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Old 07-03-2014, 03:43 PM
 
1,242 posts, read 1,170,547 times
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I grew up fishing and I've always been interested in learning to hunt but I have no idea where to start. I don't have family or friends with the skills to show me, so I'd love to hear your recommendations!

A few things to note - I'm a woman and would like to hunt with other women or a mixed group. My biggest concern (from the stories I've heard) is encountering other hunters in the woods who can be pretty sketchy. I'm located in SW Washington.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Thank you!
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:07 PM
Status: "Rocktober...well that was fast. :-(" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
10,285 posts, read 10,442,913 times
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You definitely want to start with the laws of the State of Washington. They may require you to take a class (I know Virginia does) if you are a first time hunter.

As for learning, I have to say it is really helpful if you have friends who are willing to show you how. I just got my start last season, thanks to a friend who was willing to take me. If you do not have a friend who is willing to go with you, the worst case scenario is you go out and cut your teeth on your own. You may be able to research public land where hunting is allowed, or you can seek out permission to hunt a private plot. This is preferable because it is nice to know you are the only one out there. (I am VERY cynical and have an extremely low level of confidence in others' weapons handling and safety skills.)

You also can consider what type of game you wish to hunt. I'm guessing deer and elk. Are you going to bow hunt? Rifle or shotgun? From a stand? Stalking or still hunting? Do you have the requisite equipment? Proper clothing? A good knife? Are you able to put a bullet or arrow where it needs to go in order to make an ethical and clean kill?

I'm new and just starting off myself. I am pretty experienced in weapons handling (Marine officer) but am new to hunting. To me it is very important to learn proper safety and etiquette, as well as ethical decision making while on a hunt.

I know my answer may seem a little vague and not as helpful as you are hoping, but it's a start. More experienced posters will no doubt share their insights as well.

Good luck and congratulations on your decision to get into hunting. I hope you find what you are looking for!

PS: It's awesome you are a woman getting into it. Last December after my first hunt I was processing meat and my wife came and helped me. After a few hours she mentioned she wants to do it too. We are going together this year!
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Kihei, Maui
177 posts, read 253,568 times
Reputation: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazine View Post
I grew up fishing and I've always been interested in learning to hunt but I have no idea where to start. I don't have family or friends with the skills to show me, so I'd love to hear your recommendations!

A few things to note - I'm a woman and would like to hunt with other women or a mixed group. My biggest concern (from the stories I've heard) is encountering other hunters in the woods who can be pretty sketchy. I'm located in SW Washington.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Thank you!
Hello Eazine Speaking from experience your first step is to go through your States Hunter Safety Class either On-Line or the In class version. I've been an Instructor in my states program for over 22 years. The class is mandated in most states and is reciprocal in all of North America. The Classroom version is free to students as it is funded by excise taxes to firearm, ammunition, and hunting gear. The class has a standard format and covers not only basic firearm safety, Survival, First Aid, Safety in the field, basic firearm actions, ammunition, and in home safety- transportation, and local laws. Next is to decide what game you would really like to start out on. Small Game Mammals . birds& waterfowl, Big Game Mammals, Dangerous Game. You have all of those available in your state. This will determine what type of firearm you will purchase and train with first.

Now enroll in a basic shooting class at a firearm range or an NRA firearm class. These are different than the safety class. These will get you proficient with your firearm. (notice I do not call them W*****S which are used against fellow Humans). Make your contacts at the range and in the classes. You may be able to find an experienced hunter to take you under his/her wing. As one hunts a lot some of the enjoyment is sharing and teaching the next generation. Because of an eye problem I have been documenting our club trips with the camera. I get my share of meat and get to enjoy the dogs and the kids.
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:53 PM
 
16,485 posts, read 17,501,756 times
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First get a hunting license.
Then figure out what do you want to hunt for.

Personally I would start with bird hunting. A 410 or 20 ga is great to learn on and relatively inexpensive both to purchase and ammunition cost. You can later move to a 12 ga. It's challenging enough without being dangerous like boar or bear hunting. I had a boar come at me. Just bad shot placement. He moved I twitched sneezed whatever. I grazed him and he got mad and charged me. Guess I really can't blame him.Question is are you squeamish about taking a cute bird or bunny and cleaning out the game. Now I'm gonna be a bit graphic here. They don't always die right off. Sometimes they twitch for a while. Even violently. It can be unnerving if you've never seen it happen. Finding hunting buddies for a woman can be hard. What you can do is see if you can search for a hunting enthusiast group in your area where you can go with a group of families. Or a youth group that is learning to hunt in a family type atmosphere. Imo that would be your best bet. Most hunters I meet are good down to earth people but there are a few buttholes sprinkled in there too.

This year in October I pulled a deer tag and a bear tag. Usually I only do deer but last year I saw tons of bears so I'm gonna try for Smokeys little cousin Blackie. And when I go deer hunting I always bring a shotgun. Sometimes I get on quail and I have a blast doing that.
I have a buddy in Washington. I've been telling him to get info on hunting there. And I will go up and hunt there.

Last edited by Electrician4you; 07-03-2014 at 10:04 PM..
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Kihei, Maui
177 posts, read 253,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
First get a hunting license.
Then figure out what do you want to hunt for. Question is are you squeamish about taking a cute bird or bunny. Finding hunting buddies for a woman can be hard. What you can do is see if you can search for a hunting enthusiast group where. You can go with a group of families. Or a youth group that is learning to hunt in a family type atmosphere. Imo that would be your best bet.
Most states now require the Hunter Safety class before you can get the license if you have not had a license and were born after 1980. I stand by my steps as they will keep your frustrations to a minimum. Hunting is expensive Firearms, ammunition, clothing, accessories, travel, leases. By doing the research and education first before going into the field especially as a novice your experience will be better and deserved.

Go on that first deer hunt with no prior knowledge manage to shoot one and now what do you do? This is why prep is important. Go Waterfowl hunting and not being able to identify the ducks and their sex in the air and you could be seeing major fines for being over bag limits.

Pick your hunting companions very carefully they will be life time friends. Remember you are trusting your life to them.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:33 PM
 
1,242 posts, read 1,170,547 times
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Thank you iknowftbll, pmmenn2014 and Electrican4you. I'm most interested in small game and big game for the dinner table (deer and elk) and hunting with a rifle. I'm starting from nothing so all this advice is really helpful.

Iknowftbll- that's fantastic that your wife wants to go and congrats on bringing something home your first hunt! I definitely align with your way of thinking as far as goals (learning technique and making ethical decisions) but have no background in firearms.

Pmmenn2014 - I will definitely start there, thank you! I hope to find someone to learn from that will also enjoy teaching and sharing in the bounty. I find with fishing, most people tend to be secretive but open up if you really show interest - hopefully hunters are the same way.

Electrican4you- I think I'll look at finding a group like you mentioned - I knew they were out there but I didn't realize people brought their families.
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:15 PM
Status: "Rocktober...well that was fast. :-(" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
10,285 posts, read 10,442,913 times
Reputation: 13239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazine View Post
Thank you iknowftbll, pmmenn2014 and Electrican4you. I'm most interested in small game and big game for the dinner table (deer and elk) and hunting with a rifle. I'm starting from nothing so all this advice is really helpful.

Iknowftbll- that's fantastic that your wife wants to go and congrats on bringing something home your first hunt! I definitely align with your way of thinking as far as goals (learning technique and making ethical decisions) but have no background in firearms.
Look into a .308 or a .270 for caliber of your hunting rifle. It may take some getting used to the recoil for either of these, but you really don't want to go any lower for elk-size game. A .243 will suffice for deer, but you'll need to refine your skills. Which is true regardless of your weapon or the game you will hunt.

What is your budget for a rifle and optics? I bought a Savage package a few months ago for just under $550 and the gun is a beauty. I also have a Remington 700 which is also a viable option for someone starting out because it is not unreasonably expensive and has a long track record of reliability. (You will hear some reports of bolt reliability issues, but I am skeptical of most reports. Both the Army and Marine Corps uses the 700 platform for sniper rifles, a ringing endorsement if ever there was one.)

Finding an optic you can use is probably more important than the rifle you select. Be willing to not skimp on an optic if your budget allows.

As far as making friends, I guess a lot of that depends on how outgoing you are. You may need to get a membership at a gun club where you'll be able to practice your shooting skills. Most gun clubs are full of people who are eager to help new shooters. You may get lucky and meet someone who is willing to take you hunting, or introduce you to his wife and have her take you.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:23 PM
 
19,952 posts, read 12,963,461 times
Reputation: 1957
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazine View Post
I grew up fishing and I've always been interested in learning to hunt but I have no idea where to start. I don't have family or friends with the skills to show me, so I'd love to hear your recommendations!

A few things to note - I'm a woman and would like to hunt with other women or a mixed group. My biggest concern (from the stories I've heard) is encountering other hunters in the woods who can be pretty sketchy. I'm located in SW Washington.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Thank you!
Have you EVER shot a gun before? If not, it may require more than just buying a gun and finding a place to shoot. I grew up shooting a BB gun but never shot a real gun until I was in my late 20's. I then went bird hunting with a friend and learned as I went. I didn't shoot a deer until I was 40 and moved to a rural area. Again....a friend took me out hunting and put me in a deer stand. I was able to shoot a deer and he guided me through the field dressing and processing of it.

As a note, though...in Nebraska, where I am, they require a hunter safety course. It's a good idea to sit through one -- especially if you've never hunted.

For a gun, I use a 30.06 that I got at a pawn shop for $250. The scope is a Bushnell $100 one. I also found a muzzleloader for $50 at a pawn shop, and I had a bow given to me this last year. But if I were you I'd start with the rifle--look for a .270 or a .243, as they have less kick.
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Kihei, Maui
177 posts, read 253,568 times
Reputation: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
Have you EVER shot a gun before? If not, it may require more than just buying a gun and finding a place to shoot. I grew up shooting a BB gun but never shot a real gun until I was in my late 20's. I then went bird hunting with a friend and learned as I went. I didn't shoot a deer until I was 40 and moved to a rural area. Again....a friend took me out hunting and put me in a deer stand. I was able to shoot a deer and he guided me through the field dressing and processing of it.

As a note, though...in Nebraska, where I am, they require a hunter safety course. It's a good idea to sit through one -- especially if you've never hunted.

For a gun, I use a 30.06 that I got at a pawn shop for $250. The scope is a Bushnell $100 one. I also found a muzzleloader for $50 at a pawn shop, and I had a bow given to me this last year. But if I were you I'd start with the rifle--look for a .270 or a .243, as they have less kick.
I'm not going to restate what I've said before. I'm one that believes in trying before you buy. At least one of the ranges near me have both rifles and handguns for rent so a person can try out the action. There are also very experienced range officers and instructors. For a novice with nobody to assist this is the way to go.

Look up gun ranges at the NRA places to shoot. The site should give you some help in getting the help you need.
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Northeast
1,887 posts, read 1,709,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmmenn2014 View Post
I'm not going to restate what I've said before. I'm one that believes in trying before you buy. At least one of the ranges near me have both rifles and handguns for rent so a person can try out the action. There are also very experienced range officers and instructors. For a novice with nobody to assist this is the way to go.

Look up gun ranges at the NRA places to shoot. The site should give you some help in getting the help you need.
Agreed 100 percent. A local range will give you all the help you need as shooting a gun is physical activity that one should try out. The NRA is great resource as pmmenn2014 said.

Get some experience shooting and take it from there...Good luck and happy hunting!
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