Need advice. Never been hunting before

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by patnewmex, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. patnewmex

    patnewmex Jane of all trades

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    Hi,

    I've never been hunting before but I'd like to start. The reason is for meat for the freezer, not sport. I live in New Mexico where we have elk. I used to live in Wisc. where there were lovely white tail deer. I don't think we have much, if any, deer here. Regarding getting a license: There is a lottery so you can't just go get a license and go out if you want. However, I'm still going to enter the lottery.

    I have a 30.06 with a scope and hope this would work for Elk. I know almost nothing about where to go, what to do, when to go, etc. My husband also has a 30.06 and gave up on the idea of hunting, but I haven't!

    What would be a good resource for me to start learning about hunting? Do's and Dont's, etc. I can't exactly go to my neighbors/the locals as they are known poachers and I won't do that. They have offered that I go with, but I wouldn't do that in a million years! My other, good neighbor who hunts has been unlucky in getting a license in the lottery for 10 years running, so he's a might rusty.

    Any suggestions or advice is much appreciated.

    Pat
     
  2. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy

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    Go take a hunter safety course. Then go practise shooting out at the range. Get comfortable with your weapon, know its limits, experiment with different loads. Different bullet manufatures as well, Some shoot better in some guns.
    A 30.06 is fine for deer. Be sure to learn the kill zone on your target.
    And practise practise practise before you ever go in the field :) BTW Welcome to hunting :)
     

  3. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    Bear in mind, unless you can hunt within walking distance of you residence, the expense of the many miles that might need to be driven to maybe harvest an animal might go a long way toward filling your freezer with store purchased products.
     
  4. commomsense

    commomsense Beef,Its whats for dinner

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    Accuraccy before anything.Practice,Practice,PRACTICE!!!Don't take a shot unless you know you can make a safe shot.
     
  5. commomsense

    commomsense Beef,Its whats for dinner

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    But the store bought crap is expensive and isn't good for you.Hunting is fun,The meat is much better and one day you might need the experence.
     
  6. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    Understood, just wish I was close to something like where you are. I know many guys around here who drive 1500 miles out there stay 3 days and drive 1500 miles back, with or without an elk.
     
  7. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    As already suggested, hunter safety course should be first on your list. I would suggest starting a little smaller than elk for a first time hunter. Not that I would discourage you from entering the lottery, etc. But if you start with squirrels, prairie dogs, rabbits, quail, or whatever small game is available there I think it would help. You'd learn tactics, tracking wounded game, dressing out game, and not get nearly as frustrated.
     
  8. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

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    Good! No very good. Your wanting to hunt and learn to hunt is a new and exciting adventure. You didn't say where you lived. You might not have far to go to hunt. First if your born after a certain year you will have to have hunter safety course. I would suggest one anyway. You will learn basic safety, kill zones, field dressing and possibly care of meat into the freezer. You will meet other hunters, not just kids, on their way to learning also. I would go to the local library and check out books on elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and other game of new mexico. I'd go talk to the local game and fish office to find out what kind of game is available in the area/ state. They might know of local land owners that might allow hunting of does or elk cows ect. To rid themselves of extra amimals. Dose your state have cull hunts? Ask them. I'd go to the local gun/sports shop and see if they have a bulliten board, it may have hunters looking for partners, people with land to hunt on ect. I then would see if you or your husband had skills that might be barterted for a possible trip on some ranchers or farmers land. And would you be willing to learn? I used to trade about 5 weekends on a ranch in wyoming to get to hunt muledeer and antelope on it. I helped with branding on a certain weekend. And then helped haying and fence fixing, irrigateing ect. What ever was needed. I got to work outside and it was fun.
    You might even go online in new mexico forums to find other hunters. You might put a ad at the co op farm store, or in one of those little free papers that supermarkets have.
    You need to get a copy of the fish and game orders that hunters get to determine the area boundaries and open and close dates.
    Go to the blm office and get maps of your immidiate area for public lands that anyone with a valid license can hunt on. Hope this helps. Go Girl.
     
  9. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Well I know there is Mulies there.You might want to check with your Fish and Wildlife Department on what Game you have there.

    big rockpile
     
  10. patnewmex

    patnewmex Jane of all trades

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    Thanks everyone for great advice! I'll take a hunters saftey course asap. My husband and I go out to a local gravel pit and shoot about every other weekend. It is a fun experience for us and it helps me to get to know the guns I own.

    To answer Shadow-walkers' question, I live in the Jemez (pronounced hey-miss) area about 40 minutes north of Albuquerque in the Jemez River Valley. We are close to regions where elk can be found, close to where we harvest wood at. I do understand though the problem of actually having to dress and tote back a huge animal to the house (imagine it in my VW BUG???)

    Again, thanks for the advice and I'll report back.

    Pat
     
  11. JJ Grandits

    JJ Grandits Well-Known Member

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    It's always great to hear of a women who wants to get into hunting. With all the anti's out there women hunters and shooters will be our salvation. THere is some great advice here. take some courses, study and practice. It can take time to become an accomplished hunter but is a wonderful journey. As stated before, small game and bird hunting can fill a freezer as much as a deer or elk would. Matter of fact, a nice rabbit stew or roast grouse would go down pretty good for dinner.
     
  12. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    There are lots of good hunting forums on the net where you can gain a lot of knowledge. A few years back I talked my wife into going on a muzzleloader hunt with me. I had a stand big enough for both of us and had been seeing deer everytime I went. It was great sitting there with her when she shot that first one. Since then Ive had to buy her her own ML rifle ( so I could get mine back). She's also taken over one of my other rifles and has become an excellent shooter with it She's killed 2 so far this year and we still have until Jan 1 to hunt. She even helps me butcher them!!!
     
  13. GREENCOUNTYPETE

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

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    find some one to go with after you take a hunter safty cource you will likely find some one in the class to go with or that can point you in the right direction

    30-o6 is about the most versitile round in history and with a 180 grain bullet properly placed i see no reason why it shouldn't work although some may tell you it is a little small with these new controled expantion larcge game bullets you should be fine.

    but with elk you are going to have to quarter them to get them out unless you can drive the truck to them. and it will take trips 5 to be percise the head ,each hind quarter and each shoulder .

    like i said go with someone the first time.
    happy hunting
     
  14. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    I aggree that you should take a hunter's safety course, & it may even be required for new big game hunters in your state. Even if its not, its your best resource for finding mentors to help guide you. I don't know of any hunters that wouldn't be delighted to help a beginer.As PETE said, the .30/06 is a very potent cartridge. It was the long-range round of choice for many years & has taken every big game animal in North America, including moose & grizzleys. It will be fine for elk or mule deer. However,killing your animal is just the begining. What do you do then? You are going to have to know how to field dress & butcher an animal that is as large as an elk. A bull elk can easily weigh 750lbs or more. I don't want to sound negative here, but If you really want to learn to hunt you might want to consider getting a .22 & starting out on rabbits & squirrels.