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Thread: Hunting Advice

  1. #1
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    Default Hunting Advice

    The remarks on hunting (esp poaching) as a good start for learning the fieldcraft necessary for sniping and other dirty work got me thinking. I'd like to start hunting (if I can ever find the time this deer season) to get meat and to start developing those skills.

    So, what resources for learning the basics of that fieldcraft does the tribe recommend? I'm not really interested in just sitting in a stand all the time; stalking might be harder, but it certainly sounds more interesting. Now sitting in a stand may be the best way to start learning, but I also want to learn some fieldcraft beyond just being able to walk through the woods quietly, which I can do already.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faramir2 View Post
    The remarks on hunting (esp poaching) as a good start for learning the fieldcraft necessary for sniping and other dirty work got me thinking. I'd like to start hunting (if I can ever find the time this deer season) to get meat and to start developing those skills.

    So, what resources for learning the basics of that fieldcraft does the tribe recommend? I'm not really interested in just sitting in a stand all the time; stalking might be harder, but it certainly sounds more interesting. Now sitting in a stand may be the best way to start learning, but I also want to learn some fieldcraft beyond just being able to walk through the woods quietly, which I can do already.
    So a big thing is where are you located. Plains/flatland/ open areas hunt different than mountain, even different types of mountain terrain hunt differently depending on what type ie aspen (high elevation) or pine trees. To generalize however you dont have to spend a ton of money on camoflage. I have personally filled many tags wearing blue jeans and whatever camo tshirt or long sleeve was cheapest at local sporting goods store. Biggest thing to pay attention to is wind. ALWAYS hunt into the wind. If you have a longer range rifle that can reach out 300+ yds then invest in a good pair of binoculars and spend time glassing. Spending time just watching deer and where they are moving to and from. Deer focus on different food sources depending on time of year. I RARELY stand hunt here in Arizona. I stalk hunt mostly even with a bow. If possible wash your clothes with no detergent then let them air dry outside. A good way to practice larger game skills is small game hunting such as rabbit. Its delicious and readily available in most states.

  3. #3
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    As someone who's hunted since before the age of 10, I'll start by saying that any info you get here will be less of a definitive solutions and more of a suggestion of a path to be explored. Small game, large game, wing shooting, dangerous game, varmints, etc., all call for separate- though sometimes related or shared- skill sets. All of them will teach you something; some of them may speak to your soul. Perhaps the most relevant hunting I've done in regards to your what I believe is your intent is spot-n-stalk bow-hunting of feral hogs in Texas.

    My best advice is to find someone in your inner circle who is both experienced in and passionate about his/her hunting and seek to learn from them.
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  4. #4
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    Faramir2, in what state do you live? Here in Arizona, there is hunting to be done every day for non-game animals, namely coyotes. These predators are smart and their senses are very good; it is always rewarding to use skills to bring them in. Stalking to a stand is also a useful skill, using terrain/wind direction to mask your scent and sounds.
    "When one goes willingly into the darkness, all he will find there, is what he brought in with him".

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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the remarks, gents. Paul, noted on keeping the clothing simple and using one's head. I've got a decent spotting scope and monocular, with tons of experience birding, so glassing wouldn't be too hard to pick up. Although, my Savage Model 11 Scout rifle isn't something I plan on pushing on deer more than a couple hundred yards, despite the fact it could reach farther, once I get more time behind the trigger.

    KarlinPhoenix, I'm in AL/Middle TN (live in AL for school and will for at least some time post-grad, TN is where family is and a friend's land that I have a standing invitation to hunt). I'd love to cut my teeth on something always available like coyotes but unfortunately am not particularly close to AZ.

    IANative, the path is exactly what I'm looking for here, so appreciate the note that bowhunting hogs was pretty helpful. Cookeville, TN apparently has a hog problem (learned that from my brother-in-law, who wants to go hunt hogs at some point), so perhaps at some point I'll make a foray out there to shoot hogs.

    I spent a lot of time in the woods, looking at animals of all sorts and learning bits and pieces about their habitats and habits, when I was a kid. I have lots to learn, but now I want to learn how to go nail them and put them in my freezer.

    Are there books that you guys have found helpful that give guidance on, as IANative put it, suggested paths for learning at least the basics for hunting deer in deciduous forests and semi-wooded fields? Those are the two environments I'll be in the most.

  6. #6
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    Deer hunting is good practice for getting into the predator mindset and practicing skills. However once you fill your tag, you are done for the season. If you want more practice honing camouflage/shooting/bushcraft skills, think about expanding to coyotes or even the lowly tree squirrel. They can be found many places. A .308 might be the wrong choice for coyotes if you want to sell the pelts, but it is great for becoming intimate with your gear. Longer seasons and larger bag limits equate to more opportunities to get outdoors. Head to the woods with a .22, find some squirrels, plan an egress route, take your shot, move to your bushcraft location, cook aforementioned squirrel over the fire, head home. I’ve killed afternoons is less productive ways. Neither deer hunting in orange nor squirrel hunting in a homemade ghillie suit will turn us into the ultimate guerrilla sniper, but it beats the heck out of watching mytube videos all Saturday.
    Last edited by Country Boy; 11-30-2021 at 12:28 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Faramir2, The reason I wanted to know your location is to see what the coyote situation is in that/those places. Here is an interesting article that talks about Alabama coyote hunting and why you want to do this (same reasons in TN: coyotes kill lots of young deer). Please do let me know what you think of this information in this article (it mentions shotgun slugs for close up coyotes but that is not what you use, use 'Dead Coyote' or BB in the gauge).
    https://aonmag.com/hunting/dealing-w...abama-coyotes/
    "When one goes willingly into the darkness, all he will find there, is what he brought in with him".

    --Gabe Suarez, after the 7-11 shootout

    Proper development of the 'Warrior Spirit', training and physical conditioning before 'The Event' cannot be overstated.

    U.S. Army Rangers (1/75 'Old Scroll')
    CRG; 0-5 Feet CRG; PSP Pistol; FOF Instructor School; Combat Pistol Instructor School

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faramir2 View Post
    Thanks for the remarks, gents. Paul, noted on keeping the clothing simple and using one's head. I've got a decent spotting scope and monocular, with tons of experience birding, so glassing wouldn't be too hard to pick up. Although, my Savage Model 11 Scout rifle isn't something I plan on pushing on deer more than a couple hundred yards, despite the fact it could reach farther, once I get more time behind the trigger.

    KarlinPhoenix, I'm in AL/Middle TN (live in AL for school and will for at least some time post-grad, TN is where family is and a friend's land that I have a standing invitation to hunt). I'd love to cut my teeth on something always available like coyotes but unfortunately am not particularly close to AZ.

    IANative, the path is exactly what I'm looking for here, so appreciate the note that bowhunting hogs was pretty helpful. Cookeville, TN apparently has a hog problem (learned that from my brother-in-law, who wants to go hunt hogs at some point), so perhaps at some point I'll make a foray out there to shoot hogs.

    I spent a lot of time in the woods, looking at animals of all sorts and learning bits and pieces about their habitats and habits, when I was a kid. I have lots to learn, but now I want to learn how to go nail them and put them in my freezer.

    Are there books that you guys have found helpful that give guidance on, as IANative put it, suggested paths for learning at least the basics for hunting deer in deciduous forests and semi-wooded fields? Those are the two environments I'll be in the most.
    The old Jack O'Connor books will tell you alot more than most of the newer books. One book that might serve you well is "The Art of Hunting Big Game in North America". His books are very informative. I have a couple myself. Newer books seem to just regurgitate information with no context or actual experiences behind the information.

  9. #9
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    going off what paul said, training on jack rabbits, if available in your locale is excellent practice because it will help you develop the coordination and muscle memory of snap shooting behind glass, or even open sights with whatever rifle you use. there have been plenty of time where we've been hunting and ive jumped out of the truck while its still rolling to take out a jack and plenty of times where we've snagged them in full sprint.

    another thing, other than terrain, that you need to be familiar with in regards to locale, is the density of wardens in your area.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faramir2 View Post

    Are there books that you guys have found helpful that give guidance on, as IANative put it, suggested paths for learning at least the basics for hunting deer in deciduous forests and semi-wooded fields? Those are the two environments I'll be in the most.

    No. Hunting is something you learn by doing. I didn't grow up hunting so I had to develop a circle of friends who were willing to take me with them. That's harder to do than it sounds because hunting is typically a very family-centric thing.

    I've hunted the last 4 years, shot the last 3 years, and taken 2 deer each year the last 2 years.

    My first year was in Utah where we stayed at a base camp and stalked all morning and all evening through the Junipers. Distances no more than 100 yds. We eventually took a small buck that happened upon us one evening on the road back to camp.

    That was decidedly different than the hunting I did in NC (stand with 400+ yd visibility in cleared field) or TN (200-400 yd visibility in stand in cleared field or <100 yd visibility in stand in forest).

    So suggestions / tips for you:

    1. Stalking may sound fun so you can learn but to be honest, success is more fun. I guarantee you that you will have more success and enjoyment out of an elevated deer stand than playing "Carlos Hathcock" on the ground. At least I do. I would recommend starting from a stand and actually getting the more core task of actually shooting an animal from a distance under your belt from a controlled environment; then you can move to stalking later on if you want.

    2. Your clothing doesn't matter. You don't need guicci hunting gear. your odor probably does. I think an elevated stand helps with that too. I typically hunt in jeans and an old M65 field jacket in Woodland BDU pattern.

    3. You don't need exotic ammo. I've shot 4 deer so far with 150 gr .308 soft point from 10 yds to 225 yds. Each and every one has been DRT. Shoot them in the vitals or in the neck and they drop. On that note, people like to argue ballistics, and I know the bullet "overpenetrated", but in my experience anything shot with .308 from my M1A Scout Squad drops. This year I shot one deer right in the heart from about 25 yds. There was just a bunch of jelly inside of the ribs. The second deer was about the same distance but bullet went through the lungs and a shoulder. In both cases there were fragments of lead and shell all over the entry / exit. Exit hole was about 2.5 inches in diameter. Both deer dropped where I shot them.

    4. You don't need a fancy gun. The M1A isn't known as a tack driver but so far it has done the job. You do need to know your rifle and holdover/holdunder. I zero my .308 at 25 yds, which may be stupid for hunting. But it means I'm about 3" high at 100 and back to zero around 225. In my experience it matters. Be familiar with your trigger and shooting with gloves if you wear them. The first time I had a shot at a deer I was wearing gloves (which I wasn't used to) and also hadn't dry-practiced with my two-stage trigger enough. I couldn't tell when I had pulled the slack out of the trigger and fucked up the shot.

    5. Hunt private land if you get the choice. It's often cultivated / baited to bring more deer on the land and it's honestly safer. I've hunted public three times. Once in Utah where we managed - by luck - to see and take a deer, once in North Carolina where I didn't see anything, and once in Tennessee, where I also didn't see anything. Unless you are out on the public land often it's hard to know where deer will be and you obviously can't really get in a stand. (You could do the tree stand thing but....that's not for me). So you're kind of just wandering around hoping to happen into an animal, or hoping that an animal happens into you. You also have to worry about all of the other jackoffs out there shooting at anything that moves. In Utah my friend and I were shot at. Twice. That wasn't my favorite thing.

    If you do hunt public land in the forest, consider it "stalking with a rifle with the chance of maybe seeing or killing a deer" not "hunting while practicing stalking." And start researching deer sign - watch youtube to see how to recognize where they bed down, how to recognize scrapes / rubs, what they eat, etc...that should help you find them.
    Last edited by apamburn; 11-30-2021 at 01:06 PM.

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