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.