Episode-1284- Learning to Hunt Without a Gun – Part One

I should have called it without a gun or a bow or a trap or anything but that title would be too long.  Today’s show is an extension of a listener question I answered last week about learning to hunt when you had no one to teach you.  No family, no friends, no mentors, no one.

My first advice is try to find a mentor of some level and make some hunting friends but even that has limits.  I will tell you why some people seem unhelpful today as part of this show.  It certainly isn’t personal!

Join Me Today As I Discuss…

  • The primary hurtles to entry
    • Land access
    • Time
    • Knowledge
  • Hunting with a camera, the limits of reality
  • Keeping a game log
  • Understanding game patterns
    • Whitetail deer
      • reading the wind
      • runs, rubs, scrapes, droppings and tracks
      • feeding patterns
      • bedding
      • seasonal effects
      • the rut
      • peak movement times
      • pattern disruption

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Also remember we have an expert council you can address your calls to. If you do this you should email me right after your call at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with expert council call in the subject line. In the body of your email tell me that you just called in a question for the council and what number you called in from. I will then give the call priority when I screen calls.

Our Expert Council is Made Up of…

Join the MSB Today

Join the MSB Today

Want Every Episode of TSP Ever Produced?

Remember in addition to discounts to over 40 vendors who supply stuff you are likely buying anyway, tons of free ebooks and video content, MSB Members also get every edition of The Survival Podcast ever produced in convenient zip files in blocks of 24. More info on the MSB can be found here.

 

22 Responses to Episode-1284- Learning to Hunt Without a Gun – Part One

  1. What’s “funny” about the “you’re sure that you can shoot an animal over a feeder”, the longer that stuff goes on, and the more animals are pressured the more that doesn’t become the case.

    Here in Louisiana that is the ONLY way people hunt (over food plots / feeders). Last year when I went hunting I only saw 2 deer the whole time (one of which I shot). This year my uncle (who is an avid hunter) didn’t see anything until this last weekend which he finally got one. My cousin, got nothing and hasn’t seen anything. You better believe there is/has been food at these places and yet still no go. My uncle and his hunting club are pretty convinced the deer are just moving around at night now.

    At this point, since I know how much time I’d waste on my weekends hanging out with my uncle going hunting, I refuse to do it. I’d rather raise animals and trade for deer meat. Its funny how vastly different this place is compared to say where my wife’s parents live in virginia where any given morning they’ll have 15 deer sitting on their doorstep (I’ve seen the pictures). Deer here have been pretty much pushed out of existence. One of the many reasons I laugh so hard when people say if shit hits the fan they’ll go hunting.

    • “One of the many reasons I laugh so hard when people say if shit hits the fan they’ll go hunting.”
      I agree Mike! Where I live, south of Youngstown Ohio, the deer are everywhere. Heck on Christmas Eve 12 doe ran right past my house and my young sons thought they belonged to Santa. Anyways if the Stuff hit the fan every moron would be out in the woods killing deer left and right. Problem with that is it can only go on for so long before seeing a whitetail would be like spotting Big Foot.

      • Thats how it is around here, specifically because there is just way too much hunting of them. Also I’ve heard that they haven’t been right the last few years do to some of the hurricanes. Who knows, but what I can tell you is spotting deer around here is a VERY rare occurrence.

        I’ve seen one near a road only once. Never in the distance, nowhere. The person who sold me my house said every morning they’re by my workshop. That’s just bull.

  2. Hey Jack, I would love to hear a podcast on trapping. Trapping can be used for obtaining a food source or predator management. Currently I’m trapping coyotes and fox in my hunting property in order to bring back game birds to the land. Before I can stock the land I have to smash the predator population. I think it’s a great skill for any prepper to have and it’s becoming a lost art IMO.

    • Great idea, and Dave Caterbury has recently added trapping to his repertoire of skills and even has added a Trapping class to his school. This could be a good opportunity to have an old guest talk about a new topic and bring some interest to this dying skill (no un intended).

  3. Excellent topic! I have been shooting and competing for 30 years; never hunted. I need to find an Elmer and get on it.

    Also, speaking of trapping, has Cody Lundin ever been on the show? That would be a great interview.

  4. Jack, you might also want to dedicate some time to discuss hunting etiquette. So I have headed into the woods to get into my stand and find another hunter there (In my stand). Additionally I have seen hunters cross right through my field of fire with no regard, while talking and pointing at me in my stand. I could share other situations, but I think it is very important to cover some aspects of this, as it is seeming to get worse every year I go hunting.

    • Modern Survival

      Good point I was just talking about some of this stuff with Joe while cooking steak on the grill. He could not believe some of the crap that happens in highly populated states. Being from Montana he can’t really get how it must be to have 1 million deer hunters in Pennsylvania when his entire state has only a bit over a million people total.

    • Wow. “Oh hey this is a nice stand, yup think I’ll just slide on in here…..”

      • Yeah I had this happen this past gun season in Ohio. We hunted our food plots and then went to my buddy’s uncle’s farm. During gun season we push the woods for deer but as soon as our pusher got to the end of the field there was a fresh gut pile 50 yards from one of our ladder stands. That crap ticks me off!

        • WOW. Really?
          I haven’t done much hunting, but that kinda stuff is a little unbelievably ridiculous. Really just common sense…

        • Yep, I’m dead serious. His uncle thought it was us when he heard the shot. Where it happend was way out of the view of the house. His uncle is 91 years old so he does not go out there that much. Ticks me off that people are like that and you know what, that is a big reason why people don’t give hunters permission to hunt the land.

  5. @Eaglesteel

    No deer, bear, where I live, only racoon, and grouse. Of course surrounded by ocean, I suppose I could spear a few mackerel

  6. The deer are just starting to come back around my place (had a neighbor who would shoot anything that came on her property, in season or out) and have seen at least 1 buck and about 4 does regularly. But turkey’s are what seem to be everywhere, as a matter of fact just yesterday evening I had 20+ wild turkeys in my driveway. Of course it could be my 3 domestic Toms that are calling them in.

  7. Great show, Jack! I appreciate it!

  8. I am a woman in the same boat as the original questioner. I want to learn to hunt, but I don’t know anyone who does hunt. I inquired at my local gun range, and it turns out that there is a hunting club in my area that does a turkey hunt and a deer hunt each year for people who want to learn how to hunt. They pair you up with an experienced mentor and even supply the gun. There is a day at a range before the hunt for a safety overview and to get familiar with the gun. It’s pretty inexpensive – only $50, or $25 if you’re a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Sometimes it pays to ask around – I had no idea things like this exist :). Looking forward to my first deer hunt this fall!

  9. Jack, would you be willing to share your “method” for dispatching your chickens? When I butchered my first ducks, I was horrified at how long it took to bleed them out. All the tutorials make it sound so quick and easy. I’d be very interested to hear how you do it.

    • I hang them from a tree with two slip knots on two ropes (paracord is great). I set the length so that when hung the bird will go inside a 5 gallon bucket sitting on the ground, but not touch its head to the bottom of the bucket.

      Once I get my bird attached, I take it and grab it by the head, I hold the head in my left hand with my four fingers and palm. My right hands fingers go behind the birds neck. Both thumbs are used to massage the side on of the neck.

      This is hard to explain I am applying pressure to the neck by pulling the bird toward me, to do this I have the bird pretty far from the bucket almost horizontal to the ground. I don’t use enough pressure to cause pain or choke or harm the bird. Just enough that there is some tension.

      So now I massage the area I am going to cut with the thumbs and maintain this pressure. In just a few moments the birds eye will generally roll back into its head and it just sort of passes out. I then swiftly do my two cuts starting with the top side then the back side. I do these cuts with a razor sharp knife again swiftly but careful not to cut yourself.

      I then put the bird in the bucket to bleed out. I always have a few inches of wood chips in the bucket to absorb the blood for composting.

      I can’t explain it but often the birds never even do the death twitch when I do this. Those who came to the bird workshop can tell you I am not exaggerating, I actually felt a little bad that the bird I demo’d went that well as it set sort of an unreasonable expectation for students. I would say about 2 in 10 times I get a bird to go out that well, I mean ZERO twitching. The other times they only move at the end.

      A few things to add,

      1. I think you must have a gentle confidence when doing this. To have an energy that values the life of the animal and yet a commitment to do what must be done. If you had a nervous surgeon that would be bad right? Not the same thing but the best I can do to explain what I mean.

      2. The cuts are important, you want blood vessels and nothing else. Cut deep and with intent and just feel the knife brush the bone, don’t cut into the bone. That will wake them up if you do it.

      3. It is weird but I have no idea how I know all this. I haven’t ever seen anyone use a bucket and string this way. I did this because I didn’t have cones but the very first time it was just a natural approach to take. I mean to cut the neck you must pull the bird away from the bucket and that results in tension. So when I did that I moved the feathers so I could cut under them, which is important to a good cut. When I did the rest just happened. I could feel the bird letting go and ran with it.

      I am sure others take this approach but have never heard anyone say so. I also told the class the reason for string and bucket vs cones is practical. I asked how many owned killing cones, no hands went up. I asked how many had a bucket and string, all hands went up.

      What I really need is a plucker! That is the bottle neck in production.

    • Thank you for the explanation Jack! It sound very untraumatic for all involved. Boy, I would love to see a video of this (hint, hint, lol :)

  10. I’ve been a hunter education instructor for more than 20 years and my recommendation for any new hunter is to check with your state division of wildlife or its equivalent. Nearly all states now require a hunter education class for new hunters. These classes cover everything from hunting implements and safety aspects of hunting, to seasons, game available in your state, and your hunting regulations. These classes can also be a good place to meet other hunters, from the instructors to parents and grandparents of the younger students.
    One of the things we touch on in our classes is basically what Jack was discussing; dealing with the additional education required for a specific species and understanding the game animals habits and habitat. We always tell our students, that although the class we teach allows them to get their first license; their real education is just beginning.
    As for the types of hunting implements, you’ll need also to find out what can be used to hunt which critter in your state. Here in Ohio we cannot use rifle for deer (except muzzleloaders); however, we may use shotgun (with slug), handguns (with certain minimum characteristics), Bows and Crossbows. Sunday hunting is permitted, which gives the archery hunter more than 4 months of deer season.
    To sum up Jacks excellent podcast, it’s called hunting, and not shopping, for a very good reason.

  11. Good podcast Jack. I started hunting just a couple years ago (two elk seasons under my belt here in CO) and you are spot on about getting out in the woods. The more time I spend in the woods and OFF the human trails, the more sign I notice. Even walking around my suburban neighborhood, I now see deer sign frequently and I’m teaching my son to see it as well.

    BTW – Winter is a great time to look for sign – fresh snow shows so many details and everything stands out. CO Dept of Wildlife gave out a great little book on tracks and scat of different game species when I went to hunter’s education in 2012. They also offer “Elk Hunt University” on their web site with some great information.

  12. Its really not that hard. Just do it. I started hunting venison exclusively for the first time in my life this fall with no family ever hunting or assitance from anyone. I chose bow hunting which is considered more difficult then gun hunting. I hadn’t shot a bow in 30 years with the last time as a bow scout a just a few times when I was 10 yrs old.
    What i did do was research. I read 6 books on the topic related to using a bow and hunting with a bow. I practiced using a tree stand in my yard before the season and shooting my bow almost daily a few months before the season.
    So after my first season and no guidance except from youtube and books how did it go? I have four deer in the freezer and passed on a few smaller ones few thru the season. Oh did I say I have two kids and typically hunted in the mornings before work from 6-8am.
    Lesson, forget asking for input and just do your homework, practice and get too it. My first months were slow as I was learning with nothing to show. Next came the deer grunts when I got busted a bunch of times. Then success.
    Just do it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>