Being that I have gotten back in to hunting after a twenty year lay off I find myself asking, or having, many of the same questions as new hunters.
The Hunter's Education classes are good, but one can often have questions arise long after they have taken thier class, if they ever did take a class. I myself have never taken a class and due to my age do not need one in the state I reside. I have found the local Game & Fish office to be a good source for clarifying the rules and regulations pertaining to hunting and fishing. Another good resource is the local shooting range.
Hunters tend to flood the shooting range just before hunting season and one can often get thier questions answered by thier fellow shooters and if two different answers are given for the same question then a quick call to Game and Fish will sort things out.
The lottery system can be confusing. It can also be a bit overwhelming to someone. I was lucky in that I was already familiar with it and just needed to learn the deadlines that applied to me. Folks that hunt and frequent the local range are often able to demystify the system and provide guidence. Who knows, you may luck out and find a hunting partner that way too.
My biggest information source has been the internet and the various forums. I found this year's deer hunting partner on a forum. Good luck as you learn a new style of hunting with, in all liklihood, new regualtions.
Out here in Colorado, and in the units that I haunt, it is a tricky game to figure out how far to pack in on a rifle hunt. You want to get away from the masses that have moved game away from the roads but might want to stay close enough that you are taking advantage of the animals forced movements. There is no universal distance but I like the 1.5 to 4 mile range for day hunts where I am not planning on bivying out. This keeps you in that productive buffer zone where the animals are really...