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Old October 9, 2005, 08:29 PM   #1
itgoesboom
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Going on my first hunt next week....Advice?

Found out today that I am going to get the opportunity to finally go on my first hunt next weekend. I will be hunting Elk in the cascade range, on the opening weekend of the season.

I will be with atleast one experienced hunter, and actually borrowing one of his rifles, since I don't have any "hunting rifles". Looks to be a good opportunity.

Today I got my hunting license, and elk tag, set of camo, scent blocking laundry detergent, soap and deoderant (figure the Elk won't like the RightGuard I normally wear ), and picked up another copy of the hunting regulations.

As far as gear goes, I don't have to bring much it sounds like. I am going to bring my .357mag Ruger Blackhawk in a strongside holster (can convert it to crossdraw easily), a folding knife, water, a firstaid kit, and a copy of the hunting regs as well.

Since this is my first hunt, I would love to hear any advice anyone has for me.

TIA.

I.G.B.
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Old October 9, 2005, 08:33 PM   #2
sm
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Listen, take notes, and have a Great time.
Hunting is a special experience - the actual taking of game is a bonus.

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Old October 9, 2005, 09:06 PM   #3
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Make sure you sight-in that rifle yourself -- don't rely on someone promising that it is "fine". I've learned this the hard way.

I would leave the .357 at home. It is unnecessary, and it will just be extra weight to lug around.

Drink lots of water, and carry a snack you can munch on. And make sure to bring good boots and gloves.
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Old October 9, 2005, 09:16 PM   #4
Dean C
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What state? I hunt in the North Cacades in Washington and I don't know of any Elk hunting open next weel. Am I missing something?

Anyway, good luck to you!

dean

p.s. I'm heading up next week-end for two weeks of modern rifle for deer. One week is a SOLO. I'm old and need to do it.
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Old October 9, 2005, 09:54 PM   #5
itgoesboom
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Quote:
Make sure you sight-in that rifle yourself -- don't rely on someone promising that it is "fine". I've learned this the hard way.
Planning on that, so that won't be an issue.

Quote:
I would leave the .357 at home. It is unnecessary, and it will just be extra weight to lug around.
I have thought about that, but with what happened in Wisconsin last year, I don't think I will do that. Having a pistol on my belt will atleast insure that I have a firearm within reach at all time. I have a CHL, and I carry every day, even when hiking, so that shouldn't present a problem.

Quote:
Drink lots of water, and carry a snack you can munch on. And make sure to bring good boots and gloves.
Good ideas. I usually drink alot of fluids already, and I will have atleast one quart with me while hiking, and probably atleast 1 gallon in the truck. I will also bring some energy bars as well.

I got good boots, a pair of danners, and I have been wearing them and hiking in them for months, so they are very broken in. I picked up a pair of gloves today as well, and I have others as well, so that should work.

Quote:
What state? I hunt in the North Cacades in Washington and I don't know of any Elk hunting open next weel. Am I missing something?
Elk season starts on the 15th in Oregon.

I.G.B.
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Old October 9, 2005, 10:21 PM   #6
Dean C
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"Elk season starts on the 15th in Oregon."

Wow, just south of me, I thought I had gone "daft". Anyway, my experience tells me to just think the reverse of muleys. Hunting muleys, I hunt up and drag down. Elk, just seem to go down into the thickets and you have to pack out "up". I just wish they knew the rules. Take a good pack frame and a lot of big baggies for one HUGE liver and heart. I do hope you're ultimately successful.

good luck, be safe, and bring a big one home,

dean
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Old October 9, 2005, 11:35 PM   #7
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Sounds like you're in for a fun trip. Just keep it in the back of your mind that they don't call this "hunting" instead of "killing" for nothing. Enjoy the scenery even if you don't find elk!
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Old October 9, 2005, 11:46 PM   #8
itgoesboom
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I do hope you're ultimately successful.

good luck, be safe, and bring a big one home,
I hope so too. Money is tight right now, but I have wanted to do this for a while, so I went out and spent about $130 today for the hunting license/tag and camoflage and such.

So I hope that I am successful, but I know the odds aren't great for a first time hunter, day after season starts. But I am going to give it a try.

If I don't get an elk, okay, no biggie. I will atleast have learned some things, and can put that to use next year when I try again, hopefully with my own rifle.

I.G.B.
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Old October 9, 2005, 11:50 PM   #9
itgoesboom
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Sounds like you're in for a fun trip. Just keep it in the back of your mind that they don't call this "hunting" instead of "killing" for nothing. Enjoy the scenery even if you don't find elk!
You mean there is actual work involved? Ugggh. How did I get myself into this. I thought the animals just lined up like sheep in a slaughter house.

Yeah, I am just going to enjoy the experience, no matter what happens, and try to learn alot.

I.G.B.
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Old October 10, 2005, 12:52 AM   #10
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well, itgoesboom

its official, i'm jealous. i havent been hunting, yet. so i cant really give you advice. but let us know how it went. remember, we want details
good luck.
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Old October 10, 2005, 05:04 AM   #11
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Don't worry too much about gadgets, camo, or scent control. Concentrate on being as quiet as you can while moving, try to hunt into the wind if possible, and spend a lot more time looking through binoculars than walking.

Make sure you have fired several rounds through the actual rifle you will be using on the hunt, both to get used to the feel of it and check the zero.

When you get a shot, place the crosshairs where you want the bullet to strike - halfway up the body in line with the elbow is a good place as any to aim if you get the chance - and gently squeeze the trigger, trying to remain as relaxed as possible (easier said than done on your first hunt).

Most of all, enjoy the whole experience. Best of luck.
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Old October 10, 2005, 06:35 PM   #12
rwfisher
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advice

...sit still and be as quiet as possible. If you have to move, do so very slowly. If your schedule allows it, try to get in the woods early enough to get a feel for that particular patch of woods...what the normal sounds, smells, small wildlife, etc. are like. That'll help you to decide if the noises you hear/sights you see are big game, a squirrel, or your hunting buddy.

Finally, don't shoot until you're sure of your target!!!!!
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Old October 11, 2005, 10:16 AM   #13
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Itgoesboom I never went for elk but the hunter that is teaching me how to hunt now told me to do a few things when ever I go hunting so I will pass his advice

Rule #1: Just have fun and dont take the hunt like if you come back empty handed like its the end of the world.

Also bring yourself:

- A small container of spieces: when he goes moose hunting sometimes they kill a moose and it takes them 2-3 hours to track it where it died after another 4-5 hours of hunting so you get hungry and they cut alittle moose and BBQ it right there because starting to stave and lose energy is the last thing you want in a hunt.
- A good flashlight (not one that will die on you after little use such as thouse "tactical" flashlights): If it gets dark you wont be able to see where your going and a flashlight that lasts a hour or so isnt gonna cut it.
- 2 lighters: To start fires and the like and you carry 2 just incase one runs out or fails on you.
- 2 rolls of trail maker tape To make a large "X" with 2 trees to show where you went into the bush from a feild and to keep your trail marked off so if someone needed to find you they can easily find where you entered and went. Plus you can walk back the same way you came in and not get lost.
- A good knife: If you get hungry and you cook some of your kill, or you need to cut some shelter out because it got dark too fast and you need to spend the night, and is good for a million other uses. A good millitary surplus bayonet is a strong knife that should do the trick
- A watch: to keep tabs on the time so even if you dont find your kill before night fall so you can try and figure out when is night fall and when you need to turn around and look tommorrow because you wont be able to find it tonight before night fall.
- A radio: to be able to talk to your hunting partners if you kill a animal or in emergies.
- A topo map and compass: This is your last resort if you get lost in the bush and cant fallow your trail markers back to camp. I hope you never have to use this as it should never be needed unless things are really bad, unless ofcourse you feel the need to mark off where you saw animal tracks etc

As for electronics and the such (other then the radio) most of them arnt needed since they take batteries and they can fail in bad weather so the less you depend on them the better.

There is a reasoning to all of them too .

PS: After you find your animal and are going back to camp for the last time through that trail be kind and remove your trail makers just incase someone passes and does the same thing and gets confused we dont want anyone else to get lost through that area

Dimitri
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Old October 11, 2005, 12:29 PM   #14
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You lucky guy! I did not grow up being taken hunting by anyone, except for a couple of time (on one of which I had no gun!). So now, I do not hunt.

I will never be in a financial position to enjoy a guided hunt by a professional hunter or a trip to a country club game reserve, even in North Carolina, much less Africa. Yet I have known more than a few hunters recently, including two right here at work (and one of them has both worked for the NRA and hunted Africa). But none of them showed any interest in me being a hunter or encouraged it in any way.

So now, I do not hunt, still.
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Old October 11, 2005, 04:14 PM   #15
itgoesboom
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Quote:
You lucky guy! I did not grow up being taken hunting by anyone, except for a couple of time (on one of which I had no gun!). So now, I do not hunt.

I will never be in a financial position to enjoy a guided hunt by a professional hunter or a trip to a country club game reserve, even in North Carolina, much less Africa. Yet I have known more than a few hunters recently, including two right here at work (and one of them has both worked for the NRA and hunted Africa). But none of them showed any interest in me being a hunter or encouraged it in any way.

So now, I do not hunt, still.
Bluetrain,

That is a shame. Have you ever asked them if they would teach you?

This is going to be my first hunt, and I am 27. I have been wanting to go since I was about 12-13, so I have had to be very patient.

I have had lots of friends who hunt, or used to hunt, and some offered to teach me, but timing was never right.

Fortunatly, this year the church I just joined set up an outdoorsmans group, including fishing and hunting. I let it be known that I really want to get out this year, and the leader of the group offered to take me out for Elk, since he has already gone for deer.

I am really looking forward to the trip, even though I know my odds aren't very good to get a bull, but hey, I am going to try.

Hopefully I will learn some this year, and make enough contacts to go out again next season, and then fill the freezer.

Like I said, I am patient.

I.G.B.
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Old October 11, 2005, 04:28 PM   #16
mtnbkr
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Have fun! Even a bad day hunting is a good day. Seriously though, one of the things I like about hunting is watching the forest wake up in the morning. It's about as peaceful as you'll ever get.

Quote:
I thought the animals just lined up like sheep in a slaughter house.
They do until their season opens. As a mountain biker, I have to shove deer out of the way. As a squirrel hunter, I can almost walk up to them and scratch their ears (twice, I've gotten close enough to use my shotgun as a club). As a deer hunter, I hear their snickers as they sneak away.

Chris
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Old October 11, 2005, 04:36 PM   #17
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I am sorry to hear that BlueTrain.

I got lucky because my dad and him are good friends thats why he is teaching me about hunting. I got my minors license when I was 13 and didnt go hunting till just resently (this season is my first).

You should ask thouse hunters sometime if you can tag along with them on a hunt or something I know if I was them (older and more experianced ) I would let you tag along Nothing wrong can happen if you know a hunter and you asked them to let you join them on a hunt.

Its a real shame when hunters dont try and get new hunters to join the sport. Without people joining the sport at a higher rate then people leave it its gonna die and that is a real shame I am gonna try and get my kids into it (once I have them lol). And maybe there friends that wanna try it out too once I am older and a "family man" though

Dimitri
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Old October 11, 2005, 05:50 PM   #18
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Take a compass and spare blade. I broke a knife on a pelvic bone while dressing a whitetail. It was hard to complete the job with what was left. Have fun and don't forget to breathe!!
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Old October 11, 2005, 06:24 PM   #19
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Hunting Manners 101:

While hunting listen to what the experienced guys say, and do exactly what they tell you to do. When in doubt hold still and make no noise.

Being the new hunter, listen to everything (with a grain of salt ) and don't talk "too" much. Be polite in everything you say. You WILL learn a ton of great stuff just by being quiet and paying attention. Do ask questions, but not so many that you become an irritant. If adult beverages are offered around the campfire, and if it is age/faith appropriate for you to participate, then by all means participate, but do so sparingly and do not get intoxicated. If it is not appropriate just pass and don't make a big deal of it.

Gather firewood without waiting to be asked or told. Wash dishes without waiting to be asked or told. Help with tents, help haul meat, just do any kind of chore that you can think of or imagine ~ so that the others are actually glad that you are there. Actively look for anything that you can do, and then do it cheerfully.

Maintain a positive attitude even if is raining/sleeting on you and your tent is soggy and it is cold and you are hungry and tired beyond belief.

Do all that and you will get invited back.
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Old October 11, 2005, 11:03 PM   #20
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Elk hunting implies being more than a few hundred yards from home.

Take a little bottle of iodine pills and a few empty big ziplock freezer bags. That way if you spill your water and have to get more from an open source you won't have as much chance of getting giardiasis. And take extra toilet paper, a folding spade, a folding saw, 30 feet of light rope, a few candy bars, a couple of MREs and a compass (or GPS if you have one available plus 2 sets of spare batteries ). All this should be able to fit into a small pack, except for the spade and saw which will stick out the top. If you want to forgo the toilet paper take a copy of Clinton's autobiography so you can read while you are meditating on nature.
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Old October 12, 2005, 10:17 AM   #21
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Quote:
take extra toilet paper
mountain $$

a good investment is a water purifier pump, that way you always have access to potable water.

also a good fixed blade knife
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Old October 12, 2005, 03:10 PM   #22
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Wow, Elk, for your first hunt? You are one seriously lucky guy...

Always good to bring a first aid kit, some waterproof matches, some rope, a good knife, a compass (or even better a GPS with extra batteries) and know how to use all - none of these are too heavy, and if you need them you'll thank god you have them.

Definitely follow the advice of make yourself useful and not to talk about things you do not know - be respectful and humble and helpful, that always guarantees acceptance, unless they are a bunch of jerks.

And Enjoy!
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Old October 12, 2005, 09:28 PM   #23
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redhawk41 I looked up the the filter in Cabella's and they do say it filters giardia. At 0.3 micons it would also get most bacteria. But here is the catch. Polio, hepatitis and a host of other nasty viruses are filterable, which means they will pass through a submicron filter. (Polio is really really small, BTW, and just because you got the shots in 1952 doesn't mean you're still immune.) So don't forget the iodine tabs or Chlorox to reduce the virus loading in your filtered water. I would suspect that if somebody is drinking snow melt they could forgoe the filtration and just iodinize or chlorinate the water.
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Old October 12, 2005, 10:59 PM   #24
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Quote:
I would suspect that if somebody is drinking snow melt they could forgoe the filtration and just iodinize or chlorinate the water.
Thats what my hunting partner does when he goes moose hunting since there isnt any "river water" that isnt under ice at that time of year

Dimitri
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Old October 13, 2005, 09:50 AM   #25
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Here are some more tips I thought of last night:

1. Patience! When you see an elk, don't raise the gun and fire right away ("elk fever"). Wait for that broad-side shot at a reasonable range. 200 yards or less is best, and 100 yards or less is better. Don't try to make a head shot or other such foolishness. Never shoot an animal in the ass. Try and wait and take a shot at a standing (non-moving) animal. If it is walking, you can also try the shot. Shooting at a running animal will probably result in a miss or, (even worse) a wounded animal.

2. The more orange you wear, the better. There are a lot of idiots out there that will shoot at darn near anything (noise, movement behind trees, etc.). Don't rely on being on private land to ensure your safety from poachers. They can (and probably will) be sneaking around that private land to poach.

3. Beware of your own movement. The two that I have to watch for are hand movement and shifting around while standing. Snot running down your nose (or an itch, etc.)? Let it run/itch! If you are going to still hunt (which is best for a beginner), it is probably best to sit so your legs don't get tired and you don't have to shift from one leg to another like you would if you were standing.

4. If you shoot an animal which runs away, STOP. Don't start tracking it right away. Mark the spot in the terrain where it ran off, and wait at least 20 minutes (which will seem like an eternity). Let it run a little and (hopefully) fall down, stiffen up, and die. If you start after it right away, it will realize you're after it, and it may run for miles. And you'll have the exhausting experience of trying to track an animal for miles.

5. If you shoot an animal which drops, STOP. Reload, reaquire it in the scope, and be ready to shoot again. Sometimes they will drop, and then get up to walk/run away. Wait at least 10 minutes, and then walk up to it.

6. If you wound it, you are obligated to try and find it. Once again, choose your shot carefully. Too far away? Then don't shoot! There is nothing worse than wounding an animal and not being able to find it (I've learned this the hard way). And you never know, if you don't take that poor shot, it might wander back to present a better shot (or others may be around that you just have not seen yet). The hardest part of hunting (for me, anyway) is not making a reasonable shot -- its passing up on a bad shot.

7. You're a beginner, so you are going to have to have one of the more experienced hunters gut and quarter the animal for you. Watch carefully so you can do it yourself (under supervision) the next time.

8. If you get an animal, be happy about it and tell the other hunters with you about the shot. But don't over-do it, because there are sure to be some in your group who don't get an animal, and there is nothing worse than someone who constantly talks about how well he did when you didn't even see an animal.

9. The other hunters who are taking you are doing you a favor. Be nice and make sure and buy them lunch, pitch in for gas, etc. They will notice this (or the lack of it!).

10. Avoid confrontations with poachers and/or other hunters. I don't care how rude they are, or how right you are. It ain't worth having an argument with someone who is armed. And if they are a local, you will really have problems. A Sheriff will almost always side with a local, especially when the Sheriff notices that you have a rifle and that revolver (which I've already commented about ).

Hope these tips help, and have a great time!!!
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