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Joined: 02/04/2011
Posts: 2
Suggestions for newbie's?

Hey Everyone,
I'm new to the site and new to hunting (animals). I have been paintballing for years and finally decided to turn my talent for shooting people into putting food on the table and furs on the couch. I just completed the hunter's basic education course (online) and will be doing the range certification very soon. After much research I purchased a Winchester model 70 extreme weather ss 30-06 rifle today. I'm super excited, and I'll admit, a bit anxious of the responsibility of the firearm I just purchased. I love how light the model 70 is, and it feels great in my hands. In love More than anything, I can't wait to get out there come hunting season.

My question to all those who have gone before me is: Beyond the hunter's basic education course, where can I learn more about hunting, and are there any opportunities out there to learn from experienced hunters? I'm sure it's nobody's idea of fun to have a newbie tag along, so I don't mind paying for the opportunity to learn if thats the way to go about it.


Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 382

Glad to have you on board Zelda.  Three quick suggestions for you on your new hunting journey.  The first you've already done by joining this site.  The folks here have a ton of good advice based on years or successes & mistakes & from many different prospectives.  Second, look around your area & join up with some hunting/wildlife oriented organizations like Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club, or course NRA and local gun or shooting clubs.  Within each it'll be easy to find a mentor.  Third, I'd suggest getting a .22 rifle similar to your big game rifle with similar sights - in your case a bolt action with a scope - and a couple of bricks of .22 ammo. It'll be a whole lot easier and cheaper to practice good techniques & correct problems than with your .30-06.

Looking forward to here about your progress in hunting, both the success and the goofs.  Like any other kind of adventure, starting off can be full of frustration but I can guarantee it'll be full of fun & excitment also.  Geez, I'm kinda jealous - almost wish I could start over again! 

numbnutz's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
Welcome aboard. First i would

Welcome aboard. First i would ask what state your from or going to be hunting? If you from Oregon i will have a ton of info for you. I would figure out what animals you want to hunt. Again if your from OR I would sugest starting out on mule deer in eastern oregon, They are a lot eaiser to hunt than the blacktails that live in the jungles of western Oregon. Also go to Odfw's website or whatever state your hunting. The Oregon site has great info and a hunting google based map so you can check out the different units and terrains. Also has the draw info, all of eastern oregon is a draw for tag that you have to have your apps in by May 15th. Also go to a rifle range or somewhere in the mountains that is legal to shoot and get that rifle sighted in, then practice practice practice.

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3213
Welcome to BGH! You have

Welcome to BGH! You have certainly bought a good rifle and in a good cartridge. I'd also ask what state your from?

groovy mike's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2544

Welcome!  As the others have said - you are already on the right track.  There is a wealth of information on this site.  Believe it or not most hunters (including us) would be delighted to help a new hunter learn.  The closest we can get to that exceitment of the first harvest is to help someone else do it. 

The 30-06 is a fine cartridge capable of taking any game that walks.

The model 70 is a fine rifle too - the "rifleman's rifle"

You have made a good choice, but be prepared for recoil.  You might consider picking up a shooting pad to cushion your shoulder while you are practicing at the range.

Most big game hunters begin with deer as their first big game animal.  If you search this forum for teh section on your state or on your type of deer, you will find a wealth of knowledge just waiting for you to read.  Then you'll have more specific questions and chances are good, we'll be happy to help with them.

Meanwhile - I recommend reading this one.  It's a story about how as a young hunter, I learned a very important lesson:


Happy reading. 






Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
Welcome to BGH Zelda!! Well,

Welcome to BGH Zelda!!

Well, you started out on the right foot by joining this site.  Lots of great advice and information to be found.

I would also look at local hunt clubs, or go to a show or something in your area and start asking questions.

Good luck!

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
Welcomne to the forum

Welcomne to the forum Zelda,

You made a start in the right direction but be sure to let us know how you are doing.

We're waiting for more information and questions and have more suggestions but doesn't look like you've been back yet.

Location: Bend, Oregon
Joined: 08/27/2007
Posts: 80
Attend a sportsmans show. 

Attend a sportsmans show.  These always have helpful seminars for a new guy. Get a video on cleaning and butchering game.   

Joined: 02/04/2011
Posts: 2
Back again..

Hey everyone,
Thank you for your great advice and supportive replies. I live in Snohomish County in Washington and will primarily be hunting in Washington. I'm planning to get to out to the range this weekend to try out the new rifle, and I will let you know how it goes. I've read that the kick back on the model 70 is not that bad, but since I have nothing to compare it to, this could be interesting. we have an old el cheapo .22 that really needs to see a gunsmith before I would consider shooting it. I appreciate the advice to practice shoot with the .22 to off set the cost of ammo. You're right, ammo for the 30-06 was a tad pricey. Oh well, I'd rather spend a day shooting than two hours in a movie theatre. I am looking at some local club organizations to join, and I have been putting the word out to people I know that I'm looking for a hunting buddy/mentor.
I expect that I will "goof" a lot and will be pleased to share these stories with you all. I also have the mindset that spending the time out in the woods and getting nothing, is still a day in the woods and better than a day anywhere else. I am glad to hear that mule deer are a bit easy to get, so I may focus on that this year. As far as dressing the game, that's about the only thing I feel 100% confident on. I raise rabbits for meat/fur and have dressed rabbits, turkeys and ducks. I watched a few YouTube videos and saw that it's the same process as the rabbit, but bigger. so no problem there. I am not squeamish at all. My biggest concern at this point is ensuring that my shots will be accurate, as I believe in as quick a death as possible. So, I'll be practicing a lot with my new rifle. I also got a tip off on where some elk are hanging out at the moment, so I'm going to try scouting that out this weekend or next and begin learning their patterns so I'll know where they are come hunting season. I read that the hunters that get game are the ones that hunt year round, and shoot during hunting season.

Thanks again for all your support and advice. I will keep you all updated throughout this new adventure for me.

WishIWasHunting's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Brighton, CO
Joined: 01/31/2011
Posts: 700

It sounds like you are leaps and bounds ahead of many newbie hunters.  Thumbs up As you are getting started, remember that hunting is as complicated or simple as you want to make it.  Don't spend more on equipment to get started than you have to, and you really don't need that much equipment.  Between a good pair of boots, and the rifle you already purchased, I think you would have everything you need.  Just realize the limits of your setup.  Over time, you will find out what equipment you want to add to your arsenal, and then you can make the best purchase for your situation.  Nobody can tell you exactly what you need for your hunt. 

Besides equipment, as your hunting knowledge grows, some tactics such as hunting into the wind, hunting with the sun, and watching for sign, become almost automatic making parts of the hunt "easier".  As these tactics become ingrained, you will pickup new tidbits of information, either by yourself in the field, hunting with someone else, or participating in a forum like this. 

There are millions of different reasons why we all enjoy hunting, but I think the incredible lifetime learning opportunity presented by hunting is one of the main reasons that keeps hunters coming back for more. 

Remember that a bad day hunting beats a great day at work anytime.  If that statement isn't true, you are probably doing something wrong (I guess there might be an exception for people who are professional hunters? Confused ).

Good luck, and I look forward to hearing about your hunting experiences. 

numbnutz's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
Since your going to be

Since your going to be hunting in WA I wont have any info on where to go but, you should check the regs and figure out where to go and how to apply for tags, Also where the OTC tags are. I will also suggest you practice a lot with that rifle of yours, Maybe even get out asap to do some coyote hunting, it will be great practice for you. Get those first time jitters out before the big game seasons start. Good luck to you and remember practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more.

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