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View Full Version : Easy question: Hunter's Ed.


Cowled_Wolfe
December 10, 2004, 07:15 PM
Hey guys, I missed out on taking a hunter's safety course this year (had something come up), but I'm going to be taking it next year for sure.

Seeing as how I don't have any hunters in my family, and I don't see any friends that hunt on a regular basis, I'm just wondering... What can I expect out of a basic Hunter Education course?

Also, as a secondary question; what would be a good way for a non-hunter in a non-hunting family to get started hunting? Are there any groups that can hook a new hunter up with an experienced one or anything? If it matters at all, I'm over in Eastern Washington.

Thanks for any info in advance... Btw, if you've had any good or bad experiences with Hunter's Ed. courses or whatnot, please share.

bill k
December 10, 2004, 07:36 PM
Very hard question to answer.

Find a friend who wants to start hunting with you. You'll find that throughout your life, your hunting partner will always be there. No matter how far you live apart you'll hook up to go hunting.

Hunters love to share their knowlege, so hunting camps are a wealth of knowledge, even though quite a bit has been exagerated, i.e. that forked horn becomes a three pointer the next year, then four points etc.

Your local outdoor outfitter might help out also.

No4Mk1
December 10, 2004, 08:12 PM
I just started hunting last year and under similar circumstances.

For the first question, hunters ed in Texas includes some basic safety instruction, discussion of the game laws in the state, and hunting ethics. Good information, but not challenging nor is it sufficient information to succesfully hunt, just enough to keep you out of trouble.

I learned my (admittedly limited) hunting skills from books, videos, and the internet. I did a lot of lurking and even some posting on hunting forums like this one. I bought some videos and books that looked useful. (Some were, some weren't.) Finally, I found a few friends and relatives that do hunt and peppered them with questions. I never did find someone to take me hunting (although I later discovered my brother-in-law would have...) but managed just fine anyway. It would be much easier to have a skilled hunter as a mentor and guide.

The one thing I couldn't figure out from reading and ultimately needed help with was field dressing. Not hard, but I wouldn't try it alone the first time.

Trapp
December 10, 2004, 08:27 PM
Eastern WA? You should be able to find someone who hunts. Deer up in Republic are pretty good, my cousin got his first deer, an eight point, (four point on the west coast) shooting a 270 offhand at 200 yards, he's only 13......anyway. I went through a hunters ed course in WA. Primarily teaches the ten commandments of gun safety (you can find them on the internet) first aid, and safety (the ten commandments). It takes a bit of common sense wich is harder and harder to find these days, but it is fairly easy if you posses common sense..........Happy Hunting

Abby
December 10, 2004, 09:32 PM
What you can expect probably varies by state. When I took the course in Michigan a few years back, it was a couple nights in the high school gym looking at different guns and hearing old guy hunting stories! :rolleyes: I've had worse evenings!

When I was teaching the class in MN last year, it was like eight nights of 4-hour classes and one Saturday on the range. A lot more opportunity for students to handle firearms, and a much more thorough class, I thought.

Both classes included a very similar written test that isn't very difficult IF a student pays attention.

As for finding someone to hunt with - local gun clubs are a great resource if you have a decent one near by. Or if you have a small-town sporting goods/firearms store, asking there might well get you some offers. Don't forget any local chapters of Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited...whatever the deer equivalent is even though I can't think of it right now...

Although if it were me, I'd probably try the local gun shop and ask if someone could take you small game hunting. Almost everyone enjoys that (as much as we like to talk about GIANT CRITTERS!), and it's a heckuva way to get started hunting!

Rich Lucibella
December 10, 2004, 09:49 PM
We re-birthed TFL nearly a year ago.

It's threads like this that make me remember WHY. Jes keep doin' what'cher doin', guys.

And thanks.
Rich

ps to Cowled.
Been there. Lived the trepidation of trying to locate people I could trust to hunt with. If you can't find resources in WA state, and you can afford the plane fare to Dallas, get in touch with me. I'll take you out for hogs, coyote and rabbit. May be a boondoogle....may be a Home Run. THAT's hunting!

Cowled_Wolfe
December 10, 2004, 10:16 PM
Thanks for the advice/thoughts/comments, everyone... One other question... How hard is it to dress/move the deer after it's down?

Greybeard
December 10, 2004, 11:05 PM
"How hard is it to dress/move the deer after it's down?"

The lawyer answer: it depends. On size of deer, how far back in the boonies the deer is, amount of "help" (including an ATV or not), etc.

One week ago tonight, I was recovering from getting a big mule deer out of a canyon just before dark. The range finder said it was 82 yards - vertically. Which seemed like 82 miles by the time my brother and I got the mulie to the brim of canyon to be able to load onto ATV and get to truck.

We gutted it first thing to drop some weight. Tied rope onto antlers and initially took turns at different positions until winded (one of us on rope, other lifting up and pulling by antlers). Ultimately, the most effective method was my pulling my brother up while he pulled the deer.

Cowled_Wolfe
December 11, 2004, 01:36 AM
We gutted it first thing to drop some weight. Tied rope onto antlers and initially took turns at different positions until winded (one of us on rope, other lifting up and pulling by antlers). Ultimately, the most effective method was my pulling my brother up while he pulled the deer.

That last part makes for one funky mental image...

No4Mk1
December 11, 2004, 02:14 AM
How hard is it to dress/move the deer after it's down?

As for dressing, I wouldn't try it solo the first time. There are too many things to goof up, and the consequences are pretty bad if you make a wrong cut. I would definitely get help with that.

As you can see from the other replies, moving varies from easy (if you can get a vehicle in close) to quite difficult. I was reading another thread recently and a plastic sled was suggested as a good drag. Sounds like a good idea to me!

Cowled_Wolfe
December 11, 2004, 03:35 AM
I was reading another thread recently and a plastic sled was suggested as a good drag. Sounds like a good idea to me!

Plastic sleds'll haul anything, don'tcha know? ;)

Trapp
December 11, 2004, 08:09 AM
dragging is all about availibility. I have only done it by tying a rope around the antlers and myself and pulling.....doesn't sound like fun, but when you are an amerature like me the addrenaline is still going for a while after you kill the deer and it makes it somewhat easier. Not to mention the deer in the south are about half the size of the ones on the west coast....

Dean C
December 11, 2004, 12:46 PM
Cowled,

I lived in "soap can" for about 5 years. Only ran into one person that didn't hunt. Course he was just passin' through. Just bring up the subject and you'll find plenty of friends that hunt and most will invite you along. Just explain your situation and be honest.

Hunter Safety. There are courses offered year around. Check out the regs, they list them all. Call and confirm, don't wait till just before season. They usually fill up quickly when everyone is thinking about going hunting. Perhaps hunters go into rut too.

Field dressing. Do it yourself with experience watching and teaching. Just don't forget to pack a large baggie for the liver, heart and nuts. Those are the trophies for dinner the evening when you get back to camp or home.

Draggin' 'em out. Hunt up, drag down. Just don't hunt alone, you'll need the help. Also, hunting alone isn't really a safe idea.

Good luck, I'll probably be over there during next year's late hunt. Perhaps we can hook up.

dean

Cowled_Wolfe
December 11, 2004, 03:47 PM
Those are the trophies for dinner the evening when you get back to camp or home.

... For some reason, that dun sound too appetizing.

Good luck, I'll probably be over there during next year's late hunt. Perhaps we can hook up.

Sounds good.

Hunter Safety. There are courses offered year around. Check out the regs, they list them all. Call and confirm, don't wait till just before season. They usually fill up quickly when everyone is thinking about going hunting. Perhaps hunters go into rut too.

When I checked last year, everyone's classes were right before the main hunting season, but maybe checking around January/February might help?

Luthier
December 12, 2004, 10:37 AM
I'm not sure what the Laws are in the other states, but if your born after a certain year (like like 1958 or so..give or take a decade) then you HAVE to have the course to hunt. It is pretty simple, but useful course. Just common sense safety, but for a youngster it is very valuable information, and teaching. Highly recommended.. and if you live in oklahoma it's the Law.

AS for the heart, liver, and nuts.... The heart is VERY good. The liver is good, but I've never been much of a liver fan, although venison liver is better than cow. And I've not tried the old berries. I have had calf fries (aka cow nuts) battered and fried and they are really good so I imagine the deer are similar.

Fred Hansen
December 12, 2004, 12:10 PM
This link (http://wdfw.wa.gov/outreach/hed/basic.htm) leads to the 2004 Hunter Ed. schedule for 2004. Most of the instructors listed there will have already determined their schedules for 2005 (we have to get them to the department of F&W by the end of this month) so you could try calling/e-mailing the instructor(s) that are near your location.

Your best bet in the long run is to join your local sportsmen's club. Most of the people there will be interested in hunting and fishing, and someone there would probably be happy to help out a person that is new to hunting.

As a matter of fact, those of us who enjoy the outdoors to do more than "leave only footprints, take only pictures" need to take the initiative in teaching the benefits of being a true part of the outdoor world, rather than aloof bystanders. The people who never go hunting, or fishing, or trapping still get to vote on the issue, and as we found out with Initiative 713 (http://www.wdfw.wa.gov/factshts/i-713.htm), when we are in the minority, we lose.

Good luck, and safe hunting!

HunterTRW
December 20, 2004, 08:49 PM
Of its hunter education course, the 2004-2005 Indiana Hunting & Trapping Guide states in part, "In order to purchase a hunting license, anyone born after 1986 must successfully complete a hunter education class offered by the DNR...The DNR hunter education program teaches hunter responsibility and ethics, wildlife conservation and management, firearms safety, wildlife identification, game care, survival and first aid...The program takes approximately 10 hours to complete..."

Mr. Hansen makes an excellent suggestion on teaming up with an experienced hunter who can show you the ropes. As in selecting a wife, the best advice I can give you is to choose your hunting partner carefully. A match well-made can last a lifetime. I recommend that you seek someone who is already the kind of hunter (in terms of field ethics, game knowledge, woodsmanship, shooting ability, hunting pace, and personal character) that you would like to be.

To that end, I once considered running one of those "personal ads" which would have read as follows: "Wanted: A man over 60 years of age who knows how, and why, to hunt upland birds, deer, and waterfowl; who likes his coffee black and his steaks well done; who likes old pick-up trucks; who smokes a pipe, not because he has to, but because he enjoys it; who can identify trees and flowers and birds, and is willing to share his knowledge; who is well-read; who likes small town diners and cafes; who can tell a story; who knows how to listen; who is satisfied with life, but always curious about what is over the next hill or around the next bend in the stream; who likes all kinds of music; who loves puppies and dogs, kittens and cats, and small children; who has an eye for pretty women, but is faithful; who likes chili and spicy foods; who likes campfires and knows how to build one; who takes as much care of his boots as he does all of this other gear; who isn't afraid to talk to strangers; who, in all things, exercises moderation; who likes rain and thunderstorms; who is content to sometimes just sit and think; who hasn't lost the capacity to experience wonder; who appreciates the old as well as the new; who regards learning as a never-ending process; who, when practical, would rather make than buy; for whom sharing, good manners, and sportsmanship are fibers of his being; and who measures the results of each day by quality, not quantity."

Thankfully I didn't have to run this ad (if I had, then I would probably have had to take out a second mortgage on the house just to pay for it!). Instead, I simply found a hunter who met the majority of these requirements.

I hope that you can do likewise. Good luck, and good hunting!

Chet
December 20, 2004, 10:38 PM
pay attention to Hunter find an old man who has really been there and done that and watch out for the young guys who just get their rocks off on the biggest and the loudest and the fastest .there is much much more to hunting than that. Hunter Ed. that I took was mostly common sense stuff ,familiarisation with guns basic survival and first aid as well as the ten commandments of gun safety not hard if you pay attention

MeekAndMild
December 20, 2004, 11:34 PM
I started by squirrel and rabbit hunting at age 10 with a dashound for companionship. Nowadays hunter's ed courses are required in all the states I know.

If I was starting out again I'd do one of two things, either go to the town barbershop and ask some of the old guys where to start or just get a map of public game management areas and go out with a dog during squirrel and rabbit season. Not neccessarily to shoot anything, but to learn the 'feel' of hunting in the woods. Half the fun of rabbit hunting is to get out into the woods with your hound.

Cowled_Wolfe
December 21, 2004, 01:20 AM
Can't say I've ever owned a dog ('you can have one when you move out'), but I've got a cat? :confused:

NSO_w/_SIG
December 21, 2004, 06:51 PM
Yup, hunters ed. is mostly just common sense stuff, you should have no problem getting close to 100% on the test, as there is ussually kids that have to pass the same test.

Field dressing a deer isn't so bad. It is just like cleaning a fish is a sense just bigger. Just be sure not to cut too deep on your intial cuts as you could create a bit more mess than you want. A stinky mess.

PS .... Remember to cut the cornhole out