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Beachbum
10-02-2012, 03:43 PM
So here's my sad, long tale. I'm 44 years old and have never hunted. I grew up with a father that wouldn't hunt, fish, or even take me camping, he always relied on my mother to take me fishing and camping. Both my parents were against hunting. My father told me a story of the one time he went hunting and shot a deer which didn't die and how it screamed like a little baby. I had invites from friends and uncles to go hunting but by then I was also against killing any kind of big game. 12 years ago I met my fiancee who had 3 kids, 1 girl and 2 young boys. Both boys expressed an interest in learning to hunt which started me to rethink everything about hunting that I had been brainwashed into believing. I went as far as to trade a sig pistol for a rifle and scope from a buddy which I've had for about 10 years now. I've hinted to uncles and cousins about my interest in LEARNING to hunt but never an invite. That's ok, I understand that hunters are a tight knit group and I believe it's hard to break into that group of hunting buddies that have been hunting together for decades.
Time flies by and my youngest boy is in his last year of school and the older boy is in the Navy which my youngest boy is probably going to follow in his brothers footsteps as soon as he graduates. So, I've lost the chance to pass on the hunting experience and tradition that should be such a basic skill of life. If that makes any sense.
The buddy I traded with for the rifle is an avid hunter and has said he will take me hunting. He took another friend of mine hunting for the first time which amounted to driving the back roads in Eastern Oregon until they seen something to kill. That's where I have a problem. I'm not looking to just kill something. I want to LEARN to HUNT. I want to get away from the roads, the towns etc. and get into the wilderness. I know this may sound a bit corny. I look at these old pictures of hunters and wonder how these guys were ever able to hunt without all the camo and gadgets, not that I have anything against all the gadgets and stuff.
I read all the hunting mags and just got my last issue of EHJ so I need to subscribe again. You can only learn so much from dvds and magazines. I am at the point now where I feel like I'm just going to go find me an area to hunt and see what happens...maybe next year. I read how all you real hunters are waiting all year to hunt and I want that excitement and anticipation also. To be able to put meat on the table that wasn't killed by someone else, just the whole experience I guess is what I'm looking for.
So I know there are mentoring programs for youth hunters and am wondering why is there no mentoring programs for adults that would like to LEARN how to actually hunt? At this time I can't afford a guided trip and I'm not entirely sure how these outfitters would feel about teaching someone how to hunt and why or why not to take an animal, etc.
I live on the Oregon coast and there is big game all around me. I get deer in the back yard and since the dump is a half mile behind the house I get the occasional black bear on the front deck trying to get into the garbage can. So I know there's big game around but shooting something in my backyard is not what I consider hunting.
I need to learn every aspect of true hunting from the start to the finish. I am sorry for the long sob story. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Maybe I should just take up my buddies invite to drive around? At least maybe I would be able to learn how to clean a deer.
Thanks again
Kevin

Chippy Hacky
10-02-2012, 04:32 PM
Grab the regs, read them, and then the very next day (go on a weekday during the day if you can, this time of year) go to the oldest hardware store you know of, you know the one, the hardware store that has the old wood floors and a little bell on the door when you walk in? The one that has old deer and elk mounts with cobwebs all over and the owner greets you when you walk in, that’s where you want to be. Ask that guy for help as you buy your tags. Don’t be afraid to tell him everything you just told us.

Then, drive to the nearest national forest, park the truck at the first clear cut and go poke around. Just have fun, and enjoy being out. You probably won’t get anything, may not even see anything but just remember that there are tons of guys out there that have hunted for years and have not gotten anything, check out some of the posts on this forum. It amazes me how guys hunt for years and never get anything!

I think a lot of people, maybe like you, would like to go but are intimidated about the whole process. People want to know what will happen before they even go. You won’t know unless you just go out there and do it. You don’t need much, just what you have. If you fall into the “gear trap” you will be buying all kinds of stuff and wasting money on things that you don’t know you will like or even need. You will keep buying and not be sure if you can do it, trust me, you can do it. Go out there and have fun.

Chippy Hacky
10-02-2012, 04:36 PM
As far as cleaning a deer. You can watch a few youtube videos but the only way is to just get in there and make it happen. Cut around his bung hole and then go right up his belly to his sternum. You will be able to figure it out from there. All of us had a heck of a time at first, even with someone showing us how. It will look like crap your first time but just keep on keeping on.

Chippy Hacky
10-02-2012, 04:41 PM
Just noticed you are from Oregon, we rented a beach house at Rockaway Beach a week and a half ago. I don't know if it was close but there looked to be some pretty decent blacktail areas on that road from Tillamook to Portland. I saw a few clear cuts in the Nat. Forrest (Tillamook National Forrest?), I have no clue if they are any good or even open but looked like there should be some blacktail in there, I know there are Elk, I saw Elk including a nice little herd with a rag horn right out of Tillamook.

ando_31
10-02-2012, 06:06 PM
Here's a bit of advice that comes to mind. Take it for what it is worth and keep in mind I don't know how much of an outdoors man you are right now so some of what I say might or might not come off as obvious.

I would just go out with your friend the first time on a deer hunt. Ask him if he can teach you a bit instead of just driving around. If he is willing to teach then be willing to learn. Ask about the different tracks in your area, different scat, different trails, different animals. You might want to have someone with you as it is difficult to differentiate between certain deer species. He won't know everything, none of us do (even though most of us probably think we do).

You are asking to learn a lot with your first experience if you want to go on a backpacking hunting trip. You're exactly right thinking that there's more to hunting than driving around and shooting the first thing you see. You also don't want to bite off more than you can chew. Going on a "do it yourself" hunt in the back country would be a lot to take in on your first hunt. There are survival skills that come into play in the back country.

Just remember its not always about the trophy (though it helps sometimes) but rather the adventure, sights, and sometimes the company.

By the way, its never to late for you to teach your kiddo's. I'm 30 and still learning from my old man.

Ikeepitcold
10-02-2012, 06:50 PM
Well said CH
Check out YouTube. Guy did a few video clips on field dressing that are great. They are in elk but its the same just smaller. Good luck. Your asking the rite questions. You could probly get a book too that can help.

Beachbum
10-03-2012, 10:42 PM
Just noticed you are from Oregon, we rented a beach house at Rockaway Beach a week and a half ago. I don't know if it was close but there looked to be some pretty decent blacktail areas on that road from Tillamook to Portland. I saw a few clear cuts in the Nat. Forrest (Tillamook National Forrest?), I have no clue if they are any good or even open but looked like there should be some blacktail in there, I know there are Elk, I saw Elk including a nice little herd with a rag horn right out of Tillamook.

Hey Chippy, that herd of Elk just south of Tillamook is well known around here. They've been in that area for quite a few years from what I understand. Occasionally there will be a monster Bull in the mix.

Beachbum
10-03-2012, 11:04 PM
First off I would like to thank you all for your responses! I think what I've decided to do is take up my buddies invite to take me hunting as he is taking my other friend hunting for his second try. I don't think I will actually hunt though. I just have a problem driving the roads looking for something to kill. I figure atleast this way I might pick up some info along the way and even possibly get involved with the whole gutting, skinning process. I also think that I will wait for hunting season to end and start scouting some places that might be good possibilities for next year and see what I can find and learn. I think it's probably a good Idea to wait for the season to end before I start scouting so I don't screw up someone elses hunt?
I have found these dvd's on amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Advanced-Processing-Library-Knowledge/dp/B002P8V3RE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2YGU194O6ZZLY&coliid=I1E3HFTAH63HQA

Anyone ever seen these and are they any good. They seem to have pretty good reviews.
If you disagree with my plan of action please let me know. I think what Chippy said is very true about being intimidated and scared were going to do something horribly wrong and unethical that keeps alot of us from just going out there and hunting. I think it was FDR that said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. I think in this day and age of info comercials and programs telling us we need every new product under the sun that we tend to over complicate hunting. Our grandfathers used to hunt without camo, scopes, high powered magnum ammos or gargleing deer urine, all though I'm all for trying to give myself the best chance of success I'm not about to gargle with deer pee. sorry about the little rant, got carried away.
Thanks again for the helpful advice!

Beachbum
10-03-2012, 11:09 PM
Ok there are a bunch of field dressing videos out there and a few good ones along with some disturbing ones also! I definently have learned I dont want to puncture the stomach on a big Elk! Thank you!
Well said CH
Check out YouTube. Guy did a few video clips on field dressing that are great. They are in elk but its the same just smaller. Good luck. Your asking the rite questions. You could probly get a book too that can help.

Highcountry Dreams
10-04-2012, 09:20 AM
IMHO the best way to learn hunting is by scouting. Find an area that is easy to access, grab some binos, and start poking around. You will learn more about game in a few scouting trips than a dozen hunting trips because your focus is different. And it's free. Take a good camera and try to get pics up close at animals. Then once you can consistently get a good pic or two of game on each trip, buy a tag and go during hunting season. I take kids and non- hunting friends with me scouting whenever I can because it is a great no-pressure introduction. It's fun, cheap, at a time of your choosing, and you usually have woods to yourself- what more could a guy ask for.

Chippy Hacky
10-04-2012, 09:36 AM
I wish I could have stopped to take a look at that herd but to tell you the truth, my wife spotted them first, I saw them out of the corner of my eye and thought they where cows, they were all bunched up. By the time she said something I was able to pick out a nice little rag horn, I would expect that time a year mr. big would be close. There was road construction so it just wasn't a good place to stop. In Tillamook there was a big sporting goods store, can't remember the name but it was on the main drag. I spent a few minutes in there as the gals were shopping at Fred Meyer across the street. There were a lot of locals in there, I would try that store. Their prices on gear and stuff was high but I was able to pick up a fuel bottle for a stove of mine that isn't manufactured any longer or sold in the U.S. so that was nice.

Don't worry about cutting open the paunch (stomach), if a hunter has never done it by accident then they haven't gutted too many animals. In fact, many guys like to open it up to see what the animal is eating once it is out of the animal, not me but to each their own. Hunt long enough and you will shoot one in the paunch, not the most fun experience but you can deal with it.

As far as ethics goes, everyone has a little different idea of exactly what that means to them and you will have to figure out what it means to you. What is fine with one hunter is taboo to another. As long as it is legal it is o.k., don't get caught up in the "ethical" part of it, it will drive you crazy! Just stick to the rules.

Finding out that your meat really doesn't come from a grocery store for the first time could really be brutal, I suppose, if you never have been around a farm or grown up hunting. Don't let your imagination or what you read/see in a hunting video or magazine define what really goes on, just sit back and enjoy the experience for what it is.

DaveZ
10-04-2012, 01:05 PM
This might be to much of a generalization, but I bet 90% of hunters started off hunting small game ( rabbits, squirels(sp?), grouse, etc) Not sure if you have any of these options in Oregon, but in Wisconsin, this is how I/we learned. With small game you don't nessecarily need to be as careful with scent and noise. You don't need any gadgets, well, maybe a compass :).
Jumping right in after big game might be a bit much.

Beachbum
10-07-2012, 06:10 PM
Thanks for the great advice Highcounty! That's exactly what I'm going to do!
IMHO the best way to learn hunting is by scouting. Find an area that is easy to access, grab some binos, and start poking around. You will learn more about game in a few scouting trips than a dozen hunting trips because your focus is different. And it's free. Take a good camera and try to get pics up close at animals. Then once you can consistently get a good pic or two of game on each trip, buy a tag and go during hunting season. I take kids and non- hunting friends with me scouting whenever I can because it is a great no-pressure introduction. It's fun, cheap, at a time of your choosing, and you usually have woods to yourself- what more could a guy ask for.

Matthew
10-19-2012, 08:37 AM
Pardon my intrusion, but I'm gonna glom on to your thread here. At 37, I'm in a similar situation. Even though I spent time in the Marines, that didn't included alone time in bushcraft or hunting big game. It will be nice to work through hunting scenarios and to have an outlet of escape from the city.

Colorado Cowboy
10-19-2012, 09:38 AM
Are there any hunting,fishing or shooting clubs in your area? Might be a good place to start. Also sign up and take your state's hunter safety training progam. You might get some information there. Most instructors are very good and open with their information.

Matthew
10-19-2012, 09:45 PM
The hunter ed course in Arizona qualifies you for a permanent bonus point, so I might as well take it. Luckily I'm in no hurry. I have to wait until next year as all the classes are filled up with it being Fall. Our state program isn't geared toward new adult hunters, only kids. I suppose they expect adults will have been hunting since childhood or they would pay for a guide service if they haven't.

Umpqua Hunter
10-20-2012, 01:42 AM
Beachbum...I am also from Oregon. A couple things I would look into is taking the Oregon Hunter's Safety Course. There is also a program called "Master Hunter" that is offered through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. I don't know a whole lot about it, but here is the link to that program:

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/education/hunter/master_hunter.asp

If you complete the Master Hunter, there are special hunting opportunities in Oregon.

JMSZ
10-22-2012, 06:00 PM
Going to second scouting - not only does it give you a chance to learn about and how to track what you're going to hunt, it gives you an opportunity to test out your gear and practice your skills (especially survival skills) under ideal conditions and when you're not under a lot of pressure.

A lot of people have posted info on hunting information, so I'll push the gear and survival info...The key thing to remember is that everything is harder in the dark and/or when you're fatigued, cold and/or wet (and even worse when you're all of them).

Set your gear up, start a fire, get your stove going, etc. If it's hard to do when conditions are good, it's going to be really hard when you're in some or all of the above conditions.

If you have a hard time lighting a fire even when you and the wood is dry and there's no wind, you'll never get one started when you're soaking wet, it's breezy and 40 degrees.

In the first case, it's annoying. In the second case, it can kill you.

Some things will just require more practice, others will require a change in equipment. Scouting trips will help you find out what you need to practice more and what equipment you need to change out.

Having good skills and gear will not only make your trip safer, you will be more confident and enjoy the hunt more.

Beachbum
10-27-2012, 03:03 PM
Thanks Umpqua Hunter. I don't know why I didn't think of checking the ODFW web site. There's actually quite a few programs they offer. Thanks again!

Beachbum...I am also from Oregon. A couple things I would look into is taking the Oregon Hunter's Safety Course. There is also a program called "Master Hunter" that is offered through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. I don't know a whole lot about it, but here is the link to that program:

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/education/hunter/master_hunter.asp

If you complete the Master Hunter, there are special hunting opportunities in Oregon.

Umpqua Hunter
10-27-2012, 04:50 PM
Thanks Umpqua Hunter. I don't know why I didn't think of checking the ODFW web site. There's actually quite a few programs they offer. Thanks again!

Cool...hope you the best!