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Teach this city boy how to hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by c5367, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

    Aug 1, 2003
    Well, technically not city, but suburban raised in the collar 'burbs of Crook County, IL. Now a resident of the greater Indianapolis metro area.

    I'm interested in learning how to be a proper, upstanding, ethical outdoorsman. Sadly, my outdoor experience is limited to my time in my beloved Corps as an 0341/8152. Not a whole lot that would translate to hunting skills.

    Anyway, I'm hoping to get some advice. Where to start??? Which game is easy, which is hard? Which is good as a skill builder? (at least around here in the midwest)

    What about ethics? For some reason, pouring doe urine all over, setting up cameras and all that just doesn't seem very sporting to me. In my head at least, bow hunting seems like the purest form of the sport. (hoping this statement doesn't start a pissing match) In my line of work, there aren't a whole lot of down to earth country types that would know a whole lot about this topic or be able to discuss it with any first hand knowledge.
  2. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009
    Your request could take a book. And does take a lifetime of learning.

    The first thing I would suggest is to see if you have any friends or relatives that hunt. If so, hook up with them at once. That would be the easiest introduction to hunting there is. I guess someone could learn a bit on the net, and then go hunt public land until he learns, but that is sure the long way to do it.

    Find some other hunters, build a realtionship and start hunting with them.

    As for what is easy and what is hard to hunt... Bow hunting for deer is one of the most difficult undertakings in hunting. The typical deer hunter goes through stages. 1) hunts to kill. 2) trophy hunts for antlers 3) begins blackpowder hunting to increase difficulty 4)begins bow hunting for a true challenge, and then as we get older and have hunted a great deal, the typical experienced hunter helps others learn the sport. Usually with sons, grandsons and other new hunters.

    I truly quit deer hunting about 8 years ago, I hunt with my sons and carry a gun just to knock a deer down that I might jump. (an open site winchester model 94 30.30) But really I am there just to be around them and outside.

    So, find other hunters to help you along. Hunt what they hunt whether it is rabbit, squirrel, birds or deer. With very few guns and you will be able to hunt for most anything in North America. Leave the bow hunting until you are experienced and looking for another challenge.

    As far as ethics. You will get a thousand opinions. What is acceptable varies from area to area. The one ethical rule that doesn't change is a quick humane kill. I have 3 sons and in all the years they have hunted it has never taken more than one shot to kill a deer. the reason is shot selection and only shooting when you know the one shot will do the job. They know that has been the rule since they were young kids and started hunting. Other than that, strictly follow the game laws in your area and no one will call you an unethical hunter.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009

  3. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

    Aug 1, 2003
    I figured it could take a book.... or a set of them on top of years of experience. But we gotta start somewhere, right?

    However, getting some tips, hints and pointers from the wide knowledge base here on GT is probably better than just wandering off into the woods with rifle and trying to figure it out as I go without asking any questions. :dunno:
  4. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009
    I understand. I wasn't trying to disuade you from asking.

    All hunting is different. Decide what you really want to hunt and what you have access to on either public or private land. Narrow it down and we can get much more specific.
  5. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

    Aug 1, 2003
    Well, I like to eat duck, venison and turkey. All are available here in the midwest, Iv'e gathered. If I kill it, I'm sure as heck going to eat it. :D So those three would be my primary interests up front.

    BTW, thanks for responding and the tips thus far, they are appreciated. :thumbsup:
  6. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    Well, I wrote this a very very looong time ago. It is what was taught to me, and what I taught/teach my kids, and just the way it is for me. This is the "very short version.' There is plenty more, but hope it will jump start you from your questions/concerns, on your first post in this thread...

    "the study of standards, conduct, and moral judgment"
    "the system of the morals of a 'particular' person."

    "conforming to a moral standard.
    "conforming to a professional standard of conduct.

    I am going to come at this from over 5 decades of living, almost 3 decades of guiding hunts, (retired), and dealing with people in that aspect, and in the ranching business as well, which i have been a part of most all my life.

    Guys, i have seen all kinds over the years, the "Killers," shoot anything and everything for perverse pleasure. The "Greedy", for bigger, better, more. The "Lazy," that want me to do it all for them. The "mean and nasty," (which are closely related to the killers). The "Liars," who brag about what they did, X 10. And the "Cock-roaches," who want to come out at night for their prize.

    Each category here, has tons of 'unethical practices within them.’

    But, the key here, "is not," that it is, JUST in their hunting... no no, the key is, "IT IS THEIR WHOLE LIFE STYLE !"

    These are the kind of people that "step on the whole bunch," to get to the top, make a name for themselves, down at the shop/office/ranch!

    They don't care who they hurt, or mash, or what trouble they stir up, just as long as they get what "they" want, and arrive at "their" goal and desire. They are 'laws unto themselves.' You can find them from junk yards, to high rise offices, to the auction barn, to the ranch!

    Now, you place these people in the woods with a gun, and you got problems. You place a gun in their hands period, you got a problem. You put them in a position of 'power' you got a problem, and a gun, makes these folks 'feel powerful', I have NEVER seen that fail once. This 'is not' a psychology class 101, it 'is a fact,' I have seen and dealt with, as many of you have as well, if you think about it, and it is the way life is.

    Can ethics and morals be taught? Yes! But, it all depends on 'who is teaching them', and from 'where' they got 'their' information.

    The guy that teaches his kid…. "it is ok to spotlight at night, there is nothing wrong in it, after all there just there for the taking, to heck with the license!" Well, what kind of ethics/morals to you suppose he will, have? To him, this is OK. Even though "he knows," it is "against the law", he was "taught" to be, "a law unto himself."

    'The killers,' the ones who 'shoot anything that moves', for what I consider "perverse pleasure," they too, were taught somewhere down the line, by family, OR friends, that this is OK, it is acceptable.

    Someone will ask, who says this is not ok? Where is the rule book, or law, that says I should not do this? Well, there are many laws, and rules in the each state hunting guide that will explain what, and what not to shoot #1. But, someone says, "man it was only a stupid hawk, or a owl, etc, who cares?"

    Well, "here is the deal." If a guy gets off on killing something, especially something he ain’t going to eat, or 'is not' a threat to him, and laugh about how it "blew up," or, "man did you see that sucker flip in the air? wow, cool." This is an Idiot ! I can promise you they do not hunt here, and ain’t welcome here!

    It is only a matter of "common sense at this point," to understand, there is 'something wrong in this type of behavior.' Why would I get my jolly’s on watching an animal blow up, or just killing it cause it was handy, it was there, so what, let’s shoot it! I don't get it!

    There is a "MUCH HIGHER LAW" guys, but I won’t go there for sake of time and space, BUT, does not 'that Law of God' that was placed in each and every one, (whether you believe in Him, or care or not, really is not the point here), there was something placed In us all that say’s "this is right," or, "this is wrong.. etc."

    "WE make the choice."

    The 'law says,' the speed limit here is 65, so WE make the choice to go 65, or 90. If we go 90, that "does not," do away with the law, that still stands, no, we have decided to become, "a law unto ourselves," at this point, and "break what we know is right." (this is an example, not meaning if you speed you are immoral)

    In closing here, the morals/ethics, it's what a person is, it is who they are, and, what they have been taught, or, taught themselves, to "better take advantage of another, or a situation.".... Or, to "treat that person, or situation in an ethical manner." Just to teach "hunting ethics," ain’t enough, this is 'a heart issue' plain and simple.

    The guy who try's to cheat me on a horse or cattle deal, 'cannot' be able to be trusted on the ranch hunting either, I guarantee you. The man that lies his head off at the auction barn, or across the counter at the tractor dealer, or sells you a gun that don’t work right, and 'he knows it.' The guy who mistreats his horse, his dogs, his family, these are the people, that 'most generally' are the un-ethical nightmares in the woods, and in the world, period.

    Last minute sight in’s, well, not really great, but at least they did sight in!
    Not sighted in! Not good!
    Never fired the weapon, not good.
    Drive all over your pastures, not good.
    Kill anything, for pleasure of killing it, not good.
    Sneak across the fence line, not good.
    Go over the limit, not good.
    Half –hearted search, or none at all for wounded game, not good.
    Beer/drugs/guns, not good.
    Driving through the woods like maniacs running down prey, not good.

    But then, you will find these folks have some other very un-ethical habits at home, and at work, and in relationships as well.

    Well, what is a hunter you ask?

    To me:

    The person that wants to hunt, for the hunt, to enjoy the out of doors, and seeing what God created, and being in the fresh air, enjoying matching his skill, with that of his prey, "that is a Hunter." One who gets off on ‘seeing’ the redhawk, rather than killing him, "that’s the Hunter." The one who was graced by seeing a family of beavers, or otters, rather than killing them for FUN, "there is the Hunter." The person who feels perhaps a slight bit of something in their heart after shooting their game, like a gratefulness for being able to do it, and a slight understanding that it was placed there for a purpose, and now that purpose for that animal is over, "there is a Hunter." The one who does their very best to make a humane kill on their game, "there is the Hunter." The one who will clean it, and eat it, "there is the Hunter."

    The person who takes the time to learn about their weapon, and use it correctly, and handle it well, before they venture out with it, and knows 'exactly where,' it shoots at a given distance, so as to be fair to the game he hunts, "that is a Hunter." The one who respects the land, the people who own it, and the ones he hunts with, and the wild life the good Lord placed on it, and acts in a way, of what would be called "just plain simple good manners," that is "ethics, the simple way,".....

    "There is a Hunter." At least to this Cowboy

    We can pass the hunting tradition down as reckless, and un-important in the way we approach it, "and life in general," to others, or we can use good morals/ethics, like every other part of our life ought to be based on as well.... The choice is up to us.


    "the study of standards, conduct, and moral judgment"
    "the system of the morals of a 'particular' person."

    "conforming to a moral standard.
    "conforming to a professional standard of conduct.

    This is me. This is a "part" of what we teach 'our' kids, and they now begin to teach theirs. As I said, much more. But this is the very short version....

    Good hunting

  7. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009
    Three totally diferent styles of hinting. Duck hunting will involve the most cost. Decoys , calls, possibly a boat etc.

    Turkey hunting is the most difficult of the 3. A turkey is a challenge for an experienced hunter. In addition you need to learn to call correctly. You will only learn that from someone else or get in the woods, sit for hours and listen for live turkeys to call.

    Deer hunting isn't difficult. If you can scout and find a place where the deer are, sit your butt down and wait quietly. Go in early, stay late and the hours will pay off sooner or later.

    That is a huge simplification of each 3. Books are written on each. Again, there is no replacement for hunting with an experienced hunter.
  8. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009
    Canyonman quote: "Half –hearted search, or none at all for wounded game, not good."

    That is an understatement. If you wound an animal it is your duty to look until that animal is found. I doesn't matter if is "too dark", "too cold", raining or anything else. You are obligated to look until it is found.

    My sons know that if a hunter can't find a deer he shot, we all go looking and we look until it is found.

    It amazes me the number of hunters that will look for an hour or 2 or until it is dark or cold and then are ready to quit. Or they won't follow a trail into a slew or swamp because they get their feet and legs wet. Total BS.

    If they had waited for their shot in the first place, they most likely wouldn't have to look long to find their kill.

    C5367: That is a lesson in itself. Wait for your shot, take it and learn how to mark the shot in your head and which way the game ran so you can find it later. In the rush of the kill new hunters completely lose focus to what happened with their deer after they pull the trigger.

    Take your kill shot. Mark the landmarks and which path the deer took in your memory. Then sit 20 minutes listening intently before you move an inch. If your shot was good, you will likely hear the deer drop (unless it is windy). You will also hear where he is crashing through brush as he leaves.
  9. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    Like I said.... Not good !

    It is very disturbing to me when folks "give up" and will not continue the search. I've seen with 'some people', it is ignorance. They have never been properly taught how. But even in this, they should make every effort possible within their limited understanding to try and find said animal. With others they are just to lazy and do not care. 'hey let's just go shoot another one." Is their attitude.

    The short list of "Not Goods," mean just that.... Not good ! ;)
    We are very particular who hunts out here on the place. On any of the land we have for that matter. Not but just a few get to come, and they are real close friends or realitives.

    Last year, in one of our huge milo fields at the bottom of the far back canyon, as soon as sun light hit, you could hear truck doors ding ding ding, and folks talking, and all kinds of racket. "Word' got aroung about that 'particular field', that is at the far end of the ranch, and joins another ranch on the border. Well, the ATV boys and you name it were out there waiting to 'pop a deer" on "our side," and drag him over. I was not there, my brother was down there that morning to see how things were looking. I told him he should have fired a few 270 rounds in the trees over their heads as they gatherd by the fence. (he was waiting for them to 'come on over though.' )

    In the 1940's the hired hands on the ranch were told to shoot to kill, anyone they did not know, that they found on the place.

    I'm not advocating this for us here 'today'. But I can really get in someone's face in a very bad way, or more if need be. I will not tolerate rude behavior, and tresspasing, and throwing beer cans on our place, and waiting like vultures for the sun to come up to shoot game on our side and drag it on over.

    We let that pasture go to weeds this year, and planted in strategic (sp), places else where, here and there around the ranch. Places the fence crossers won't get to.

    We will go on horse back if need be to find a wounded or "lost animal" and have had to do that a time or two over the years when someone made a bad shot. Not looking hard or long enough..... Yep, Not Good Hoss ! ;)

    Good hunting to you.
    Stay Safe.

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  10. gunrunner0


    Apr 30, 2009
    How bout squirrel? all you need is a good .22 and a liscense. Theres a lot of people who started hunting on squirrel. I just got back from Willow Slough in Morocco, Indiana (about 2 hours northeast of Indy off I-65) which is public ground today and saw plenty of them there. So you might try squirrel hunting at a piece of public ground unless you know somebody with so some ground.

    Just my 2 Cents though.
  11. duck and turkeys are hunted with a shotgun. those are cheap. with a barrel swap you can hunt deer or stay close with the smoothbore.

    deer and turkeys arent too hard to hunt if you do some good scouting first. turkeys are a bit harder to kill but you sit at the base of a tree with or without a decoy 25 yards away from you and you call with a box call or slate call. listen to what the other hens are doing and try to mimick it. if you get a gobble response, youre doing it okay enough to work. maybe we just have too many turkeys.

    it isnt super easy but it definately isnt super hard either. don let people discourage you to do whatever you want. try to find a local forum that you can network on or ask buddies and family. discuss it at work if thas acceptable, might find a hunting buddy there as well. we have here. might have something local there as well.
  12. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    I started on Squirrels, doves and rabbits with a single shot 20 gauge shotgun. From there I bought a .22 LR and shot many squirrels and bunnies with my sniper like skills.

    I'm pretty sure the first step in Indiana for a prospective Nimrod is the State Hunter Safety Course.

    Take the course....then report back. Otherwise we are wasting our breath as you can't do anything without that certificate and you will learn a lot in the course as well.
  13. chevy01234


    Jul 19, 2004
    Yea, go for the hunters education first with an open mind. You will not be successful without taking to heart what advice people give you. Be all ears, no mouth!! I took an 11 year old dove hunting this weekend and while the other kids who were all older than him by the way shot 3-6 boxes in 3 hunts averaging 2-3 birds a kid, "my" kid I was guiding shot 16 birds with under 2 boxes of shells. He listened to what I told him and did what I suggested. I shot 14 birds "backing" him up (he would shoot and miss or be out of his range and I would shoot clean up). We shot half of the birds out of about 16 people hunting. Listen to the folks that know what their doing. Ask some buddies to take you out and show you the ropes. There are things you pick up in the field you can't find online or in a book. Get out there and be safe, it'll come to you in my opinion. You'll learn quick what not to do, if you get stumped PM me and I will be glad to help you with what I can.
  14. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    I recently started hunting. So far, I've gone after hogs twice because they are a pest animal and destroy land. No deer, ducks, or anything else.

    The first time out we only had a few hours, and didn't have a clear shot (heavy woods and across a creek).

    Second time was on a friend's land. We patrolled all over, checked feeders, etc without any real sign. We did spot and I shot one coyote, because it was in the same field with some calves. 65-70 yard shot in the dark on an illuminated target. 2 hours of searching on foot in knee to waist high grass with no luck crisscrossing up/down/left right through the area he was hit. Came back the next day with a truck, searched more, still no sign. Found out later a week after the coyote was found 100 yards away across a fence. When he was hit (240g .44 mag slug) which the two other guys heard the impact he must have lit out and kept moving, not dropped, but it did him in at the end.

    The first night, I just enjoyed being out in the field, with a rifle and not being worried about being ambushed. I like being outdoors in the field. Killing predators/pests is secondary, it benefits my friend's property, keeps the predators down and his cows safe. If we get one, we do. If we don't, we don't. No real worries.

    One of these days I wouldn't mind going after deer just to see what it's like.
  15. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    If you can, I'd say get afield and shoot some upland birds first for a few reasons:

    -The dogs will do the hunting, but you'll start to figure out how to approach things from downwind (many dogs need it to smell, but pertaining to big game, you do this so the game doesn't smell you).

    -You'll get some wins and losses under your belt. Unlike deer / turkey hunting, missing the first pheasant doesn't mean your day is over. You just go hunt them down another 100 yards or so. This is important for someone just starting out. Big game / turkey can be really frustrating when you work hard and never see or get anything, or worse - you miss your first shot and they all leave the area you've scouted for days.

    -It's more of a team sport... you'll have more support right out of the chute.

    If you can find someone with dogs, or even a game preserve... I think this is the route to go first.
  16. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

    Aug 1, 2003
    Great stuff, everyone, THANKS! :bowdown:

    I'll be looking into that hunter's course and some of the other ideas presented.
  17. tc2129


    May 2, 2005
    Northwest Florida
    I'm kind of in the same boat you are. Never been hunting. I am 31 and never been. One of the guys I work with is always going on about how much fun dove hunting is and that I should try it.
    Well, I signed up for and took a hunter safety course a few weeks ago. Figured I should anyway, since all the guns and ammo I have bought in the past has paid for it.
    Completed the class and just today we went to a State WMA to look at all the dove fields. I am excited. The season hasn't even started and I am all kinds of excited about it. Just being out there today in the woods was awesome. Very few people, lots of animals we came across, and it just felt so good being out there.
    I'm going this week to get my license, WMA permit and migratory bird permit.
    I figured I would start out with dove, since the initial cost for me is minimal. I already own the shotgun and have ammo, the license for a year is $17 and the WMA permit for a year is $25, migratory bird permit is free.
    After seeing how well the fields were maintained, I have no problem paying $25, even if I go and don't like it. I can still hike in the same forest and see the benefits of that money used to keep up the WMA.
    He is going for dove, deer, turkey, and hog and possibly coyote. I'll see how deep I get into it after my dove hunts.