I want to hunt

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by too_pure, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. too_pure

    too_pure Employed

    Nov 9, 2011
    When I was younger I was exposed to whitetail hunting in Illinois, but never actually went myself. Then I went through a phase of just "not getting it" regarding hunting. Last year (2010), though, I finally "got it". Exactly what "it" is might be different for me than it it is for others, but whatever "it" is, I got it, and I want to hunt, and even believe I should hunt. But here I am, 41 years old, never been hunting, and not much clue where to start. The cost seems like a pretty big obstacle, and is probably the biggest thing holding me back.

    I'd hunt in AZ, coues deer, mule deer, elk. Keeping a limited budget in mind, what is the minimum gear and gun I'd need. Just looking for advice on how to get started. Obviously it's a little late this year, but maybe by next season I could get it together...
  2. JoeJ

    JoeJ Member

    Nov 27, 2011
    A small day pack to carry lunch, roll of paper or cloth towels, Gatorade, a couple Band-Aids, a knife if you use one larger than a pocket knife plus a couple sharpening stones, (I use a pocket knife on deer and a Cutco drop point 4.5” blade for larger game – (the orange handle makes losing it harder) and a compass with a topo map of the area you’ll be in. I also recommend carrying a Garmin GPS, because it is easier to use.

    Don’t need camo clothing – everyday browns & tans will do just fine, as will blue jeans. A good pair of hiking boots is always a good idea. I’d get a decent rangefinder, as that will also double as a light weight monocular for long distance viewing – recommend the Leica 1200, which is 7X magnification, get one used and don’t bother with the Leica 1600, as the 1200 has the same internals and the extra yardage is meaningless to most non-prairie hunters – price should be around $500.00. I use the Zeiss Victory 8X26 – used about $500.

    Rifle – 243 should be all you need but if you want to chase an elk around those hills in Arizona, then step up to a 270 to a 30-06. Magnums are only useful IMO for really long range shooting. If you want to revolver hunt then I’d go with a 357 mag to as heavy as you want to shoot.

    If you don’t know how to field dress and care for an animal – then you must learn that from someone knowledgeable, as that’s extremely important. Knowing how to debone a large animal is also a wise move, as you may have to pack the meat out. If you’re considering going after elk in the Arizona hills, that day pack will be traded in for a good backpack with cheesecloth etc for packing out the meat – that will turn out to be a good one or two day chore. You can read and learn by doing but it’s much easier under the guidance of a seasoned skinner.

  3. gladeparkflyer

    gladeparkflyer New Member

    Nov 27, 2011
    I dunno about Az but in Iowa where i grew up i was grandfathered in ahead of mandatory hunter safety classes, didn't help in colorado so i had to sit through a weekend of classes. Surprisingly, i learned a few things along the way. :) Those classes would be a 1st step if you haven't already gotten your hunter safety card.
    I never understood the "dipped in camo" guys, i mean why bother when you're just gonna slip on a GIANT ORANGE vest?......
  4. too_pure

    too_pure Employed

    Nov 9, 2011
    What about the products meant to cover human scent? Scam?
  5. WahWah

    WahWah Debbie Downer ... WahWah! Supporting Addict

    Oct 26, 2011
    Go simple this time. Then adds things later. I bought all of those last year ... even the calls and estrus (deer urine). This year, I'm not using most of those.
    Just find a common area, know the safety rules and safe practices and the hunting rules/law and just enjoy yourself and be safe. Just need a reliable firearm and appropriate weather clothing. Don't sweat the details yet. You're hunting with a rifle, not trying to bow hunt the biggest buck.

    And start now. If there is a hunting class, that may help as well. Just get the simple stuff. Don't spend too much on the other gear. You will know after the first season what you do or do not need, but enjoy yourself.

    R0CKETMAN NRA member Supporting Addict

    Dec 24, 2011
    1. Figure out what you want to hunt. My vote based on where you live, Elk. New Mexico is the promised land. Also, use any contacts you have in IL as it is one of the best places to hunt world class whitetails anywhere.

    2. Decide the tool. Gun, bow, or both.

    3. Find a place to hunt. Public land and private. Even an outfitter.

    4. Get in the woods. Crap you're in AZ, so that's a relative term. Just being out before it gets hot there walking some of the public land, ect is good for the soul.

    5. Find a mentor, I mean one that's worth a ****. Ethical is primary.

    6. Watch every show you can as you will pick out some goods habits and lessons.

    7. PM me with any questions. I'm a very serious bow only trophy whitetail hunter and enjoy helping those that want to help themselves.
  7. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair. Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    Congratulations on joining the ranks us of hunters. "It" can and does mean different things to different people. Hunting is my #1 passion and has been for 44 yrs. You have entered a world of wonder were you continue to learn every time you go out with an open mind. Here is a list of stuff (gear) that you will need to hunt in Az. And yes I have hunted there for deer, quail, and varmints.
    Boots with ankle support that are broken in and comfortable.
    Socks that are warm (wool w/ a liner in cold weather) or a good quality pair of lighter socks for warm weather. Do not skimp on these items as lots of hiking is required at times in Az.
    Early season there can be 35 in the morning and 75-80 later in the day. Dress in layers so you can add or remove clothing. A good pack with an open back is the best for one day hunts as it keeps your back from sweating so much. Make sure it has enough straps to securely lash your clothing to. Make sure the pack has enough space for water be it water bottles or a hydration bladder. Believe me you will need it. 1400-1800 cu. in should do it.
    The rifle needs to be in a caliber that you can shoot well and reach out to 350-400 yds. That eliminates all 24 and most 25 calibers. The .280, 270, and 30-06 being the best of the non-magnum ones. MY PERSONAL FAV is the .270 with 130 grain bullets for deer and 150s for elk. The 25-06 can be a great gun and works better for varmints in a dual roll as 87 gr bullets are wicked on yotes and stoutly constructed 117-120 gr are death on deer and will suffice on elk if shots are picked carefully. A good bolt is the rifle of choise as the action is stable, strong and available everywhere. Weight should be kept to 8lbs or less with a scope and fully loaded.
    Scopes you can get for $50-2500. I would get a good 3x9x40- 4x12x40. Nikon and leopold make several models from $150-350 and both back there product. Your choise.
    Get the BEST, I repeat BEST pair of binoculars you can afford as in Az you can spend hrs glassing for game. You'd better if you want to score. You don't need a $1500 pair but it wouldn't hurt LOL $250-450 will get you a good pair. In the east 8x30s will work fine but there 10x40s that weigh 23-26oz. are the best. Once again nikon, leopold are good choises. Learn everything you can about your area and the game you intend to hunt. Practice until you are good with your gun and most likely will be hunting public land there. In fact it's a given. Respect the areas of other hunters and take the high road in all situations.
    Clothing is your choise but I love wearing the camo most of the time. LOL Buy what you are comfortable wearing And what fits the current weather.

    GOOD LUCK and ask if any questions.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011

    DRYHUMOR Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    That would be the best start.

    Try to find a good person that is a good hunter, someone willing to teach and encourage. It's not always about taking the shot. Sometimes it's about woodcraft, enjoying the time spent, etc.

    One good approach just to learn how to move in the woods, is to try a find landowners who will let you on the property just to take wildlife photos during the off season. It gives you the opportunity to observe the "natural" off season behavior of what you want to hunt during the year. You learn to recognize sign and movement patterns. With no leaves on trees, and even snow on the ground you can see feeding and bedding areas, places the naturally funnel game based on the terrain, houses, roads, etc.

    Most wildlife are creatures of habit, until something (man or predators) disrupts the habits. Timing, on the other hand, is always the variable. Weather affects movement quite a bit, moon phase also. Food sources can cycle in during the season, depending on what food source is availble, game may be there one day and gone the next. And don't forget the need to breed.

    If you can find a place to put up a deer cam, with a decent expectation it won't be stolen, you will see all sorts of things you had no idea were out there.
  9. JoeJ

    JoeJ Member

    Nov 27, 2011
    A lot of good advice given so far. One thought on shooting range. I’ve never hunted Arizona but I hunted West Texas some and I’ve taken deer using both the spot & stalk method as well as the shooting tower setup. I’ve 4-wheeler some around the State of Arizona spending a lot of time around Apache Junction and that looked a lot like West Texas to me.

    Anyway, a 300 to 400 yard shot is definitely do able if you have the elevation advantage but tracking that puppy might be a challenge. Not too many DRT shots in my hunting experiences and in that terrain they can either lay down or pile up and sometimes you’ll play hell finding them after making a good shot. If you make a poor shot it might be extremely difficult to get a 2nd or 3rd shot off in that terrain at that range.

    I took deer from the tower out to 400 yards but I watched him turn on the afterburners once the bullet found its mark and then pile up, so I had a good general idea where he was when I went for him. Spot & stalk got me some good exercise but damn few shots, as I think they heard me and those that I got were probably mentally or acoustic challenged. Sometimes their travel route is very apparent and you can try to bushwhack him but again, once you lose sight of him it seems more often than not he changes course; but it’s all pure enjoyment in the outdoors.

    When you light foot through the briars your shot normally will be anywhere from 20 yards to maybe 75 yards and you’ll have to be quick on the trigger, as sometimes they are just holding still watching you and expecting you to walk by without ever seeing them – but they take off like a raped ape once you make eye contact and the mesquite swallows them up in a second.

    Like I said – pure enjoyment in Nature and it will recharge your life’s batteries and the small dodo won’t bother you as much.

    Attached Files:

  10. bw210

    bw210 Active Member

    Aug 23, 2011
    While hunting here in Indiana will be much different than hunting in Arizona, Some things will remain common. As mentioned, hunters education class is a good idea, not only to understand safe hunting practice, but should focus on area location specifics. Start out simple with minimal clothing and small gear bag until you decide what your specific wants/needs are. Almost all retail stores that handle hunting supplies will have end of season sales after Christmas which you can save considerable amounts on clothing and gear. I prefer full cammo and orange hat. I have three clothing setups I use: one for archery in the 40'-50's, firearms in the 30's and mussleloader down to -20. I only paid full price on a few pieces years ago.

    The biggest concern IMO will be where are you going to hunt. You should know the area layout, property lines, what is beyond where you are going to hunt and shoot. You need to know about creek beds, valleys, swamp and scrub areas. You need to scout and find out where the deer are moving and bedding. You need to know about other stands and hunters if you plan on hunting public lands. You need to know who owns connecting properties. You will not drop'em right there every time. Permission to shoot the property line or trail wounded deer onto someone else's property BEFORE hunting season begins WILL save you some serious headaches later on.

    I don't think I can stress enough how important it is to know the land you are on. I lost two properties I have hunted forever due to property sales this year mid season and spent more time than I liked on Public land. I was ill prepared for the land change and dealing with multiple hunters in areas and the half filled freezer shows it.

    Obviously, know your weapon and shooting abilities. In 20 years, I have never taken a shot past 110-120 yards. While I don't worry about finding the blood trail way out several hundred yards, I do have to worry about flat land, wounded deer crossing small property parcels and homes & subdivisions everywhere. I have given up the heart/lung shot with firearms. I strictly go for an upper neck shot. In my circumstances, I need to drop'em fast and the neck shot offers a drop'em right there or clean miss shot. If your on a budget, spend as much as you can on good glass and less for the bells and whistles rifle. Make sure you have a comfortable sling. You'll be thankfull when tracking, climbing and/or dragging your deer back to your truck.

    Scent control is important for me because I'm in "up and personal space" with the deer. I keep all my clothing, bags and boots in Tupperware with leaves and ground derbies in them to help blend in. I also use scent control spray and always use my hunting boots whether I'm hunting or scouting. Those work boots you wear will leave enough scent to scare everything away for days or until it rains.

    I don't use a range finder, but I carry 10x32 binocs with me everytime I go out. A sharp knife and a compact sharpener is a must. I switched to a swingback this year which has a curved blade with a ball end and a straight blade. I also use nitrile surgical gloves when field dressing. There are videos that show how to do this, but watching someone who knows how to first will make it easier for you.

    I hate to mention it, but I will. It never amazes me how many people would rather spend time and effort stealing stands and deer cams than just getting their own. Use steel cable and good locks on your stands, hide your cams best you can and maybe your stuff will still be there when you return.

    Lastly, buy your license, get out of bed and enjoy nature while waiting for your deer.
  11. too_pure

    too_pure Employed

    Nov 9, 2011
    Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. I have responses to so much but for now I have to leave it at Happy New Year!

    I think I'm making hunting New Years resolution #2.
  12. too_pure

    too_pure Employed

    Nov 9, 2011
    The Arizona Game and Fish Department has a hunter education course that I'll be attending as soon as there's one in my area that's not already full. Hopefully I won't be waiting too long. I've also been looking around online for a decent rifle. Based on wheat I've read and heard from Arizona hunters I'm thinking 7mm Rem Mag is what I'll likely go with. I've been watching a bunch of You Tube video's of hunting Coues in Arizona and long shots seem to be the norm, so a flat shooting round and good optics seem to be key. I also believe 7mm should be able to take an elk although that is a future endeavor. For now I'll stick with something I can pack out on my own.

    I've got a GP100 I pawned a month ago and am supposed to go get back in a couple weeks. But I'm thinking of using that cash on a rifle instead. The Ruger is great, but I can always get one of those, and have more use for a rifle for now. And I'd rather have a snubby instead of a 6" anyway.

    I'll keep the thread updated as I acquire the equipment and learn.

    On another note, I have questions about bow hunting, which is not on my radar at the moment. I'm not sure desert coues hunting with a bow is feasible, then again what do I know? But one thing I've always wondered about bow hunting is this... every time I've seen it on hunting programs, the deer (bear, elk, etc.) does not die quickly but runs off and seems to die slowly. Why is this not considered "unethical"? I'm not saying I have any particular problem with it, but just based on my understanding of what I've seen called ethical hunting, I need help squaring bow-hunting with that.
  13. GoetzTalon

    GoetzTalon Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2011
    The 7mm mag is to much gun for a first timer. One of the best things about hunting is getting close to the game you are hunting. I would be looking for a 243 or a 308 for a first rifle to hunt with and practice a lot with it. When you touch off a 7mag it sounds like a bolt of lightning going off.
  14. Arkie

    Arkie Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    I realize as a newbie I'll probably get flamed,,but oh-well, wont be a first time. I'll have to say that statement's a bit over-generalized. While I've only shot two (no I'd never own one of them) 7RM, the recoil and noise were pretty much on a par with my A-Bolt '06. And their flat trajectory and "bolt of lightning" effectiveness would make them an experienced shooter/hunting newbie's great pick for a first hunting rifle.

    With all due respect,

  15. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011
    No flames from me,......my first rifle was a Browning A-Bolt Synthetic Stalker in 7mm Rem Mag
    Loved that rifle, great trigger, super flat shooter, was great for Montana.
    I took an Elk, Antelope and many deer with that 7mm.

    I sold it years ago, I like the versatility of .308 Win a bit better now days.
  16. ajstrider

    ajstrider Active Member

    Sep 15, 2011
    It wasn't that many years ago that all you needed to hunt was a gun and a knife. Hunting clothing use to be jeans and a wool vest or jacket. You don't have to spend a lot of money to see if you like it. I would recommend a faster pace hunt than big game to start with, it is more exciting. I started off squirrel hunting, which was great. All you really need to do is walk around the woods with a .22 and you bound to get some action. Not sure what kind of small game you have out there, but that might be a better idea than deer. It is a whole lot easier to haul off a couple dead squirrels than a giant deer also.
  17. too_pure

    too_pure Employed

    Nov 9, 2011
    In Arizona we can hunt coyotes (the 4 legged variety) all year with only a license, no tags or drawing needed. Wouldn't eat 'em, but a skin or two might be cool.

    That being said I just spent my 2012 gun budget on a TRS so whatever rifle I get, if any, may have to be something I can get at Walmart :)
  18. too_pure

    too_pure Employed

    Nov 9, 2011
    What do you guys have to say about 7mm-08?

    Opinions, experiences, etc.
  19. ajstrider

    ajstrider Active Member

    Sep 15, 2011
    7mm-08 is a great cartridge, so is pretty much anything else based on the .308 case (.243 and .260 are two other popular children of the .308). It fits in a short action to help cut down weight on the rifle. You can load it with a nice heavily constructed 140 grain bullet and take down an elk if you choose your shot carefully and don't try shooting much farther than 250 yards I would say. It can also be loaded with much lighter constructed bullets for nailing smaller 4 legged critters. It doesn't recoil a whole lot, around 12 to 13 ft lbs where the .308 would be about 15-18, 30-06 is around 17-20, 243 is around 8-10, for some reference there. 7mm-08 would be a fine choice for a hunting rifle. If you ever get the chance to hunt anything bigger, you will probably be able to afford another bigger rifle.
  20. Blue Ridge

    Blue Ridge Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2011
    I gave up on hunting a few years ago. I just stopped enjoying it as much as I used to. Sitting in a tree stand in the freezing wind just got more unpleasant than the experience made up for. I used to love it, and probably should go next year, if for no other reason than my Dad still goes every chance he gets and we don't do much together anymore. I had a guy invite me to hunt wild boar with a pitbull and a knife with him last year, but decided best to decline.

You need 3 posts to add links to your posts! This is used to prevent spam.

Draft saved Draft deleted