If you are new to hunting and are interested in getting into the sport, we would first like to congratulate you on your interest in a truly rewarding experience. Any hunter will tell you that hunting or the pursuit of game is not about the killing. There is something very primal and spiritual about pitting your senses and abilities against those of your quarry. In the west, that usually means climbing a mountain in the dark before the sun comes up to hopefully spot an animal out feeding in the early morning light. It is very fulfilling to be able to see the fruits of you labors on your dinner table and on your wall. I will not try and explain why everyone hunts, or tell you why you should. Here are a few things to point you in the right direction.
Just starting to hunt, or learning to hunt in a new state requires learning about hunting laws, regulations, and ethics. While good ethics are not required by law, a responsible hunter lives by a strict set of personal ethics. These ethics, as well as firearm safety, wildlife Identification, and hunting laws of the state in which you are taking the course can be learned from a hunters safety/education course. In order to obtain a hunting license, in essentially every state, you will need to complete a state authorized hunter’s safety course.
One of the next things you will logically do is decide what and how you are going to hunt. I would recommend finding someone you know that hunts and go with them. It is a good idea to have someone who can show you the ropes. You don’t want to start your hunting career immediately chasing brown bears with a bow…. A mentor is very important when being introduced to the sport. Many of us had our fathers or grandfathers as mentors, but friends, professional guides, etc. are great options as well. This site specializes in western DIY (Do it Yourself) style of hunting, the most difficult and most rewarding hunting style.
There are a number of items you will need to take with you in order to be safe and ethical while hunting.
You will need a knowledge of the area you will hunting in, the type of game you will be pursing, and be familiar with the weapon you will be using. You will also need to know the laws and regulations pertaining to all three. The regulations can be found in the individual states published proclamations. You can study the animals, and how to care for a harvest in a variety of ways. I think the best way is to accompany someone else on a similar hunt. The best to way to get familiar with your weapon is to practice using it in a controlled environment.
This is a pretty basic intro into the world of hunting. Before you know it, you will be ADDICTED like the rest of us. You should find most hunters eager to help. A great resource for a beginning hunter is our Hunting Forum section.
Once again, welcome to hunting, hopefully this site can help you get on your way.
-The Hunt Addicts Team