Author Topic: How to learn to hunt/fish?  (Read 8797 times)

sarah8001

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How to learn to hunt/fish?
« on: May 03, 2015, 02:10:53 AM »
So, I've been thinking about this for awhile, and the thread on hunting/fishing/gathering kind of inspired me to ask this question: if no one you know fishes or hunts, how do you learn how to hunt or fish?

I've fished once in my adult life, and the person I went with didn't really know how to fish either, so we didn't catch anything, but I do have poles and some gear because of it (best Bday present ever, a day with my Mom and fiance on a small, middle-of-nowhere pond). I've never hunted, but I'm really interested in learning where/how. I have butchered rabbits, and read extensively about butchering cows and pigs (wanna-be farmgirl), so I think I could handle butchering anything we could catch/shoot. Neither my fiance nor I are very gun savvy, but he used to be pretty good with a bow and has wanted to take up archery again. He and I would also like to learn more about guns and perhaps own guns for self defense.

I think hunting or fishing would be great hobbies for us because we both really like to be outside and get away from towns and cities. We would probably be pretty Mustachian about it, because I can't see us getting a ton of gear or spending a lot of time and money storing and maintaining gear. How do you get started with a hobby like this? It seems like there are a lot of rules and regulations, and no one I know understands them. Where is it ok to go? How do people learn this if it's not something their friend or family are into?

gooki

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2015, 03:03:29 AM »
Youtube for fishing. Salt water fishing is a fuck load easier than freshwater fishing. Wait for the tide to start moving, put some bait on a hook, cast it into the water, wait for a fish to bite, yank the rod, reel it in.

CletusMcGee

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2015, 06:46:41 AM »
+1 on YouTube.  Also, check with your state's DNR and see what useful information they have.  They may have adult hunter education of some sort.

Regarding the financial aspect of hunting, it can be SPENDY.  While deer hunting and other large game can fill a deep freeze with yum yums for the price of a tag (if you process it yourself), waterfowl and pheasant and the like don't really provide much food vs the cost of the tag.

scrubbyfish

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2015, 09:02:33 AM »
Where I live, a government department does a few things around fishing: provides license, provides a fat magazine of rules, tips, etc, and -my favourite- hosts community fishing events for people to learn at. We went to an ice fishing one a couple of months ago, and it was AWESOME! They taught us lots, plus gave us free food and hot drinks all day -and we caught fish! An experienced fisher at the next hole then taught us how to skin, gut, and fillet it. I emailed the same dept the other day to ask if they will be doing this for spring/summer (i.e., not ice) fishing. Otherwise, a friend has offered to take us out anyway.

Lots of hunters around us, so for that I'm waiting to learn which people seem very trustworthy re: wandering around with guns, keeping kids safe, and following regulations and then we'll ask to get in on things with them.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2015, 09:03:47 AM »
Much easier to learn fishing than hunting, lower barriers to entry. And then the step up from there: it's easier to start with shrub birds like pheasants and rabbits than it is water fowl and big game.

I would start by looking into local regulations and finding a hunters safety course in your area (and taking firearms safety courses if you don't have a background in guns). If you have a small locally owned sporting goods store, go in and chat and see what you can learn. IME, human capital is by far the most valuable for hunting and fishing.

And making it cost effective can indeed be difficult if you aren't inheriting family gear and family 'secret spots' and so on. Just be very mindful of your spending, and realize that it takes a huge upfront investment for your own gear, so if you don't keep going, you will lose money. (Bright side: gun and fishing poles hold resale value pretty well. Although obviously know your local regs for gun sales). Like many things, it can be mustachian or a very very expensive hobby depending on how you do it.

All that being said, it can be rewarding and wonderful.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2015, 09:05:11 AM »
Where I live, a government department does a few things around fishing: provides license, provides a fat magazine of rules, tips, etc, and -my favourite- hosts community fishing events for people to learn at. We went to an ice fishing one a couple of months ago, and it was AWESOME! They taught us lots, plus gave us free food and hot drinks all day -and we caught fish! An experienced fisher at the next hole then taught us how to skin, gut, and fillet it. I emailed the same dept the other day to ask if they will be doing this for spring/summer (i.e., not ice) fishing. Otherwise, a friend has offered to take us out anyway.


Oh! This reminds me, a local boyscout chapter in our area did a yearly fishing workshop. Geared at kids, but worth looking into that type of community thing.

MsPeacock

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2015, 09:27:49 AM »
My boyfriend has spent the past couple years learning how to hunt and fish. Agree w/ others than it can be spendy - particularly hunting (so much gear!). He had the most helpful experience w/ online forums (white tail forum for Maryland, for instance). Many experienced hunters who were willing to have someone tag along and show them how it is done. I think youtube can only get you so far - you need someone to show you. Also, as others mentioned the DNR has hunters courses (often required, actually) which can be helpful.

regulator

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2015, 06:36:35 PM »
Your local DNR/Department of Wildlife is a great place to start.  Even communist states like NJ and CA have lots of information.  You will need to take a hunter safety course, which will teach you a lot.  Do it now so that when hunting season comes this Fall you can get out there and make the mistakes we all make getting started.

Depending on where you are and what you plan on hunting and fishing, you may find a lot of good stuff online.  I mostly hunt small game and youtube was invaluable 3 years ago when I started (where else will you get a demonstration on how to skin a squirrel?).  Fishing I started when I was old enough to hold the pole, but I still learn new stuff at 41.

Where are you?  Perhaps a forum member is nearby who could help.  I have shown 3 or 4 people how to hunt and many people how to fish.  It is something almost as rewarding as hunting/fishing itself.

Homey The Clown

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2015, 06:46:04 PM »
Not specifically about learning, but from my experience, fishing/hunting is not a cheap way to get meat, unless you can walk/ride a bike to the location. For hunting, very few people process their own kills, and the price/lb is only moderately cheaper than store bought or farm bought meat. Factor in taking the animal to the processor and picking it up and you're probably not saving much, especially after factoring in the equipment costs. Fishing is a bit better, but again, you're probably not saving much unless you currently eat a boatload of fish and you can get to somewhere to fish fairly easily.

That said, shore fishing and hunting can be fairly cheap hobbies unless you go overboard on equipment (big truck, big boat, expensive guns/bows/tackle, etc.) if you live close to places to do it. For me, I can get to salt water in about 30 miles and have a kayak, so I'm pretty good for doing it cheaply.

astvilla

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2015, 08:18:32 PM »
Your local DNR/Department of Wildlife is a great place to start.  Even communist states like NJ and CA have lots of information.  You will need to take a hunter safety course, which will teach you a lot.  Do it now so that when hunting season comes this Fall you can get out there and make the mistakes we all make getting started.

Depending on where you are and what you plan on hunting and fishing, you may find a lot of good stuff online.  I mostly hunt small game and youtube was invaluable 3 years ago when I started (where else will you get a demonstration on how to skin a squirrel?).  Fishing I started when I was old enough to hold the pole, but I still learn new stuff at 41.

Where are you?  Perhaps a forum member is nearby who could help.  I have shown 3 or 4 people how to hunt and many people how to fish.  It is something almost as rewarding as hunting/fishing itself.

Lol sorry to derail but NJ ain't no communist state. We're just really corrupt and like suing others.

jeromedawg

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2015, 11:35:12 PM »
Love fishing. +1 on Youtube as others have said. Look for fishing forums too and especially ones in your area. BloodyDecks is pretty popular all over for saltwater fishing but more so the West coast. Saltwater is more dynamic IMHO but you can find a good niche with freshwater if you are persistent. And yea, it can get easy to go overboard on equipment once you really get into it (if you're like me). Fortunately I've "slimmed down" a little but have gear for fishing the surf as well as gear for fishing the boats (although it's been a while). Mostly saltwater stuff. Kind of ridiculous how many setups I have, when I think about it. But it is a hobby of mine and I enjoy it immensely (whenever I have the chance to get out there). That said, it really doesn't have to be expensive... if you're up for a challenge, fly-fishing is another good one, but it *can* be a little more costly to get started up with compared to a basic decent spinning setup.

sarah8001

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2015, 03:08:21 AM »
I'm in Tacoma, in WA state, and it turns out that hunter's education is offered/required here, which is nice! For those who mentioned hunting/fishing is not going to be cheaper than going to the grocery store, I'm not really looking to make a "profit." I'm mostly looking for a hobby that my fiance and I can share that is outdoors and active. Currently our favorite hobbies are playing video games and quilting (his and hers) and there's very little overlap between them and neither is very active. He really likes archery, but needs a push to get back into it. I'm interested in homesteading, being independent, and gathering/growing my own food. Seems like fishing or hunting are activities we could easily share together. For hunting, from what yall have said it looks like hunter's education classes, online forums, and youtube will at least get us started.

I'm still unsure about fishing. How do I know which fish to keep? How do I know where it's ok to fish? I'm walking distance from a few spots on Puget Sound marked Public Fishing. Would I be wasting my time at some place so public and urban? Anyone have any favorite youtube channels for fishing, or should I just nose around (can't go to youtube atm because I'm at work). An elderly gentleman on my dog walking route fishes, and has wanted several times to take our dogs to the park together. Maybe I should ask to go with him on his next fishing trip?

Also, I know it's probably silly, but I feel like I'll go out there and do everything wrong and everyone will laugh at me because I'll look like an idiot. I've had this problem with other hobbies I wanted to take up in the past, but I've been able to overcome it because I could practice quilting, sewing, gardening, painting, etc at home where no one could see me screw up. Does anyone else ever feel self conscious when starting something new? I feel like as a female entering what seem to be male dominated hobbies, I run an even higher risk of looking like an idiot. Am I being an idiot even worrying about this?

gooki

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2015, 03:43:57 AM »
1. Typically there will only be half a dozen fish varieties you'll be catching in you local area. Nearly all fish can be eaten, do some research to see what species are common to your area and you'll be set on this front.

2. Have a chat to the elderly gentlemen. I expect he will enjoy your company and passing on his knowledge.

3. I fear looking foolish. However it happens a lot less in one on one situations.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2015, 07:24:42 AM »
Around here people bowhunt deer, so if your husband is into archery you've got an "in".

(Norristown, Pennsylvania has an annual deer bowhunt in its largest park to curb the population.)

I agree with joining a local hunting forum and asking an experienced hunter to tag along.

scrubbyfish

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2015, 08:17:20 AM »
I'm still unsure about fishing. How do I know which fish to keep? How do I know where it's ok to fish?

Again, the book from (your region's) Fisheries department details all of this. With pics and descriptions of each fish, and a chart stating maximum allowed (and a place to record them).

Also, I know it's probably silly, but I feel like I'll go out there and do everything wrong and everyone will laugh at me because I'll look like an idiot. I've had this problem with other hobbies I wanted to take up in the past, but I've been able to overcome it because I could practice quilting, sewing, gardening, painting, etc at home where no one could see me screw up. Does anyone else ever feel self conscious when starting something new? I feel like as a female entering what seem to be male dominated hobbies, I run an even higher risk of looking like an idiot. Am I being an idiot even worrying about this?

As a female (I'm one, too) getting into a male-dominated hobby, you'll be all the more respected by some people! Sure there are stupid people too; move on from those and hang with the awesome ones.

My best trick is to sign my kid up for stuff -he loves everything, no one expects a kid to know a given topic yet, they teach everything at kid-level, and I get to hang out absorbing it all and asking all the questions I want :)    Maybe borrow a kid, lol. But, that old fellow sounds like an excellent option, too!!

teacherwithamustache

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2015, 09:08:16 AM »
Youtube Puget Sound Fishing and watch videos

Go to a park and practice casting your rod and reel

+1 ask the old guy... Old people love to talk fishing especially with females

Learn the right types of knots to tie (youtube)

There are a lot of migratory fish in that part of the world so catching fish at 1 spot in March may not result in fish all year around.


Maybe instead of hunting you can practice snaring.  Once again youtube is your friend.  It is a bit more macho to set snares for squirrels and rabbits and birds then to shoot them with a gun.  Plus it is more of a survival skill.

mtn

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2015, 09:10:57 AM »


Gone Fishing

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2015, 09:50:20 AM »
Everyone starts somewhere.  I like hunting and fishing because their aren't people watching me.  Put me on a golf course or basketball court, then I would be embarrassed!

A few thoughts:

Fishing:  As someone else mentioned, something tasty on a hook really does work.  Live (or formally live) bait is rarely a bad choice.    I have showed up many of fly fishermen with the lowly earthworm.   

Hunting:  The hardest thing around here is finding a place to hunt.  There are public lands, but they tend to be crowded and game is sparse.  Start by finding a place to hunt.  Then see what there is to hunt.  Guns are fairly specific to their use, while a shotgun will do just about anything, there may be better tools for the job depending on the quarry.  If you decide to make a gun purchase, go with something with common ammo availability. 

Might be a little anti-mustachian, but consider hiring a guide for the type of fishing/hunting you want to do on a one-time basis.  You can figure out what works well, then take over from there.  My dad hired a fishing guide 30 years ago in a favorate vaction spot and we are still using the techniques he learned to this day.  I am considering hiring a guide for a local lake that I have not had any luck with despite numerous attempts.     

regulator

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2015, 10:02:18 AM »
Eh, do your reading/youtube viewing and jump into it.  Worst that is likely to happen is that you go home empty-handed after spending a day outdoors in a pretty place.  There is a learning curve with hunting and fishing, but since you will mostly be doing this in secluded places you are unlikely to be publicly embarrassed.

Most outdoorsmen are happy to talk to people about their hobby/obsession, so just strike up a conversation.

For fishing start with a spinning rod and a basic tackle set.  For hunting, take a hunter safety course and decide what you plan on hunting.  A 12 or 20 gauge shotgun will work for just about anything you are likely to start hunting and is not that hard to learn to use reasonably competently.

jeromedawg

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2015, 02:27:06 PM »
I wouldn't worry too much about looking/sounding dumb... ask the elderly gentleman if he could show you and your husband the ropes with fishing - I'm sure he'd be glad to have you join him :) It's always nice fishing with others.

Youtube and Googling for fishing forums is the way to go. WA is a *very good* location for fishing as there are so many bodies of open water, both salt and fresh. Seriously, just Google search "Tacoma Fishing" and you'll get a ton of hits. Another good "hobby" that you might consider after you've gained some experience with fishing are comfortable is kayaking. That's a great way to get some exercise and also get to areas that are not as accessible (or inaccessible completely) by foot.

Just Google for "Washington Fishing Regulations" or "Washington Fishing License" and that should give you plenty of information on where you can/cannot fish - if in doubt, ask the question on a fishing forum for that area or better yet ask the elderly gentleman you mentioned.

You just kinda have to dive in with this stuff and research a little bit to get started out. Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't be afraid just to go out there and explore.

Axecleaver

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2015, 02:46:33 PM »
Find a local rod and gun club, or Izaak Walton League. Join that, attend a few meetings/events, and meet people. We have had a few uninitiated people join our club (we're a rural area a few hours outside NYC and get a lot of transplants) and most of the folks here are thrilled that a newcomer is interested in learning these ancient past times. Interest in hunting and fishing is waning in many areas of our country, and there are not as many kids interested in it today as there were when I was young.

The NRA runs instructor-led gun safety and hunting courses. They also run women-only classes if you're interested in that.

Before you hunt, practice with your chosen weapon enough that you are 100% confident you can hit your target. Do not hunt until you're able to do that. Marines train new recruits (some of whom have never fired a weapon) to hit targets at 500 yards in just two (very intense) weeks.

Youtube is great for some things, but gun safety and hunting are things you really ought to learn in person.

regulator

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2015, 03:58:22 PM »
Before you hunt, practice with your chosen weapon enough that you are 100% confident you can hit your target. Do not hunt until you're able to do that. Marines train new recruits (some of whom have never fired a weapon) to hit targets at 500 yards in just two (very intense) weeks.

Youtube is great for some things, but gun safety and hunting are things you really ought to learn in person.

Agree on learning gun safety first.  After that, I suggested a shotgun because there is a big margin of error on stationary targets.  Moving targets will take some practice.  A few rounds of trap or other clays games will help a lot.

4 months til dove season...

tjthebest

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2015, 05:10:24 PM »
Go to this Hunting washington forum. Lots of good people there that are very willing to help out a rookie.

http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php


Jesus Christ

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2015, 05:40:32 PM »
Hunting:
I would start with guns first then proceed to bows later on because they tend to be more difficult. Deer hunting is the best in my opinion. You would need either a shot gun with buck shot slugs or a rifle such as a 30 ought 6 depending on your state requirements.Go on youtube and look up FPSRussia and this fictional character will give you everything you need to know about guns with his silly videos. Start walking the state game lands now during the summer so you know the best spots to hunt. (also recall your friends and family who have large plots of land to hunt on and start being nice to them). Buy the gun used from a friend or pawn shop then buy a orange hat and vest and you should be done.

The gamelands I have been on will usually allow you to target shoot in the off season so you can practice for free.

Fishing:
Saltwater fishing is easy, just put some shrimp on the hook. Practically everything will bite it. Helps to have a boat to get off from shore. Even if you have to paddle the boat, you will have the upper hand in the deal.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2015, 10:03:38 PM by Jesus Christ »

sarah8001

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2015, 05:08:57 AM »
Hey everybody,
Thanks for all the replies and encouragement! I think I'm going to make it kind of my goal to go fishing several times this summer. I'm also going to do more research and watch some youtube videos on hunting, fishing, guns, gun safety, etc. Hopefully my fiance and I will have time to visit some state land and get familiar with the areas that might be good for hunting. I work on all his days off and he works on all my days off, so that'll be a challenge ;) Also probably look at enrolling in hunter safety education. Thanks again for making it seem like something I could actually do!

YoungInvestor

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Re: How to learn to hunt/fish?
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2015, 06:39:30 AM »
So, I've been thinking about this for awhile, and the thread on hunting/fishing/gathering kind of inspired me to ask this question: if no one you know fishes or hunts, how do you learn how to hunt or fish?

I've fished once in my adult life, and the person I went with didn't really know how to fish either, so we didn't catch anything, but I do have poles and some gear because of it (best Bday present ever, a day with my Mom and fiance on a small, middle-of-nowhere pond). I've never hunted, but I'm really interested in learning where/how. I have butchered rabbits, and read extensively about butchering cows and pigs (wanna-be farmgirl), so I think I could handle butchering anything we could catch/shoot. Neither my fiance nor I are very gun savvy, but he used to be pretty good with a bow and has wanted to take up archery again. He and I would also like to learn more about guns and perhaps own guns for self defense.

I think hunting or fishing would be great hobbies for us because we both really like to be outside and get away from towns and cities. We would probably be pretty Mustachian about it, because I can't see us getting a ton of gear or spending a lot of time and money storing and maintaining gear. How do you get started with a hobby like this? It seems like there are a lot of rules and regulations, and no one I know understands them. Where is it ok to go? How do people learn this if it's not something their friend or family are into?

First, I think that pretty much every statistic available points to the fact that it is safer NOT to own a gun than the opposite.


Fishing is pretty great, and a fun hobby, which I definitely don't do enough of. I learned by buying the basics and then just going to a fishing spot and gathering advice. Inclusing from a friend of mine who was pretty good.