View Full Version : Newbie info - What gear is the "minimum?"
I'm also looking to start hunting the coming season. I don't want to dump a whole bunch of cash into the process until I've decided I like it. I've got a good pair of boots already and I'm sure I can borrow a rifle (until I decide hunting is for me and go acquire one of my own). I know I'll need some orange attire because apparently that is the cool thing to wear while hunting.;) What else would a beginner need? A gutting knife maybe? Maybe go to Goodwill and buy a coat that you don't care about getting blood on? Does one need arm length gloves or trashbags for covering yourself when gutting your prize? Anything else?
Get a good hat.
If you are going to be out in the sun, then a cowboy hat of somekind is best.
A broadbrimmed oilskin hat is best for the rainy coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest.
If you are going to be in the northern woods during the cold winter months, then get the wool hunting cap with the ear flaps.
*click here* (http://www.filson.com/vihats.htm)
You will need a good knife and whetstone to keep it sharp. I like the Bearhead Trapper model knife from Schrade's "Old Timer" line.
Schrade Knives (http://www.schradeknives.com/)
For a great knife get a Benchmade, they are american made also.
Clothing would be old BDU's
Hat, follow the advice above, but add a patrol cap for winter.
Orange is dependant on the state you hunt in, they are all have there own requierments. Have fun!
Just from what I read in your post it seems to me that you need some education in this area. Forgive me if I am underestimating you but it seems as if you are starting from square one. I do not know what PA law requires but where I am from, we need to attend a "hunters education" class sponsored by our state's fish & game department before we can get a license to hunt. We need a license to hunt in New Hampshire and it seems to me that you will need one where you will hunt to. It should address many of your questions and present a different venue to answer many others. You can get yourself in trouble and hurt during the hunt. I would not attempt to hunt until you check your state’s regulations.
I wish I had a mentor of some type when I started hunting. I live in a city and my family and friends did not hunt. It is something I had to seek out on my own and try. A mentor would have taught me to be more successful and be more successful faster. But that is me. Seek out a club or others who hunt and ask to be taken along.
Good luck and welcome to the club!
Thanks Tommy. I am aware that I need a license to hunt from the PA Game Commission. I believe that there is a hunter safety course required before issuance of your first license. My uncle extended the offer to me and a friend of mine to go with him and some of his friends to their hunting camp next fall. I'm sure I could also go with my grandfather if he's still up for it.
I posted this in a another thread. It maybe useful here:
I suggest you start out squirrel hunting. Limit your shots to the distance you can hit a small apple -- consistantly! Then only shoot them when they are the ground (because you don't fire a .22 up into a tree and up into the air). Aim for the head. Skin, gut, cook, and eat the squirrels you shoot.
Use the sit and wait method. Sit out there in the woods and listen and pay attention. Be prepared to sit for 2 hours at a time. Then get up and move to another location if you want.
The hunting skills you use for the squirrel will teach you how to hunt deer. With the deer, however, I do not suggest headshots. Instead, you want to shoot them behind the point of the elbow in the heart/lung area when they are broadside to you. Shoot them at the distance you can consistantly hit a grapefruit.
Just as a guess. Let's say you should be shooting squirrels at 30 yards max, and deer at 75 yards max. If your shooting skills are better, then you can increase the distances accordingly.
And shooting skills does not refer to a benchrest, unless you will be shooting from that benchrest while in the woods. Instead, it means relatively quick, calm, aimed off-hand shots. 1st shot counts as your group. Shoot several groups of 1. If all your groups are on the target size (apple or grapefruit), then you can shoot at that distance. Next, add some difficulty by walking/jogging down range and back, to get your heartrate up, then take the same shot. When hunting, your heartrate will likely be up.
While squirrel hunting, pay attention to being still and see how close you can get them to come to you. Make your movements of raising your gun very slow, while they are not looking. Same idea for deer.
As to clothing:
--Orange if the law requires it, or if others hunting in the area expect it. Othewise, it is up to you.
--Boots. Warm and waterproof. Feet are often the first thing to get wet or get cold. Then you are miserable.
--Hat. Warm and waterproof. Some sort of earflap that either folds up, or folds inside, is good in case you get too warm. Some sort of brim for sunshade and rain protection is good too (but not a long brim that inferes with your shooting).
--Something to sit on. Most common is a waterproof piece of foam about 1" thick and as big as your butt. They sell them in hunting stores, usually camo. Typically attach a rope or string to carry over your shoulder or attach to your belt. Sit on it on the ground, or stump, or whatever and it provides a nice barrier to keep your butt warm and dry. Different brands/styles work fine. One common style is like a mini bean bag and called "hot seat".
--Compass. Pay attention to the direction you are going into the woods, and the direction required to get out of the woods. Sure beats going around in circles.
--Knife. Folding 3" to 4" folding lockblade is good enough.
--Whistle. Human voice tires out too quickly if you fall down and can't get up. Firing shots may just get confused with hunting shots, and you run out of bullets.
--Folding rain parka that fits in a large pocket. Great to have in case it rains or you get wet snow. Not great to hunt in, but good to use until the bad weather passes.
--Water bottle and a some candy bars or granola bars or peanuts or slim jims.
--Paper towels. Use to wipe off blood. Or to wipe your butt ;f
-- Matches or lighter (pointed out next poster below)
-- FLASHLIGHT !
-- Rope (for dragging a deer among other uses).
all the above mentioned and the one that I cant believe hasn't been mentioned yet.
Means to build a fire. Personally I carry a windproof lighter w/ alittle tinder all in a little case in my pack. and not just a lighter I also throw a mag&steel in the pack somewhere. Seems a bit much untill you are spending the night. Mag&steel along with a space blanket can save your life. Trust me I know.
Dumb things happen to tired people and dark waits for no man thats all Ill say;)
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