Learning about hunting
December 28, 2020 10:51 AM   Subscribe

I'm interested in learning about hunting.

I know meat eater is great (and so is their podcast). Anything else you can recommend? Specifically about mule deer hunting in PNW would be great, but general resources are most welcome too.
posted by aeighty to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Jumped the gun (heh) on submission there. I am a decent shot, and have my hunters' ed done. So I guess I got the basics covered.
posted by aeighty at 10:52 AM on December 28, 2020

Might have a look at your state's natural resources dept or what ever department regulates hunting and fishing. I know in Kentucky they have tons of info about hunting and fishing in the state.
posted by tman99 at 11:50 AM on December 28, 2020

Yes, read and follow very carefully Washington Fush and Game.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 12:01 PM on December 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Your state wildlife department may offer other courses! I've taken courses in my area on map and compass skills and waterfowling, and they also offer courses on archery skills, turkey hunting, fly fishing skills, and others - all free of charge.

I have tried finding mentors at local rod and gun clubs, but to be quite honest I've found most of those folks to be fairly... let's say "protective." Established hunters are afraid of giving up their honey holes and seem to be wary of newcomers. I've had better luck bumping in to other hunters randomly in the fields and having a friendly chat with them. (Though, to be fair, it's a little easier to do that here in the Northeast where there's not much open land and it's easier to bump in to people.) If you can figure out how to meet potential mentors, I'd love to know about it.

I've found Steve Rinella's books to be pretty good resources for a newbie like myself - "The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game" comes in two volumes and covers things like habitat, diet, and animal habits. Hank Shaw also has several books based around wild game that might be of interest.

For digital resources, our state has an interactive online map of all the public lands that are huntable, including descriptions of the habitats in the property and what wildlife you might expect to find. I've also found - I guess slightly against the spirit of the program - crowdsourced wildlife databases like iNaturalist can be helpful to let other people do some scouting for you (if you know what your quarry likes to eat and people are tagging it in the app, that can be a good starting point to look for animals).
posted by backseatpilot at 1:11 PM on December 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

If you're a woman in Washington, Washington Outdoor Women has great workshops. I haven't done their hunting-specific ones but every other one I've done has been very good, and some of the teachers overlap.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:27 PM on December 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I had a couple other thoughts that may help. There's an organization called the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers that you may want to look into; I'm not super keyed into them, but they do more work out in your area than mine. They do regular meetups in normal times, and their newsletter is a good read.

One piece of advice I picked up early on is to start with small game. The argument is that things like rabbits and squirrels are abundant, have long seasons, and are not as pressured as larger game. More season means more days out in the field, so it's a good way to build experience. Squirrels can be a good option because they'll give you a lot of experience in scouting (looking for the mast they feed on), stalking (they're skittish so you need to learn how to move quietly and deliberately), and field work (they're relatively easy to field dress but still take some finesse). Rinella's guide (volume 2 is all about small game) is a great starting point. Small game is also a good starting point because the initial investment is pretty low (a gun, some blaze orange, and a knife if you want to field dress) so if you learn you don't like waking up before dawn you're not out much.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:29 PM on December 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

« Older Plumbing help: reinstalling a drain cover   |   Cute Masks Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.