Friday, October 23, 2009

How to Deer Hunt – What You Need to Know to Get Started

Not everybody has the opportunity to learn real deer hunting skills from someone who really knows what they’re doing. I will go over the basics here. But, for a more comprehensive course, I recommend Charlie Hick’s course on deer hunting.

First Decide What Method of Hunting You Prefer

There are two basic methods of hunting deer. One is with a firearm and the other is with a bow and arrow. It is commonly known among hunters that, hunting with a bow and arrow is more difficult in that it requires more experience and more practice to be successful.

Types of Firearms

You can choose between shotguns and rifles. Both of these type of firearms arms are called long guns. The inside a of rifle barrel has groves that allow the bullet to spin. They have a longer range than shot guns. Shotguns have no grooves on the inside of their barrels. Shotguns fire loads of pellets that spread out when the shotgun is fired. A lot of beginners start out hunting with shotguns. The clerk at the gun store can help you find a gun that fits you well when you are ready to purchase a firearm.

Buying Your First Gun

The laws of gun ownership vary from state to state and from country to country. In some places you are only allowed to use certain types of firearms for hunting. Check with your local laws and regulations before you purchase your gun, you don’t want to run afoul of the law.

Shotguns come in different gauges. They come in 10, 12, 16 or 20 gauge. The gauge refers to the number of lead pellets that fit inside the barrel of the gun. The larger the gauge of the gun, the smaller the load of the gun. The most commonly used shotgun for hunting deer is the 12 gauge shotgun. This is due to the versatility of the 12 gauge (can hunt several other game animals with it) and the affordability of a good basic shotgun.

Rifles come in many different models and configurations. You should choose a rifle that you are comfortable with and that works well with the type of land you will be hunting. If you will be hunting land that is open without a lot of foliage, then you might prefer a bolt-action rifle with a good scope that will give you good long range accuracy. If you will be hunting land that is full of thickets or trees, where you cannot see a long way out, then you would prefer hunting with a smaller lighter rifle that will be easier to carry.

Get to Know Your Weapon Like its Your Best Friend

Read all the instructions that come with your weapon. Handle and practice with your unloaded firearm and make sure to get good instruction on using your weapon by taking a class or having a knowledgeable friend show you how to use it. Practice regularly at the range. / CC BY-ND 2.0


Basics of Using Your Gun

Your gun should be on safety until you are ready to shoot. Stand or sit in a stable position. Bring the butt of your gun to your shoulder. Remove the safety, and slowly aim at your target. Exhale slowly and evenly. Hold your breath. The very gently squeeze the trigger (don’t pull it.)

Should You Hunt with a Scope or use Iron Sights?

Hunting with iron sights will require more practice to hit your targets accurately. Do not go hunting until you are completely comfortable with your gun, and can use it accurately.

Bow hunting

Many hunters believe that hunting with a bow and arrow is more fair, because it is more difficult to hunt with than a firearm and is more of a challenge. There are different kind of bows to choose from, ranging from a traditional wooden long-bow to modern compound bows that use pulleys to increase the speed of the arrow.

Deer Hunting Equipment

Be sure to use good gear that is appropriate for the terrain and time of year you will be hunting in. Deer hunting is done in cold weather and you don’t want to over expose yourself to dangerous conditions.

You should dress for the outdoors, in layers that can be removed you get to hot. Start with warm underlayer, that will keep you warm and dry. Do not ever wear cotton next to your skin, it will not let moisture evaporate, and will make you cold, wet and miserable.

Your boots must be strong, waterproof and comfortable. Your clothes should be soft (to be as quiet as possible) and camouflage to help you go unseen by the deer.

Hide Your Body Odor

Deer have a very good sense of smell and they will avoid anything that smells like a human. There are many products that will help you cover your scent. You may nee to use special soaps and odor-removing detergents on your clothing to make sure you are not detected.

How to Handle Your Hunting Clothes

After you use the special odor killing detergents on your clothes, let it dry outside. You don’t want to dry in your machine dryer because  left over detergent fragrances may get on your clothes. When your clothes are dry, place your clothes in an odorless plastic bag or bin. Its a good idea to put in a few leaves in the bin with your clothes to give it a more natural odor.

Your Hunting Pack

You will need a hunting pack to carry all your hunting gear. this includes:

  • hunting license and tags
  • rope
  • map & compass/GPS
  • flashlight
  • extra clothes

Finding Land to Hunt

If you do not own good land to hunt, or otherwise have ready access to hunting land, it can be hard to find a good place you can hunt. fortunately, many states have set aside wildlife areas that are open to hunting. There may also be some federal lands in your area that you may be able to hunt. Contact your state fish and game departments for detailed maps and regulations concerning these areas.

See if you know anyone with private land that will allow you to hunt it. There will be much fewer hunters on private land,  so you have a better chance of harvesting an animal and fewer hunters in the area will mean a safer hunt for you.

How Can I Improve My Chances of Actually Harvesting a Deer?

Deer hunting, for the uninitiated can be very confusing. If you don’t have the proper guidance and training you could in the very least make some expensive mistakes. A good deer hunting course is the best way of improving your chances of coming home with a deer of your own.

Julian Dowse / CC BY-SA 2.0



The answers to all of your hunting questions can be found HERE.

Good luck and happy hunting!

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