LEARNING TO HUNT

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getnready

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Ever since I returned to Michigan I have had this strong desire to learn how to hunt. My husband has not hunted since his teens and although my father hunted I never got to go. A man thing back then! I have watched hunting programs, read books and discussed with hubby alot. However I see the most excited about hunting. I have been here 1 year and get so excited every time I see a deer or turkey along the road. Saw 30 deer in one evening just 2 wks ago! Really!
I explained my inner need to learn to hunt, learn to butcher and cook my game. I have never tried venison and I want to incorporate game in our meat source supply.

So, I've concluded that I will have to initiate this activity on my own and dont know where to start. And yes I know its not just sitting in the woods and waiting to shoot something. There is a science to this. I am very good with a rifle and I have gotten pretty good with the compound bow now!

I have Michigans hunting guide that tells hunting season for game, I know I will need a license but then what? How do you know where to go, when to be in the woods or field for your game?

Appreciate your input
 

DrHenley

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I would not try to hunt alone at first. Best to either go with an experienced hunter or a guide. Guided hunting can be expensive however.

Here there are deer camps that you can join for a fairly reasonable fee. There are usually people in the camp that will be more than happy to help you get started.

Once you know your way around the woods and learn how to clean the game, you can find state game reserves to hunt on.

Your state wildlife commission will probably be very helpful too. Just call them.
 
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I have to agree with the good doctor on this one.

Hunting is 50% perspiration and 50% aspiration.
The easiest way to turn a hunter into a non hunter is to give them a gun and turn them loose.
Because the game lives in the woods it isn't as easy as just walking into the woods and shooting something. Like my dad would say, if it was easy, everyone would do it.

Or like I say - it is called hunting, not getting!

The deer and turkeys you see in a field someplace are only there for one reason, there is an abundance of food and no one is bothering them.
Once the guns starts going bang, they disappear pretty quick.

The stuff you see on TV is all staged, where a person walks into a pen and shoots the animal. Its more like hunting in a zoo then hunting in the woods.

I have even heard people exclaim - the deer was walking right towards me and then some bozo came along and scared it away. And they call it MY DEER!

The attitudes today involves owning your own heaven's 50 acres, putting a posted sign in every tree to keep everyone else away. Baiting the animals so they come in every day at the same time and then shooting them in front of the feeder.

That in my opinion isn't hunting!
DAD always said - if deer had guns, there would be more dead hunters in the woods then deer!

Hunting involves knowing the habits of the wildlife you plan to harvest.
Investing time into going out into the woods and putting on drives or sitting patiently in one place until the game comes to you.
Getting up - sometimes 4 AM in the morning and staying until it gets dark out, and most of the time coming home empty handed.

It gets discouraging pretty quick when you don't see anything and you don't get anything.

Public land hunting is the pits - a lot of other yahoo's with the same ideas as you - that there will be a 12 point buck behind every tree and lot's of acres of land with no people.
When you get there and you don't even see a tweety bird, it gets very frustrating.

I have been hunting for almost 40 years and last year was the first time I ever shot what I would consider a trophy buck, and it only had 8 points and it only weighed 125 lbs!
This is in the woods of western Pennsylvania where we have the 4th largest deer harvest in the USA.

For me, hunting has a lot more to do with family time.
We had a camp when I was growing up and going to camp was the highlight of the whole year. We spent the other 9 months of the year fixing the road, cutting fire wood, hauling in the coal, cutting grass, fixing the camp, making improvements to the camp.

In the end, my Uncle sold the camp - we could have rented a camp cheaper then being a part of a hunting lodge and doing the majority of the work ourselves and we could have bought meat 100 times cheaper then shooting it ourselves and missing days of work in the process. A little something called the Opportunity Cost...

My mom died, she was the patriarch of the family.
Mom cooked their breakfast before they went hunting.
Mom packed their lunches and when they got home - mom had supper on the table.
Mom was the one that got out their hunting suits and made sure they had gloves and boots and their walkie talkies were charged and they had a supply of TP in their pockets..

Now, dad gets up when he darn well feels like it.
They spend the early morning sitting at the breakfast table talking about where they are going to hunt. If it is raining they might not even get out of the vehicle unless it is the first day or the following two Saturdays!

My brother and I often get into fights because he wants to leave the house at 6:45 AM and I want to be posted at 6 AM and it is a half hour drive to our hunting spots and a 45 minute walk into the woods.

Most hunters today only goes about 100 yards away from their vehicles and their kids spends more time playing with their IPhones then actually watching for deer and hunting. The first hint of rain or snow and they want to go home.

Not to mention all those tree buzzards that just wants to sit in heated tree stands or in the middle of some farmers field with a .300 Winchester Magnum and a sniper scope.

I love this hobby with all my heart, I really do!
I have 15 guns and enough ammo to start my own little war.
But I really don't like what I see anymore in the way of selfishness - where everyone is just out for themselves and all the posted signs and the road hunters.

Hey hon - there is a million old guys out there that would love to take you hunting with them.. Don't get me wrong. The key is finding one with the dedication to actually be willing to sacrifice their time and their talents to actually teach you the fundamentals of how to hunt properly. Today I see more slob hunters more then anything else.

I actually took my 13 year old nephew with me on the last day last year and I did not get a deer, although if we would have been more quiet and more patient - we surely would have gotten something. The poor kid has never fired a gun in his whole life.

Over protective parents that are looking out of his best interest - or so they claim.
I can see it in his eyes that he would really like to go hunting with me - but they won't take him to a hunters safety course - too busy running around after his two sisters that are into band and marching in parades and his father that is a high school football fanatic.

Its been 5 years since the last time either of my brothers has gone small game hunting with me. My dog died and it just isn't any fun to go hunting alone!
I love to hunt pheasants and grouse and deer and turkeys and squirrels and rabbits - but no one wants to do those things anymore.
 

jontte

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DrHenley and Pottr County Man gave very good advice,never do it alone,never. and it sure take a lot of patience, sometimes i think when hunting for ex rabbit,those long legged bouncing quicksilver-bullets hide behind some big tree having a great day at my expence,but i stilllove to be out in the woods as i love to fish,sometimes you get and sometimes don't
 

Brent S

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I have a good friend here in ga that has hunted here all his life. Once I asked what he thought helped him the most. He said he starts going out without a gun several times before season starts and just sits and watches. Deer tend to travel the same paths at close to the same time each day, even though they can bed in different locations at night. He said more often than not he gets a deer on the first day as he knows where to be just from some early recon.
 

DrHenley

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I have a good friend here in ga that has hunted here all his life. Once I asked what he thought helped him the most. He said he starts going out without a gun several times before season starts and just sits and watches.
Yep, it's called "scouting."

Take a camera. Taking a good shot with a camera is more difficult than with a rifle.
 

getnready

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Thanks for the great advice guys! Obviously Pottercountyman you have the passion for this sport. And I agree not a good idea to go alone.
Can or should I do the scouting myself?
I know my husband does not believe in baiting, nor do I.
We just bought house on 8.13 acres with woods and pond on property and surrounded by farm land. Would that be good, safe place for me to start the game observation? Would like to hunt quail, pheasant if abundant there.

I will have many questions guys, hope you dont mind.
 

jontte

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i think you can do scouting by your self,leave the gun home and as Dr Henley said,take a camera and make your self familiar with your land
 

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I grew up hunting , fishing , camping and still enjoy them as much as ever . You can keep it simple there are 3 basic types of hunting to focus on .
1 Find a place where there is alot of sign and get there early before day light or mid day if you are hunting til dark and find some cover be still , very quite and watch . Select a posistion where you have cover and can watch multiple trails . You have to be quite and any movement must be very slow . This works on any game large or small . Scout the area before so you have a idea of where you set up and what directions to watch .
2 Move into the woods or moutain you are going to hunt without disturbance . You should know where the trails and feeding , bed down area (for deer or other large gane ) . You move slow and quite 30 to 50 yards at a time staying in shaded areas as much as possible each time stopping and watch , listen be very still and quite . This is best for squirrel or other small game but will work on any the is lets you hunt a larger area but care must be taken as you will most likly spook deer so the above method is better for deer .
3 One of my favorite methods is you find a higher area over looking a area you know game moves through or feeds at . You need a long , wide field of veiw you find some cover and watch you need a good rest for your rifle prone is good but not a must as long as you are steady ( I have a shooting bench set up in 1 area ) you can sit behind a small tree and rest your firearm on a limb . You dont have to be as quite but still take all the stealthy precautions you would for other hunting methods . Marksmanship is a must useing this method you have to have good bullet placment useing any hunting method . This works for any game its great fot large game , varmits , small game .
What ever method you use you have to develop that hunter eye you don't have to have perfect vision but your eye sees what your brain remembers and watch for movement you just have to learn this on your own it's hard to explain . I have seen hunters have deer walk past them and never see anything .
 

DrHenley

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Hunting your own land is a lot simpler. It may not be as productive, but you have the luxury of being able to get to know the land and wildlife intimately without interference (assuming you don't have poachers).

Set up some game cameras, both for large and small game. Use the infrared that don't have visible flash. Once you know what kind of wildlife you have, you can plan how to hunt them. You may be surprised at the animals (and people) you see on the cameras!

Once you have a good idea of where your wildlife goes, in the off season, get some life-like decoys and place them where you've seen animals on the cameras. Then practice stalking them, and shooting them with an air rifle. Patch the holes so you will know where you hit them.

Bird hunting is a matter of flushing them and then hitting them on the wing. If you aren't proficient with a shotgun, get a thrower and practice shooting clay pigeons (it helps even expert hunters to do this occasionally)
 

Uncle Albert

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I have to agree with the good doctor on this one.

Hunting is 50% perspiration and 50% aspiration.
The easiest way to turn a hunter into a non hunter is to give them a gun and turn them loose.
Because the game lives in the woods it isn't as easy as just walking into the woods and shooting something. Like my dad would say, if it was easy, everyone would do it.

Or like I say - it is called hunting, not getting!

The deer and turkeys you see in a field someplace are only there for one reason, there is an abundance of food and no one is bothering them.
Once the guns starts going bang, they disappear pretty quick.

The stuff you see on TV is all staged, where a person walks into a pen and shoots the animal. Its more like hunting in a zoo then hunting in the woods.

I have even heard people exclaim - the deer was walking right towards me and then some bozo came along and scared it away. And they call it MY DEER!

The attitudes today involves owning your own heaven's 50 acres, putting a posted sign in every tree to keep everyone else away. Baiting the animals so they come in every day at the same time and then shooting them in front of the feeder.

That in my opinion isn't hunting!
DAD always said - if deer had guns, there would be more dead hunters in the woods then deer!

Hunting involves knowing the habits of the wildlife you plan to harvest.
Investing time into going out into the woods and putting on drives or sitting patiently in one place until the game comes to you.
Getting up - sometimes 4 AM in the morning and staying until it gets dark out, and most of the time coming home empty handed.

It gets discouraging pretty quick when you don't see anything and you don't get anything.

Public land hunting is the pits - a lot of other yahoo's with the same ideas as you - that there will be a 12 point buck behind every tree and lot's of acres of land with no people.
When you get there and you don't even see a tweety bird, it gets very frustrating.

I have been hunting for almost 40 years and last year was the first time I ever shot what I would consider a trophy buck, and it only had 8 points and it only weighed 125 lbs!
This is in the woods of western Pennsylvania where we have the 4th largest deer harvest in the USA.

For me, hunting has a lot more to do with family time.
We had a camp when I was growing up and going to camp was the highlight of the whole year. We spent the other 9 months of the year fixing the road, cutting fire wood, hauling in the coal, cutting grass, fixing the camp, making improvements to the camp.

In the end, my Uncle sold the camp - we could have rented a camp cheaper then being a part of a hunting lodge and doing the majority of the work ourselves and we could have bought meat 100 times cheaper then shooting it ourselves and missing days of work in the process. A little something called the Opportunity Cost...

My mom died, she was the patriarch of the family.
Mom cooked their breakfast before they went hunting.
Mom packed their lunches and when they got home - mom had supper on the table.
Mom was the one that got out their hunting suits and made sure they had gloves and boots and their walkie talkies were charged and they had a supply of TP in their pockets..

Now, dad gets up when he darn well feels like it.
They spend the early morning sitting at the breakfast table talking about where they are going to hunt. If it is raining they might not even get out of the vehicle unless it is the first day or the following two Saturdays!

My brother and I often get into fights because he wants to leave the house at 6:45 AM and I want to be posted at 6 AM and it is a half hour drive to our hunting spots and a 45 minute walk into the woods.

Most hunters today only goes about 100 yards away from their vehicles and their kids spends more time playing with their IPhones then actually watching for deer and hunting. The first hint of rain or snow and they want to go home.

Not to mention all those tree buzzards that just wants to sit in heated tree stands or in the middle of some farmers field with a .300 Winchester Magnum and a sniper scope.

I love this hobby with all my heart, I really do!
I have 15 guns and enough ammo to start my own little war.
But I really don't like what I see anymore in the way of selfishness - where everyone is just out for themselves and all the posted signs and the road hunters.

Hey hon - there is a million old guys out there that would love to take you hunting with them.. Don't get me wrong. The key is finding one with the dedication to actually be willing to sacrifice their time and their talents to actually teach you the fundamentals of how to hunt properly. Today I see more slob hunters more then anything else.

I actually took my 13 year old nephew with me on the last day last year and I did not get a deer, although if we would have been more quiet and more patient - we surely would have gotten something. The poor kid has never fired a gun in his whole life.

Over protective parents that are looking out of his best interest - or so they claim.
I can see it in his eyes that he would really like to go hunting with me - but they won't take him to a hunters safety course - too busy running around after his two sisters that are into band and marching in parades and his father that is a high school football fanatic.

Its been 5 years since the last time either of my brothers has gone small game hunting with me. My dog died and it just isn't any fun to go hunting alone!
I love to hunt pheasants and grouse and deer and turkeys and squirrels and rabbits - but no one wants to do those things anymore.
This is a good post. People will want to go when they want to eat because of the big event.
 

Uncle Albert

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Ever since I returned to Michigan I have had this strong desire to learn how to hunt. My husband has not hunted since his teens and although my father hunted I never got to go. A man thing back then! I have watched hunting programs, read books and discussed with hubby alot. However I see the most excited about hunting. I have been here 1 year and get so excited every time I see a deer or turkey along the road. Saw 30 deer in one evening just 2 wks ago! Really!
I explained my inner need to learn to hunt, learn to butcher and cook my game. I have never tried venison and I want to incorporate game in our meat source supply.

So, I've concluded that I will have to initiate this activity on my own and dont know where to start. And yes I know its not just sitting in the woods and waiting to shoot something. There is a science to this. I am very good with a rifle and I have gotten pretty good with the compound bow now!

I have Michigans hunting guide that tells hunting season for game, I know I will need a license but then what? How do you know where to go, when to be in the woods or field for your game?

Appreciate your input
Getnready, I too would like to be there to help you get your feet wet. I'm in my sixties been huntin' since my teens and would love to help anyone who wants to learn how to feed themselves on wildlife. Go online and see if you can find a local hunting club that is interested in training folks. Check with your local sport shops sometimes people post in there. Right now the Game Wardens are begging for people to hunt wild hogs. Check with them and see if they might not have names of locals who will bring you along. Farmers are screaming for help because their land is being torn up by these critters.
Good luck my friend.
 

Brent S

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Well, I wouldn't call it hunting, but I cleaned my first 7 rabbits last weekend, and it was a little tough for a first timer. The procedure was fairly easy and as I had watched utube videos first so I at least had a clue of how. The tough part was offing the cute little things I had watched from birth and hand fed. Over all I did ok, I'll cook some this week ahead. My point here is that there is some research to do before just stalking and shooting an animal. You need to think of how you will clean it, and how to prepare and store the meat. I guess it's like everything, the more you do it the easier it will become. Having the internet to learn from others is awesome. I watched about ten different ways to clean a rabbit, and kind of took an average from them all, which worked very well. I even looked at a few dozen ways to cook it. I'll let you know how it turns out!
 
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Hunting is a communal sport. Usually if you look hard enough, you will find that you have a dad or a brother or an uncle or a cousin that already knows how to hunt.
The first option would be to go with someone you already know.

If that does not pan out, the next option would be to sign up for a hunters safety course.
Most states do not allow anyone to buy a hunting license until they can prove that they had had a license in the past or that they had completed a hunters safety course.

I still have my card from 37 years ago.

While at the hunters safety course, you will observe many young people being trained for the first time, along with some older hunters that are just there to brush up on their safety skills. Going to the course will not only fulfill your obligation to take and pass the course to buy the license, it will also allow you to network with other people in the same situation. Most times if you are outgoing, you will meet others that will be looking for someone to mentor.

In the state of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has mentored youth hunts - a week or more before the opening season for small game. On these hunts, many times a more experienced hunter and his dog will be paired up with a inexperienced hunter and they go afield in search of game.

The game is stocked ahead of time, and it allows the inexperienced hunter the opportunity to harvest game without the competition of the other hunters afield - such as would be the case on the opening day of small game season.

Because you are not a youth, you wouldn't be able to carry a gun, but you would still have the opportunity to walk with the youth hunters and participate in the hunt - by walking through the weeds, trying to kick out Cuckars and Pheasants.,

Pheasants are not native to the USA, hence they are a stocked animal.
In recent years, with the advent of more modern farming technique's where an insufficient amount of cover is not left behind when a farmer prepares their fields for planting or while harvesting hay - the habitat needed for pheasant production is no longer available - hence there are very few native birds in the eastern united states.

Unless you see these birds wandering around your property, they aren't going to be there when it comes time to hunt them.

8 acres is not enough land to hunt on.

Even more concerning to me would be the proximity of neighbors to your property.
In Pennsylvania you have to be 150 yards from the closest inhabited structure - a device called a safety zone. You can hunt closer if you have the permission of everyone in the dwelling, but today that is getting harder and harder to do.

Hunting has always been a predominately male sport, with the shift of demographics and equal rights and pay for women, I guess hunting is just another sport that women wants to do - the loss of femininity.
 

Uncle Albert

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Wow, you must really be an old timer. It's too late to butt women out of anything and it doesn't mean they aren't still soft, sweet smelling and loveable. It means they are becoming more capable. You might be surprised some day after the SHTF and a woman saves your Azz.
 

Danil54grl

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Wow, you must really be an old timer. It's too late to butt women out of anything and it doesn't mean they aren't still soft, sweet smelling and loveable. It means they are becoming more capable. You might be surprised some day after the SHTF and a woman saves your Azz.
Men should never underestimate a female. . . on some things we tend to be more capable than the men.
 

DrHenley

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You won't catch me underestimating the "weaker sex.":)

We have told my daughter all her life she can accomplish anything she wants to. And she can! Among other things, she is studying electrical engineering and she was the captain of her high school rifle team. She can handle the recoil of a 454 Casull without flinching, and she has shot every deer through the heart.
buck1.jpg
 

Danil54grl

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Good for you Doc. . . teach your girls young and apparently she learned! Not all have been given that opportunity. Lots of dads who hunt only take their sons out because they think the girls should be learning something else and then there is the dad's who don't hunt, and none of the kids were given that opportunity, so she has been blessed. I had to learn the harder way. . . when I was older and taught by my hunny.
 

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Nice buck Dr Henley!
I dont want to wait till SHTF to find out I cant hunt for food or know how to prepare game. In Michigan you have to be out of city limits, 500 yrds from dwellings, we are. I plan on confirming with local DNR what and when I can hunt.

I guess I need to find out if I will have to take the hunting safety class, I am retired LE. Not sure if that qualifies to get hunting license without taking class. I met couple yesterday that would have been promising to learn from, they both hunt. I think they got scared after telling me they hunt yr round on their property. Once she figured out LE, conversation to hunt ended. Not about to break the law, dont believe it is necessary to hunt illegaly now.
 

psalm 7

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Michigan has some of the best Hunting and Fishing in the Country . Stop by most places that sell licens and see if they have a 2014 Hunting / Fishing guide . Lots of trapping in your State also . I run a Trap line here in Tn some times that is a Prepper knowlage must as I see it .
 

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