New to hunting and looking to get my hands a bit dirty. - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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New to hunting and looking to get my hands a bit dirty.

Hello, just joined the forum last week. Ive been becoming more and more interested in hunting and took my hunting exam.
I was really excited to pass and have been reading and wathcing videos to try and teach me as much as i can.
Ive done a lot of things outdoors and love fishing and camping...., but ive never been hunting or knew anyone who hunted,
So this is relly new to me and ive had a couple things on my mind and wanted to ask and see what you guys think.
I ordered my rifle after doing some research and should be picking it up next week, just enough time to sight the gun in and get some practive with it before the season is open.
Im hoping to get a deer this season but am in no rush and would rather try and learn as much as i can, I am looking for anyone in my area's who willing to teach a new hunter the basics.
The plan is to either on public land or try and get a deer off my parents property if i can sit and stalk one out of hiding.
One thing thats been on my mind is other hunters on public land. I heard of getting early and using wind to your advantage, sounds great, but How often do you bump into other hunters and how to avoid it and how annoying is it.
What do you do if you see someone and want to try and let them know your presence without scarring the deer away and can another hunter turn your trip into unsucess?
I also wanted to know about tree stands, I wont be using one yet. But heard others setting up in advanced. Has anyone ever woke up for a hunt got to there site and found someone sitting in there tree stand?
And what are the chances of theft of tree stands, are there locks on them?
This is has been on my mind and i still have to read the laws and regulations for hunting in the state, but i wanted to know about field dressing a deer.
If i was hunting alone and was far enough out i would want to try and reduce as much weight as possible. How much can i field dress and butcher a deer in the woods before packing out and being legal?
Hope these questions dont sound too ridiculous to ask, hahah!
I wanted to let you guys know what im working with so far also and what im planning on buying and seeing if there are any recomendations tips for me or anything you wana share.
Just on a side note i am in the scranton-tobyhanna area of pa.
I have some camo gear already tho the jacket i bought is mossy oak and the pants and boots are real tree. Im hoping i can still fool the deer and that im not going to give myself away.
I bought a browning hells canyon speed in .30-06 and will be going to get a scope at cabelas the day my rifle is ready to pick up. I was looking and was surprised how much the scopes are going for.
Wont be getting the high end scope but do have some room in the budget for a decent one. Another member told me leupold is good and see it is on sale at cabelas, and ive been looking at a vortex viper 30mm.
Am open to ideas tho, will be picking up the 4 types of calls i been reading about, Can(fawn,doe), grunt, wheez, rattle. I know there will be a lot of brand to choose from, what have you guys settled on using as your favorites over the years?
Well ill leave it at that. Hope you guys all have a safe hunt this season and get yourselfs a big buck and have a good ole time.

Last edited by SneakyHunterThomas; 11-16-2019 at 11:22 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 11:46 PM
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Don't forget your Florescent orange head chest and back


Good luck and enjoy yourself

wmu 3A
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 08:24 AM
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Welcome. You're trying to learn a lot in a VERY short time. For right now, I'd suggest getting your gun scoped and shot in the highest priority (don't forget to clean the barrel well first). You have very little time to do much scouting and you really probably don't know what to look for, so just figure your first season as a walk in the woods learning experience. Forget the calls for now. Don't know where your parent's property is, but that's probably the best bet for this year.

Sounds like you have a lot to learn, but learning is a big part of the enjoyment. Good luck!

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 08:28 AM
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Hello and welcome to the club! Good luck on your new adventure!!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 08:41 AM
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Slow down and enjoy it. Don't get all wrapped up in buying all the latest gadgetry. I have shot all my deer dressed like a blaze orange Big Bird.
Start by being able to spend the day staying warm not getting lost and enjoying the sights.
You will run into other hunters at some point that is just how it is so just do what you can to move away from them as quietly as you can and maybe you will get the same in return. I've shot deer while someone has approached from the opposite direction.
Things like frequency of seeing others or theft depends on the area. Where I live I expect to run into another hunter about the time the road or last hunter is out of sight. Where my camp is I might see 1 or 2 others the entire day. Based on this my tree stands are only used at camp or on my property at home.
Choice of rifle is tricky. As long as the rifle fits you it is a good choice. I personally love the 30-06 some don't(but they are communists). When I say the gun needs to fit you should be able to acquire the sights or scope naturally without searching for them. Yes you practice to improve this and you should. Can you find the safety quickly or are you looking for it. Again practice. Practice can mostly overcome an ill fitting gun. But most important the gun must function as designed as it is a tool and a tool that doesn't work is no good. Scopes are also funny as I use a brand of scope that others feel are junk yet all my rifles are accurate with them and I find a sight picture immediately so they work for me.
The only time I concerned myself with matching camo patterns is when I bought a rain outfit. I already had the jacket that I wore in Alaska fishing and wanted the same pants as I had confidence in them and they were only available in that pattern whatever it was.
Have fun is the big thing
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 09:11 AM
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Welcome to the healthiest addiction that will pay you with a lifetime of memories and freezer full of dishes that nonhunters don't appreciate...unless you make jerky! Then, they'll all want some! Hahaha!

I used to live in Gouldsboro for 10 years and have plans to move back up there in the future. I travel up there to hunt many Saturdays throughout the season. I know a lot of the public land in the area around you and will honestly tell you that those deer are in quality habitat that might be surrounded by acres of woods that seem like a desert wasteland. Don't be discouraged if you're not seeing deer, just keep moving until you find where they are.

Shoot me an IM if you're interested in discussing the public lands that you've ventured into. I might even be able to help you with your parents property if you describe it to me.

Good luck,
Brian
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 10:39 AM
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something i havent seen anybody tell you is if you have a buddy that hunts ask him to go with you and show the ropes. as said you are trying to learn a lot in a short amount of time. if you can join a sportsmens club where there is a lot of knowledge to be had. good luck.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 10:56 AM
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Many kudos for picking up this great sport. Most of us on HPA have been in the woods since we were born, and most of us can't imagine what it's like to jump in headfirst like you are. It sounds like you're doing a lot of research and going about things in a pretty methodical manner, so you're definitely on the right track.

The toughest part hands down is gaining familiarity with your hunting area. I'm admittedly not a very good deer hunter, but I am able to fill a lot of tags because I hunt good areas and have become very familiar with them over many years. There's no substitute for years of experience, but with the advent of apps like OnX Maps and Huntstand, it's a lot easier to scout and learn your hunting area. I'd download and learn to use those apps, but you'll also want boots on the ground. At this point, you'll probably be better off with some armed scouting missions during the season, but get in there in February after a good snow and see how the deer use that area without significant hunting pressure. YouTube channels like The Hunting Public spend a lot of time explaining how they choose their hunting areas, and are entertaining to boot. If you opt for the public ground, just be mentally prepared to deal with some questionable "hunters". There's plenty of threads worth of public land horror stories on here, but there's also tons of success stories as well. Don't shy from public, but just be prepared for the ugly side. If you encounter others on public, a quick flip of the flashlight is usually sufficienct to let them know you're there. General rule of thumb is if someone is already at your spot when you get there, you move on. If you decide to let your stand on public, having someone else in it is a risk you run. They might be willing to leave if you can prove ownership of the stand.

As far as a stand, I would just hunt from the ground until you get your feet under you a bit, and then invest a good climber or portable lock-on with climbing sticks. Get good at carrying them in and out each hunt. Questionable folks can't steal what's not there. IMO, stands are a lot more valuable for archery, but they have their place in the rifle season in certain situations.

If you find success in the field, you'll have to be prepared for what that entails. Field dressing is a fun experience, especially the first time. Again, YouTube is your friend there. I tend to keep my cavity opening as small as necesary, so it doesn't gather a bunch of leaves and dirt on the drag out. I've found that dragging them using my four-point treestand safety harness makes that task significantly easier, but a good, stout rope with a wooden handle gets it done as well. In other situations, packing out may be the better answer, and is actually my preferred method anymore. That'll require a good hunting pack that's capable of securing game bags full of meat, a decent knife, game bags (I use old pillowcases), and a basic knowledge of whitetail anatomy. Research the gutless method that's popular out west... once you've done it a few times, it becomes quite simple. I believe legally, you need to transport the head out with you if you decide to pack out.

Once you've gotten your critter out of the woods, make sure you have a line on a good local butcher, or have a decent butcher knife in your arsenal. A 6" semi-flexible boning knife will handle just about anything. I take a lot of pride in seeing my deer through from field to table, so that'd be my recommendation. Again, plenty of info out there on how to butcher your own.

Aside from that, spend plenty of time practicing with your new rifle (that caliber of Browning topped with a Vortex is an excellent choice, BTW). Shoot on the bags to establish a good zero, but also practice offhand and using a tree as a rest... basically replicate your shooting situations in the field. A pair of shooting sticks is probably a good purchase.

A season afield will be a fine adventure and a great learning experience, so slow down and have fun with it. Good luck, and we all look forward to hearing about your season.
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Last edited by jmbear12; 11-17-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 11:28 AM
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I'm in Scranton.If there's anything u want to know pm me
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 12:47 PM
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Hey bro, I am on Lake Wallenpaupack. If you need anything let me know, us local guys can help you out. There are some good game lands around Gouldsboro and TobyHARLEM, and up by me in Promised Land and the Delaware State Forest. I will be up in gouldsboro shotgunnin' coyotes in the coming weeks.
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