View Full Version : First time deer hunting, I know NOTHING help?

September 16, 2009, 01:44 PM
Ok fellas....me and my friend found someone who will let us hunt on their property. In NJ you can only use a muzzle loader or a shotgun, I dont have a muzzle loader but I do have a smoothbore shotgun. Should I spend the cash and get a scope mount and cylinder bore choke for it...or Should I just buy a muzzle loader (I have been wanting one!)

Also, I know absolutely NOTHING about deer hunting. I know some people put apples out like a week b4 so they come in, I know where there vitals are and that you should shoot them right above and behind there front shoulder, and I know that they are DELISH! I have some camo pants, boots, warm thermals, and my duck hunting gear....Maybe I can wear my duck hunting jacket....I dont know what should I wear and how do I shoot this deer? Do I scout the land? Do I bait it? Do I use calls...how about scent...Should I be in a tree, in a hole, lol

Thanks guys Im REALLY excited about doing this ....if you guys can help I will go on the NJ website and apply for a permit right now !!!


September 16, 2009, 01:54 PM
find a good game trail near some water if possable high spot sit and
wieght if the wind is right always play into the wind
walk around the property and find the clearings breaks edges creeks
tree rubbs learn by slow observation.

September 16, 2009, 01:58 PM
First of all, you have had hunter's ed. yes? I'm assuming NJ requires it, most states do these days.

How much time do you have before deer season comes in? It may be a little late in the game to get into a completely different set of shooting equipment (muzzleloader). If you've got the time between now and then to dedicate some range time to shooting it and the study time to learning the ins and outs of safe muzzleloading then go for it. If not, stick with the shotgun.

I'd not bother with a scope on a smoothbore gun. If you are buying a rifled barrel and shooting sabots at 100 yds plus then by all means invest in some optics. Otherwise it's a waste IMO. Pick up an open sighted smoothbore slug barrel for your gun and be done with it.

If you can, get someone to help you scout the area you'll be hunting. Look for border zones between fields/woods. Look for fencelines or other areas where deer "funnel" through. Set up a tree stand within shooting distance of that funnel on the downwind side. Camo is nice, but not completely necessary. Scent products are over-rated.

Learn how to properly field dress an animal ahead of time. Don't wait until you have one laying on the ground decaying to figure that part out :D.

September 16, 2009, 02:00 PM
Private property or not I suggest wearing a LOT of hunter Orange...

Deer are color blind and you will not be any more visible to them in orange as cammo (If the orange is patterned and broken up of course). For your sake please wear it.

Muzzle loader of .50 cal will be perfect, but you gotta know how to load it and shoot it safely.

The Smooth bore is your easiest bet for now, as all you need are rifled slugs and a target plate to test it out on and get used to slug shooting.

Then you need a license, and you need to learn how to field dress the animal, you need to be able to tell a Buck form a Doe... But that's just common sense.

Good luck!

Your next questions should be more specific...

September 16, 2009, 02:02 PM
Should I spend the cash and get a scope mount and cylinder bore choke for it...
I don't want a scope on a shotgun... what choke tube is in your shotgun right now? MOD is often preferred for slugs. CYL bore is likely going to produce slightly larger groups. I suggest just buying some non-sabot slugs (15-50) and practice to get softball to 6 inch groups at worst and you will be fine.

September 16, 2009, 02:09 PM
I have a improved choke on my gun, the end measures .705....It says IM on it but Its so small I consider it a full : /

I have my license. I am reading up, there is a deer season, and a PERMIT deer season. I assume I dont need a permit if Im hunting the deer season. Hmmmm

Hunter orange, I will need that i dont own a spec of it. Muzzle loader is a totally dif. season...you guys think I should but a BBL with open sights for the 870 and tear it up with that?

So I SHOULD scope out the land...look for scratchings on the trees fron antlers, droppings, paths that they walk, and "funnels" in the trees where there is likely to be a high concentrate of deer?

September 16, 2009, 02:24 PM
Hunter orange, I will need that i dont own a spec of it.
DON'T SKIMP!!!! In florida we can remove our orange on the stand or in the blind but I keep the hat on ALL THE TIME! Vest and hat is my minimum when walking plus I buy a blaze orange bandanna and hang it from my back pocket to grab and wave if I feel it is needed.

I shoot 65 yards no sweat with a single bead 18.5 inch cyl. barrel. My groups may tighten a bit with tighter choke but no threads. Practice with what you got and see if you can do the job... Why waste money if you are good enough already;)

September 16, 2009, 02:32 PM
So should I just go buy some slugs, put out a target and see if I can toss em on paper? I thin NJ has a law where a slugged shotgun needs to have optics or sights of some sort..I only have a bead : /

September 16, 2009, 02:38 PM
Yeah I forgot that some states have that silly law. Shame when they don't require a guy to prove proficiency with sights or optics. In that case I would guess the new barrel is required, but unless you want to spend 2 or 3 bucks per shot, stick with the smooth bore to utilize the less costly rifled type slugs...

September 16, 2009, 02:49 PM
I found out, I called them

Buckshot-no sights required....Is buckshot good?

Slugs-irons or scope needed.

September 16, 2009, 03:01 PM
35 yards and less is my preference with 00 and possibly 45 or so with 000 buck.
Buck has put plenty of deer on ice over the centuries...:D
Some folks may pipe up professing longer viable yards, I am kind of conservative on my shots...

Don Gwinn
September 16, 2009, 03:09 PM
Hoo boy. The best advice you're going to get is this:

Find someone who has experience and who you trust, and ask him/her to help you out. You would benefit most from someone who could walk you through it and preferably at least visit your hunting area with you (where I live, scouting before deer season can often be a good excuse for a squirrel hunt.)

Orange is not optional in most places, and some states require a minimum amount of unbroken, unpatterned, solid orange (like my home state of Illinois.) I have to wear 400 square inches of solid blaze orange plus a solid blaze orange hat, even on private property. I'd be surprised if New Jersey didn't require something similar, but you never know.

If it were me, I wouldn't want to put my trust in buckshot, but that's illegal here anyway. Slugs will give you more range even if you didn't have front and rear sights, and it sounds like you'll have to. My dad and my grandpa both use red-dot sights now, but I still use a fiber-optic front. They all work, but there's no doubt the red-dot takes some distractions out of it. Personally, though, I wouldn't buy a lot of new equipment the first year you try this. I'd get the slug barrel with rifle-style sights. It'll work, and if it does give you trouble you'll know that next time.

The style of hunting makes a difference, too. I hunt in a farmer's timber where we spend most of the day in tree stands, so here's what I bring into the woods:

Sharpie for signing tags and taking notes
Shotgun and ammo (people do forget sometimes)
Knife/small hatchet/rubber gloves for field dressing.
Rope (usually on my stand already--lets me haul my gun up unloaded for safety, and sometimes needed for dragging out deer)
Insulated coveralls, gloves, orange ball cap, orange stocking cap, orange sweatshirt.
Crackers, jerky, water.
Scent (not horribly important, actually, depending on how hot and sweaty you get hiking in)
Phone (there's cell reception where I hunt--YMMV)
First aid kit--just bandages, antibiotics, tape, Tylenol, etc.)

Quite honestly, I usually have a book, too, because there are days when I've filled my tags and my companions haven't. If they're in their stands, there's nothing much for me to do, and by that time of day it's pretty comfortable up a tree with a good book.

Plan on leaving your vehicle in time to walk in and be settled in your area at least half an hour before light--an hour is better because there will be inevitable delays. Remember that the best times of day during the rut are often the first hour and last hour of daylight, so don't miss them. And if you've had a long day of nothing, and you're getting tempted to get an early start to the car so you don't have to walk in the dark, I don't recommend it. You can sit (or walk) and see nothing all day, only to find deer moving in the last 15 minutes of legal shooting light.

That reminds me--know when it's legal to shoot in your area. Here there are times when you can see deer (especially with fiber-optic sights/red dots) but it's illegal to shoot because of the light. We check the almanac for the official sunrise and sunset times, since the legal shooting hours are based on those times--NOT what the light looks like where you are.

Don Gwinn
September 16, 2009, 03:16 PM
One more thing:
Field dressing a deer is a lot more taxing and disgusting than most people make out, but when you have one on the ground it will look impossible. It's not. It's actually no big deal, especially if you've butchered animals before. There will be blood and gore, especially if you're as clumsy as me and you make as big a mess as I do. Remember that there are no beauty prizes in field dressing. As long as:

All internal organs from the windpipe to the anus are out of the deer, and
The scent pads on the legs are removed, and
You avoid putting feces or urine on the meat, and
The body is opened up to cool air so the meat can cool,

You did it right. You might be covered in blood and you might have had to do everything three times and then wipe the stupid thing out with leaves or even dunk it in a creek . . . . but the meat will be preserved as long as you get it out of the field and cooled down, and that's all that matters.

One more thing--if the deer looks like it was ill, or has an infected wound, best to let it go. You'll have to check your state laws about whether you can go on to tag a different deer after shooting one that's unsuitable for health reasons--in Illinois, you shot it, so you tag it, even if you're not going to use the meat.

September 16, 2009, 03:29 PM
Your camo isn't THAT important. Wear PLENTY orange, with a black pattern (if possible) to help break up Your profile, but Deer can see blue, as in blue jeans. Another precaution worth mentioning, not to mention fairly cheap, is UV Killer "Laundry Detergent", and Scent Killer "Laundry Detergent".

Regular laundry soaps have UV Brighteners, which deer can see. Wash all Your clothing (including socks, and everything else) in the Scent Killer first (if You decide to use it) then wash Your outer clothing in the UV Killer. All this sure beats spending Hundreds of dollars on Scent Blocking clothing.

But yes, Your Duck Hunting Camo will suffice. If You're looking to purchase new camo, I use God's Country Late Season. It's lighter than most camo patterns. An Early Season is also available, which has a few green leaves, but deer and other animals aren't green, and they're hard to see, especially in the woods.

Try to refrain from much coffee before a hunt, because deer will pick up the scent of what we all know follows coffee. Bring along a few small bottles of water and some food. I prefer granola bars. Granola bars pack small and light and provide steady carbs/energy. Cascadian Farm Organic Granola Bars are the very best, and cost about $3.50 for a box of 6.

Lastly, granola bars could/maybe/possibly have You toting an all natural Deer Grunt Call...

September 16, 2009, 03:37 PM
have You toting an all natural Deer Grunt Call...
But deer rarely have breath that smells like that:eek::barf::D

September 17, 2009, 12:54 PM
Excellent...Just like my goose hunting thread I will look into the area and advise, i will take ALOT of pix for you guys : )