There are many ways to learn how to start deer hunting. Whether you learn how to hunt from your father, friend, a book, or online, the time to start hunting is right now so you can begin teaching others and start your own tradition. The following paragraphs will help to teach you how to start deer hunting.
Deer hunting is typically something that is passed down from one generation to another. Therefore most hunters learn how to start deer hunting from the advice of a family member, typically a father. If you are reading this, then you most likely were not fortunate enough to have somebody teach you how to start deer hunting. That’s okay; because once you start deer hunting you will have the opportunity to teach others how to start deer hunting, quite possibly your own children, younger family members or even your own father. The tradition can start with you.
Where to Learn
Family and Friends:
The easiest way to start deer hunting is to have somebody teach you, especially if they are experienced, proven hunters. This will speed up your learning curve by a lot, but there will still be things you will need to learn on your own. Sometimes even just finding somebody to learn how to start hunting with you can help speed things up as you can share what has and hasn’t been working.
Most people who have the desire to hunt will know somebody who hunts already. Those are the people to be talking to. The key is to ask about hunting, not necessarily for them to take you hunting. It is best to let them invite you to go along with them hunting. Most hunters are very possessive and secretive of their hunting spots, but most will be more than happy to give you pointers and tell stories about what has and hasn’t worked for them in the past. If you are lucky they will invite you to come along. Either way, soak up as much information as you can.
Online is a great place to learn how to start deer hunting. Each state and province has several websites talking about hunting. This is important as you will want site specific information for where you plan to deer hunt because deer hunting, deer species, and the best tactics to use will change from region to region. For example, Texas whitetail deer hunting will be much different than Iowa whitetail deer hunting. Likewise, Mule Deer hunting will be much different than any whitetail deer hunting.
Perhaps one of the best sources of online deer hunting information is online deer hunting forums. This is where people can talk back and forth in a chat room type setting and tell stories, share opinions, and show off their harvests. You will find the people in these deer hunting forums are typically more than willing to help out a beginner hunter if you word your questions right and don’t ask anybody for their secret spots. You can gain a lot of area specific information which will help you start deer hunting. You can even search the forum archives for other questions asked by others in your same shoes.
Books on How to Start Hunting
There are many books on the topic of how to start deer hunting. Books can be a valuable tool for learning how to deer hunt. Typically the authors have been at it for many years, and have also had someone teach them. Even experienced hunters can benefit for reading hunting books as it only takes one minor detail to make or break a hunt.
There are a few different books that I have learned from in the past. You can download them instantly or order them through Amazon.com and have them on your door step.
One of the best ways to learn how to start hunting is by just going out and start hunting. No matter how many books you read or how many tips you get form experiences hunters, you will always be learning from your own experiences and developing your own tactics. You cannot read a hundred books and expect to be a professional hunter. Although books can help out a lot, the real knowledge comes from time in the field.
Choosing a Weapon
Before you go hunting, you will need to choose a weapon to use. The most popular by far and the most efficient is a high powered rifle, but there are many others weapons that have proven to be effective such as bow and arrow, muzzle loader, shot gun, crossbow and spear.
Rifles have the longest effective range of any hunting weapon, so if you are new to hunting, rifles are your best bet. It is hard to get within 100 yards of a deer, but with a rifle, you can effectively shoot up to 300 yards with a little practice. In fact, with a lot of practice and math, a rifle is capable of accurately shooting at distances of 800 yards or more. Do not be fooled though, this is not hunting. This is only shooting and should be left at the range. It is unethical and simply not fair to deer and other big game to snipe them from distance of over 500 yards where they have no defenses. Long range hunting takes the hunt out of hunting and will likely be the end to hunting as we know it as there are sure to be strict regulations against it eventually.
When choosing a rifle, there is a lot of things to consider. First thing you will need to figure out is which caliber you would like to shoot. This will depend on several factor, but mostly the species of deer and the habitat you will be hunting. The next most important item of a hunting rifle is a scope. A good rule of thumb is to go with the best scope you can afford because you get what you pay for. Most rifles will shoot accurately regardless of price, but a scope is worth every penny that you pay for it.
Archery hunting is much more difficult then rifle hunting, but it can be much more rewarding. It can also be much more discouraging when you have several encounters but you do not even get close to getting off a shot whereas with a rifle, you’d have been eating venison for dinner. That is why it is advised to begin hunting with a rifle unless you can handle a little bit of discouragement, as once things do come together, taking a nice buck with a bow is unlike anything else. Of course, if you are not picky about antler size you can always arrow a small buck or doe where it is legal, and some places doe killing is even encouraged. This is a great way to give you a little bit of excitement and practice while waiting for a nice buck to come along.
Other Gear You Will Need to Start Deer Hunting
There is an endless amount of gear that is aimed at hunters. Aside from your weapon of choice, a knife, and some warm clothing, all the other gear are not necessities, but can help to increase your odds tremendously. Below is a list of other items that you can pick up as you need or can afford them.
1. Binoculars: the first thing you will want to buy after your weapon of choice. You will want to rely on your binoculars a lot using them all the time to identify game as well as other things that you are not hunting such as other hunters. Most experienced hunters also use their binoculars to find deer. This is called glassing and is a very deadly tactic where it is open enough. You will want to make sure you buy the best binoculars you can afford because like all hunting optics, you get what you pay for.
2. Range Finder: Range finders can come in handy if you are archery hunting or can expect rifle shots of more than 200 yards. Distance is very hard to judge in the field. If you plan to archery hunt you will definitely want one. Again, go with the best you can afford because you get what you pay for.
3. Spotting Scope: A spotting scope can come in handy, especially if you are hunting open terrain. It allows you to view far off objects (hopefully deer) as if they were right in front of you. You may then attempt to get closer.
4. There is a number of other gear items you might want to invest in that we will talk more in depth on at the end of this article.
Where to Hunt
One of the hardest things to do is to find a good place to hunt. There are a number of ways to find good hunting ground. If you do not know somebody who has a piece of property where you may hunt, then one of the following ways might help to get you started on deer hunting.
Go with a friend: the easiest way is to have a person take you hunting. Unfortunately most people are quite possessive of there hunting spots, so like mentioned before, do not go around inviting yourself to go with others. It is best to let them invite you.
Knock on doors: One of the best ways to find your own hunting grounds is to drive around until you find an area that looks good or you see a lot of deer. Then find the closest house and ask them if they own the property around there. If they do, ask them if they allow any hunting. Chances are they will say no, but there will be a few that will say yes. It is all about knocking on several doors and being able to hear the words no. A no is the worst they can say, but most times they will be glad you asked. After a no, I usually say “That’s okay; if I owned a piece of property this nice I wouldn’t let others hunt it either.”
Lease Hunting Rights: If you can afford to purchase the hunting rights to a particular piece of property, then this can be one of the easiest ways to hunt property that does not see a whole lot of pressure. One thing to remember is that people are proud of their property and this tactic can get quite expensive, especially if it is known to produce big bucks.
Landowner Tags: Many states, in particularly western states offer tags to landowners to hunt a certain amount of big game on their property depending on the amount they own. Many landowners are not big hunters and are willing to sale these tags.
Hire a Guide: A guide is not only a good way to have good hunting grounds, but is also a person you can learn from. Many guides get a guaranteed number of tags each year to provide their clients with hunting opportunity in their permit area. A guide can be very expensive but their knowledge and hunting areas can be very much worth it, especially for a beginning hunter.