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Old May 11, 2019, 12:40 PM   #26
Art Eatman
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Soft soles are a must for quiet walking.

I look down briefly to see where my next few steps will be, looking for sticks or rolling rocks. Then, I move forward for those three or four steps, looking around for critters.

Another part of it is to try to move smoothly, without being jerky. It takes practice. Flow, don't march.

If you don't have a lot of low-growing cactus, high-top moccasins are great. Otherwise, crepe-sole boots like Russell Birdhunters or RedWing Twenty-mile are very good.

I hunted "nasty country" for some forty years. Mesquite, catclaw acacia, multitudes of varieties of cactus. I learned to deal with it. IMO, the Chihuahuan Desert is meaner than the Sonoran.
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Old May 11, 2019, 05:29 PM   #27
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I will definitely check it out. I did some more hiking/scouting today. WOW, are animals good at seeing you coming. Often times I wouldn't even know a bird or lizard was even there and they'd get spooked. I tried following a squirrel I saw, but he just disappeared right into the brush, never saw him again. And it might sound like I'm making this next one up, but I saw a quail go behind a bush, but when I got there, he was absolutely no where to be seen. Walking in the desert, it feels like everything there knows something that you don't.
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Old May 11, 2019, 06:18 PM   #28
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You are 100% on track with everyone of those questions.

They definitely know "something you don't", YET, but they are teaching you as much as this thread is. Just pay attention to them.
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Old May 11, 2019, 08:55 PM   #29
big al hunter
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And it might sound like I'm making this next one up, but I saw a quail go behind a bush, but when I got there, he was absolutely no where to be seen.
I am not surprised. I have had deer do the same thing to me! Seems the more you learn , the less you know.. Every trip out will teach you something new. I have been hunting since 1986, and I am still learning.
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Old May 11, 2019, 10:04 PM   #30
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Get you a compass and start learning to use it.

If you have a printer print up a little map of the areas you want to hunt and practice using that compass, the sun, the moon, the general wind directions, while you still in familiar territory.
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Old May 12, 2019, 08:54 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheScout View Post
. And it might sound like I'm making this next one up, but I saw a quail go behind a bush, but when I got there, he was absolutely no where to be seen. Walking in the desert, it feels like everything there knows something that you don't.
That's why it's called hunting. As for the quail, it may well have been there. One day my bird dog took a point on a cornstalk bent over in the snow. From two feet away, I couldn't see anything and tried to call him away. He insisted on sticking to hos point until several quail took off from in front of his nose. After they flushed he came back to the same cornstalk and struck a point again. Again there was nothing visible to me, but again a coupla more quail took off. Four time that dog went back, four times I could not see anything resembling a bird in front of him. Four times I was wrong. Game does not live long by being stupid or obvious. The more pressure from hunting and predators, the better they get a surviving and hiding. You are seeing game.....that is a good start.
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Old May 12, 2019, 12:43 PM   #32
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Case in point. The first picture is from me sitting on a stool behind a bush (for shade) while dove hunting. I had moved to this spot because I had heard foot falls of a larger animal. I searched the area as well as my senses would allow and found a shady spot to continue my dove hunt. So the first picture is without magnification and is pretty close to what I saw. Can you see anything in picture 1A? 2A is a close up of the same picture. See it now? 3A is from the other side of the brush between me and the object.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1A - Copy (2).JPG (153.3 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg 2A - Copy (2).JPG (228.4 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg 4A - Copy (2).JPG (209.4 KB, 22 views)
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Old May 12, 2019, 12:51 PM   #33
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This will sound incredibly ignorant of me but, do I need a compass? I mean, I know which way north is at all times. I was lucky scouting today, because it rained last night and the ground is soft and doesn't make much noise. It is really tough though. Even when I was trying my best, it seemed like everywhere I walked, the immediate are around me when silent, while everywhere else was still live with bird calls.

Also, I have no need for a center fire rifle quite yet, but I'm just wondering. How do you choose the right brand for a bolt action rifle? There are so many brands and they all seem to have kind of the same thing.

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Old May 12, 2019, 01:15 PM   #34
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Got late one afternoon squirrel hunt. I just had to try for that last one of the day and it got dark. I had hunted the tiny plot dozens of times and knew it like the back of my hand. No matter where I was on that plot all I had to do was walk South and I'd get to the road I was parked on. The highway was to my West as an audible sign of direction. Or so I thought. Once it got dark I might as well have been transported to Mongolia. Trails I knew disappeared and the highway noise I was sure would give me a positive West direction seemed to come from all directions. North star blocked by the canopy of trees. I knew I was less than 1/2 mile from my car (yeah back then it was a field car and not a truck).

From that day forward I don't leave the truck without a compass. Have never needed one since then either. And that was 1980 or so. GPS' have compass' and track back features. But batteries and electronics fail. Though I do use a compass to project the future wind direction from forecasts. I have never had to rely on it to get me out.
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Old May 12, 2019, 03:30 PM   #35
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Optional

Quote:
This will sound incredibly ignorant of me but, do I need a compass?
Need? No but of course it's optional. In all the years of hunting, I have gotten a little confused, a couple of times but never lost. However when I hunted in Colorado and Wyoming, I took one with me but never had to use it. ….

It's always best to get to know, your hunting neighborhood. I use to hunt a thick banked river bottom and going to my stand I tied reflective tags to branches. made it a lot easier staying on my trail at night. …..

By the way, are you afraid of the dark? I have hunting with buddies that were. Most of the time, the only thing I feared more than Yotes and Bob-Cats were skunks. Lately there have been a number of sighting of Cougars, in Iowa. ….

Be Safe !!!
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Old May 12, 2019, 05:53 PM   #36
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Ah okay. Got it. I’ll pick up a compass in case. And I’ve printed out some maps of the places I plan to hunt. Generally I do okay in the dark. There are coyotes, mountain lions and bob cats down where I live. Rattlers too. I’m not too scared of them though, maybe that’s a bad thing. Always comforts me to know I have a rifle slung in my back
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Old May 12, 2019, 06:45 PM   #37
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Just get out there and enjoy

Quote:
It's always best to get to know, your hunting neighborhood.
To elaborate a bit, just get out there and get to know your hunting grounds. There have been a number of occasions where I just go out there and "scout" an area. I just take a walking stick but it's really more like a lance. Look for "signs" like nut hulls and basically observe. Your prey is only looking for three things. What or where to eat/drink, to seek protection/shelter and a mate, When I scout an area, I look for doorways, windows and paths. Learn to identify tracks of the animals in your area. We have a lot of poison oak, sumac and ivy. Seems that I am immune to most, so far. Take your time and enjoy the environment you are in. I know a lot of folks that are not very comfortable , in the wild/woods.

I recall one late afternoon in my stand and a full moon started to come up. I decided to spend the entire evening up there and you really get an eye-full. .,

Be Safe !!!
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Old May 12, 2019, 07:27 PM   #38
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I would encourage you to take the hunters ed course. You’ll learn from it and when you decide to move up big game, taking a hunters ed class gives you a permanent bonus point for the game drawings.

Big game tags are issued on a lottery type system here in Arizona. You apply for several choices of hunts in one or more areas then wait to see if you app is drawn. A bonus point gives you an advantage which basically amounts to another roll of the dice.

Basically you can hunt on any national forest land here. Your rimfire rifle with decent ammo will allow you to take some varmints as well as small game. Generally there is no closed season on varmints. I’ve found varmint hunting to be as much fun or possibly more than game hunting. Coyotes can be quite challenging but you’ll need to move up to at least a .22 magnum for them.
I need to do more coyote hunting around here because they keep eating my cats.

Are you mobile? Do you drive and own a car yet?

Ask a lot of questions before you invest in any firearms. The members here can be very helpful and may save you from making a choice you may later regret. Some rifles are better for hunting than others. It’s not just about caliber.

I’ve leaned a lot from simply getting out, finding a nice area and sitting still. You never know what you’ll see and you will learn much from observing the critters that move about.

Rattlers aren’t normally aggressive and simply want to be left alone. When they shed and the old skin obscures their vision though, they can become a bit nervous and testy. Otherwise, snakes are pretty helpless critters.
We do have rabid animals in warm weather and they are what I would be cautious of. I always carry something when I’m in the forest just in case.

Questions? Just ask and we’ll be glad to help. I can’t speak for other members but feel free to PM me anytime with questions. Many moons ago when I was young, I was lucky to have a couple of old timers show me the ropes and the knowledge they passed to me was invaluable.

Good luck in your quest.
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Old May 12, 2019, 08:43 PM   #39
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Ok, let me tell you why you need a compass. I my young and stupid college days I was mule deer hunting in Utah. I was stupid enough not to take any kind of survival items other than a knife (not even water). One day while hunting, the clouds closed in and I couldn't see 20 yds on front of me. I had no way of knowing which way was north. Luckily, the place I was hunting had very limited terrain. I was on a mountainside bench. To my west, the mountain went up. To my east, the mountain went down. I knew that my truck was to the south of me at about the same elevation. Keeping those facts in mind, I was able to work my way back to the truck.

If I had been on flatter land, I'd have probably been walking in circles.
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Old May 12, 2019, 08:48 PM   #40
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I will definitely look into some hunters ed courses. Yeah, a gentleman at a sporting goods store explained to me tags and seasons in Arizona. And where to hunt is super simple to. Basically it's anywhere on state land. I do have a car, and it's a utility so I can get in and out of hunting grounds pretty easily. I've been scouting a lot lately. Still yet to pick up patterns of animals and their habits, but I'll get there. I've been looking into a bigger rifle, but I didn't think I needed it yet. I thought my .22 would satisfy my need long enough. I was looking at either a .243 or .308 rifle for the future but didn't know how to choose a brand to select from (Why are there so many brands who basically all have the same thing?! Rhetorical Question)
My grandfather did leave behind a re chambered Arisaka Type 38 in .257 Roberts. I suppose I could use that? Ammo is available but a little more expensive.
With a bolt action centerfire rifle I'm gonna be "plinking" and practicing with it a lot, not just hunting. It should sharpen my marksmanship. So the cheaper and more available the ammo the better.
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Old May 12, 2019, 09:11 PM   #41
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Hunting without using your harvest is just worthless killing. Eat or use your kill in some way.
Here is a link to your Hunter Ed course.

https://www.hunter-ed.com/arizona/
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Old May 12, 2019, 09:25 PM   #42
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@7.62 man Thank you! I've already started the course
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Old May 12, 2019, 09:50 PM   #43
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If you make a search for former threads that deal with beginner rifles, calibers, makes, models...there are a whole bunch of them!!! They will cover every possible question you want to ask and usually give reasons for their recommendations. You will find them here in the hunting section as well as "The Hide" section. I will guarantee that it will give you a headache, but it is all great info. The people in this forum arenever at a loss for great info, when asked for or not.

Good luck in your new venture. I have been at it for about 58 odd years and it never gets old (oh God, did I really say that? *sigh*), but you never stop learning. Just be safe and stay healthy!

PS - If you want to find a deer crossing, just click on the web site in my signature area and have a good laugh!
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Old May 12, 2019, 10:42 PM   #44
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You can use your .22 for plinking and practicing to sharpen your basic skills. I use a .22 rifle that feels very similar to my centerfire rifles to practice my shooting from different positions such as offhand, sitting, kneeling, using shooting sticks, etc. It’s a good economical way to refine your technique.

The .257 Roberts is a fine cartridge and will take care of nearly everything you want to hunt here.
An option to consider: If you learned to reload, the .257 Roberts would be no more expensive to shoot than any other round.
I got started when a friend offered to instruct me and allowed me to use his equipment. I only had to furnish my own dies and components. Reloading was the single most useful shooting skill I learned. Keep it in mind for later.

My personal favorite is the .223, especially in my bolt actions. It’s probably the most economical centerfire and accurate with low recoil. It may be a good choice for a starter centerfire and you can move up to the .257 when you need to.
The least expensive cartridges are generally the most common.

I would suggest you find friends and acquaintances who own rifles you may be interested in and ask if they will let you try theirs before you buy one.
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Old May 13, 2019, 12:03 AM   #45
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You probably DON'T NEED a compass now.

You DO NEED to learn to use one NOW if you don't already have it mastered.

When you do need it, it's kinda late to learn it. Learning it will make all the rest of your navigating skills sharper.

If you've got it down pat already, don't worry about it.

If you aren't sure you know what you don't know, get out one of those maps you printed out. Sitting there at home look at those maps for something specific on there you want to see, a peak, a cliff, a possible spring or old building on public ground. A possible hot spot for game, and time you know where the water is, is a good spot to look for game.

Now pick where you are going to park and figure the best way to travel from vehicle to the stuff you want to see.

If there is no path how are you going to know the direction you are traveling? How far did you walk? Is this the ravine you want to walk up?

You may as well now get used to figuring out how to keep track of these things while you are in small, familiar areas.

The maps will have a scale = a mile is this long on the map but how long is it walking? A mile is little over 5000 feet, a step is probably a little less than three but call it three. 1666 steps is about a mile, 833 a half mile.

"How the heck do I get anything done and count all those steps?" Look at your watch when you start and see how long it takes to walk a 100 steps. Do that a few times and you will build the confidence to take a good guess how far you went in a set time. Clue, half as far walking off the path as walking down the road.

All this forces you to pay close attention to the surroundings you pass through. Pay close attention, you learn more and you get more out of every experience.

I've never been lost but I've sure walked the long way around to get home before.
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Old May 13, 2019, 09:45 AM   #46
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Pay attention to the mountain ranges and the sun. The mountains can help you with general direction and, in worse case, the sun can be used as a makeshift compass using a stick poked into the ground and a couple of pebbles to track its movement by using the shadow the stick casts.

National Forest maps are inexpensive and very helpful in not only determining your position but finding areas that might hold game.

I put a small bag together with compass, knife, fire starter, etc that I toss into my day pack.

One of my favorite movie lines is from The Mountain Men – “I’ve never been lost but I’ve been pretty darn confused for a day or two”.
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Old May 13, 2019, 10:48 AM   #47
Pahoo
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The Hunter's "Eye" !!!

Quote:
I will definitely look into some hunters ed courses.
This is just another step, in your hunting learning curve. One thing that is hard for me to explain but consciously and subconsciously you will start to "think" like a hunter. You will start to notice and understand things that you didn't see before. I guess it's our primitive mind that starts working again. My wife can now spot deer movement better or sooner than I. Just walking a trail, she commented to me that Turkeys were using a particular tree off the trail, as a roost. As I said, it's hard to explain and it will happen. ….

By the way, when you get your Certificate, it will be honored is other sates where you might want to go hunting. Looks like Arizona's minimum age is much lower that ours and so be it. ….

Be Safe !!!
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Old May 13, 2019, 01:40 PM   #48
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Maybe a good Orienteering course might help; especially if you start to wander away from your comfort zone. That teaches more than just how to use a compass
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Old May 13, 2019, 06:12 PM   #49
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I've started to put together a list of gear that I would need in the field. I honestly don't know exactly where I'm gonna be hunting yet. I'm just looking to get my license and finish this safety course for the time being. I really just want to get out there. I've always been a more hands on, learn on the job type person. Will just spending time out there and scouting alone help me learn or is there something I need to know that would better guide me?

Also, I'd like to take a brief pause from this hunting thread, because I have a few firearm questions. Question #1: I was shooting my air rifle (that has a metal barrel) in the rain. I got worried about rusting so I wiped it dry, put a couple drops of Hoppes #9 on the barrel and spread it out with an old rag, will that be enough to prevent rusting?

Question #2: How can you tell if a scope is still okay to use? The old .22 I acquired came with a 4x15 "Revelation" scope from the 80s I think. Can I still use this scope or should I just go to walmart and pick up a cheap rimfire scope like a Tasco 4x15? I'm not really looking to spend too much on a scope (Unless I should invest in a better optic?) Please let me know.

Question #3: I know this is somewhat controversial, and it may just be my immature or kid side because I'm 17, but I often take my .22 rifle out at my house just to work the bolt (no dry fire) and look down the sights. I always thought I could gain better familiarity with the rifle. Should I only do this at the range or is it okay to do it at home?

Last edited by TheScout; May 13, 2019 at 07:12 PM.
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Old May 13, 2019, 08:12 PM   #50
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1, yes that is fine
2, if you can hit what you want to shoot, EVERYTHING is ok
3, if I saw my son doing it around the house, I'd tell him to put that away.

If you saw your neighborhood friend doing that when you walked in his house, what would you tell him? Any thing?
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