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.
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.
Thanks for the great advice Highcounty! That's exactly what I'm going to do!
Originally Posted by Highcountry Dreams
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.
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.
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.
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:
If you complete the Master Hunter, there are special hunting opportunities in Oregon.
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.
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!
Originally Posted by Umpqua Hunter
Cool...hope you the best!
Originally Posted by Beachbum