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  1. #1
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    Default How Does Hunting Survive?

    Truly this is a question I am perplexed with. How does it survive? My Dad hunted before I was born, so I have never hunted. I am a middle aged male. I am interested in hunting, deer specifically.

    When I ask, "how do you hunt?" People look at me like I have three heads. And I have asked a lot of people who regularly hunt. Seems no one is in the habit of starting out new hunters or helping them. So how do new hunters become, well, new hunters?

    I thought the biggest challenge was going to be finding deer, but God knows I will never even get to that point! I work with hunters; I have acquaintances that are hunters; but I have no close friends or family who hunt.

    I'm not asking for any sympathy here; I'm not asking anyone here to teach me. What I am asking is how does a guy who's never hunted learn? You tube is not a reliable source, I need hip on hip training. Granted I don't have a bow so that is an issue as I am restricted to rifle season however I would get a bow to extend the season and improve my chances if someone would help me pick one and teach me how to use it safely.

    Here's what I get:

    1. Where do you hunt? My uncles farm, my neighbors farm, my hunting camp Well, I don't have any of that and public gamelands here in Berks well they scare me!

    2. How do you field dress? Go on you tube. Cut from ass to throat and yank it out. Okay, that helps me a lot. I know I would mess up the meat, I need hand on training.

    3. How do you know what to shoot? Three tines or whatever on one side. 1" long. If it's fat enough. If it's big enough. etc.. That strategy seems to be the easiest way for me to get in trouble with the PGC.

    4. Who butchers it? Me. Okay, if I don't even know how to hunt, how can I butcher? One step at a time.

    5. What bow? Oh, you need this $2000 one!

    5. Crossbow? What are you kidding? Aren't you a man? Practice everyday with the bow, you have the time.


    Anyway, this is a cross section, not just one specific group. Maybe I'm just not cut out to hunt and they have decided that for me?


    Signed,

    Confused
    Gunowner99 - NRA Benefactor Life Member

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Glockin, Pennsylvania
    (Montgomery County)
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    Default Re: How Does Hunting Survive?

    I posted a similar thread awhile back:
    http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.php?t=324390

    I'm starting out hunting as well and am just slowly learning and teaching myself. I've started small game hunting and haven't bagged anything yet, but enjoy being out in the woods. I hunt only public lands so far, but there are co-ops lands where I may ask permission to use the owner's private property (the co-op map is on the PGC website). There are certainly a lot of rules and reading the Game Digest is helpful.

    In terms of dressing and butchering a deer, I'm just going to watch videos, wing it and learn as I go. I might not be perfect at first but I feel like I won't screw it up too badly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quakertown, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
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    Default Re: How Does Hunting Survive?

    Ask a Mexican.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: How Does Hunting Survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunowner99 View Post

    1. Where do you hunt? My uncles farm, my neighbors farm, my hunting camp Well, I don't have any of that and public gamelands here in Berks well they scare me! I can't help to much there since I couldn't be any further away and still be in the same state.

    2. How do you field dress? Go on you tube. Cut from ass to throat and yank it out. Okay, that helps me a lot. I know I would mess up the meat, I need hand on training. This is really a hands on thing, most important is don't cut the stomach, bladder, or any other organs, it'll taint the meat.

    3. How do you know what to shoot? Three tines or whatever on one side. 1" long. If it's fat enough. If it's big enough. etc.. That strategy seems to be the easiest way for me to get in trouble with the PGC. Read the digest over and over then take it with you for reference

    4. Who butchers it? Me. Okay, if I don't even know how to hunt, how can I butcher? One step at a time. Take it to a butcher until you've master gutting first.

    5. What bow? Oh, you need this $2000 one! No, start with rifle season first. After you've become comfy with this then move to a bow.

    5. Crossbow? What are you kidding? Aren't you a man? Practice everyday with the bow, you have the time. Anything requires practice to be good with it.


    Anyway, this is a cross section, not just one specific group. Maybe I'm just not cut out to hunt and they have decided that for me?


    Signed,

    Confused
    I hope you get into it and are not put off by the BS from Fudds.
    If I was closer I'd offer.

  5. #5
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    Newport, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: How Does Hunting Survive?

    Dear Confused,

    The biggest thing you lack is confidence. In this day and age of information, all is available to you. My dad taught me to hunt when I was 12, at that time, it was the only way to learn. He was long dead (died when I was 16) before I took my first deer.

    I hunted game lands, I hunted with friends on property their relatives own, now I hunt my own 40 acres. The most important thing to do is scout an area before you hunt it. Learn the lay of the land, look for the deer trails, find the food, water and bedding areas.

    Any quality bow will do as will a crossbow. Like guns, look for what others recommend and make an informed choice. Go to a quality pro-shop and get the bow in a size and configuration that fits you. The pros will now how to do that. Watch videos on technique and it won't take long for you to become proficient. It will take longer for you to become very good.

    Field dressing is addressed everywhere. Go to a Field and Stream (the magazine) website and you'll find info. Same with most of the other magazines. With technology, you can literally watch it step by step on your phone as you do it. Butchering is the same way, or you can take your deer to any number of guys that process them.

    Your hunting license book will tell you what to look for in antler restrictions. If in doubt, don't shoot. The restrictions allow you to take some pretty insignificant deer, give them another year to get bigger and wait one worthy of the work.

    Seriously, the first step is to take your hunter safety course and get a license. The license booklet is a great place to start with maps, regs, tips and so on.

    Then progress as you're comfortable. And there are more than enough hunters here (not to mention 10,000 hunting dedicated sites) to answer questions that may arise.

    FYI, I spent a lot to time in SGL 80 which is not too far from you. If you're in good shape you can get back in pretty far from the road where 95% of hunters don't bother to go.
    Last edited by unclejumbo; October 26th, 2017 at 04:07 PM.
    "A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself"

    "He created the game, played the game, and lost the game.... All under his own terms, by his own doing." JW34

    "Tolerance is the lube that helps slip the dildo of dysfunction into the ass of a civilized society." Plato

  6. #6
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    Northern Tier, Pennsylvania
    (McKean County)
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    Default Re: How Does Hunting Survive?

    Well I am mostly self taught for many of the reasons you mention. There are plenty of books on the subject. I grew up in the sticks and enjoy time in the woods, so that probably made it easier. There are plenty of successful hunters that hunt public land. I actually recommend you begin archery hunting. You will learn a shit ton just by doing it, and failing. You will have the woods mostly to yourself, and 6 weeks a year to hone up. There are plenty of good Youtube videos on the subject of field dressing and butchering your harvest. It mostly a time factor. Honestly you do just do it one step at a time. Nobody is completely ready the first 5 or more years they hunt. Don't get discouraged. Try joining a club or hunting lease.

  7. #7
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    SW. Pa., Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: How Does Hunting Survive?

    There are lots of things about hunting that also parallel being an outdoorsman or woman , first thing you need to do is spending as much time in the woods or afield as you can . You'll start picking up on sign and seeing trails and terrain features that the animals use ect. Spend enough time in the woods and things will start to click and you'll start to understand the animals habits . Actually killing an animal is the easy part of hunting , getting close and not noticed by them is a lot harder .
    I'm almost 49 now and have spent all my life in the woods and fields , yes I had a dad and grandpaw that showed me lots of things but I've learned much more by just being out there sitting and watching what was going on around me it's a learning experience every time your in the woods. So go and spend time where you think there's game and want to hunt pick a nice big tree and sit down at the base of it take a deep breath and just relax ! look and listen what's going on and you'll start to notice stuff you never seen .
    All that other stuff like skinning or what's legal to shoot , butchering ect you can book learn that stuff . Learn to be a hunter first . One step at a time it's not something you can learn via the web or learn in a few weekends
    Last edited by Tim Ault; October 26th, 2017 at 04:26 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How Does Hunting Survive?

    It's actually fairly simple, just drive around PA at dawn and dusk with your highbeams on, you'll eventually harvest a deer or 2 or 3. Just make sure to cut out all of the bloodshot meat and anywhere that the deer has pooped or peed on itself. It gets to be expensive replacing the front-end of your cars but probably only marginally more that actually buying a hunting license, archery tag, deer shaped target, climbing treestand, body harness, camouflaged scent-free clothing, camo rubber boots, cover scent, attractant scent, gutting knife and don't forget the compound bow or crossbow and atleast a dozen arrows or bolts, string silencer, kisser button, peep sight, release, quiver and laser rangefinder.

  9. #9
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    Bridgeville, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: How Does Hunting Survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by eatmydust View Post
    It's actually fairly simple, just drive around PA at dawn and dusk with your highbeams on, you'll eventually harvest a deer or 2 or 3. Just make sure to cut out all of the bloodshot meat and anywhere that the deer has pooped or peed on itself. It gets to be expensive replacing the front-end of your cars but probably only marginally more that actually buying a hunting license, archery tag, deer shaped target, climbing treestand, body harness, camouflaged scent-free clothing, camo rubber boots, cover scent, attractant scent, gutting knife and don't forget the compound bow or crossbow and atleast a dozen arrows or bolts, string silencer, kisser button, peep sight, release, quiver and laser rangefinder.
    I took a buck like that just north of Tionesta at 55mph.
    I didn't keep any of the meat as I would have had to pick up pieces and out of my grill.
    UK.
    A lot of good advice in the previous posts .
    I had a friend give me a nickel tour of field dressing a rabbit. When I got a deer, he said " just think of it as a big rabbit".

    You tube and Google are your friends in today's world.
    Watch a lot.

    I dontbeven reallybcare about getting any game these days but do like to make jerky when I do.
    The pipe never wins. I always win.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How Does Hunting Survive?

    Hunting survives because if it was easy anyone could do it, It wouldn't be a challenge. I never had anyone "teach" me how to hunt its mostly been through on the job training, I didn't have a father or a relative that hunted, I just went out with my friends who had just as much experience as I did eventually we started to get the hang of it and we have done fairly well over the years.
    . If you aren't willing to put the time in the woods under the crappiest conditions imaginable, Might as well stay in the house and play video games.
    Most of it is trial and error. Google some of these terms and youll see pictures of what to look for.
    Most of it is self taught by getting out into the woods. see what works and what doesn't.
    3 things are most important:
    1)Keeping movement to a minimum while on stand
    2) Keeping noise to a minimum while on stand
    3)Keeping scent to a minimum while on stand.
    If you are hunting on the ground its especially important to abide by these three rules
    State parks for the most part allow hunting, most with archery. Look it up on line
    Hunting is not a group effort (for the majority of the time) you would be hunting by yourself anyway.
    Reading sign,
    for trails your looking for paths in the undergrowth where leaves are beaten down flat, deer poop (roundish pellets)Buck Rubs, (wheree the bark has been peeled off the saplings,) buck Scrapes (google it) These trails are usually going from bedding areas to food or water.
    When you find an area where there is a lot of sign put up your tree stand about 30 yds away maximum. A movable stand (climber) is good if you want to hunt one location in the morning and another in the afternoon evening. Put your stand up a few hours before dawn and a few hours before dusk. Practice doing this in your yard on a tree with the least amount of noise. Noise Movement and scent are your enemies.
    Deer move mostly at dusk to dawn, and when there's a lot of pressure they'll bed down until its completely dark. Some deer will move when other hunters push them during mid day, they are going from one safe place to bed down to another
    Bucks in rut will go out whenever they smell a doe in heat
    Archery hunting you should be good with your bow and know how to estimate range, and how to shoot from elevated stands
    Hunting and fishing take time, patience, money, patience, and tons of practice, and patience.
    I am not by any means a master hunter, but I have learned that most beginners do 3 things wrong:,
    1)they move around too much, Mostly because they are bored, beginner hunters fidget, get impatient and start walking around " looking for deer" .If you are moving the deer have already spotted you. Deer have evolved to zero in on movement as most of their predators like wolves and cougars hunt by stalking. get a comfortable pack chair or cushion and stay still. clear the leaves in a 3' circle from your stand so you can do 360 degree sloow scans of your area.
    2) make way too much noise, Most beginners get bored and begin to fidget with their gear, zippers, velcro, metal on metal noises, coghing sneezing, burping, eating from plastic wrappers, soda cans (remember to pack out what you pack in and that means trash too). Get a book and read it. Put your phone down, put it on auto reply and don't talk. clear the leaves quietly from your stand area.
    3)make too much smell. People won't wash with unscented soaps, wear the same unwashed hunting gear from last year. Smoke, chew dip and spit crap all over their stand area. They eat smelly foods like peanutbutter, garlic and beef jerky deer smell this for hundreds of yards and will detour around you ( usually right under another hunters tree stand)
    Also as weird as it seems, look at pictures of deer, get your brain used to picking out the details of the whitetails, I have litterally had deer walk right up to me before I recognized them. After I watched some hunting videos and looked at pictures of deer in hunting mags I got better at spotting them before they were close to me.
    Hunting is a solitary activity, and most learning is done though trial and error, and you will start with a LOT of errors. But be patient, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE with your bow.,
    Scout an area, and be quiet. Go out in the non hunting seasons and look for deer, you will gt a better idea about how they move and where they are going, and where they are coming from.
    Don't buy a ton of gear, A medium sized pack, sharp folding knife, water, snacks like granola bars, compass, a map of the area or state park, flashlight marking tape, plastic bag some rubber gloves rain gear, and a means to build a fire if you get lost at night.keep gear to just what you need, not the latest gizmo. If you cant read a compas then get aGPS. Learn how to use it before hunting season.Extraeneous gear makes noise and distractions and noise is your enemy.
    Cammo, I break down into early season, late season and snow. Early season old army woodland BDUs are to me the best in green foilage early season pattern.
    Fall, take your pick,Real tree, treebark whatever, they all seem to blend in pretty good, get a good jacket that leaves room to layer under for colder weather. Pack your layers in the pack when moving around to avoid sweating. Sweat= scent and scent is your enemy.
    Snow cammo I have a surplus german army snow camo smock for ground hunting in the snow. goes over my fall cammo A tyvek suit works well too and packs light.
    Wash all you cammo in baking soda or scent sheild. I go for no scent at all than cover scents
    Take up 3D archery meets, this is the #1 best way to judge distances and actually shoot under near hunting conditions.
    Last edited by bigandy1966; October 27th, 2017 at 08:57 AM.

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