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