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Young Snappa
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So I mainly fish but have been trying to get into hunting. My family has never been keen to it, so I am having a tough time finding a way to learn the ropes. All the guides and mentors I see charge 300 a day or hunt. I am fresh out of college and can't really afford that. I took the hunter safety class and have my license. What do you guys recommend I do about learning to hunt properly? I am not all about the kill but more the experience of being in the woods/ enjoying nature. I have a bow and a shotgun. Thanks. I am near Eglin
 

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With the advent of the internet there is NOTHING you can't learn online or Youtube. Other than that lots of patience, do not believe you need tons of money to be a good hunter, your great great great grandfather killed plenty of meat, so don't waste your money on washing your clothes in soap that SUPPOSEDLY makes you invisible to animals and so on. I have killed many deer and NEVER used any of that, I have however used scent attractants, doe urine and such. Good luck bud and keep us posted.
 

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Get into woods. Year round. Listen to the sound. Look at tracks, rubs, scrapes. Watch for patterns. Look at trails that are used and not used. When you look enough, you will be able to see things that you previously didn't notice.

I am self taught. My father has a big hunter, but left when I was 9 and died when I was 12. So I had to figure it out on my own when I got older. Still to this day, none of my friends hunt, so I still have to figure it out on my own. There is no substitute for time in the woods.

And I agree with CCC. The internet is your friend. In the woods in the day, scouring the internet at night!

And he is correct, no need for thousands of dollars of gear. I have about $150-$200 worth of clothing and boots. I do use the scent free detergent. It's about $10. And I use the scent free spray for my boots and hands. and spray my neck . Cold spray of THAT down the collar WILL wake you up in the morning. I havent always used this stuff and made plenty of kills in the past. But I have it now, so might as well use it. AS a matter of fact, I killed plenty wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt or flannel.

As for the weapon, you are own your own on the bow. I just bought a used one this past fall and am NO good with it! haha
For years, I used a $150 muzzleloader and this fall I installed a $50 scope. Works great. For Christmas, I got a rifle and scope. Havent seen a deer since.... Go figure. haha

All of the gear and camo in the world wont replace knowing the sights and the sounds of the woods.
 
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Save time and money a great tool is a trail camera. If your hunting public land get and inexpensive one and just dont put it in easy access areas. If will pay for itself in one season.
 

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Scent reduction is a science....and not cheap or easy. It would take pages to explain it, but none of it matters if you don't hunt the wind. ALWAYS hunt downwind of the area you most expect the deer to come out. You won't always get it right, but that is the goal.

Figure out what the deer are feeding on at that time of the year. Find the trails that go from bedding to feed. Deer move mostly from 0600-0900 and 1500-dark, so the closer you can get downwind to their bedding the better your chances of seeing them during legal hours.

Invest in a nice comfortable climbing stand made of aluminum that you don't mind carrying in a ways from the road. The farther in you go, the less pressure the deer get.

Practice with your weapons and know your limitations on range. It's better to pass up a questionable shot than to spend 6 hours looking for a wounded deer and blowing out that area for the season.
 

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Map and GPS don't just run out into the woods if you don't know them. Start close to your truck then move a little further each time . Nothing like that feeling of being turned around after dark with coyotes howling And a flashlight going dead.

somewhere in a tree
 

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1. HUNT THE WIND. Whoever tells you that don't matter hasn't killed very many mature deer.

2. Patience

3. Learn from your mistakes. You will make tons if them, it's part of learning.

4.Be respectful of the wonderful things God hasn't given us that so many people will never enjoy or be able to appreciate.

5. Patience

6. Learn what feeding areas, bedding areas and trails are

7. Always be safe. Have your phone, map, GPS, compass, safety harness, etc. Especially when hunting new/public land

8. Patience.

9. Enjoy the woods and understand how to learn from them

10. Always post deer kills on the PFF and await Espo's "it's good" signal.


PS:
Leave all the bullshit calls, scents, pee, etc in the stores. Learn how to hunt without any of that crap and you will be 100000000x more successful. This is the South, not the Midwest you watch on TV. But I would invest in scent less spray and detergent. It will help you tons and is proven unlike some of the other snake oil mess.
 

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The key to all that was Patience took me a couple seasons before I ever saw my first deer. Then a couple season more to kill my first.

somewhere in a tree
 

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You sound like me. Grew up outdoors, never hunted. My dad had finally gotten into it last year before he suddenly passed. So I didn't have anyone to teach me growing up. Folks on the forum have been extremely helpful but I've certainly had to get out there and do everything wrong to get an idea of what's right. Just read up on anything you can and get in the woods. I have yet to kill anything on public land but I'm in a tree right now hoping to put yesterday's miles of scouting to good use.
 

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Best experience is what you learn in the woods. Start by Just hiking trails during off season and get a Hammock and hang some in the woods. Listen to nature and watch for deer trails they will change some from season to season but not a whole lot. Deer are pretty much creatures of habit but will move based on pressure. Get a decent pair of binonuclars and sit hillsides and watch for movement. Rembember that you will be looking for a eay or tail selldome will you see a whole deer. Good luck
 

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First off buy some good insulated boots, a good camo coat, long johns, socks, gloves and a knit cap or you won't be able to sit long. A fleece vest can do wonders to keep you warm.
Some people spend big bucks on Underarmour or other big name clothes. I don't.
I wear military BDU pants and long johns from Walmart.
I buy quite a bit of stuff (like my jacket) from Cabela's when it's on sale. Check Mikes or Scott's in Jay. They usually have some great sales on clothes and boots this time of year.
You can use buckshot or slugs in your shotgun so you don't have to have a rifle right off.
I started out on public land and would build 8' ladder stands out of 2x4s and plywood. I would carry it in and out of the woods each day. I killed my first buck less than 150 yards from the truck so you don't have to hike for miles. Just get out there and learn to sit quiet. Don't make any sudden movements and don't click the safety off, ease it off quietly when you see something. Be sure to wear your orange vest.
Get a good small flashlight. Invest in some "bright eyes" (reflective tacks) so you can find your way out in the dark and keep a roll of orange tape in your pocket.
Best of luck.
 

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Go buy your eglin permit Pm me and I can show you some good info and scouting tips during the small game season...You can be ready for the next season which is jan21....
 

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just go sit in a tree, as high as possible. forget all that crap about scent blocker, doe pee, and whatever else the kid at dicks try's to sell u. I sit in a tree and smoke cigars constantly and see more deer when im smoking then not. Went today and seen several deer, didnt even wear camo just wore what i had on when i was done working. Learn to climb, stay away from green plots and shooting houses. This time of year get in the thick crap bucks aren't out in the open much yet.
 

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Find a mentor. There's nothing like having someone with experience show you the ropes.
 
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Young Snappa
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone for the advice. Fairhope I might take you up on that.


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