Maybe taking up hunting

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by wannafish, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. wannafish

    wannafish In search of Blinky...

    Well, I realized I may need a new hobby when I bought clothes with a Cabela's gift card because I couldn't find anything I need in the fishing department (already have more stuff than I'll probably ever use:rofl:)

    Actually, I've wanted to take up big game hunting for several years and I think fall 2010 may be my year. I'm looking for advice on what kind of gear I can get on a fairly low budget to get me into the field next year. Rifle, packs, camo, knives and every other little bell and whistle I can get my hands on.

    I'm thinking of getting a Savage 30-06 combo with scope for the rifle based on talking to a few shops/friends.

    Any other advice? Where should I sink the big bucks and where can I scrimp a bit? I mostly just want to get out there and I don't really expect to be successful right off the bat (yeah, I fish for steelhead). Mostly I just like getting out into the woods and I wouldn't mind putting some good quality meat on the table.

    Thanks all!
  2. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

    quality optics
  3. ribka

    ribka Active Member

    What do you plan to hunt?

    Deer? Mule, blacktail, whitetail?
    Elk? East side, west side?

    Are plannnig on hunting out -of- state?

    Doing over night trips where you will be camping?
    Need a bit more info.

    As D3SMARTIE said good optics a must. 8x40 or 10x40. Plan on spening at least $500. Will last a life time .

    Get a good pair of boots too
  4. wannafish

    wannafish In search of Blinky...

    To start, I will most likely be hunting the west side as I'll have more chances to get out and scout. I'm just hoping to get out of Pierce County - pretty crowded around here from what I've seen. I'm planning to get deer, elk, and bear tags to maximize my time in the woods, but probably deer most seriously.

    Definately will be out overnight, I'm pretty confident I have the camping gear I should need for that time of the year, but it depends on where I set up and for how long at a time.

    I'm sure the binocs. and scope will be what is lacking in my setup, but I hope to get something better than my $50 Bushnells at least!

    I hear ya on the boots - I have a set of Danners ready to go!

    Also still have to get hunter's ed out of the way. I plan on attacking that as early as possible to make sure I get it in time.

  5. klintd

    klintd Member

    If you plan on taking up hunting I would highly recommend archery over modern firearm. You will have better and longer seasons. You can choose early or late seasons. There will be A LOT less hunters and you can hunt unpressured game. Very rarely will another hunter ruin your a stalk. Generaly archery hunting is a bit more difficult as you need to close the gap to within 50 yards to get a shot you are confident with. However with better seasons and less hunters in the field your chances do increase.

    I used to hunt with a rifle on public land about 15 years ago but will never do it again due to the number of people in the field and the amount of lead in the air. Note that there are far fewer hunters that target black tail on the west side so there are still places where you can have a hillside to yourself. However you will have a hard time finding public land where you cant hear gunshots on opening morning.
  6. John Dude

    John Dude Learned skills from George Dickel

    If you do go with modern rifle, I suggest you take the rifle to a quality gunsmith after you get it. Have him adjust the trigger, refinish the locking lugs, lube the mainspring and hone the firing pin. Check the bedding of the action to stock, and the crowning on the muzzle. The result will be well worth the price. These are all areas where guns new in box are all in need of attention.

    The other key thing is to get the best quality scope you can. The best bang for the buck would be a fixed power scope in 4X or 6X (I put 4Xs on all my hunting guns.)
    Variable power scopes have more parts to go wrong, for a feature that really isn't needed in any sort of hunting in this state. I use Leupolds myself

    Excellent binocs at low prices can be had from Orion Optics.

    calibers would be 30.06, 270 Win, or 280 Rem., or 308 Win. All will handle game up to elk in size, and have lots or options as far as bullets and loads. I'd stay away from the 7mm Rem Mag, as the barrel life is much shorter and the gain in speed doesn't make a difference in the forests and hills of this state.
  7. ribka

    ribka Active Member

    Great advice by John Dude re firearms and scope if you are going to hunt modern firearms.
    Be prepared to deal with crowds on your side. Suggest high buck hunt early in the season. Not as many people. Don't forget to scout your hunting areas before season starts. Some good info on huntingwashington web site

    Klintd has good advice too. I hunt archery and muzzle loader in WA on the east side of state. Longer seasons and do not have to deal with crowds and all of the dangerous idiots in the woods. Plus much more enjoyable hunting with primitive weapons. I enjoy archery because a hobby can enjoy year round and just enjoy shooting my bow. Hunting with primitive weapons will make you a better more skilled hunter as it requires more woodsman's skills to get close to game. Can pick up a muzzleloader and a bow for reasonable price.

    PM if interested can suggest more detailed info on purchasing a bow arrows, muzzle loader, loads, bullets etc.
  8. John Dude

    John Dude Learned skills from George Dickel

    Forgot 1 more piece of advice.

    Once you have the gear and know where you're going to hunt, do 2 things:

    Go to the range and put at least 25 rounds through the rifle (if its a brand new barrel), and get it sighted in. Clean the barrel and let it cool a few times, and take careful note of the FIRST shot's placement in a clean (unfouled) barrel in a cold gun. That's where your money shots will be during a hunt. The game don't let you take fouling and sighter shots, and the bullet placement from a fouled and warm barrel isn't the same.

    Take a weekend and go camping out at the place you want to hunt. You will find its a lot easier to set up a camp if you already know where to go, how the tent goes up, etc, as the October days have less daylight for that sort of thing. Use the trip to scout out the area. I use aerial photos from the Wash state DNR, to locate lines of trees, waterholes, ravines and other natural cover and pathways that deer use. If you're out in say Sept, for this trip, look for trees whose lower leaves are eaten away, up to head high, deer tracks and scat, and rub marks on trees.

    Now that's my advice, here's my long-winded preaching the gospel:

    There's a parallel thread going about using the 30-30 Win. in that someone voted for that as the "perfect" cartridge. If you want 1 gun for deer, elk, or bear, the 30-06 and its family: 270 Win, 280 Rem are great choices. the 308 Win and 7mm-08 are also good.

    My vote for the prefect deer cartridge is my 6.5 Swedish in my Remington 700 Classic rifle, except I don't use it anymore, because I carry a Remington Model Seven Stainless in 7mm-08 for deer. With the 4X scope its only about 5 lbs.
    As far as favorite elk guns, I use a Kimber-refurbished 1937 CZ Mauser I had rechambered in 280 Rem Ackley Improved (a wildcat cartridge), with a synthetic stock and stainless barrel. The 280 Ack sends out bullets faster and flatter than the 7mm Mag, and uses 1/3 less powder and the whole gun weighs less.

    my $.02
  9. wannafish

    wannafish In search of Blinky...

    Thanks for all the info so far!

    I've put a lot of thought into bowhunting vs. modern firearm and I'm just a lot more confident I can get it done with the range of a rifle. I have what I feel are some pretty decent areas to go in mind, but they may be more crowded then I'd anticipate or possibly just plain suck... Archery may still be a possibility for a little while - I just know less about it.

    Great advice on pre-scouting and hitting the range - I plan to do both as much as I possibly can.
  10. koolminx

    koolminx Member

    The 30-06 is the best weapon out there in the entire world as far as versatility. It will take any game you will ever encounter period.

    Bow hunting is an extremely special time for me, and I like it over all other forms, now, Black Powder I really like also :)

    Scouting is your friend before the hunt. I too plan on shooting this next hunting season. Get a REAL good scope unless you are like me and prefer open sights, and shoot the crap out of it. :)
  11. ribka

    ribka Active Member

    Just picked up a CZ in 6.5x55 and is great cartridge
  12. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Archery hunting is to gun hunting as fly fishing is to bait fishing...

    Nothing wrong with either sport, just different experiences and one is more challenging.

    There's a lot of great advice on this thread from people who know what they are talking about.

    I also vote for the 30.06 as the best all around caliber for big game hunting.

    Keep us informed on your progress. And as a guide told me once:

    Shoot straight and stay down wind.
  13. wannafish

    wannafish In search of Blinky...

    Thanks for the analogy Karl - I've always kind of looked at it the same way. So what is 'powerbait' for hunting (just kidding).

    Did some scouting of a new area today that's close to work and not too far from home, so I'll have to put on the hiking boots and get in there a little deeper.

    With archery, I think I'm more nervous about my post-shot tracking skills than my actual shooting skills or stalking skills (if I miss or spook the animal off, at least no harm done, right?)

    Thanks again for all the input so far.
  14. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    Your archery shooting skills are every bit as important, if not more, than with a rifle. If you completely miss it's no harm done, but if you miss and strike a non-vital area, now there's a crippled animal running around that you may or may not recover.
  15. Krystoff

    Krystoff Member

    That would probably be baiting such as corn etc for deer and carrion for bear etc. That and/or the deer farms where they feed them in the fields and take you there to shoot them.
  16. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Powerbait: rifle: anything .375 caliber or larger

    archery: bow with 90 lb draw

    I am not a powerbaiter...
  17. klintd

    klintd Member

    Archery hunting requires a lot more patience and restraint. If you spot and stalk hunt then you are going to see a lot of animals that you will not be able to get within range of, they may be on the move and you cannot keep up or you may put on a stalk get out of sight and not be able to find them again. Most of the ones you do get close to will also somehow manage to slip away or just will not offer up a shot that you know you can make.

    In my opinion spot and stalk hunting with a bow is by far the best most exciting style of hunting. There are so many variables no two hunts are ever the same. When starting out on this style of hunting failure is the only guarentee but with every stalk you will learn and improve your skills. Four years ago my brother and I drew for a special season mule deer hunt in a very good area. We both came away empty handed but is was the best hunting trip I have taken. We hunted for 7 days and had over 20 spot and stalk opportunities, a couple were for deer in the 170 class. None of these opportunities ended with a deer on the ground but all were fun. Quite a few are now stories we still talk about every year in hunting camp.

    For me the best part is the hunt not the kill. Finding a good area you are confident in, moving through the area unnoticed, seeing an animal before it knows you are there, watching and following unnoticed until it beds down, planning a stalk, executing the stalk to get into position, waiting for a shot that you know you can make and having the restraint to pass up all others. Depending on how much you hunt and the amount of game in your hunting area it can take a lifetime to perfect the process. However every part of the process is challenging, fun and exciting.

    Hunting with a rifle is also challenging but you dont know what you are missing until you pick up a primitive weapon.

    Good luck.
  18. Randall Dee

    Randall Dee Castaway

    I don't know if there is any truth too it or not, but I keep hearing about a national ammo shortage. If that is the case, you might want to factor that into your decision. With the popularity of the 30.06 caliber, it may be one of the harder ones to get ammo for right now. Just saying it might be worth checking.

    I inherited my dad's 7mm mag a few years ago and haven't been hunting much the last few years. Since I now have my dad's gun, I'm thinking of selling my Ruger M77 .280 caliber with a Leupold scope. If you think you might be interested, PM me and I can send you some photos and price.
  19. UptheCreek

    UptheCreek Member

    I will second or third the archery option. Just think about the hundreds of dudes or ladies that decide one day to go hunting and just pick up a gun and start shooting at the first thing that moves. It can get real dangerous in the woods with dudes scoping you out with their rifle scopes.....not my idea of fun. Get into archery, you will be glad you did.