T Nation

Another Hunting Thread


Ya, I know there have been a bunch, so sue me...

Hunting season is coming up quick. Lets discuss plans for this season, game to be hunted, weapon of choice, etc...

On a personal note (and why I started the thread) I am a newby and I was hoping some of the seasoned hunters can give me some pointers. I've never hunted before and I don't really know anyone that could teach me the ropes. Are there any good books that cover the basics? Have any other posters started as an adult? How did you learn?

I plan on bow hunting this year (recurve - I wanted to start with something challenging) and possibly move into rifle in a year or so to hopefully help fill my freezer!


Unless you have a lot of practice with a bow you will be in for some challenging hunts. Also you might end up chasing a deer for miles.

I have a trip booked to go out to Colorado and hunt Elk. Five day trip, no motorized vehicles allowed so it will be on horseback. I can't wait. (I know Colorado is pooping on gun owners, but a good friend is running an outfitter group on 75,000 acres and it is his first year. So, I am going there to support him. Otherwise I would have gone to Montana.)


Ya, I been told I better get good at tracking! I have been practicing and won't even attempt to kill a deer until I can put 10-12 arrows into a plate size group 9/10 times.

The Colorado trip sounds fun. I've got a friend from up that way, Guneson (sp?) I think it's called. I know he's a big hunter. The only thing is the Cougar, as he calls them, I always joke with him, "Come on man, east of the Mississippi they're Mt. Lions..."


Are there any traditional hunters (Long or Recurve) here?


I have; not really a fan.


Come to my house, we'll shoot an elk off the front deck.

(Photo taken last Sunday from my truck driving out of the driveway.)


I want to hunt hogs because its open season year round. Just haven't had the time.


I usually get deer and elk tags and some waterfowl depending on what work is like. Most of the pointers I would give a new hunter are fairly terrain specific so I can't help too much with that. Bauber said it all pretty well too.

Ruffian are you near four corners? I can't remember. My place is similar, we get some massive herds through the ranch. Get salmon running up the river too.


Dude I am so jealous of your back porch picture. Elk are by far my favorite animal (well of the hoofed kind). I just love their bugle. I'm sure it might get annoying to you, but every time I've heard it on TV it never compared to how awesome it was in person. My friend who lives in Colorado told me they can be a nuisance and incredibly dangerous (obviously) in the rut.

Said one morning he had one in his backyard eating his garden, a young male, and he went out to shoo it away. The male squared off with him and he high tailed it back into the house, haha. Good stuff, I'd love to see that in my backyard.

For me, I'm flying home for the last two weeks of PA Archery season. Its been tradition to hunt the last week by taking vacation with my father every year. Being in Japan won't stop that tradition for anything. Hell this year I get two weeks! I've been on a kick of harvesting an animal every other year, so this year "should" be my year. That being said, I don't put any pressure on myself to do it, and its no big deal. The meat is nice but not necessary.

My father is an incredibly woodsman - which is different from a hunter. You guys might know what I mean. He doesn't even really shoot deer anymore he just goes out to enjoy the view and the experience. I always enjoy seeing him at the end of the day and I'll have seen a couple doe and maybe a buck out of range. He'll have seen 4 legal buck and about 7 doe. The difference? I swear the deer, or God, knows one of us is intending to shoot, the other is just relaxing and enjoying. I love Archery season, you can keep rifle :P.


My father is an instinctive shooter, and uses both a recurve and a compound. When I first learned I tried to shoot instinctive and couldn't learn it so I picked up sights. I can out-shoot him on a target many times, but as he says, its not about hitting a bullseye target in the woods, its about hitting a living, breathing target and its worlds different - he's right.

Here's my advice, take it for what its worth, and its mixed with my personal feelings on the matter. May make you laugh, but its how I feel. When you first pick up a bow, you need a good 6 months to a year (I'd prefer the latter) to be ready to use it for hunting an animal. There is a lot you need to learn, a lot of bad habits you need to avoid acquiring or overcoming, and a lot of effort that goes into bow hunting. Understanding proper release, follow-through, squeezing the trigger - not pulling or plucking, holding your focus even seconds after you've released your arrow until it hits its target. Holding the bow for long periods of time, its not the same as target shooting, deer are sporadic and move differently, they hardly ever do exactly what you expect and you're caught holding your draw for long periods. Taking a shot when tired can be risky. Archery isn't rifle hunting. A rifle bullet breaks up on impact, an arrow penetrates and even those fun mechanicals (which I don't personally like) only open so big and don't spread. You need to place your shot well and in the target area to get a kill.

All of that said, what I'm trying to get across is, you owe it to the animal to bring your best to the woods when you intend to kill it. If you're going to take a shot, you take it knowing you can make the shot a good, clean, quick kill shot. Not a gut shot, not a neck shot, not a kidney shot. You aren't and won't be good enough to make those kinds of "dialed" shots as a 1 year Archer - and its irresponsible of an experienced Archer to try to take such shots to prove his awesomesness at the expense of the animal (by the way, obviously gut shot is not a goal shot). Quartering towards shots aren't good, nor are fully frontal shots, broad-side and 3-quartering away are the best for shot placements for arrows to do the most damage. 3 quartering aiming at the back ribs so the arrow goes forward through both lungs and into the heart. Broadside for the lungs and heart region. As I said, show the animal the respect it deserves and put it your time. Anyone who recommends otherwise is not truly respectful of their quarry or true "hunters" or "woodsmen".

Nothing makes me feel shittier than to have made a bad shot. You're sick for days afterwards wondering if you could have done better, whether the animal died, or will survive the winter. Its not worth the experience and even with the time and effort invested, bad shots do happen. Don't increase the chances, and don't be an irresponsible person in the first place. You've got maybe 2 months until the start of the season, you should have picked up a bow in January to try and be ready for this year. In my opinion, you are not ready for Archery this year, and to do so would be irresponsible. A bow is not a gun or like any other weapon. Nor is Archery/Bow hunting like any other style of hunting.


Man that it awesome! Nice place you have there. Which Tribe are you associated to? My grandparents on my mom's side are both full blooded Cherokee. They both grew up on a reservation.


No, Ruidoso --- Mescalero Reservation/Lincoln National Forest. My property's side fence is literally the reservation, then open on the LNF side.

I have a .308 with a suppressor and some sub-sonic rounds. So tempted to nail a doe and eat on her all winter. (The bucks get chipped to prevent poaching and, candidly, are not nearly as good eating.)

I have turkey all over the damn place right now too. They are so big, however, I am sure they would not be good to eat. (For them, I'd use a Ruger 10/22 with a suppressor and do a head shot.)


I bowfish with a recurve as instinctive shooting is really the only way to get a gar or something of the like when they come to the surface. I never have really had any desire to hunt a deer with one though but to each his own. As you said, the distance you can consistently put 3 straight arrows in a pie plate is your maximum shooting distance. I don't even know if I am going to use my rifle this year as I would really like to get a Pope&Young buck with my Monster M6.

Your next investment with your bow, will be a quality climber or hang-on w/ climbing sticks. Other advice, always pay attention to the wind. All those expensive scent-blocking clothes and products (which I use but frequently question effectiveness) don't really help that much. You have to watch the wind.


You are doing this backwards. Start with a rifle. You have to get so close with a recurve (20 yards or less, IMHO).

I've done that my whole life, and you really have to be aware of wind, scent, noise, etc. A lot of that is impossible to learn except with years of practice under your belt.

Trust me, I'm an Indian. We adopted the Henry repeating rifle before the Cavalry did for a fricking reason.


To slaughter them at Little Big Horn? ha That falling block .45/70 didn't work out so well when Custer decided to charge and close the gap.

And for a newb I think that 20 yards is generous. If I wanted to get into archery I think I would at least start out with a compound. You get more of the archery technique with a more consistent shooter.



Ya, I guess I could. I figure I'm a pretty good shot with a rifle so there's not much challenge to it. For me it's not just about the meat, but also bettering myself as a man and a person.

I've had my recuve for about a year and half now and I getting pretty good with it. I am definitely lacking in experience though, you've got that right.


If you feel comfortable with it then go for it. Honestly, whether you have been hunting where you are effectively sniping deer or not, archery hunting is totally different and there will be plenty of lessons that you have to learn. The extra attention paid to scent, wind, and movement being the biggest. I grew up hunting really close distances even with a rifle so it wasn't quite as big of a learning curve for me but bean and corn field hunters typically don't get a whole lot of carryover knowledge to archery.


You are confusing your native american tribes. LBH was Lakota and a couple others. Also, it's about 1,000 miles away.

Fort Sumner is the Fort where we Mescalero killed everyone. I think Clint Eastwood did a movie about that, or it played into one of his movies.


The actual shot is about 1% of hunting, especially if you stalk.