View Full Version : Should I or shouldn't I?

January 31, 2000, 03:47 PM
Well, now that I have a coupla good hunting rifles (an Enfield .303 and a Marlin .45-70), I'm thinking I should probably put them to use.

Problem is, I have *no* hunting experience. Not even squirrels or crows. I tend to prefer the company of animals to that of humans, and I'm more disturbed by animal death than human (OK, so I'm a sick misanthropic bastard :)).

The obstacles I see are thusly:
1) Gaining experience, and
2) Overcoming my namby-pamby queasiness about Killing Poor Innocent Woodland Creatures.

There's also the hunting license, with its idiotic SSN requirement, but that's a whole 'nother peeve.

I'd like to start, I think, with deer. Fortunately the season in CO doesn't start for several months, so I have time to study, prepare, and annoy the hell out of you guys.

Any hints/tips/boots to the head will be most welcome.

"If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance."
-- Samuel Johnson

January 31, 2000, 06:48 PM
Hey, I'm planning on getting into some hunting soon, too. I don't think I've quite the queasiness, but the appropriate lack of experience.

I was thinking of starting on rabbit, coyote, or prarie dog, then going for a deer or antelope (elk, maybe?) later on. What I really want to learn is all the other bits - how to clean the kill, etc.

Maybe we can convince Dr. Rob to take us under his wing on a trip or two? Perhaps a trade can be arranged.

Art Eatman
January 31, 2000, 10:03 PM
Unless you're a dedicated shotgunner on crows, don't go buying a bunch of camo clothing. Khaki or brown will do just fine, thank you, and you can wear those around Boulder without the non-SOF types looking at you all cross-eyed...And then again...

As for shooting anything, think "Food!" We all learned the hard way how to gut, skin and disassemble critters. Assuming you can refrain from slicing your fingers, the worst thing that happens is that you get your hands dirty, which is really why you carry a canteen. And a fanny pack with "stuff" like paper towels, john-paper and a can of sardines. Crackers, trail-mix...Space blanket, cigarette lighter...

Ya gotta do some walking in the high-country boonies to know how to walk in the...How to avoid making a racket in the brush, how to not kick rocks, all that stuff. Hope you already know.

Take whatever light-bullet loads you have for your Enfield, buy a rabbit-squaller, and go into eastern Colorado ranching areas and ask permission to hunt coyotes. Explain you're a beginner. After the rancher quits laughing, and checks that you know a coyote from a cow or sheep, he'll probably say OK.

With a squaller, make noises like you THINK a hurt rabbit would. That's usually good enough, unless the country is much-hunted.

Rationalize: You are saving untold generations of lambs and sheep, quail and pheasants, from that evil predator: Don Wiley Coyote, the Yodel Dog. You da baddest predator in his valley!

And buy Dr. Rob a fair amount of beer to take you to the "good places" in the high country to walk around and learn what deer do. What elk do.

Check with your state wildlife folks for whatever written info they might have.

Find back issues of the various huntin' mags; there are numerous "how to" articles about Rocky Mountain hunting. (Most of them have more money for gear than you or I, probably. Don't sweat it.)

:), Art

January 31, 2000, 11:09 PM
Go rent the "When Animals Attack" series of videos. Watch them over and over and over...if you don't get so sick animals that you actually WANT to kill them, at least you'll know that they ARE out to get you! :o

That's why we hunt deer from tree stands :) they are out to get us! You have to shoot them just so you can climb down and make it to your vehicle. :rolleyes: Even then, they will dive in front of your truck and try to make you get out to see if they survived the crash. DON'T DO IT! It's a trick! :mad: NEVER hunt deer with anything less than .458 magnum.

And if you think deer are bad, what about QUAIL? They go right for the eyes! Sometimes they try to trick the dogs into running after them and crossing major roadways. :eek: THEY ARE EVIL! A 10 guage loaded with no. 3 buck should take care of them.

I can't even talk about squirrels - I would have nightmares for weeks! It's enough to say that my trusty 7mm magnum squirrel gun is always ready!

Good luck - it's a jungle out there... :D


Paul B.
February 1, 2000, 12:51 AM
Coinneach. I think I got this right. Go to (www.hunting.net.deer/afterkill/) They have some detail instructions on gralloching (cleaning)your kill.
BTW. My son-in-law ans I may try for tags in CO. You'd be more than welcome to join us if we draw. :)
Paul B.

February 1, 2000, 01:50 AM
i can still see they eyes of the first deer i shot. i was 16 and dropped her with one shot with a 20 gauge slug. i knew i had done something that conected me to the planet. We all live here, we require food. The hunt makes us realize where we are.


February 1, 2000, 09:30 AM
First question might be "why do you want to hunt?" Zip flame here - I've hunted for 40+ years, started way early.

& if you like animals rather than humans, the proper camo might be that "urban stuff"
you know, the chrome grill overspersed with z-brick. ;) The well-dressed city man.

If you'd like, there's still all of Feb to do some rabbits in the woods. Decent practise for walking quietly, spotting game (gotta se it first & that's not so easy for beginners to pick up on), & bullet placement with a rifle. Spot & stalk w/.22 is a pretty good primer & we got extra .22s

We usually hunt'em not too far west of the Springs (out by Wilkerson) so that wouldn't be too far a drive for you.

Open offer. Even if not for rabbits any time soon, we can still do a meet, woods walk & stump plinkin's pretty fun & helps develop some skills.

February 1, 2000, 01:16 PM
First question might be "why do you want to hunt?"

This answer may sound flippant, but I think it's because I haven't done it, and I enjoy new experiences. Maybe not much of a reason to go out stalking Thumper and Wile E. :)

I visited www.huntcolorado.org (http://www.huntcolorado.org) (I think that's the URL) last night and got some good info, like Yodel Dogs (thanks, Art :)) being open all year, as well as dates for local hunter safety courses.

Alan, I've a .22 and a few thousand cartridges. I'm up for wabbits any time. :)

"If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance."
-- Samuel Johnson

February 1, 2000, 01:34 PM
Wow nice to see my name mentioned..

So what would you like to know??

Colorado's big game season has been split into 4 moddules this year with an early elk only season and the traditional "third season" is now in mid-november can you say SNOW?

Coyotes are in season now.. and YES you do have to possess a small game license to hunt, which means a hunter safety card.

I'd be more than willing to share my experiences and advice with anyone in or out of Colorado. I MIGHT even tell you about a good place or two to hunt.

Getting started:

Decinding WHAT you want to hunt comes first, followed by WHERE you'd like to do it. Coinneach I know some country where you should bring BOTH rifles to camp.. some days you'll bust brush and on other days you'll be in open woods and meadows.

You might also consider trying for an antelope tag... in Colorado or Wyoming.

there is obviously MORE to this subject than I can cover in one posting.. so if you'd like feel free to drop me an e-mail, or buy me a beer and I'll bring you a shopping list.

I'm planning on attending the rally at the Gov's Mansion Thursday night (Feb 3) so I'll be out on the town.. maybe a beer after??

Elk hunting in the high country is tough work and being in reasonable physical shape is important, followed closely by a good sleeping bag, excellent boots and warm clothing arranged in layers.. after you've squared away your survival gear THEN start worrying about rifles and cartridges.


I gotta get back to the grind.. so like I said, E-mail me if you have any questions/concerns/ or would just like more info.

BTW I'm NOT a licensed outfitter or anything.. just a guy who thinks a walk in the woods is made better with a rifle in your hands.


February 2, 2000, 01:06 PM
Oh oh ... "beers after" ... could be the start of something great. The First Annual CO TFL meeting. :)

February 2, 2000, 04:51 PM
well we have been discussing a colorado get together.. and Governer's Park is also a tavern on logan and 7th.

See you guys thursday.


February 2, 2000, 06:33 PM
Governor's Park tavern? I get enough socialist crap at work, thank you!

Streets of London, now there's a pub!

Looking forward to Thursday, as much for the company as the gathering itself...

February 2, 2000, 07:46 PM
I'll be easy to spot. I'll be the one in handcuffs standing next to the cop with the bullhorn stuck up his ..... ;)

February 2, 2000, 10:23 PM
& re the query "why do you want to hunt?" ... was only curious as to motivations. "'Cause I want to." is plenty good reason.

Hunting (can)develop(s) a huge skill-set which will serve you faithfully in years to come in many aspects of your life, & not the least of which - respect for the critters.

Especially for big game, you'll spend many a day never seeing a single legal critter. But, you'll see the woods alive with the various interplay of all life - sniff, I wax whimsical .... guess it was that job in Boulder ;)

Seriously, I wish more people would get into it & not the "tramp thru the woods w/da gun" mentality. It can be a very enlightening experience. The best of which is (can be) a good dose of humility. Average success rate for big game in CO runs about <20% in most areas.

February 3, 2000, 11:15 AM
Well I know for a fact that Scottie from Scottie's guns hangs at streets of london... not much in the way of decor but thursday is british invasion mixed my my pal james Sharpe, and they have hard cider and guinness on tap...

only reason to mention gov's park was that its RIGHT there and people unfamiliar with Denver wouldn't get stuck driving all over the Hill to find a meeting place..
I'm still open to suggestions,

See you all tonight.


February 3, 2000, 01:11 PM
Yeah, good old Scottie - smart enough to get off the island before the limeys lost their rights. He's a lifetime NRA member and wears his NRA "gentleman's jacket" on formal occasions.

See you tonight!

February 3, 2000, 01:30 PM
Go for it, Coinneach! I think dZ said it best.

You haven't mentioned whether or not you like the taste of game- if you haven't had a good venison roast or some antelope chili you might try it first, make sure you like it. If you don't, any game you get and process or have processed can be donated. I personally can't understand people who don't care for game, but I guess it takes all kinds.

February 3, 2000, 02:51 PM
ckurts, I've had venison and like it. I'm actually pretty open-minded about what I shove into my face. :)

Can't wait for tonight, both the rally and the after-action debrief. Look for the weird bald guy in the t-shirt that says "Yeah, I'm a GEEK and I know it!"

"If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance."
-- Samuel Johnson

February 3, 2000, 03:51 PM
Coin, if you're wearing a T-shirt tonight, I'll be lookin' for the guy shiverin' his butt off! ;-)

February 4, 2000, 07:18 PM

February 7, 2000, 05:07 PM

"There's also the hunting license, with its idiotic SSN requirement"

Well, actually if you live in Colorado and you were born after 1949, then you will need to get a Hunter Safety card, before anyone will sell you any hunting licence (SSN or not). Call CDOW for classes in you area.

It might be best also to get you Hunter Safety card before April 4th. Why April 4th you say? Because that is when applications for limited big game licenses have to be mailed in to CDOW. Why do I want to apply for a limited big game license you say? Well, because all deer licenses are limited (no over the counter purchases) and you won't get one unless you apply. Second of all, you can gain preference points, to hunt really good areas, if you apply. Around March 1st is when the hunting brochures come out - get one for deer and elk - it will all be made kinda clear.

In the mean time take your Hunter Safety card and get a Small Game license, and go out and bag some small forest creatures (like rabbits - maybe use a .22 for them instead of a 45-70) and see how ya do.

Good Luck - Be Safe - JohnDog

February 7, 2000, 05:25 PM
so Coinneach i await discourse over the lengthy recommended gear lists i gave you any questions??

Any disagreements?

Anything on there that makes no sense or you don't know where to get?/

Drop me an e-mail or call me up.


As to WHY i hunt.. it started with a great love for the outdoors fostered in the scouts, jack london and hemmingway stories followed by my dad taking it back up. It was a way to spend time with the old man and learn something "important" (not just tracking and survival) but i learned a lot of responsibilty, patience and wonder by being in the woods with a rifle.

I once saw a "that's Jake" cartoon where jake is walking through a field with a shotgun and two dogs.. the caption read "heck no I ain't Huntin' Im just carrying a gun to make the dogs feel important" Lol i HAD a dog like that once. ;)

But really there is much more to it than the thrill of the stalk, there's getting up at 0 dark thirty and humping it all day only to come back to camp with reports of what you did and didn't see.. and smiling secretly as you pass on the knowledge.

[This message has been edited by Dr.Rob (edited February 07, 2000).]

February 7, 2000, 06:00 PM
JohnDog, I've signed up for the course in town. This month is closed, but next month is still open (first Friday).

Oh, BTW, wouldn't a .45-70 result in a more humane kill than a .22LR? ;)

Rob, I've looked over the lists you gave me, and they're self-explanatory. I already have most of the gear, and can get the rest easily.

Hmmm... maybe the next TFL-CO thing should be a hunt? :)

"If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance."
-- Samuel Johnson

February 8, 2000, 12:25 PM
LOL Coinneach!

Yes - a .45-70 will result in a more "Humane" kill than a .22lr. But since you want to experience hunting, maybe you would like to enjoy the fruits of your labor! Them little bunnies can be mighty tasty - if you can find enough of them to cook!!! Save them big bullets for something more substantial (save your shoulder a bit of pounding too)

Have Fun - JohnDog

February 8, 2000, 01:14 PM
Of course.. there was some discussion about wascawy wabbbits as i recall. Let me know.


February 8, 2000, 01:23 PM
Johndog, my Marlin is a sweetie. Recoil is minimal and I can bench it all day long. But you're right, a .22 would be a bit less... traumatic, shall we say, to the bunnies. ;)

"If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance."
-- Samuel Johnson

February 8, 2000, 02:51 PM
true bunny hunt story

My brother and i were out with dad & the Britneys hunting pheasants. While skirting a fence line we chased out a cottontail. It ran 30 feet and froze in a bush in plain sight. We stalked up on him and my brother took aim with his 20 gauge. Then we backed up, and backed up again. Satisfied at our range, my brother fired. Boom! There was hardly enough left of mr. rabbit to hang for the crows!


"walk softly and carry a big stick, one that goes bang in .308 is fine"

February 13, 2000, 01:59 AM
dZ's comment, "the hunt makes us realize where we are" nails it. We are no more human and no more in touch with nature than when we are hunting.

Could I suggest squirrel hunting as a first endeavor? I consider it to be the true essence of hunting; you have to either learn to stalk, or learn to be very still and quiet; the marksmanship issues are comparable to a typical deer hunt; and as I like to say, it's difficult enough to present a challenge, but easy enough to hold your interest.

Most importantly, find some friendly folks to take you hunting--whatever the species--and you will have fun, and understand...