View Full Version : Hunting Noob

April 4, 2006, 06:49 PM
I hope you guys can help. I've wanted to go hunting (mostly deer) for quite a while now, but no one in my family hunts, as do none of my freinds (though a few have expressed interest). My father in law used to hunt, but I got divorced before ever being able to go. I love venison and elk meat, and would love the chance to take some of my own.

Equipment isn't the problem (I have three rifles that could probably take medium sized game, and two of those probably wouldn't be bad for large/semi-dangerous game).

How does one get into the sport? I live in Southern CA and have no idea where to start.


April 4, 2006, 07:35 PM
Join a gun club, meet some people who you would trust to stand behind you with loaded guns, see how many of them you could trust to not steal all your toys, how many of them you could stand to be cooped up in a tent with for 3 days, who like the same kinds of stuff you do, etc., and then plan a hunt. There is nothing that says you have to be shown how, but it sure helps.

April 4, 2006, 07:47 PM
Thats a good suggestion. I'm sure it will be easy to find a local hunting buddy that way. Also go pick up a california hunting regulation pamphlet 2006. In Wa they are free at sporting goods stores and gun shops. If I can give you some advise read it thouroughly. I started hunting on my own years back and the first time out by myself I took a spike buck where I wasnt supposed to and got fined big time. Of course at the time I didnt know I was doing anything wrong. But the game warden was quick to let me know :mad: .Here they have the state split up into game management units. Some are 3 point or better a couple are any deer etc. But if youre up in the woods all day you could pass over the invisible boundary and not know it. So anyway I recommend really learning the hunting rules of your area. That is great you are interested in hunting. It is a great time. :)

April 4, 2006, 11:26 PM
Thanks for the advice gentlemen. I think I'll start with the regs and go from there.

Tough luck on what was probably an exciting shot, greasemonkey. I've heard stories before where game wardens were quick to point out a boundary that consists of nothing more than the third-tree-from-the-right, etc.

Wild Bill Bucks
April 6, 2006, 03:34 PM
From what I hear, if you live in southern California and you want to hunt, the best place to start would be Oklahoma.:D
I'll bet the hunting regulation manuel looks like a novel.

I was in Bakersfield during deer season in 1986 and once was enough for me.

Good luck out there, it is a fun sport. The guys are right, a gun club would be your best bet.

Death from Afar
April 6, 2006, 03:39 PM
Most hunters once they get to know you are always happy to take a newbie along. If you can afford it, why not consider going out with a guide> That way - if the guides any good- you will start right on the right foot, and learn a great deal.

April 6, 2006, 03:46 PM
Move to Texas.

Ranger Al
April 6, 2006, 11:30 PM
You need to go to your local sporting goods shop and find out where you could attend "Hunter Safty class". When I was living in Southern california (25+ years ago) my dad was taking a class at a gun range somewhere around Riverside. The people there are all into hunting. Hey, if you don't mine the drive. I'll let you hang out with me. I mostly hunt around Yosemite National Park (not inside the park) but the one legal buck leave the park line. He is a keeper. Last year I baged a 6X5 muley (is that the right spelling?)!

I hunt both upland birds (pheasant, quail, dove, and if I am lucky turkey), grey squirell, and of course deer and if I am lucky bear. I want to do some pig hunting as well but just have not find a place for it yet.

Good luck and welcome to the sport!


April 7, 2006, 12:39 AM
a lot of states require hunter's safety. if you can, take it. it's mostly redundant. just read a lot. i was in your same boat - non-hunting family, kind of wanted to, my old girlfriend's brother in law took me for pheasants the first time, since i've gone for deer, turkey and small stuff but it's all been on my own. there are books and videos, lots of magazines, it gets kind of dull because the same stuff gets repeated so much. gear can be expensive, but public land is usually pretty good in my experience and you can find places without too much pressure if you do your homework and are willing to do some driving. get to know some of the state forests where you're at, particularly ones that do quality deer management or similar programs. i hunt deer in wisconsin but took a turkey just this afternoon in southern illinois, and based on some of the sheds i've found in the woods down there and what i've seen just during springtime i'm tempted to hunt deer down there as well. my thrust is, it can be done alone - whether or not you're comfortable with that is up to you. it's not difficult at all, just takes research and leg work. there's a million pointers i could give having come from the same perspective, but after a couple days in the woods i could use a good night's sleep before i start trying to give out intelligence i can't find right now. one thing i will say, rifles are great and i'd never advocate against them, but shotguns are really the sportsman's special. i used the rifle for one deer in wisconsin last season, the shotguns come into the field so much more.