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Joined: 12/02/2008
Posts: 1
New to hunting need help

yeah im going to start deer hunting soon but I need some help

first of all im from southern MI and im probably going to start hunting in the lower peninsula so im going to need to buy a shotgun. how long should the barrel be, and should i use buck shot or slugs, and should i use a scope or open sites.

also should i shoot from a tree or on the ground.


Location: Kingston, MI
Joined: 01/16/2007
Posts: 592
New to hunting need help

Most of those questions are a matter of personal preference. I use a 12 gauge Ithica Model 87 DeerSlayer with a fixed rifled barrel. I have a Leupold 1.5 - 4X scope on it. I only shoot slugs through it and tried several different kinds until I found the one that shoots best in my gun.

With all that being said, I've shot deer with several different kinds of shotguns with both slugs and buckshot.

One other thing to consider might be a muzzleloader. You could use it during the gun season in southern Michigan, as well as the December muzzle loading season. You only get 1 shot, but the new front loaders are accurate out to 200 yards.

Lastly, if you're in southern Michigan, you might want to stop in at the Cabela's store in Dundee. It's at exit 17 on US 23. You could handle several different guns and pick out the one that best suits your personal preference and budget. I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Location: Minnesota
Joined: 11/26/2007
Posts: 74
New to hunting need help

Regarding a stand, i would recommend that you keep it simple to start with. Hunt from the ground a few times, to get a feel for what it is all about. Getting in a tree has multiple issues, like wiggle room, shot angle, placement, and, fo course, safety harness issues. Going fro the ground first will help you figure out what you like, need, and want when you go hunting. I like to pack a lunch and head out for a while. A tree stand has little room and eating can be tough. I like MRE's and they are impossible to prepare in a tree stand. Also, i gun hunt an area that is open. If i want to stalk a deer, i can do that easily from the ground, not so from a stand. This is because i hunt escape routes with a gun. With a bow, i use a tree stand, and typically stay out 4 hours or less.

Things to think about....

Location: Pewaukee, WI
Joined: 10/11/2008
Posts: 8
New to hunting need help

Depending upon which side of the state you are on, in the lower MI, there are rifle zones. Newer shotguns have rifled barrels and can increase your effective killing range as compared to old shotguns. If you think you can learn to use the gun accurately, then I would suggest slugs. I know in WI, they require slugs in most if not all shotgun area's for deer hunting. MI may still allow buckshot.

They style you choose to hunt may depend alot on where you are hunting as well. Public land or private land can change the way you hunt to some degree. No control of where people are sitting or walking. No knowledge of where they intend to go. Will you have a nice stand set up, only for the sun to come up and find another hunter less than 30yds from you...or those oh so lovely "hunters" who walk out after light, sit an hour, then walk right back out.

This time of year, being on the groud has its advantages as well. Sometimes its just to cold to be unprotected up high from the wind and elements. Cold air drags your scent down anyway, so other than viewpoint, it can be a disadvantage.

First time hunting, and if shotgun zone, I would find a place and either build a ground blind, snow blind or find a stump or log to sit comfortably on. I would use the newer rifled slugs, and make sure you keep your hands and feet warm. If your going to to hunt late season, I HIGHLY recommend using toasty toes, electric socks, GOOD gloves and hot hands for your pockets. If hands or feet are frozen, the hunt is over. I have been 40ft up my tree in blizzards with my knee's knocking and shivering all over, but my hands and feet were warm and so was able to bear it.

If your time is limited, like mine is, then try to hunt before work in the morning say 6-8am and/or 3-5 pm. Sometimes I get out with only 30 minutes of light left, but those are prime minutes. Tonight I was careless walking in at 4:15 looking for my nephew and walked right into 3 deer staring at me. Needless to say, a bow and arrow is not the best weapon to shoot at moving deer at 50 yds.

The best advice I can give you though, is don't give it up after a few times out or putting in alot of time and not getting a deer. If you spend enough time and are interested in learning more about deer behaviour and hunting techniques, you will score a deer and then most likely hooked for life.

Good luck, I truly hope you get something.

7mm Magnum's picture
Location: Custer, Michigan
Joined: 03/16/2008
Posts: 89
New to hunting need help

Well first off you need to familiarize yourself with whatever method you intend on using,...

A shotgun for what it's worth needs to be patterned or zeroed prior to entering the field. IF you intend on using buckshot or a slug you need to go to a range with a LARGE piece of cardboard with a bullseye somewheres near the center of it and pace yourself 50 yards back. Iron sights or scope will need to be adjusted to get yourself on target.

Forgive me if I'm wrong,.. but it sounds as if you are just starting out and these are things you'll need to do 1st ! Once you have figured out where your shot is going to place on the target at that distance you will know where your going to need to aim out in the field at your prey. You can also then go back to a 75 yard distance and the 100 yards to see what kind of hold over your going to need to establish a on target hit in the vitals. Note: the further distance away you are from your target using buckshot the MORE spread out your kill pattern is going to be,... hence the less probability your going to kill your intended target and you'll wind up wounding it and have to track it for quite some time. I would suggest just sticking to a slug this season until you can familiarize yourself better to the way your weapon of choice will shoot. This way you have only the one projectile to concentrate on and not several. If your shotguns barrel IS rifled then you should shoot a normal smooth style slug,... if not then you should get a rifled slug for a smooth barrel. This way the rifling is on the slug itself and it will help in allowing the projectile to fly straighter, further, and more accurately. When you do get out in the woods to a area that looks good move slowly, scan the areas around you by using your eyes and not your whole body when possible. You will notice things better this way. When an object moves horizontally through all the stationary vertical objects (trees) you will be able to pick them up quickly. This will help you hone your hunting characteristics while out in the field. Only move once you have noted no movement and then move cautiously to a new area to rescan.

Good luck to you where ever you might decide to go. Thumbs up