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EvilJoven
Mar 18, 2005


Fun Shoe

A sausage, basically.

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Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com


EvilJoven posted:

A sausage, basically.

It's a lovely sausage. Like an overweight hotdog pretending to be something good like a chorizo or something but failing miserably. The weeaboos of the mystery meat world. When I'm king of the land I'll outlaw smokies, burn every smokie book and hunt down every last person with the knowledge of their construction.

EvilJoven
Mar 18, 2005


Fun Shoe

They pair really well with mini donuts, too!

AmbassadorofSodomy
Dec 30, 2016

SUCK A MALE CAMEL'S DICK WITH MIRACLE WHIP!!


I've got an opportunity to go pheasant hunting somewhat soon.
What gun should I take?

I've got the following options:
Single barrel 20g with full fixed choke
O/U 20g fixed full and mod
2x SxS 12g both with full and I/mod
O/U 12g with multiple chokes from cyl to X/full <---- this one is the gun I use for trap, so its got 32" barrels, + extended chokes, probably not the most ideal to carry all day.

I'm not sure the type of terrain that I'm going to be hunting, as a field vs forest would probably have some bearing on choice. Its land managed/owned by a local fish and game club or something.

EvilJoven
Mar 18, 2005


Fun Shoe

From my limited understanding if you're walking trail take the SXS with improved. Shoot #7. They're p delicate birds so you'll improve your chances of hitting em with a wider pattern without completely obliterating the bird. They usually don't flush until you're practically stepping on them. Never hunted upland birds in fields. Keep an eye out for rabbit while you're hunting, they make for delicious stew.

If you're walking ATV trails consider buying a pair of crampons. I went out once and it was slippery as gently caress wherever people were driving. I'm really not a fan of walking on slippery surfaces with a loaded firearm.

EDIT: if it's below freezing with snow and stuff, that is.

EvilJoven fucked around with this message at 12:49 on Oct 21, 2020

Verman
Jul 4, 2005
Third time is a charm right?


wesleywillis posted:

I've got an opportunity to go pheasant hunting somewhat soon.
What gun should I take?

I've got the following options:
Single barrel 20g with full fixed choke
O/U 20g fixed full and mod
2x SxS 12g both with full and I/mod
O/U 12g with multiple chokes from cyl to X/full <---- this one is the gun I use for trap, so its got 32" barrels, + extended chokes, probably not the most ideal to carry all day.

I'm not sure the type of terrain that I'm going to be hunting, as a field vs forest would probably have some bearing on choice. Its land managed/owned by a local fish and game club or something.

What part of the country are you hunting in?

I hunt pheasants and grouse out here in Washington state, mostly on the eastern side of the state where the terrain is often pretty open rolling farmland or dry desert. The birds to tend to gravitate towards the trees/brush/water so I've made some tight shots as well.

I've always used my 12g with a modified choke. In my experience for what I hunt, I prefer to have a tighter pattern for when that bird gets away from us, or flushes before the dogs even get to it. You have to be an accurate shot up close but for what I hunt, shots are rarely happening within 10 yards, especially if the birds have been hunted already and are easily spooked. With dogs, you might get a better sense of where the birds are and be able to prepare your shot as you approach. Without dogs, you might end up stepping on birds if they're holding still early in the season. I'll say, even when I hunt grouse in tighter forest, I still use my modified choke because its what I'm used to so I never notice it being an issue.

As for shot size, I started using lead 7 shot when I moved out here and just found it wouldn't knock the birds down. I shot a lot of birds, some kept flying and others knocked down and took off running. Once I switched to 6, I had much more success dropping them on the spot. I know some guys out here use 5, especially if they have to use non toxic shells.

Either of these would be my guns of choice, probably leaning towards the sxs 12
O/U 20g fixed full and mod
2x SxS 12g both with full and I/mod

Verman fucked around with this message at 23:35 on Oct 21, 2020

AmbassadorofSodomy
Dec 30, 2016

SUCK A MALE CAMEL'S DICK WITH MIRACLE WHIP!!


Verman posted:

What part of the country are you hunting in?

I hunt pheasants and grouse out here in Washington state, mostly on the eastern side of the state where the terrain is often pretty open rolling farmland or dry desert. The birds to tend to gravitate towards the trees/brush/water so I've made some tight shots as well.

I've always used my 12g with a modified choke. In my experience for what I hunt, I prefer to have a tighter pattern for when that bird gets away from us, or flushes before the dogs even get to it. You have to be an accurate shot up close but for what I hunt, shots are rarely happening within 10 yards, especially if the birds have been hunted already and are easily spooked. With dogs, you might get a better sense of where the birds are and be able to prepare your shot as you approach. Without dogs, you might end up stepping on birds if they're holding still early in the season. I'll say, even when I hunt grouse in tighter forest, I still use my modified choke because its what I'm used to so I never notice it being an issue.

As for shot size, I started using lead 7 shot when I moved out here and just found it wouldn't knock the birds down. I shot a lot of birds, some kept flying and others knocked down and took off running. Once I switched to 6, I had much more success dropping them on the spot. I know some guys out here use 5, especially if they have to use non toxic shells.

Either of these would be my guns of choice, probably leaning towards the sxs 12
O/U 20g fixed full and mod
2x SxS 12g both with full and I/mod

Thanks to both for the replies, I'll be in Southern Ontario. Norfolk county. Temperatures are still decent (i'm that jerk off that still wears shorts till November) but by the time I actually go it might be a bit colder. I'm pretty sure there won't be dogs involved. I don't know how much hunting pressure the land gets, its not *that* far from large cities so it might be fairly pressured. I've read there aren't too many places left in Ontario with wild pheasant around these days. Mostly its game farms etc.. I'll try to pick up some shells with #6 in them.

Hopefully I'll get one or two and I can join the ranks rather than living vicariously through the rest of you.

Slung Blade
Jul 10, 2002

IN STEEL WE TRUST



wesleywillis posted:

Thanks to both for the replies, I'll be in Southern Ontario. Norfolk county. Temperatures are still decent (i'm that jerk off that still wears shorts till November) but by the time I actually go it might be a bit colder. I'm pretty sure there won't be dogs involved. I don't know how much hunting pressure the land gets, its not *that* far from large cities so it might be fairly pressured. I've read there aren't too many places left in Ontario with wild pheasant around these days. Mostly its game farms etc.. I'll try to pick up some shells with #6 in them.

Hopefully I'll get one or two and I can join the ranks rather than living vicariously through the rest of you.

You guys are super lucky. It's like -15 out in Alberta this week. Cold, windy, snowy as hell.

I didn't even bother getting my birds license this year, been too drat busy, kinda glad I didn't because the weather turned poor after the first half of October. Next year, I hope.

This year I'm gunning for mule doe/buck, a whitetail on general, and my buddy pulled his cow moose tag so we are in line for a ton of meat if we can close the deal successfully. Glad we both pulled the right tags, didn't have to waste time trying to use archery on deer in the prairies.

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


So if you have followed these threads for a while elk hunting has been my white whale for a while. This problem is I committed to doing it DIY on public land and am a nonresident of any state with a huntable elk population. I short I’ve spent the last 5 years applying in multiple states, hunting on leftover/OTC tags and while I got close, I never managed to kill an elk.

This year I drew a Wyoming elk tag after way too many years of applying. I was in limbo between getting a good limited entry unit and had too many points to burn on a general tag. I ended up splitting my points with a friend and we drew elk tags in the Bighorn mountains. These are basically the least desirable limited entry units mostly because they tend to have some weather issues. As a point of reference Randy Newberg was towed out of this same unit by a game warden after a blizzard so it seemed like the logical place to go right?

3 of went out to Wyoming with 2 elk tags and 4 antelope doe tags this year. We took Charliebravo77’s truck and towed a trailer provided by the other hunter. Needless to say the trailer was a huge pain in the rear end and the lights didn’t work initially on CharlieBravo77’s truck before we even left the 60 degree clear Chicago suburbs. A trip to autozone and we were West bound and down.

Prior to the hunt we had pretty good weather in the forecast. We could hunt Thursday until Friday of the following week if necessary and there was only 1 day of snow in the forecast. Needless to say that forecast went to hell while we were driving out there and suddenly we had snow expected most days. We were tent camping on this trip and knew mobility would be limited.

Upon getting to the unit there was maybe 2 inches of snow at 8,000 ft so we proceeded to drive up to 9,600 ft and go to the far end of the unit where we would ideally hunt.



It was in the 20’s but the wind was blowing 40 mph and drifting snow. We passed a few camps and eventually hit a point only ATV’s were going down the road and snow was drifting up. Eventually 2 miles from the far end of the unit we buried the truck into a foot of snow that was drifted across the road……



We managed to back out though that’s a huge pain in the rear end with a trailer in tow. We changed clothes in the truck and glassed a basin from the windy side.





We saw little sign but it was also midmorning. We realized we couldn’t get down off the finger ridges with the truck where the ATV’s could go and headed down the mountain.

It was snowing lightly at this point but drifting really badly where the road bed was below the adjacent terrain. While going back up the spine ridge to the high mountain the truck started losing traction and we had to backup. This repeated a few times and eventually it ended with us stuck in a snow drift with a trailer jackknifed on the downhill side of us. We sheared off the tool box from the trailer hitch as well. Some locals came buy on ATV’s, saw the IL license plates and asked if we knew what we were doing. Luckily we had recovery boards and got out of the drift on the second attempt. From then on we knew it would only degrade up high and we moved back down the mountain and setup up camp at 8,400 ft at a walk in TH. Somewhere along the way in the process we also knocked off the trailer license plate, the 2x12 across the back of the trailer bounced out and we lost our folding table………We were very happy to disconnect that trailer.

Scouting that evening we split up to cover more ground. The other guy with me spotted 5 cow elk about an hour before dark but in the time it took to get the spotting scope out the snow and fogged rolled in and limited our visibility to 400 yards or so. This would continue for the next 1.5 days this way. Like Ray Charles, we couldn’t see poo poo.



Opening morning we decided to go down a flat trail to where we saw the elk the day before. We were beat to leaving by a bunch of really old guys but we passed them a little ways down the trail. We split up to cut off the elk feeding back into the timber from a large meadow. There isn’t a lot else to say than that half of the unit had the same idea and old guys and whole families came thru our spots all morning, some stopping to make campfires. Opening morning was a bust but it taught us we were going to need to do more to get away from people.

The evening of opening day CharlieBravo77 dropped us off at a TH where it was 18 degrees and snowing intermittently. The visibility was rendering my 15x bino’s and spotting scope useless. 2 of us moved around a basin and eventually jumped a calf elk at 30 yards, I initially thought it was a mule deer but we cut the track and it was an elk. We followed the track and it met up with 2-3 other elk and moved into some blowdown timber before looping back. It was a fun 1.5 hours following those tracks and glassing into the thick cover. There was sign in there heavy, though that could be said of the whole unit. The number of rubs in this unit was off the charts. That evening was fun at least feeling like we were in the game.

At this point the 7 day forecast was starting to look pretty bad. We had snow showing most every day but Friday was at least supposed to be clear and less windy in the evening. We figured at this point we would take any elk we could get because there was no way we wouldn’t be snowed out within a few days even though we had 8 more potentially to hunt.

Friday morning, hunt day 2, CharlieBravo77 dropped us off at the bottom of a mountain where we would climb 1,000 feet in less than half a mile. It was basically straight up in 6” of snow in the dark.



At the top the wind was whipping badly and we moved back down a few hundred feet into a relative calm spot. We started glassing up elk getting bumped left and right by road hunters in an out of the Regenerating timber. This unit has a lot of logging and the elk like the THICCKKEE stuff. About 20 minutes in we spotted a group of elk down our ridge half a mile that dropped into the Regen. We ended up running in their general direction but never found them. Around this time I looked at a ridge 3 miles away right below the snowline (at this time) and saw 20+ elk feeding. There wasn’t a clear bull in the group but they were undisturbed and 2-3 miles down a foot trail so we knew we could likely get on them in the evening. Locating that small meadow on the maps was a chore. On the way down the hill we spotted 4 more elk including a raghorn bull across a rather deep canyon.



We took note of that spot but they were moving not feeding so we opted for the distant cows in the evening.

We left camp around 2 pm and quickly ran into another group of 3 local hunters on the trail. We were going way faster than them but they wouldn’t let us pass them. Ultimately we basically walked 6 feet behind them for a mile and went for a pass on an uphill. Needless to say they didn’t like that but whatever they could also get in better shape or let us pass. Unfortunately in the chaos of dealing with the trail dicks we took a wrong turn and did a mile detour. It was cool though because we cut a very fresh black bear track in the snow and a bobcat track. Eventually we got on the right trail and found no human foot prints leading to our elk from the morning.

We setup on the meadow against a log and could only see 120 yards or so with a few hours of shooting time left.



We sat there for maybe an hour and a herd of elk fed out in front of us exactly where we though. The problem was they were feeding over the hill out of view very quickly and we decided to both shoot on a 1,2,3 count. We had a few false starts because they overlap each other a lot. Eventually we both were clear and shot nearly simultaneously. The shots felt good and the herd charged off.

After 15 minutes we walked over and didn’t find any obvious blood but started following tracks. We quickly found a cow elk after 30 yards or less dead in the meadow. Upon walking over to her we realized she had 2 bullet holes in her not 4” apart……….yeah so out of 20 elk we both shot the same elk…..



We decide the other guy would tag that elk and I would keep hunting. We would split that elk meat anyway. In this area they want a 14 ml blood sample from any elk to test for Brucellosis.



We quartered and skinned the elk in the dark while a bull was bugling 200 yards down the ridge. We both loaded up our Exo packs for the 3 mile pack out in the dark and snow. At camp each pack weighed 76 pounds with a rear ham and our respective gear. We didn’t get the meat hung and eat dinner until 11pm or so.



We slept in on the morning of day 3 after the late night packout. It snowed ice balls all night and we didn’t figure we would have good weather to glass. We ended up going into town that day for lunch to get gas and drop off the blood sample knowing we would hunt the evening again and pull the last load of meat. While in town down at like 4k elevation it started snowing and things were getting bad up high on the way back in. The 4 day forecast showed 14-32” of snow expected at elevation and all the locals with ATV’s and horse trailers were departing the high country……..







We left a little early to go pull the last load of meat. Around 2 miles in we cut some really fresh tracks and I had my rifle ready. About 400 yards later a spike elk busted across the trail in front of me followed by some cows. I managed to get my scope covers up and shot a cow elk broadside at 40 yards in the 10 foot wide opening. We moved up quickly because it was starting to dump snow and saw good lung blood. About 20 yards down the trail we bumped the cow elk and a few more shots were fired to end things quickly. She was totally dead from the first shot but those elk are hard to kill and have HUGE chest cavities to fill with blood. We marked her location and backed out to get the meat further down the trail.






Luckily nothing had gotten into the elk and we loaded up that meat. CharlieBravo77 was summoned by Inreach to come haul a load.



He ran into some locals at the trailhead who thought we were nuts have 2 elk down 2.25 and 3 miles down the trail in the winter wonderland (snowpocolapse). This was around 4 pm and dark is 6:20 pm. We broke down the 2nd elk quickly and started shuttling meat for the next few hours. Some how we got all the meat back to the trailer by 8 pm. It then took 3 hours to drive off the mountain in Sheridan where they still had 6” snow in the valley we did have to use a run away truck ramp on a switchback once in that snow storm. We got into Sheridan around 11 pm and got a hotel, pizza and beer.

On Sunday and Monday we drove south into our antelope unit and undertook 2 of the hardest days of antelope hunting I’ve ever done. We punched 2 antelope tags on those days but we also hiked ~22 miles to get those antelope does.

All in all it was a hell of a hunt. It was really rewarding hunt in hard rear end conditions. As much as I would like a bull we made the most of the situation since we had so few decent weather days. In total we hiked 60 miles during the trip and I took 5! backpack loads of meat 2.5-3.5 miles each.


Boning our meat to meet CWD interstate transport requirements in a La Quinta Inn parking lot. We’ve all been there.

armorer
Aug 6, 2012

I like metal.


gently caress yes!

the yeti
Mar 29, 2008

memento disco





Flatland Crusoe posted:

In total we hiked 60 miles

god drat my knees hurt thinking about that. Congrats on knocking one down though, you’ve def put the work in

Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com


That's awesome. Also a huge amount of hiking, how many meters/feet in elevation did you gain?

Question: Would you attempt that sort of hunt solo?

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


Outrail posted:

That's awesome. Also a huge amount of hiking, how many meters/feet in elevation did you gain?

Question: Would you attempt that sort of hunt solo?

The elevation change was relatively chill on this trip. Both elk were killed at 7,800 and 8,000 ft with a pretty smooth trail to 8,400 ft over 2-3 miles. This unit had roads at 8,400 and 9,600 feet so we would rarely have to make big efforts up and down like in some CO units I’ve hunted where you park at 8,000 feet but elk hunt between 10k-12k elevation. This unit was strictly midrange physically if you remove the snow. We actually were doing more elevation change in our antelope unit because we were constantly gaining or loosing 100-200 feet every 1/4-1/2 mile across coulees.

I would absolutely not elk hunt solo again. I have done it and it’s not a good feeling when you finally find elk 7 miles deep in the wilderness and it would take 4 days to pack out solo.

Elk hunting should be done in multiples of 2 hunters ideally with only some of you holding tags. This is for both packing, calling and glassing. An elk is like 3-4 backpack loads so however far you are in multiply by 7 for total packing distance if you have a load shelf, times 9 with a pack frame at the vehicle.

the yeti
Mar 29, 2008

memento disco





I think I might have my deer season spot. This here is a little conservancy property about (I think) 300 acres in the middle of a lot of farmland, mostly corn and soybeans from what I saw. The big clearing is currently 5' goldenrod and while I saw trails cutting through it I didn't see anything in there that looked like bedding.

You can see from my track and pins though that the rolling woodland just past it was full of trails and food. Curiously I saw little to no poop but lots of seemingly heavy use trails and the most scrapes I've found on a single walk. When I scouted here it was literally raining acorns in places and in a few spots the scrapes and torn up areas even had what looked like acorn fragments lying around.




Where my track doubles over here is a small clearing with a crabapple at one end that was clearly being bedded under, and a scrape on the trail leading in. There's a fallen log upslope of it I could consider setting up on that would give me a 50 yard shot tops at traffic moving through or hanging out there. I doubled back when I came across the blind to the north in this image, but I suspect the hunter using it had the same idea approaching from another direction.



What I have here gives me some good spots (even moreso if I had a tree stand or saddle ) but I know of an access point to the north of all this I want to go back and push in from to see what else I can see. Based on all this, I really want to see what the area closer to the creek (dark blue line) looks like.

Not sure what the crop situation will be in the surrounding area by the time rifle season opens but I'm hoping that makes the beechnut and acorn situation in this piece a lot more tempting.

alnilam
Nov 10, 2009


Posting in the springtime


Man elk are so huge. I happened to find elk sign in my deer hunting spot this year but I still don't think I'll be hunting elk this fall because I need a partner, or at least a better plan for extraction. Goal for next year I guess.

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


alnilam posted:

Man elk are so huge. I happened to find elk sign in my deer hunting spot this year but I still don't think I'll be hunting elk this fall because I need a partner, or at least a better plan for extraction. Goal for next year I guess.

Honestly it wouldn’t be as hard if I were hunting within an hour or two of home. Then you can just get some friends to help pack and for a share of meat that don’t have to be hunters at all.

It’s way different 27 hours driving from home when you need to find people with the vacation time, money, fitness, hunting skill and determination to be productive elk hunting and packing.

Also there are a lot of public and private lands that will let you drive a certain distance to retrieve an elk or will open a closed gate for 1 extraction trip.

HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


Hell yes, congrats! Love the hotel parking lot butcher shop setup.

crazypeltast52
May 5, 2010




That looks like an amazing trip!

charliebravo77
Jun 11, 2003



As is often the case, this trip was yet another reminder that western hunting is often a serious physical undertaking that someone who could stand to lose 60-100lbs might not be prepared for. Who'd have thought chasing after a marathon runner and a NCAA cross country star uphill in the mountains would be hard? After the scouting day I sat out all but one of the hikes for elk, ensuring that I'd be able to help on at least one pack out once they got lucky. Amusingly, the elk pack out was nothing compared to pronghorn hunting in the unit we had tags for. I did 8.2 miles with 1400 feet of elevation according to my GPS. I also underestimated how hard that unit would be and only took a 16oz bottle of Gatorade with me for hydration. Big mistake - I chugged three more bottles when I got back to the truck.

While I didn't fill any of my own tags on the trip it was still nice to get away from the world for a while. I wanted to take more photos, but at least ended up with a few decent ones despite not hiking a ton.



























These knock-off MaxTrax were great insurance and worked perfectly on that snowy mountain road when I mistakenly drove into snow filled ruts off the 'road'











Snow-capped Bighorns in the background of our pronghorn unit.







We spotted a few pronghorn on a hilltop about 2 miles from where we started hunting on day two in pronghorn country. I decided to take off towards them and Flatland and our other friend took off deep into where they killed a doe the day before. When I got over to the section of public land they were in about 30 minutes prior, I didn't see any sign of them so I took off up the hill to see if I could relocate them. As I was about 300 yards from the top of the hill the buck popped over, skylining himself, and stared me down. I don't think he was sure of what he was looking at and we both stood there for about 5 minutes staring at each other. At that point a doe decided to join him. The doe never gave me a shot with a safe backdrop and they both were standing maybe 50 feet from the public/private boundary so it would have been a bit dicey if I shot the doe and she decided to run more than a few steps.



OnX is invaluable in pronghorn country since the boundaries are all over the place. I was running a WY chip in my Garmin GPS unit since the accuracy is a little bit better than the app and my phone. Eventually the two pronghorn got bored of me and walked over the hill, disappearing down to the north onto private. I popped around the hillside and glassed down to see another 10-15 of them hanging out in a bowl. When the other two rejoined the group they started moving back towards public on the backside of the hill. I looped around to try and cut them off and ranged the group at about 450 yards, which under ideal circumstances wouldn't have been a big deal, but they were moving away from me and the public boundary was at about 425 yards. Oh well, at least I got into a little action on the trip even if I didn't punch a tag.



My new Argali Carbon knife was loving fantastic. I deboned 3 elk quarters during the La Quinta Meatapalooza and it was still razor sharp at the end.

Overall a great trip and solidified that the only hunting-related item I'm buying between now and next season is a treadmill or direct-drive bike trainer so I can maybe, finally, get into better shape. and maybe a new bow

Chaosfeather
Nov 4, 2008



As I mentioned in the other thread, I'm jealous, thrilled that the three of you filled four tags and exhausted just thinking about dealing with all those miles and the rear end in a top hat competition. Congratulations all around. One day I'll do a similar hunt to the elk one, but I oughta get used to hiking crazy distances at high elevation. It's just another good reason for me to go fishing at high altitudes as practice.

Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns




This looks amazing and also like way too much work for me. Tromping around a mile or three to shoot a 150lb whitetail is much more my speed, and I promise I am going to get back into hunting this season.

Even if it is only squirrels or nuisance beavers.

EvilJoven
Mar 18, 2005


Fun Shoe

Barely slept woke up at 430 went to my usual spot hoping the river would be flowing enough to not ice up. Ended up using my kayak as an icebreaker threw out my decoys and whadda ya know it worked a whole pile of ducks came right into them... before I had a chance to get my shotgun out of the case and loaded.

Rest of the day was me freezing my rear end off until I called it quits. Turns out the ducks all went to the main leg of the river that's still open water and didn't bother flying up and down it at all.

So I scouted for decent put in spots found one sat by the river for hours where there were a shitload of birds waiting to see if I could at least do some pass shooting, decided to fire one into the air because it was so calm they weren't moving and they all got up and went the other direction.

So I got chilled to the bone and exhausted and wasted a half a tank of gas to basically sit around by myself shivering. Hunting loving sucks I can't wait to do it again.

Canadianjerkey
Jun 3, 2014


Another prospective hunter checking in, I'm in the SF Bay area.

A mixture of smoke nullifying my normal hobbies, leaning into fishing, and finding MeatEater (referred to as MeatMeat by my wife) has led me headlong into daydreaming of hunting. Rather abruptly I realized I didn't have as much of an appreciation for meat as I'd like.

I'm very much an adult onset hunter/fisher, finding myself trying to teach myself as I enter my middle-30's. Checked off the list so far, is completing Hunter-Ed, getting a sub to OnX, and purchasing a rifle.

Next up is scouting and trying to find some local folks who don't mind chatting about conservation and the finer points of hiking with a gun.

An old friend has invited me to go up with him as he tries to fill a black bear tag, somewhere in on of the X zones of CA. I'll bring a camera and see if anything comes of it.

Thanks to CharlieBravo77 for putting this thread up, there's a lot of great information in here. Here's hoping eventually I'll be able to contribute as well.

Has anybody here done any hunting up in Mendocino, or B4?

HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


Got a chance to get out this weekend to chase deer around. On Friday we had highs in the upper 70's, and then it plummeted overnight. When I went out Saturday morning it was somewhere in the mid to lower 40's, and the deer sure loved that. I had deer all around me for pretty much the entire morning, but just nothing really in bow range. Sunday was a little cooler in the morning, but we didn't see nearly as much activity. Saw a couple of small bucks doing a little bit of chasing, and saw scrapes and rubs all over, so I think the action should pick up here over the next couple weeks. I'm kinda bummed that Halloween falls on a Saturday because it looks like it lines up with another pretty nice temperature drop, but I'll probably be doing stuff with the family that day.

HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


Canadianjerkey posted:

I'm very much an adult onset hunter/fisher, finding myself trying to teach myself as I enter my middle-30's. Checked off the list so far, is completing Hunter-Ed, getting a sub to OnX, and purchasing a rifle.



Great to see more people getting into hunting! It sounds like you're taking the right steps so far. I don't have any advice for hunting CA, but I'm sure there's some people here who do. Be sure to post here as you learn, it'll be super helpful for other people who are trying to get into hunting and aren't even sure where to begin. What was your Hunter Ed experience like? I think it varies a bit from state to state, I'm curious what it was like for you.

Canadianjerkey
Jun 3, 2014


HamAdams posted:



Great to see more people getting into hunting! It sounds like you're taking the right steps so far. I don't have any advice for hunting CA, but I'm sure there's some people here who do. Be sure to post here as you learn, it'll be super helpful for other people who are trying to get into hunting and aren't even sure where to begin. What was your Hunter Ed experience like? I think it varies a bit from state to state, I'm curious what it was like for you.

I'll be sure to do that, errors, lessons and all. It's really exciting for me, the prospect of going off into the back country with some specific goal in mind other than just sight seeing. Somehow all the expense and planning feels slightly more justified, similar in my mind as going somewhere to race mountain bikes rather than just ride at a destination. Everything is a little more focused.

Even if I don't win the race, or bag the deer.

Hunter Ed at the moment is 100% online, what with the pandemic and everything. So for the time being it's above all convenient. I do think there is a little more room for folks to blunder through it without really learning what they're supposed to. All one has to do is wait out a timer to click "next" and then google answers should they feel so inclined. The course is page for page this: https://dnr.wi.gov/files/pdf/pubs/le/LEH104.pdf but broken up with cheesy videos. Of course all education is only as good as what one puts into it, and the information is presented in a digestible and easy to understand format. https://www.hunter-ed.com/ also allows to pause at any given moment, a fact that I greatly appreciated with a toddler running amuck in the house.

I have some blaze orange caps coming in the mail, and hopefully I'll have new warranty parts from Savage within the week. CA requires lead free, so I've picked up some federal power shok, and some hornady superformance that I need to sight in on a cool barrel once the wind dies down. After that I'll just need to convince my wife that I do in fact need a shotgun too if I'm gonna go hunt for turkey with a buddy.

Chaosfeather
Nov 4, 2008



Hey CA Buddy! I'm in SoCal but I've gone up to central a couple of times to hunt with goons.

For local goons you need to talk to Andamac and Ryanrs, who are really into duck hunting/turkey hunting and small game hunting respectively. You have a lot of newbies or adult-onset hunters in the thread here so you are in good company.

I love that your wife calls MeatEater Meatmeat and I'm adopting that.

Although I'm in socal I'm finding myself to prefer bigger game such as deer. I encourage you to try various accessible hunts to you and see what you like! I'm just getting into turkeys down here and it's super fun. For deer I have a lot of trouble locally so I tend to go out of state to hunt bucks, which seems counter-intuitive until you realize that it's pretty hard for me to get a decent local tag.

OnX subscription is a good thing to have, thanks for reminding me that I need to renew mine.

Definitely hunt the X zones if you get a chance. I'm 5 points in on deer and I'm probably going to be waiting at least another two years for that. Black bear is a good hunt in this state, I have yet to participate but they are pretty dense in some of those X zone areas from my experience.

Don't hesitate to ask to borrow a gun when you go, too. I think I was hunting for a year before I bought my shotgun, and I'm only lining up to buy my first rifle this year after figuring out what I enjoy shooting.

Gooch181
Jan 1, 2008

The Gooch

Thanks to Meateater, my wife is as amped for me killing stuff as I am. Rules.

If you can get your hands on a .22 or a shotgun consider hunting some squirrels, it's like a woodsmanship training montage, and they taste good too.

Canadianjerkey
Jun 3, 2014


Thank you all for such a warm welcome!

For local goons in my area, is cold-calling their PM's good etiquette?

I have a 22lr BCG for my AR, so maybe I'll have to see how accurate that is with some non-lead ammo. At very least it might be ever so slightly cleaner?

The gas tube hasn't clogged up yet, and unless I'm fighting back 30 to 50 feral squirrels I doubt it'll be as much of a concern as a light round through a 1:9.

Eventual goals all orbit around big game, but given my utter lack of experience killing and breaking down animals I think y'all are right, starting small is a good idea.

That said the year round pig tags are awfully attractive to someone who doesn't know any better.

My only concern with borrowing is navigating CA law, though it might be that being a licensed hunter circumvents some of the lending laws? If anybody can confirm that it'd be greatly appreciated (within IANAL boundaries of course).

MeatMeat, I mean it's already in the logo!

Verman
Jul 4, 2005
Third time is a charm right?


Canadianjerkey posted:

Thank you all for such a warm welcome!

For local goons in my area, is cold-calling their PM's good etiquette?

I have a 22lr BCG for my AR, so maybe I'll have to see how accurate that is with some non-lead ammo. At very least it might be ever so slightly cleaner?

The gas tube hasn't clogged up yet, and unless I'm fighting back 30 to 50 feral squirrels I doubt it'll be as much of a concern as a light round through a 1:9.

Eventual goals all orbit around big game, but given my utter lack of experience killing and breaking down animals I think y'all are right, starting small is a good idea.

That said the year round pig tags are awfully attractive to someone who doesn't know any better.

My only concern with borrowing is navigating CA law, though it might be that being a licensed hunter circumvents some of the lending laws? If anybody can confirm that it'd be greatly appreciated (within IANAL boundaries of course).

MeatMeat, I mean it's already in the logo!



In my opinion, thats not a bad approach. Start with small game and work your way up. Learn to clean and break down a smaller animal like a bird, squirrel or rabbit before you go out trying to field dress a full size deer for the first time.

Growing up in Michigan, most kids got into hunting through their parents and were exposed to deer hunting as a youth. They likely had a deer in hanging in their garage at some point and went on youth hunts before their teen years. As a kid, I was never really interested in deer and its carried on through the years even to now in my mid 30s. I don't know what it is, maybe because I'm not a big fan of venison, and I have nothing against it by any means but I have no desire to hunt big game which is why I stick to upland birds. I just tend to enjoy the style and season of upland hunting.

This is where mentorship can really help but making new friends as an adult can be weird, especially in hobbies that involve firearms and killing animals. A lot of people/hunters can be shy about inviting new people to hunt with them, or showing them a nice piece of hunting area that they like to hunt. I am picky about who I hike with, but I'm incredibly picky about who I hunt with, and for good reason. I've met a few people from SA for various reasons; cycling, dirt biking, airsoft, going to the shooting range, hiking/mountaineering etc and most of them were really cool but some were instantly obvious they weren't a good fit. If its something that really involves safety I like to casually meet them first before we get into whatever dangerous thing we're about to do just to make sure they're a cool normal person that I can establish trust with, and that applies to non SA people as well. I've met people for beers/food and just talked hunting or whatever you're meeting about. For mountaineering/hiking/hunting/dirt biking, either of us could end up in a survival scenario and need to rely on the other person for assistance so establishing trust is pretty important. Based off that interaction you can determine if you want to continue to make plans. I think I literally just described dating but thats always been my approach anyway.

Some people are way more open while others may be more closed but it never hurts to ask or DM.

Yuns
Aug 19, 2000

There is an idea of a Yuns, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.


One thing that's an issue here in NJ deer season is that we have limited public lands and many people like stands, quite a few like to drive deer and a few of us like me prefer still hunting/stalking (the lowest percentage but most rewarding in my opinion). All those are pretty incompatible with each other when people are hunting the same area. We've had some luckily not too serious conflicts when people drive in areas or into areas where someone else has set up in a stand.

Ophidian
Jan 12, 2005

Woo WOO, Look a Parrot...
LOOK AT IT!


Yuns posted:

One thing that's an issue here in NJ deer season is that we have limited public lands and many people like stands, quite a few like to drive deer and a few of us like me prefer still hunting/stalking (the lowest percentage but most rewarding in my opinion). All those are pretty incompatible with each other when people are hunting the same area. We've had some luckily not too serious conflicts when people drive in areas or into areas where someone else has set up in a stand.

There are also local ordinances that don’t allow for ground hunting (such as the town I hunt). 6’ of elevation for your stand or more due to population/dwelling density.

Yuns
Aug 19, 2000

There is an idea of a Yuns, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.


Ophidian posted:

There are also local ordinances that don’t allow for ground hunting (such as the town I hunt). 6’ of elevation for your stand or more due to population/dwelling density.
I hadn't even realized that since my areas don't have those restrictions though they do have some areas that are only archery.

One additional note, I have no statistics to back me up but driving seems to result in more accidents and close calls in the east coast that any other type of hunting out there. Chasing deer into a firing line requires good communication and discipline which are not always there.

Canadianjerkey
Jun 3, 2014


Verman posted:

In my opinion, thats not a bad approach. Start with small game and work your way up. Learn to clean and break down a smaller animal like a bird, squirrel or rabbit before you go out trying to field dress a full size deer for the first time.

Growing up in Michigan, most kids got into hunting through their parents and were exposed to deer hunting as a youth. They likely had a deer in hanging in their garage at some point and went on youth hunts before their teen years. As a kid, I was never really interested in deer and its carried on through the years even to now in my mid 30s. I don't know what it is, maybe because I'm not a big fan of venison, and I have nothing against it by any means but I have no desire to hunt big game which is why I stick to upland birds. I just tend to enjoy the style and season of upland hunting.

This is where mentorship can really help but making new friends as an adult can be weird, especially in hobbies that involve firearms and killing animals. A lot of people/hunters can be shy about inviting new people to hunt with them, or showing them a nice piece of hunting area that they like to hunt. I am picky about who I hike with, but I'm incredibly picky about who I hunt with, and for good reason. I've met a few people from SA for various reasons; cycling, dirt biking, airsoft, going to the shooting range, hiking/mountaineering etc and most of them were really cool but some were instantly obvious they weren't a good fit. If its something that really involves safety I like to casually meet them first before we get into whatever dangerous thing we're about to do just to make sure they're a cool normal person that I can establish trust with, and that applies to non SA people as well. I've met people for beers/food and just talked hunting or whatever you're meeting about. For mountaineering/hiking/hunting/dirt biking, either of us could end up in a survival scenario and need to rely on the other person for assistance so establishing trust is pretty important. Based off that interaction you can determine if you want to continue to make plans. I think I literally just described dating but thats always been my approach anyway.

Some people are way more open while others may be more closed but it never hurts to ask or DM.

I appreciate the positive reinforcement. My own reality is that I've never killed an animal before, short of roadkill and bugs. So aside from the technical skills I need to acquire when it comes to breaking down animals, there is a bit of apprehension due to total lack of experience taking life. I recently started fishing in addition to all this focus on hunting, and while they aren't warm blooded it's my hope that harvesting some trout or catfish will start to normalize what all goes into meat.

The idea of mentorship appeals to me quite a bit, though I can sympathize with any resistance a potential mentor puts up. It's a responsibility to take on someone green, and a big one when the activity has as much potential danger as hunting. Your example of motorsports speaks to me, having spent the greater part of a decade riding street bikes (not anymore though, with a kiddo it's track and dirt only). Once I was past my new-and-excitable phase where I wanted to ride with anybody else who could turn a throttle, I became really discerning. I can count on one hand the folks that I was willing to ride with, and really the only times I "mentored" a new rider was when I was dating them. Not to imply that it's all hopeless, hell one of my best moto-friends just finished his Hunter-Ed course. He helped me buy my first bike and then promptly refusing to ride with me for a good few months until he was sure I wasn't a liability. Years later on a ride from CA to MT he took a photo of me just about as close to a wild animal as I've ever been.



And what is dating if not just building relationships right?

Anyway, that's enough semi-public rambling from me for now. I'm going to go try to compose some DM's that don't make me sound too thirsty.

Mzuri
Jun 5, 2004

Who's the boss?
Dudes is lost.
Don't think coz I'm iced out,
I'm cooled off.

Today was a good day in my stalking boat (sneak boat?). For the uninitiated, it's a low, light boat with a screen in front of the cockpit, where you lay down and use short, hand-crafted poles (shallow water) and small paddles (deeper water) to sloooowly stalk within shooting distance of ducks and geese on the water. I took it up last year and have just started to feel like I'm starting to do some of the things right, so this is a great success! [Borat voice]

Anyway, here's a pic from my lunch break. Way off in the distance is a big flock of wigeons that I just bumped by approaching too quickly and I'm waiting for them to settle down while having a bite.


And the end result of 2 hours of fun, frustration and sore shoulders:




You will notice that there is not a wigeon there - turns out they totally had my number and after 3 attempts I aborted mission and slunk off.

Gooch181
Jan 1, 2008

The Gooch

Nice! That's gonna be some good eating. I'm really curious to try duck hunting eventually, but it seems like I'll need a lot of decoys and other kit to have a good whack at it. I'm assuming bare minimum: a blind, a call, and decoys? Finding a spot would be the big challenge, I'm guessing.

EvilJoven
Mar 18, 2005


Fun Shoe

I just shot so many birds oh my god.

I'll do a trip report later.

But for now here's a video of me chasing off a flock that landed on the other end of the field so theyd stop drawing birds away from our decoy party.

https://streamable.com/e/01jhc4

Verman
Jul 4, 2005
Third time is a charm right?


Knocked down a pheasant today.

My dog was hunting really well all day but we must have stumbled onto two spooked birds because they flew before my dog could even get within 20 feet. We barely even saw them.

The next spot we were nearly done and my buddy was pushing into the edge of a pond with some cattails when one flew up. He took three shots and missed, I took two ... Barely got the bird with the first shot but then blasted it with the second causing it to flip in the air. I saw it drop in this desert scrub sage and walked straight to it.

It took us an hour to find it. My dog had difficulty finding it as it landed and burrowed into a sage hole. I basically stepped on it when I heard it flutter.

EvilJoven
Mar 18, 2005


Fun Shoe

We got screwed out of our morning hunt yesterday. Our buddy and hunting mentor scouted the perfect field; fresh cut corn full of hungry birds. He got landowner permission. Unfortunately the owners son also promised the field to some friends and they weren't willing to compromise.

This really upset our friend, but in the end arguing wasn't going to help. We decided to meet up for the afternoon, try to scout a decent spot for Sunday.

Yesterday morning our buddy went on an AM scout and couldn't find anything. Birds were scarce due to the cold and weather. Only field with anything was occupied already. On our way to our meeting point we stopped at the field we were going to hunt.

So. Many. Birds.

Flocks on the ground and others in the air struggling to land. It looked like a swarm of locusts.

Met up close by, let our buddy know and he said we gotta go check it out. He figured that with the birds taking so long to get out in the morning the guys who tried to hunt it may have just given up. We debated holding off until Sunday morning but it was going to calm down too much.

So we drove out there, set up out blinds, hid the trucks and tucked in.

We had winds gusting to 70, snow, and the only field with food for miles. The birds were desperate so they just kept coming all afternoon. We'd wait and wait and wait while they struggled to line up to land and then pop out.



The evening wasn't 100% perfect. Shooting was difficult due to the crosswinds but with that many birds it was impossible to get skunked. It got cold enough that the action on my semi auto my wife uses started to get a bit fussy and she had a bad primer in a shell so she got robbed a few times. The bad primer was just luck but when I took apart the gun at home it had too much lube and it froze up a touch. Our buddy told us what to use so that doesn't happen again. Still, we each got several birds and had an amazing time watching these birds come back time after time.

We were going to hunt this morning but figured we'd lay off. After getting screwed out of our spot the actual landowner told his son that we have exclusive use of the field for the rest of the year. We decided to not put so much pressure on those birds two days in a row, it might be too much and scare em off.

Next Sunday is gonna be good.

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Gooch181
Jan 1, 2008

The Gooch

Awesome! Please post the meals those become!

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