Need help getting started...

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by emt1581, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Well tonight, for the um-teenth time, my girlfriend and I discussed going hunting. She and I would like to go hunting NEXT year. We still need to buy a gun, because none of the rifles have are legal to hunt with (semi-auto) and I think shotgun is inhumane to use for deer...correct?

    I am planning on buying a 700P and slapping a decent scope in the $200-$300 range on it, give it a bi-pod and a sling.

    Here, we have to take a hunters safety course, buy the license (maybe a doe tag to or something of the sort depending on species we are going after).

    Then we need to find a good spot, which isn't hard in this area...hell I could forget the rifle and just bring my car...deer seem to be suicidal on the highways!!!

    And my girlfriend is SUPER excited about getting to buy/wear camo clothes!...except for the bright orange hat/garment which I believe we are required to wear, but deer can't see.

    After we make the kill, we need to tag/bag and report it. Then pay a butcher to make us some steaks (or do respectable hunter do their own butchering???) I'd like to keep the hide although I guess it's not realistic. I'd also like to mount the head...myself...is this a realistic expectation?

    Biggest problem is going to be finding room in the freezer...how many cubic feet does the average deer take up after being butchered?

    Altogether I estimate spending between $1,500 and $2000 for the gun, optics, accessories, clothes, license, and butchering...

    What am I leaving out that is vital to a beginner?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
     
  2. punkture

    punkture

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    firstly, i'd like to say that i think its great that you're getting your significant other in the woods. moreover, i think its pretty cool that she is that exited about getting out there. i've tried and tried with mine, but she's not having it. too cold and too early for her. since the two of you are planning on beginning your hunting adventures next season, do your shopping at the end of this season. walmart tend to run killer deals on ammo, clothes, and such at the close of the hunting season. as for the gun, just make sure you know the terrain, distance, and state laws behind your choice. i've taken many, many deer with shotguns (.410 slugs as a kid and 12ga. slugs and buckshot when i "grew out" of the .410). with practice, shotguns and rifles alike can take a deer humanely. its all about shot placement. any rifle caliber .243 or greater will be sufficient to take deer, but again, definitely consider ammo availability/options, distance, and above ALL terrain. unless you are planning on taking some unreal distance shots, there's not really a need for a bipod. as for the meat, i cut my own steaks from the tenderloins and inner loins. i give my dad the ribs because he likes to boil them and put em in a crock pot. i'll crockpot the neck roast and make jerky out of at least one of the hindquarters. i'll usually sling some meat my grandfather's way because he likes to get burgers and sausage made with it - he'll get shoulders and maybe a hindquarter or two depending on how many i can take for him. i know a few people who've tanned the hides, but i've never fooled with it. before you get in too deep with mounting, it may not hurt to call around for pricing. around here a shoulder mount is rather pricey. i'd just cut off the antlers at the skull and get them mounted unless its a monster - then splurge. once the meat is deboned and placed in gallon ziplock bags, an average-sized deer doesn't take up a whole lot of room. as for cubic feet, i'm not sure. one of these guys with a deep freezer may be able to answer that for you. i got two yearlings in my regular freezer a few weeks ago. sounds like you have most everything in mind that you'll be needing. if you go when its still warm out - and you have a mosquito problem - you may want to pick up the handheld version of the thermacell. if you two are going to be hunting separately, a pair of two way radios would be a good idea. this year is the first year i've hunted from a climbing stand and i would highly advise a good one, although i've taken more deer than i can could from the ground. get you some good land, scout it out before deer season, find you a good spot, and take a monster. there's no substitute for practice though, so get a lot of shooting in during the off season.
     

  3. f1b32oPTic

    f1b32oPTic R4d104c71v3

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    completely doable budget...

    i hunt with a 700LTR in .308 and its 20" barrel and excellent stock make it a perfect hunting gun for me. with the winchester 150 grain super-x ammo ive shot a 7/16" 3 shot group with it off the bench. bean field accuracy in a short treestand package.

    id add in a treestand to your budget however and will say that you will be on the $2000 side of your budget. anyhow, butchering is anywhere from $45-$75 a deer and butchering your own deer is the best way to learn how to do it and will save you alot of money in the long run. if you want to lighten up your budget you could consider a lever action carbine in .44mag or 30/30.. deer hunting is a 200 yard and under game for the most part and unless you plan on hunting over soybean or cut corn fields, just about any medium caliber gun will do. in the off season read deer hunting strategy books. it will better your chances knowing the basic habits of deer and where the best places to intercept them are. start your scouting for next season right after the 2005 season is over because there will be no leaves on the trees and you can read the land and find sign alot easier. take some pictures and gps coords. of good looking spots and when you return early next season it wont even look the same but youll be on top of them. you can spend paycheck after paycheck on scent killer clothing , or you can always hunt with your face in the wind. ive had several successful hunts this season right after work without having the luxury of a pre-hunt shower and have shot deer within 12 yards and had them as close as 4yards while hunting off of the ground. as long as you plan your approach with consideration to wind direction and deer corridors you will do well.. good luck!
     
  4. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Wow, thanks for the help!!!:)

    I forgot to mention...and actually forgot the option, but a neurosurgeon friend of the family invited me to his property any time to "thin the herd". He has TONS of land and the deer are rampant, so he lets some people come over. I'm talking he has deer looking in his window from his patio and he lives out in the middle of no where so no complaints from the neighbor. Anyways, it's an option.

    I'm curious to know about the cubic feet question. Also, I know I've tried a few deer meat products, but how is deer meat cooked differently so it almost resembles beef?

    Thanks again!

    -Emt1581
     
  5. iiibbb

    iiibbb

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    I had a 4-point buck that filled up a liqueur box... probably about .6 cubic feet of meat. I'd say an average deer processed by a butcher (~$50) will generate between .5 and 1 cubic feet of meat.

    The gun you get will depend on the area you hunt. If you're going to hunt in a wooded area I suspect your ranges will be no more than 150 yrds. You'd probably rather have a quick handling lever action. 45/70 is a great deer round in the woods.

    If you're going to hunt farmland... then you want something for longer ranges. .308, .270, 7mm, 30-06... etc etc.

    Picking a good spot just depends. Deer like cover. In the woods you want to get a place where you have some good lines to shoot down, but you don't want a spot you can see everything, because everything can see you. The big thing is wherever you sit... sit still. The more you move, the worse your chances.

    3-8x40 scope should be a good general purpose scope. That or a 4x40. I wouldn't bother with 50 mm objectives... too big if you ask me and 40's gather plenty of light.

    Re cooking: The big thing about cooking venison is not to cook it too long and you need to augment the fat or tenderize it for a long period (2 hrs minimum). Go for medium rare using a relatively high heat. Deer is lean, it gets tough. Other than being less forgivable about doneness, use it much as you would use beef. Go for a clean kill too... the adrenaline dump and lactic acid buildup of a deer that's run a ways will flavor the meat.
     
  6. punkture

    punkture

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    *grabs chin and ponders this thought*
    for real? this is the first i've heard this. its a given that if you are going to take a shot, to take the best possible shot you can, but i was unaware of this.
     
  7. iiibbb

    iiibbb

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    I meant to say that "I've been told this"... it might be an Old Wives' Tale or an "Old Internet Proverb"....

    I can't say it as fact... and I don't have enough of a sample... all my kills so far have fallen within 20 yrds. Might try looking for a source right now.
     
  8. iiibbb

    iiibbb

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    Here's a couple of sources

    http://www.brokenarrowranch.com/FP-WhyBuy.htm

    Reducing stress during slaughter is a major factor in controlling meat quality. An animal that senses a threat or unusual situation will react with an increased flow of adrenaline which in turn creates a rapid increase in lactic acid within the muscles. This acidic condition causes the meat to become tough, strongly flavored, and reduces the shelf life of the meat.

    http://www.butcher-packer.com/newsarticle.asp?id=20

    Palatability of venison hinges on several factors. Studies show that a deer’s age, how far it runs after it was hit and how long the meat is cured all contribute to the meat’s tenderness.

    Young animals are generally tender by nature, and require little, or no aging to ensure tenderness. However, if the deer runs a great distance between wounding and death, there’s a good chance it will expend all its glycogen reserves. When this happens, the pH level of the meat increases, speeding bacterial growth.

    "Wounding or even the threat of danger instantaneously triggers the release of adrenaline, which accelerates the animal’s heartbeat and constricts visceral blood vessels," said John Stransky, a research forester with the U.S. Forest Service. "This chemical-physiological chain reaction then floods the deer's muscles with blood - the fuel for defense or flight."

    "The sudden and exaggerated metabolism of extra blood in muscle tissue produces a build-up of lactic and pyruvic acid, both metabolic waste products. Adrenaline in blood-engorged muscles, in combination with unlimited metabolic wastes, is the principal cause of strong or gamey-tasting cooked venison."

    So, the quality of the venison hanging on the meat pole often depends on what took place in the hours, minutes or seconds before the animal's death. This also determines whether the venison should be aged.


    There are a bunch of links... my google search string was
    venison gamey lactic acid adrenaline
     
  9. mud390

    mud390 That Guy

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    For clothing, don't overlook surplus military chem suits. They have charcoal in them which makes them very much like the really expensive scent blocker hunting clothing out there. They can be had for usually no more than $40 for tops and bottoms at a surplus store. Plus, they are kind of warm. Just make sure you wear a layer of clothes you don't care about between your long johns and the suit, because it will more than likely leave charcoal all over. And don't run it through the washing machine until you spray it with a hose in the driveway, if you decide to wash it.

    Kris
     
  10. Hunterjbb

    Hunterjbb

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    I would as a new hunter suggest that you PRACTICE with your new rifle a fair amount.. 270 30-06 and you can't go wrong in PA for deer.. 308's good to..

    Avoid at all possible Public hunting property in PA.. Lots of hunters hell bent on shooting anything that comes along. Use your friends property if at all possible.

    Hunter safety course is a good thing.. I took mine in PA when i was 12.. and again when my son turned 12.. Don't loose the card.. it comes in handy if you ever want to hunt in other states.

    I would suggest at first you have a butcher take care of your deer, gut it, clean it's insides up good, cool it down and get it to the butcher. Find someone that has butchered thier own deer and has some knowledge and first hand experience before attempting to butcher it yourself. Keeping and then tanning the hide is a lot more work then you would think.. and mounting the head ? well.. if it's that nice pay the nice proffesional taxidermist to do a good job, if you want to mount just the horns, yeah there are plenty of kits you can do yourself.

    Get yourself a decent knife, 3.5-4" blade, either folding or fixed..

    Clothes.. gore-tex boots.. and if your willing waterproof jacket and pants.. very nice when it's very cold windy and snowing or raining..

    First aid kit- always helps to have a basis first aid kit handy when in the field, and a decent compass.. just incase. I also carry some survey tape, neon orange or pink.. Use it to mark where you hit the deer and or your last blood spot if you have to track the deer.

    Did i mention you should practice with your rifle?.


    cooking vension, after shooting try to get as much blood out of the deer as possible. I find that the more you leave the stronger tasting the meat is.. It's very lean meat don't overcook..

    There are a million recipes out there on the internet.. have fun..

    hmm.. other then that learn to be still.. patience is a very big factor in shooting deer.. Remember deer "hear" and "smell" very very well, don't use aftershave, deoderant, etc.. just before you head out to hunt.. don't wash your hunting clothes in regular detergent and store them seperately in the offseason..

    good luck and have fun..

    Remember most deer you shoot in PA are going to be anywhere from 100-150 lbs.. dressed.. and then remove the bone and skin and waste and your left with a lot less then you would think..

    Jeff.
     
  11. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I was talking to a few girls who hunt in class tonight. They all said to find a good butcher who won't steal any of the meat...dear lord, they really take some of the meat!!!...

    I said "as compensation for butchering" and they said nope!...they still charge you, just steal some of the better cuts.

    Is this true!??! Hell, I may as well hang it, bleed it, and learn to butcher it myself.

    Thanks for the info.

    -Emt1581
     
  12. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    A shotgun is not inhumane on deer. In fact, the 12 gauge slug is probably better than most rifles in killing ability. The only problem is that a slug starts to drop pretty fast after 100 yards, so you don't get the relatively flat trajectory that a .30-06 gives you out to 250 yards.

    Read PA game laws as to what is legal to use. For example, NY is legal for semi-auto as long as the magazine doesn't hold more than 5 rounds (no limit for pistol).

    As for deer cutters, I doubt a legit guy will take any meat. My father, uncle, and brother have all cut meat out of their garages. You get a driveway full of deer. Every once in a while, some idiot guy will have worked up a sweat dragging his 150 pound buck out of the woods, and then when he gets the meat back he is suprised it all fits into one cardboard box about 50 pounds. "Where's the rest?!" he'll ask shocked. He's probably the type of guy who claims the butchers are stealing meat. Believe me, with about 500 deer to cut up in a season, there is no desire to steal any meat. Besides, some people even give you some of their meat because they only want a little.

    You don't need to be spending $2000. Don't you have a shotgun or rifle that shoots accurate to 100 yards? Doesn't cost much to buy one, either used or inexpensive new. Then practice a lot of off-hand (unrested) shots at 50, 75, and 100 yards. Only shoot as far as you can hit inside an 8" circle EVERY time. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Try it first.

    You don't need fancy clothes. Orange is probably required in PA (not in NY), so make sure you have it. You can get a hat and vest for cheap. Wear that over the warm clothes you already have.

    Most important thing to know about deer hunting is that they can smell you. But if you are downwind of them, you have a huge advantage. When you go and sit somewhere, make sure the wind is directly in your face. Don't move, just sit there and watch with your eyes. Maybe 1 hour, maybe 2 hours, maybe 4 hours if you can last that long. Find some good spots to sit, and do this every day you get a chance during the season. If you are motionless and downwind, you will see a lot of deer.

    The problem is more a pyschological one. You won't believe me when I say "if you are motionless and downwind, you will see a lot of deer". You will be out there 20 minutes and get bored, and then start to fidget. The deer will see you fidgeting before you ever see them, and they will avoid you. You won't hear them, and will never know they were near. After 30 minutes you will start to think the deer must be somewhere else, so you will get up and walk to another spot. The deer will hear and see that and avoid you. After an hour, you will wonder where the deer are and you will start to walk around. With that method, you may eventually push some deer in the distance and just see their white tails as they run from you. But because you will see the deer in the distance that way, you will start to rely on walking around to see the deer. But they will always be running from you.

    Instead, sit still for 4 hours, and don't move. Enough days of doing this and eventually a deer will walk nice and broadside 35 yards from you. That is the shot you want to take. Aim just behind the front shoulder for the heart/lung area. Do not aim too far back, because you don't want to gut shoot at all. The shoulder is ok to hit, but hitting an inch behind it will save the shoulder meat.

    If you are motionless, a deer can not see you, even if you are orange. But if you just turn your head to look behind your shoulder, a deer can see that. What a deer sees better than people, is motion. So, in a way, they can actually see better than you. Raise your hand to itch your nose, they can see that. They can see it before you ever see them.
     
  13. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Great reply thanks!!

    A few things though...

    I heard a deer can actually see you blink...any truth to that? What's the remedy?

    About the shotgun SLUGS, I'd much prefer a rifle. Shotgun just rubs me the wrong way for target practice. For defense it's a different story, but too much kick for my liking to be enjoyable.

    With the movement...would buying one of those camp tent things work to hide some movement?

    If I'm/We're up in a tree/stand, would the movement and wind direction even matter??

    About the butchering, is there a website or a video I can get to learn?

    Thanks

    -Emt1581
     
  14. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    A deer at 3 feet could see you blink, but not one at 10 yards. Just don't wiggle your nose :)

    My 12ga and .30-06 kick about the same.

    You could use a blind if you wanted (the "camp tent thing" I think you are talking about). But it could get in your way. Same with finding natural stuff to sit behind; it hides you, but limits your vision. You could also just sit still, and then you wouldn't have to pack in any crap.

    A tree stand helps but is not a substitute for being motionless and downwind. Depending on the lay of the land, it can actually make the deer more aware of your motion. But generally, the tree stand helps to raise you above where the deer are typically looking, but they still look up sometime, and still can see the motion. Being up in the air helps to disperse your smell, but they still smell you.

    I've seen videos on butchering, but don't have any links. I can cut, but I still take my deer to a local guy who nicely bones it out and wraps in individual packages easy to pick for meals. He also makes a good sausage and ground when I want that.
     
  15. punkture

    punkture

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    these two links may point you in the right direction:
    http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=441409
    http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=450459

    ithaca_deerslayer has it nailed. from personal experience, the higher you go in a climbing stand, the less likely you are going to be seen/smelled - and the further you can see. however, wind does shift direction. i watched a doe a few weeks ago walk in on me just as the wind shifted directions. i could tell the moment she caught a hint of my smell. she looked around and casually headed in the other direction.

    i have a blind and a climbing stand. both serve their purpose. they make one and two person blinds for a reasonable price, but even in a blind, you have to be still/quiet and try your best to use the wind to your advantage. keep in mind, you aren't going to become a seasoned hunter overnight, but you are definitely on the right track by researching as much as possible before hand. patience and skill come with time. remember...after season sales, scouting, and PRACTICE. the fulfillment of hunting, in my opinion is unsurpassble.
     
  16. iiibbb

    iiibbb

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    I hunt in the woods (mountains)...

    I change clothes from the ones I wore hiking in....

    I sit on the ground in front of a tree...

    I have a couple of downed limbs to break up my outline...

    I use some racoon urine on 2-3 surrounding trees...

    I don't use attractants...

    I don't wear cammo...

    I sit still...

    I listen carefully...

    I move slow and try set up enough to minimize movement when I do get ready to shoot...

    I kill deer...


    I've had them as close as 10 yrds and not see or smell me. I'd say I've been detected a couple of times (by deer I saw).
     
  17. Hunterjbb

    Hunterjbb

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    I dont' think you can use a "blind" in PA.. You Must wear at least 100 sq inches of Orange.. My 12ga.. Kicks a WHOLE lot harder then my 30-06 does :) of course 3.5" magnums normally do..

    Using a tree stand does not alleviate the "movement" thing or the "smell" thing with deer, it helps by allowing a little more on the movment thing but the Smell thing is a killer no matter wether your up high or on the ground.

    The first time your in a stand and that deer turns and looks right at you.. you'll be sitting there going.. huh i'm in a tree.. don't matter.. they are not a dumb as they look.

    I have never heard of a butcher stealing meat, why would they ?.. The butcher i used to take mine to would process hundreds of deer in the first week of the season, he hunted himself, and none that i know of have ever done that.. I doubt they would stay in business if that ever came out..

    I would bet that there are books or video's for butchering deer, i've never looked to be honest.. Google is a wonderful thing..

    good luck.

    Jeff.

    PS: check the game laws for PA about using a ground blind..
     
  18. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    About the gun choice...

    Lately, I've become VERY bored with just buying guns and shooting them...I much rather prefer to buy a gun, sell some of the parts and/or build on to it as I see fit.

    See here's my plan for the gun...

    1. Buy the 700P (the "P" is EXTREMELY important!!)

    2. But a decent scope

    3. Get a sling and maybe a bi-pod

    4. Get a suppressor for the barrel

    5. Have the barrel threaded

    I loooove the step by step process, because it's like having something to look forward to every day until it's done.

    Wal-Mart does have an attractive looking, comfortable 30-06 Remington (forget the model)...and it's only like $300 WITH a scope. But Like I said, the building and development of the perfect weapon (for me) gives me a thrill. :)

    About the season itself...in PA, how longs deer/doe/buck/jackalope season last until??

    Also, this may sound like a really stupid idea, but what about having a radio with me...or something to draw the deers curiousity?...It might be far fetched, but aren't deer naturally curious and will flock to that which they are unfirmiliar with?

    Thanks

    -Emt1581
     
  19. iiibbb

    iiibbb

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    1. Overkill for where you'll be hunting. Heavy and cumbersome

    2. Yes... 3-9x40 or a 4x40... If you get something with too high a power you won't have enough field of view to track a moving deer in the woods.

    3. I use a shooting stick. I don't use the sling to steady my shot. You want to minimize movement to set up your shot.

    4. Why? Just adds weight.

    5. Why?

    Don't get me wrong... sounds like a cool sniper rifle to build... but this is deer hunting. Get a basic rifle that is in the 6-8lb range, make it accurate enough to kill a deer. If you are in the woods you will likely benefit from a shorter rifle. Then leave it be.


    Re: Season. Goto your DNR website.

    Re: Radio. Deer are not curious. They are cautious. They are interested in food, sex, and cover.
     
  20. punkture

    punkture

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    This is a friend of a friend story, so you know how that goes, but from what I was told (second-hand), my friend's friend took an am/fm radio, put it on an am static channel and turned the volume down very low. He **claims** to have watched a few deer come up to it , then walk off seemingly unalarmed...just with a satisfied curiosity, so to speak. The validity of this is certainly questionable, but when I was younger, my grandfather and I would meet back at his International Scount II after the morning hunt to grab a quick bite to eat. On a few of these occasions when the radio was on, we'd have does walk right up to the truck. My grandfather would always blame this on their curiosity. With more hunting years under my belt, I've written this off as fluke occurances because unless I'm just in the right place at the right time, unless I use what I've learned (be still, quiet, and use the wind to my advantage) I'll probably not see a deer. I'm a fan of two-way radios, but I won't turn mine on until a predetermined "meeting up" time, or unless a hunting partner shoots. I'll turn it on briefly to see if we have a kill. I give it 2-3 minutes and if I don't hear from him, I'll turn it back off until the meeting-up time rolls around.