm ready for it, it is what it is. All I can do is my best and learn from my mistakes, you know?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also, SCENT CONTROL IS KEY
Oh yeah, those deer got keen senses of smell. What do you do to control your sent? I was planning on just using some scent spray, and maybe some deer urine on my boots -- I heard thats a good trick. Generally staying downwind too.
 

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Oh yeah, those deer got keen senses of smell. What do you do to control your sent? I was planning on just using some scent spray, and maybe some deer urine on my boots -- I heard thats a good trick. Generally staying downwind too.
Don鈥檛 spray estrus on yourself. Use a good scent free detergent specifically designed for hunter, wash the clothes in a clean bucket that鈥檚 been washed with the detergent, then let the clothes dry in the environment you鈥檒l be hunting in. Once dry, put the clothes in a ziplock bag and place them a locking plastic bucket. Only wear your clothes while hunting- not when driving to your hunting spot, not when eating breakfast, etc. Wear rubber boots- the keep the smell from your feet from getting out. And yes, play the wind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Don鈥檛 spray estrus on yourself. Use a good scent free detergent specifically designed for hunter, wash the clothes in a clean bucket that鈥檚 been washed with the detergent, then let the clothes dry in the environment you鈥檒l be hunting in. Once dry, put the clothes in a ziplock bag and place them a locking plastic bucket. Only wear your clothes while hunting- not when driving to your hunting spot, not when eating breakfast, etc. Wear rubber boots- the keep the smell from your feet from getting out. And yes, play the wind.
So wash em like you said, then seal it up and put them on when I get out of the truck at the hunting grounds, right? Alright, I'll make sure I do that. Thanks very much for your help on this topic and my other post about which rifle to pick.
 

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I would suggest buying a .22 and getting a lot of range time in shooting it practicing breathing and trigger control.

.22's are a very cheap way of learning the basics of shooting and this will then transfer across to a centrefire rifle.

Spend good money on good gear don't be a cheap arse as it will bite you on the butt big time when you need it the most. Whatever your wallet can support in a good brand name will be good enough and it'll serve you well for years to come.

Get a good pair of boots........................if you've ever walked a long way in rough ground with a pair of bad fitting boots you'll know what I mean.
Practice! practice! practice!.......................this is the only way you'll get used to your gun. If you can't get to a range get a snap cap and practice trigger control and breathing at home.
A word of warning here about range shooting and the high chances of you running into the next best been there done that expert...............................these "experts" will fill your head with magical 1 mile kill shots using the latest in laser painted bullets that will do things that not even the bullet that killed JFK could do and tell you how to do this and that.
Try and find somebody that will teach and show you the finer points of using a gun without the added hype and also ask on here as there's a few on here that do have a bit better than a rough idea on things pertaining to shooting and hunting.

Don't worry about trying to make 500yard shots YET leave that stuff to the keyboard warriors and wannabe super snipers your still learning to "walk" so make sure you can hit a bullseye or close enough to it from 50 yards out to say 200 yards regularly from a few different positions as you'll find that in the scrub there's no ready made rests or places where you can lean up against with a steady rest to make a shot.

Practice snap shooting as there'll be times when your stalking that you may only have a few seconds to get a shot away and the trick here is to take the shot as soon as the crosshairs come up on the animal and squeeze the trigger....................you'll miss more than you hit initially but again practice will be your friend.
Finally see if you can get close to some old blokes that have been hunting since the dawn of time.....................they'll be the blokes that will give you good advice on hunting and shooting tips and also spin you a bit of crap as well BUT won't crap on about magical kills at 1000 yards using a .22 with open sights on a windy day...................well to a point they won't:D
 
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