View Full Version : Gearing up for first ever hunt.
I've decided to take up hunting this year. I'm waiting until deer season and maybe next year I'll hunt deer and other game.
I've already purchased a Winchester Model 70 30.06 bolt action with Simmons 3x9-40 scope. It's been sighted in already for 100 yds, thinking about possibly going for 200 yds.
My question is what all will I need for the upcoming season? Do I need to be in head to toe camo? Scent blockers? I'll be going out with friends and coworkers, so I'll have them to rely on to teach me the basics. I don't want to bombard them with a ton of questions though.
Really the only thing you need, is a good gun (which you have), and a blaze orange safety vest and hat. If it's required by state law.
If I were you I'd read up on the game that your going to hunt. Plenty of books out there, For deer I'd reccomend , "White-tailed Deer,Ecology and Management," edited by Lowell K. Halls, and put out by Stackpole Books. Don't buy it just get it from the local library on an inter-library loan.
Try not to go overboard with hunting accesaries. Because the key to ultimate sucess, is knowing your animal, and good pre-season scouting.
If your buddies hunt out of a deer camp,remember to take plenty of change ,for the nightly poker games.:)
I've had mixed results with Simmons scopes. I hope yours works for you, but you may find you want to upgrade at some point. Think Leupold. The problem with cheap scopes is that they dont' hold zero after they get knocked around a bit by recoil and/or being carried afield.
The other essential piece of gear, IMHO, is a good pair of Binoculars. Don't scrimp. I find that they can make all the difference in spotting and identifying game.
You also need good, waterproof boots, that are comfortable for all day use. Also, good rain gear. I like the Cabelas Dry Plus stuff.
Originally posted by lazarus
You also need good, waterproof boots, that are comfortable for all day use.
Just to highlight what lazarus said...
PLEASE make sure your boot are broken in REAL WELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nothing ruins a day out quicker than blisters.
I've already got my eye on a pair of boots and I'll be sure that they are broken in before any long hikes or whatnot.
I thought about upgrading already. The scope I have is an extremely cheap 8 Point scope. I'll keep my eye out for some good deals on some binoculars as well.
Yes, blaze orange is required.
Thank you for the replies everyone.
what the other guys said.. waterproof boots are a must, nothing like wet feet to mess your day up.
depending on where and how far you are planning to go into the woods you may want to have..
basic first aid kit
some munchies just in case you get stuck overnight
fire starter of some sort
good waterproof matches and or a good lighter
Rope small 1/4" braided nylon or something along those lines..
insect repellent, preferably non scent stuff.
Waterproof clothing definetly makes for a more comfortable day if it's rainy cold and windy.
Scope covers. Butler Creek Flip up's.
Now.. depending on where your hunting you may need all of the above or none of it.. You can use a day pack or fanny pack to hold it all, which ever you prefer.
good luck, shoot straight.
PS: you may want to practice shooting your rifle as much as you can.
Try to get to the point where standing you can at least put 5 rounds on an 12" plate at 100yds.
A camo over layer, either a jacket or poncho, is a good place to start. I'm of the opinion that mixing and matching camo patterns makes for a better setup. I wouldn't throw a bunch of money into it until you figure out if this sport is for you. Then if you care to you can buy all the camo whatnots you want. Right now is the time to buy since it's after the major seasons and things are on sale.
The work starts when the critter goes down so make sure there will be something there for you to move the deer back to camp and keep/prepare the meat, hide, trophies, organs, etc. Nothing like bagging a big deer and realizing there's a rule of "the new guy carries it back." ;f
Hunterjbb has a pretty good list there. I'd add a couple pairs of latex gloves, a wad of duct tape, some gallon freezer bags and two or three brown trash bags. I swear a man can make just about anything he could need out of what he finds in the woods, duct tape, paracord and trashbags.
Let me just add a couple of things that I carry with me in the truck when I deer hunt:
1. A gallon of water and some hand soap and paper towels (gets deer blood off of you after field-dressing)
2. A deer cart or two wheeler dolly-if you don't have access to a 4-wheeler to get the deer out.
3. 2 way radios if hunting with partners
I try to carry as little as possible when I hunt, as it can be tiring to lug all that stuff around the woods for hours. Each year I carry less and less, but also need less. One thing I never leave at home-my GPS.
Buy the best pair of boots that you can afford. You get what you pay for. If you buy a pair for $29.99 at Wal-Mart or some other department store, your feet will be cold, wet and probably throbbing because there going to be uncomfortable. Plus, you'll be lucky if they make it through the season. Buy a good pair, Rocky or Danner's and they'll last for a few years. You'll be ablt to stay in the elements longer thus improving your chances of actually harvesting some game.
Honestly, I would say that over half of the stuff that hunters buy is not needed. It's more of a want than necessity. Whenever, we're going on a trip and packing up the truck. The last two things I check are my gun and boots. If you have those two - you're ready to go.
Leave your .30-06 zeroed at 100 yards. Practice off-hand shots (no bench or anything to support your rifle). Shoot once, walk down range, look at target, walk back, shoot again without taking too long to aim. That way your heart will be pumping. The distance you are allowed to shoot a deer is determined by the distance you can keep all your off-hand shots inside an 8Ē circle. That distance may be 50, 75, or 100 yards. It will not likely be 200 yards.
Shoot deer while they are broadside to you. Do not shoot a running deer, because it is much more difficult. Shooting a deer from the asss-end is not good idea, either. You will likely see deer running away from you, with their white flag tails up. Donít bother to shoot at them. In general, for every 20 deer you see, only 1 will present a good shot. So, take your time in deciding if it is a good shot. For broadside, aim just behind the shoulder, centered with regard to up and down. This is essentially a heart/lung shot.
As for the actual hunting, you want to be quiet and motionless and downwind (wind blowing from the deer to your face). If you have those 3 things, then the deer will not know you are there, and it does not matter if you have camo or orange, does not matter if you have scent block or not.
The easiest way to hunt is to find where the deer will likely be coming through, and sit and wait for them. Deer feed mostly just before dawn and just after dusk. You want to find where they will be passing through after their dawn feeding, and before their dusk feeding. I say passing through, because they will be going to their bedding area where they lay down and chew their cud. You can try to sit in their bedding area, too. Find the right spot and sit and listen and look for 2 to 4 hours. Hard to do. Lots of people get tired of that and start walking around every 20 minutes. While they walk around, they are typically telling the deer where they are, so the deer end up avoiding them. They may see a lot of running deer that way, but will not have good shots.
The ideal, in my opinion, is to set yourself up so the deer will walk right by you not know you are there. Iíve sat on the ground and had them walk within 5 yards, never knowing I was there. Typically, you will get them walking within 35 yards if you are quiet, motionless, and downwind of them. Most people cannot be motionless. They fidget too much. They move around when they are looking. They raise their hand to scratch their nose. They shift their feet too much. They get cold and have to move around. They get hungry. They have to go potty. And mostly, they get bored.
Doesnít matter too much whether you are in a tree or on the ground. The tree helps keep you out of their vision a little, and allows the wind blow your scent a little farther away.
A more advanced technique is stalking. For that, you will still be quiet, motionless, and downwind. But you will be walking toward where the deer are. How can you walk and be quiet and motionless at the same time? I said it is a more advanced technique, and not easy to do.
For the scope, I suggest a scope cover that pops open easy. Some are made with a lever you flick with your thumb, and the cover is on a hinge.
That way you can sit in the snow and not worry about your scope being blocked with flakes when big buck walks up to you.
Thank you all for the information. :) I hope to have a successful deer hunting season, but most of all I want to enjoy it with or without bagging a deer.
I have been hunting a while and I learned the hard way to limit the crap you bring with you in the field. I used to go in like Rambo. Now I just put everything in a backpack so if I need it in the field, it's handy. I set up my blind and chair before archery season to save time. I just leave it up for gun season.
I only pack gutting, dragging, navigation, and first aid and food. Everything else I leave in the truck. Bring a radio. Even if no one in your group has one, if you need help in an emergency, someone probably will have one.
Good clothing and boots are a must. Being cold and uncomfortable is bad news and you are not going to get your animal. At the average range in deer hunting, your scope is more important than your binos. Not saying to get the Kmart special binos, but spend a good $200 or so for a good quality set. That also depends on how you use them. I just use them to ID incoming animals to differentiate between bucks and does(I hunt in a buck-only county in MI). Some people are trophy hunters and use them for field-judging the antlers. Then you might want to spend a little more money to get the clarity required. You don't need $1000 optics. If you can afford it, fine, but I cannot think of one reason how spending that much more money is going to help me. Quality usually equals price, but not always.
Make sure your bullet is matched to the game. I cannot stress this enough. Don't use hollow points or light quick-expansion loads. Stick with softpoints or quality ballistic tipped bullets. You need to pick a good bullet that will reach the vitals and do the job. 150-165gr bullets are good for deer sized game and 180gr are usually reserved for the bigger stuff, but are very good on deer as well.
Try and put targets up that resemble deer. Archery shops have paper targets (not the 3D ones) that you can put up. That way you can practice shooting at a "deer" and will be confident in your gun/ammo/skill combo. I would reccomend trying to get your groups down to 6 inches max at 100y. Solid hits count, marginal hits mean lots of tracking. With all the modern machining technology and factory ammo quality, there is no reason for a quality bolt action rifle like the Winchester 70 not to print three inch groups or less at 100 yards with your average hunter. Don't get hung up on the sub-1 inch 3 shot group. That will come with time.
Be sure and post your deer pic when you get him later this year. Good luck and hunt safe.
Originally posted by DigiDuckie
I hope to have a successful deer hunting season, but most of all I want to enjoy it with or without bagging a deer.
Me too. For me hunting is not about the kill, it's about the pursuit. Sure, I get bummed out when I get skunked, but hey, that's hunting. I just live for the moment. Also get a regulations manual from your DNR or Fish and Wildlife Dept(whatever NC calls it) and read up on all the regs. Be legal, be ethical, be safe.
Hey, If your in NC, make ask to make sure if they are hunting with dogs or not, the reason I ask is because I know hunting with hounds for Deer in NC is very popular. While the rilfe scope set up you, have is good. It would be the wrong answer for running deer with dogs. I would make sure you ask and find out. If they are, I would suggest a shotgun, with a shorter slug barrel and a good low power optic like 1.5x or a aimpoint, or eotech style sight. Since your shots are going to be quick ones, at game that is probably on the move if your using dogs. Make sure that your safe and have fun. Just be extra cautious, and safe and you will have a good time, get a good set of boots, and take care of em, they will last a good while if you take good care of em. You can always usally get the soles replaced if you walk in em enough to wear the soles out.
But have a good time, if you are going to be hunting with dogs, figure out a way to shoot some targets that are moving. Also learn to walk in the woods so you dont make a buncha noise, also if your looking for hunting clothes, look for ones that will allow you to walk quietly through the woods. I like wool but it is expensive, also like fleese too since it is quiet.
Like people said you dont need to go crazy buying equipment. Buy a good knife, one of the original buck knife is good ( the big one). Learn to sharpen it good, so you can touch the blade up fast when your in the field. Get some 550 cord (paracord) a roll of duct tape, I like to wrap it around a pen or pencil, so i dont have to carry a big ole roll of it. Wrap it just like it came off the roll, all nice and neat you can wrap just more than one area if you want too, or even spit the width so you have narrower strips. Any how, with the Blaze Orange, get a good vest, and hat, you can still use camo effectively as long as you dont have something on your sleeves that causes and out line or sillouettte, like sold colors on your legs and sleeves. Hope some of thie helps sorry it was too long.
Don't go gear crazy. Your first year I would go out there and be safe and don't plan on a deer. I don't know how its done down south, but here there is a lot of safety that you have to learn that is not taught in hunter education classes.
Just go in there and ask thousands of questions, if there is 1 things hunters love to do its inflate their ego by teaching someone else how to do it. Then when you shoot your first deer, the guy who taught you will do all but claim it as his own, and will take credit for it for the rest of his life.
Just remember new guy buys beer:)
I dont know what the weather is like in eastern NC but here in North MS its usualy fairly wet all through hunting season (especialy where I hunt) For boots I would recomend a GOOD pair of rubber boots that come almost to the knees. Ive been hunting with the same pair of LaCrosse rubber boots for the last 5 years and never had a problem or a leak. Camo is not that important I usualy wear an insulated pair of Dux back realtree pants with a brown Carhart jacket. In fact the yuppies that come out completely decked out in brand new Mossy Oak with their faces painted, a brand new browning rifle in one of those new uber fantstic short mags with a $1200 swarovsky scope(because the guy at the gunshop saw a sucker coming) usualy get teased pretty heavily. Ive been hunting since I was six years old and I hunt with a Styer 270 with a Nikon Monarch scope. Oh a good climbing stand is always a plus. Like a poster above said just look for deer signs. Droppings, Rubs and Scrapes and tracks are good signs
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