I believe I was 12 when I first went hunting. Dad never hunted, never been the outdoorsy type. I started hunting with cousins and uncles. I'm glad they hunted b/c I don't know what I'd do with my spare time otherwise.
The first time I held my own license I was 9, but I had been going with dad at 5 or 6. I am 48 now and have held at least a deer license every year sense. Wish I could say that I got to shoot something every year but I learned or taught something with each experience.
One of the most important components of deciphering a new hunting area is distinguishing between the summer and winter ranges for the game that you plan to pursue. Without knowing this you cannot make reliable assumptions about where the game will be come opening day. Knowing these areas will allow you to take the current weather (as well as the past couple weeks) and apply that to the landscape and make an educated guess as to where you might find that big buck or bull.
There are a couple ways...