I've never hunted and am interested. I like to read and study. What books could you recommend?
I would lean more towards handgun hunting, perhaps wild boar, or turkey, or goose, but I'm not sure about anything or even if I want to get into hunting.
In being 'very cautious,' to answer this 'type' of question, let me try and put it this way.... ( long answer).
Personally, i would not suggest you 'begin,' your new found experience, "hnting," with a handgun. Not that you are unable, unqualified, or not a great shot, but because if you have never hunted before, you would be, IMHO, best off starting with a rifle, or a shotgun. ( i am not saying you can't, just that i wouldn't). :)
I do not know you, but let's assume you are a really great pistolero. That is great! But, there is more to hunting than shooting. That is of major importance, (placing your shot), and you must know how, and when, and where, to place your shot, to quickly, and cleanly take the game you hunt. But, first, you must know "how to Hunt the game your after." IMHO, this is something you will 'not get' in a stack of books, over a period of 100 years. :)
Read, that is fine, but read "about the "game," itself, not so much the 'methodology' of hunting. This could get you real confused, or end up turning you off all together.
What i mean is this. Learn 'about the game, in general,' from books, "if you must, or need to," But try to spend as much time 'out doors' as possible, and, "Read the game out there."
Learning habit's, of the game to be hunted in "Your Area," may not at all be reflected in the 'books' you have read! Game habits can and do differ from one location to another. Game do have the same type of bottom line characteristics, yes, but, they 'do not always act those out' in 'every single part of the country,' in the 'exact' same way.
So to have a 'writer' tell you, the deer 'will feed' at such and so hour, that 'may be true from what 'he' has observed', but if i go buy that, as 'etched in stone', i may be in a mess, when i go to hunt, and find out a million and one other factors changed all that he said... As in 'hunting pressure' on the deer or turkey, whatever, and the 'weather condition/s,' the 'moon light', 'availibility of browse,' (food), etc. etc.
So, learning what the movements, of the game to be hunted are, 'where your going to hunt', and learning about the "Sign," E.G. Tracks, rubs, scrapes, eating habits, bedding habits, trials, how the weather effects their behavior, etc; etc. These things can be learned in a 'BASIC GENERIC WAY,' through the writings of someone trust worthy, BUT, the 'real knowing,' is going to come by 'you spending quality time out there learning for your self.'
I will be honest with you, hunting is for a person, who has some time, and has a spouse that does not mind them taking that time ;f and for some one who respects the land he hunts on, respects the laws of the land, respects the other hunters, respects what he hunts, and 'eats it.' This is my 'very short' take on things concerning hunting.
We have guided hunts for over 30 years, and still, we are learning. No one 'has this all figured out.' When we think we know something, we find out we really don't know as we ought to know!
Bottom line.. Sure, you could read a few 'rag writer mags,' and run out to some land somewhere, get lucky and see something, and take a pot shot, or a 'good shot,' and maybe even kill something, and go home.... So what! (here comes the ethics thing). To me, anyway, that ain't hunting, it's killing.
I have been a ranch boy, and lived in the really out back of Oklahoma, and W. Texas, forever it seems. Hunting has been my passion all my life, and at now, 53, for me, the 'being out there,' is the rush, the second rush is the learning, and gaining new understanding of what i am doing, and what the game does. I guess the thrid rush is all the many "surprises i get," that i was not exspecting, and then "seeing the game", would be then next major rush.
Killing it... I get "no rush at all." You know 'one reason' why? Then the "HUNT" is over!
I was raised to go out and HUNT, not to go out and KILL.
There are, here on GT, as there is every where else on the planet, difference of opinion/s, so, this is mine.
One of my brothers, on 'his' ranch, loves the varmit hunting. I have done a truck load of it in the past, and now, "for me," i hate it. I see no need in it, unless it is going to destroy me, my home, or livestock, so, he and i 'do not agree', as will some on here not agree.... Cool! Totaly cool! ;f
I am just answering your question, the best way "I" know how, and i believe most, will agree, on it.... 'in principal.'
Bottom of the bottom line.... "Get out there and learn the land, the game, the trials, the poop, (you heard right!), and all the other "sign," that goes with it, and do it at different times of the day, and the night. This takes time, yes, but it is worth it, "If you are going to HUNT, and not just be a seasonal killer."
Study your books if you want to, but as i suggested, i would stick with the "Game" not the 'Methods so much.' That part i would learn, "most of" on my own. Take what 'good advice' you can from the writings, and 'remember' it is "subject to change." It is a 'basic way' to get a 'basic grasp,' yes, but until 'You' go out there yourself, and say...Uh Huh, so this is what is going on here, etc. all you will have is book knowledge.
Good luck to ya!
Im' sure you will do fine!
here's my suggestions.
Go buy the complete series from creativepub. They have books that cover individual items such as;
( website www.creativepub.com ) Walmart/cabela's/basspro all carrys these books.
I bought about 230 dollars between 16 or so books for my friend's son who is getting into hunting. It was a birthday gift and he enjoyed them alot.
Now, I 'm going to say something, BOOK don't teach you how to hunt. getting your shoes dirty and hitting field is how you gain a wealth of knowledge. So get a book to get guidance and ideas but more importantly get in the field and watch/look/listen, learn the traits of the animals that you are going to hunt. ID scrapes, tracks and signs of wildlife. Listen to the birds and watch other animals. As far handgun hunting it is totaly different than rifle and more close in still like archery. I don't think you will have any problems adapting, just go easy.
There are alot of videos out there. Some are good, some o.k. and every now and then a really good one. Denny Gulvas is one of the really good ones. No fancy video work, no fences, no super sponsors, just God's honest turkey hunting.
He goes out and sometimes will just call them up, no shooting. He covers techniques, tips and how to's. In my opion the best learning videos for turkey hunting.
GULVAS SPRING GOBBLER HUNTING VIDEO VOL 1
GULVAS SPRING GOBBLER HUNTING VIDEO VOL II
He also has a fall video and a pressured gobbler video.
I agree with the others that there is no subsitute for getting out there and getting your feet wet. Denny's videos though are still a great learning aid.
Best way to learn to hunt is go sit in the woods with a .22 rifle and shoot a squirrel in the head while he is on the ground, close enough for you to make a good shot.
Take him home with you, gut him, skin, cook him, and eat him.
Also check out www.outdoors-learning.com
They have a number of videos that are great for the beginner. Also Roger Raglin has a lot of good basic info- check out www.rogerraglin.com
I hunt deer, turkey, squirrel, and just this year started hunting coyotes. There is an 'instinct' that you can only develop by being in the woods, preferable with someone who knows what they are doing.
I have had to learn my quarry's ways. For instance, long nosed animals (deer, coyotes) really use that sense of smell more than anything else. And turkeys and coyotes have vision that you can't imagine! Learn their strengths and weaknesses and use them against the animal.
I have been a woodsman all of my life. Animals are much smarter in their environment than people are. You have to learn them and respect them. I know this sounds silly to those who haven't experienced it, but it helps to become 'one' with the environment. Don't be just 'a hunter in the woods'. Try to become a part of the woods. You'd be surprised at your how your hunting success rate will climb, and how animals will no longer 'see' you.
If you ask around, you should be able to find someone to take you with them and teach you the basics of woodsmanship and hunting.
One last thing...game animals react differently when under hunting pressure. You know those weekend morning hunting shows? Well, the reason that they get those huge monster bucks is that they are usually hunting private lands with ZERO hunting pressure. There are educational materials out there that address pressured game. If you join a 'hunting club' with a land lease, odds are that there is going to be pressure on that game.
Now, turn off that computer and go hiking in the woods this afternoon!
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