View Full Version : new hunter needs help

December 29, 2011, 05:51 PM
hello all!

i have been shooting for about a year now and now i want to look into hunting. I have literally zero experience with hunting. I honestly dont know if i'll even like it but i want to try and see.

I don't have anyone to take me as none of my friends hunt and my family is against all things hunting beyond fishing. i will of course take a hunting safety class and get a hunting license.

so onto my problem. i live in pensacola Florida. inner pensacola to be precise. I need to know where i can go hunting or if there are any groups in my area that can help me get started. i know that im kinda grabbing at threads here but i really don't know where to start.

thanks for any help!!

December 29, 2011, 05:58 PM
Go get yourself a book entitled "The Old Man & The Boy" by Robert Ruork. It's about a man who teaches his grandson to hunt and fish in the South. It'll give you some ideas.

Besides that, I would contact Florida's Fish & Game Department (or whatever they call it there), and they can usually explain to you what kind of options you have for hunting in your area. You may find that there's more opportunities in the Panhandle to the east of you, in the more rural sections where there's National Forests.

But it seems like there should be some good duck, deer, and bear hunting in your area. Good luck!

Rich Mc
December 29, 2011, 06:24 PM
You don't say how old you are....

Just remember that the old Man & the Boy is fiction and not truth. It covers some of the basics but in a colorful, entertaining manner. I was shocked when he wrote about calling in a strutting tom for at Thanksgiving time. Lost all respect for Ruark and then remembered that he was just like all the other writers of the day and now-a-days - full-of-it and trying to make a living while entertaining you.

Your best bet is to find a local shooting/hunting club. Look into United Waterfowlers - Florida. It is a great group and maybe someone up there will take you.

There is also a deer farm near Jay, FL - I was just up there for some venison. For $100 you can go and see if you like shooting a deer. It is not a "hunt" as many people envision it, it would be shooting a deer.

December 29, 2011, 07:50 PM
I am 22. i have lived in this area my entire life but just fired a gun for the first time back in January after I turned 21. ill call the fwc and see what public lands there are.

thanks for the help!

December 29, 2011, 08:41 PM
Contact your local NWTF chapter. The generally have a mentoring program for new hunters.

December 30, 2011, 09:15 AM
For $100 you can go and see if you like shooting a deer. It is not a "hunt" as many people envision it, it would be shooting a deer.
Oh, but I wish there was a convenient Barf button on here for that statement!
I am a hunter and the kill has never been the fulfillment of the hunt. One can hunt for years and be totally fulfilled with the chase (http://www.nashwauk.net/LastHunt.html).
From my memory of "The Old Man and the Boy" there wasn't so much teaching the boy, but sticking the shot gun in his hands and a pocket full of loads @ 8 years old, but that was then and today we do not allow such methods.
As for beginning, your planning on taking a firearms Safety, Hunters Education course is the first and logical step but don't be over dependent on partnering up with someone as that could turn into a sour experience as it did once for me but could also be a truly wonderful friendship that could last a lifetime too.
Small game hunts can be a good place to start and are much less expensive to get set up in and practicing at a trap/skeet range will get you into contact with other hunters/prospective hunters as can attending a church. And some hunters never pursue big game

December 30, 2011, 11:32 AM
Haha, I'm not saying the "Old Man & The Boy" is a perfect book. I said it will give you some ideas.

By that I just mean it will give you a taste for what hunting different species is like, and you'll learn some etiquette in the woods - such as, don't shoot the whole covey, or you won't have any quail the next year.

~ Happy Hunting ~

December 30, 2011, 02:12 PM
Yes I do now remember some of those wonderful points of ethics from the book.:)
Its interesting what sticks in the mind after so many years! what was that Slop they were wading in in another one of his books??:eek:
2 days ago I was at an old friends place and he is restoring a Model T and I thought of that old book then.:)

December 30, 2011, 04:23 PM
Good For you Kealil, I could not imagine growing up in a family that did not hunt. All of the posts above have a lot of good points. I hope hunting works out for you, and is enjoyable for you as it has been for me. Good luck.

December 31, 2011, 09:40 AM
I sent you a PM...

But there are many WMA's in thw wetern p-handle. Eglin AFB WMA is MASSIVE at nearly half a million acres. Blackwater is big and not far either.

If get your Eglin pass, Recreational is 12 dollars and hunting is around 50 bucks, You can tag along with me. You only need the rec. pass to tag along but you will need the blaze orange vest and cap of course...

At least you will know if you like the woods work part of the hunt even if I do not kill anything.


December 31, 2011, 11:47 AM
you gotta like the "woods part" or you won't hunt for long.
I'd recommend starting with small game with higher odds of success than big game. Look up some squirrel recipes and get a nice .22
I started my son that way and up here in the NE and avoided the nastiest weather - didn't want it to become a test of survival.
Just have fun- Good Luck!

December 31, 2011, 12:01 PM
I am currently trying to propagate success on some thick nasty creek bottoms... Still ain't found the elusive hog magnet swamp or beaver pond I seek. Won't run the dogs in this spot as it is too near a highway.

But I also have full on "red roads" and nice "two tracks" to walk for miles and ever-thing in between...