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Old June 17, 1999, 05:07 AM   #1
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Join Date: December 24, 1998
Location: WNC
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The "I Don't Hunt" thread has had a peculiar effect on me. It's turned me around 100% on the subject of hunting.

I read the replies, checked out the recommended info, and I've been digesting it all over the last several days. I guess the "Maybe I'm wrong about hunting" thoughts have been quietly percolating in my head for a year or so, and the things I read lately just put it all into place for me. I have been educated with the facts, and the opinions. Hunting is a good thing. I am a convert.

To wit:

I have decided to go hunting. It's going to be a quasi-spiritual journey of self-dicovery. Or something. And fun, too!

As for what to hunt, I'm thinking "bird" for a number of reasons.

First, a big part of this for me is the 'hunt-to-eat' thing, and a bird seems like a manageable animal for a novice, in terms of the cleaning, gutting, and cooking, and culminating the experience with a single "ceremonial" meal. I'm not looking to end up with a freezer full of meat.

Second, my vegetarian wife has no moral compunction about eating a bird that lived a 'natural' life, although she says the thought of me with my hands in a bunch of animal guts is "gross". I think she'll change her mind when she smells it cooking! She won't eat red meat, and I want to share something of this experience with her, so- birds.

Third, I like my shotgun! That's where my shooting experience is, and in my mind, birds and shotguns go together.

I live in Western North Carolina. What's a good bird for a beginner in this area, and what are the seasons for them? I'm thinking late Summer or in the Fall. Are we talking sit-and-wait-for-'em birds or walk-around-in-the-woods-'till-you-flush-one-out birds? And where does a guy who doesn't know anybody go to hunt?

Also, my shotgun. It's for home defense: Mossberg 500, 20" barrel, screw-in chokes, seven shot magazine, takes 3" shells.

Is the barrel length a factor? I don't want to buy another barrel for this 'experiment'.

Will the magazine have to be plugged? Does it depend on the type of bird?

Any other information you can give me to get me pointed in the right direction is greatly appreciated. I'll take recipe suggestions later.


[This message has been edited by boing (edited June 17, 1999).]
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Old June 17, 1999, 10:40 AM   #2
Join Date: April 8, 1999
Posts: 92
As you can tell from the name I'm from N.C. also. Welcome to the world of hunting! You are asking all the right questions first. So if you don't have your law degree go get one and then we will discuss our wildlife regulations. Just kidding

This fall you will have three upland bird options dove, quail, and grouse. It will be spring before the next turkey season. There is also a fall season for ducks and geese but I would stay away from those for a first hunting trip. I would start out hunting dove if I were in your shoes. As much as I love hunting grouse and quail, without a dog you are going to learn alot more about the "hunt" part than the shoot and eat part.

You will need to get a "Sportman's" license and pass a hunters safety course if you haven't already. The Sportman's license will allow you to hunt the two million acres of National Forest and other public land available here in N.C. When you buy your license they will give you two books, one of them will be the 100 page regulations digest and the other will be the maps to the public lands (gamelands).

Your shotgun is perfect for anything you want to hunt. Don't worry too much about the barrel length, it is perfect for quail and grouse and will work for doves. It must be plugged to limit it to three shots. Use the factory plug that came with it.

I am sure I've forgotten more than I've remembered but this should get you started. You are about to begin an Odyssey. You will not believe how much you're about to learn, from the wildlife regulations to the gamelands to anticipation you will feel waiting for the hunting season to begin.
Now get started! Dove season starts in September! Here is the address for the on line regulations. /

Have fun and feel free to ask questions!

[This message has been edited by CapeFear (edited June 17, 1999).]
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Old June 17, 1999, 11:38 AM   #3
Paul B.
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Just my humble opinion. Quail is the best tasting.
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Old June 19, 1999, 02:18 AM   #4
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Thanks, CapeFear. Good to know the trusty riotgun will cut the mustard. I'm kinda partial to it.


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Old June 19, 1999, 03:48 AM   #5
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You might bring along the short barrel just in case those pesky birds start to get a bit unruley. Rioting dove can be quite fearsome.

My first time out for dove was more of an education in leading your target than actually hitting it. It was quite humorous to return home with 3 birds and no ammo left. I started going to the skeet range shortly after that. My next hunt was a lot more fruitful.

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Old June 19, 1999, 11:08 PM   #6
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
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Welcome aboard, Boing!

For sure, try a few rounds of skeet. Learn about "patterning" your shotgun. Different brands will have different patterns in different guns. What will work for you may have "holes" from my gun...

If you do try some skeet, try to have an experienced shooter watch what you do and give you some advice (But it doesn't hurt to find a different fella the next time out; not all "experts" are created equal...)

And, no, skeet don't field-dress worth a damn, although they're not very bloody...

Have fun!!! Art
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Old June 19, 1999, 11:13 PM   #7
Long Path
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If you can find a friend with dogs, may I suggest that you get out into open field and hunt quail, where that short barreled shotgun will be no hindrence at all for your swing (they rise swiftly away, usually), and if N.C. is anything like TX, won't require you to plug your magazine. (But *check* on that!!!!)

I love dove hunting, but they're fast and hard to hit, even more so with a short barrel that's hard to get the proper swing going. Snipe (if they hunt them in your neighborhood) lend themselves to fast-handling shotguns, too. What about squirrel and rabbit? They're small enough to be approachable, and are right for a shotgun. Plentiful in your neck o' the woods, too. 'Course, a slug or two in your pocket for hogs, should they come along.... oops, stepped plum into "dauting," didn't I?

Good luck!
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Old June 20, 1999, 07:11 PM   #8
Join Date: March 15, 1999
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I'm not sure how it works on smaller birds like quail, but around here pheasants are big and if shoot one you have to gut it. I've always had good luck just pulling the legs apart until the bird just sort of opens up, then reach a hand in and pull everything out and then wash it out.
Make sure to try and shoot the head for it will not ruin as much meat and it only takes 1 pellet in the head.
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Old June 20, 1999, 11:21 PM   #9
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Yes, the skeet range. I've been on the trap range several times, but never the skeet. Should be fun. I likes to work da action!

It should also prove to be a valuable source of info from experienced, local hunters. Depending on how I fare against flying targets, I may think more seriously about hunting turkeys in the spring. The head/neck may be small, but at least there isn't much of a lead!.

Anyway, "Research... must do research..." Thanks for the advice, folks.


[This message has been edited by boing (edited June 21, 1999).]
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