07-30-2012, 04:51 PM
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B&C 140 Class
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Join Date: Dec 2011
My advice has several parts. Join your local Gun Club, Rifle and Pistol Club or even 4H Club and hang out as a volunteer, or just hang around and chat with old timers. Show some recurring interest, and someone will show some interest in helping you learn. Ask an experienced hunter if you can tag along just to learn, but make sure you mention that all their secrets and favorite spots will remain a secret and that you won't use them. Take your State's Hunter's Education class to learn responsible and ethical hunting before you head into the woods. Plus read all you can in various hunting magazines (forget the TV shows, they are canned to show kills every time....real hunting ain't that way). Reading will help you decide what caliber rifle you want or need, where to shoot for an ethical, clean-quick humane kill, and then how to butcher or field dress your kill.
And nothing says you can't get out there now without a rifle. Shed hunting will help you pattern the deer and learn where a scrape is and what to look for. Scouting is just as enriching (and more useful) as the actual hunting for that day when you can pull the trigger.
Talk to everyone you can think of. Your State cooperative extension office might know of good areas that deer feed in, or community classes in hunting.
And lastly, learn to be patient. Learn to sit on a log near the edge of a field for hours, silently. If your State requires stands, learn how to prepare one and how to sit in one for hours. Learn to walk thru the woods silently, where you might cover 100 yards in an hour for a stalk hunt.
ALL of these things can and should be done ahead of time. There's more to it than pulling the trigger. Before and after are just as important as the hunt and kill.
NRA Life member
NAHC Life member