My Journey to become a Hunter...

Discussion in 'General Hunting Talk' started by Joe13, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Joe13

    Joe13 New Member

    Mar 20, 2015
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    SW WA
    Let me clarify the Topic, this is an account of my desire to become a Successful Large Game Hunter.

    I have hunted small game as a kid but outside of that, I have had no interest in hunting. My mother is from S.CA and my dad is from Texas, so my natural tendency is to hug it then shoot it (some sarcasm intended). My dad hunted small game as a kid but has since (to my knowledge the only exception was his tour in 'Nam.) not touched nor shot a firearm of any kind.

    My grandfather started me shooting cans at the age of 4 and I have been hooked ever since. I just never had the desire to include hunting in my love of firearms until a little over a year ago.

    I have been having intestinal issues for a few years and thru diet and monitoring, I've found that game meat sits much better with me then beef (even free range expensive stuff for some reason). So now hunting is an interest because of an economical standpoint of not being able to pay $15/lb for elk or venison.

    As it has evolved though, I have come to love a lot about hunting.

    One of the first things I learned was that scouting is really important - people say it but on my first time out with a 50 year hunting veteran we found ourselves in a forest that this gentleman had not been too for 20 years and no idea where to look.

    It was almost the end of the 3rd day out that we even found Simi fresh deer droppings... By that point I believe he was frustrated because next thing I know, he's done hunting and ready to go home. I was just along for the ride, as I did not have a tag, so I was home 4 days after leaving instead of the 7-9 we planned on.

    So scouting is really important lol - my second hunting partner taught me quite a bit more practical knowledge, as well as showed me how to start scouting and things to look for that could be helpful.

    My second trip out trying for a deer, I had my tag an we found tons of beds and fresh droppings but in 2 days just never saw anything bigger then a chucker. End of the 3rd day was a massive storm that rolled thru and we decided to break camp and ride out the bad weather at home. We never were able to connect again but I did go back out a week later by myself and learned another valuable lesson...

    You never know when your going to see something!

    I roamed around all day long looking for sign. Finding plenty but no deer. After a long long walk thru the woods, I arrived back at my vehicle and just sat in it on the edge of a meadow for an hour or longer just enjoying the quiet. As the sun went down, I started my truck and turned around. Right as I turned back onto the dirt road I couldn't quite believe what I saw... A darn deer was just starting to step off it and turned around to look at me - then off he went!

    By the time I got to the spot he had gone into the forest he was long gone and I didn't have enough light left to follow him, so I went home empty handed but excited because I felt like I was at least on the right track.

    I set up one last hunt on Halloween day (end of the deer season where I was) to see if I would get lucky. Unfortunately, the man I was to go hunting with had to take his dog to the vet and by the time I realized I wouldn't be in a place to shoot and then drag a deer back to my rig and clean it with the little time I had left, I decided to call it a season. This year I'm going to try for an elk as well.

    Little stuff I figured out on the way:

    1. My pack is never as light as Id like it to be at the end of the day - I started the season with about 30lbs on my back. Now I'm down to around 15lbs plus the rifle.

    2. I'm very glad I had boots that were broken in long before I needed them.

    3. Taking time and being quiet seems to be a good way to go. In the off season (while scouting - I try to learn my lessons the first time lol) I unintentionally walked up to about 30 ft from a bull elk with his lady and youngun. I even got video of them before they spooked and ran off.

    4. Good Hunting Partners are SUPER hard to find if you don't already know someone. I get along with most folks, it's been difficult to find an interested person not already committed to a previous years partner and that has the available time to hunt as much as I would like too.

    5. Sometimes you just have to go do it and make up the ret as you go. My best laid plans rarely turned out as I had intended. It pays to be flexible.

    6. I was nowhere near in as good of shape as I thought I was this time last year. I have dropped most of my extra weight and my stamina is now what I would consider "decent" enough to hunt alone if I have too.
    Now you'll have to wait till the end of 2015 to see if everything I learned in 2014 pays off...
    Mister Bisley, Mack Mct and teb like this.
  2. Trick

    Trick Member

    Jan 7, 2015
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    St Helens
    Seasons are almost here......have you kept that extra weight off?;)

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