Last week, I had 3 people come up to me and tell me “hey, I heard you hunt? How do I get started? Can you help me get started?”
Well, either my passion is contagious or there are a lot of people out there that want to get started and have no clue how. I actually would say both are accurate. The truth is, not many folks are willing to go out into a new environment without knowing how to start. You need to either have a lot of will power and self dedication or you need someone to truly show you the ropes. The good news is that I have built East2West Hunts on this premise. My goal is to take people from zero to great hunter through education and resources. The extra is that you possibly could also join in on a hunting trip or two and truly learn via experience. You also will meet some great people along the way that likely could be your life long friends.
Here is how I breakdown starting with hunting. This is a simple step by step that will get your rolling in the right direction.
- You need to get your hunters safety course. You cannot get a tag or license in most states without getting a hunters safety license. This lets the state know that you have gone through the educational background to know how to use the tools necessary to be a bit safer and as ethical as possible in the woods. What you do from there is still on you. You will make the decision to be a good person with ethics or a poor representation of the hunting community. Here is the link to get started. Hunters Ed
- If you want to bow hunt, there is another course to take to truly get to another level. You will need this course to hunt in some states with a bow. It is call the IBEP or International Bowhunter Education Program.
- Start watching some solid educational shows on Youtube. The amount of resources that are online here is just incredible. My favorites are watching shows and informational pieces on scouting by Randy Newberg or Steven Rinella. These guys are incredible when it comes to the way they operate with integrity as well as they are very educational for a first timer. I can say I use their resources on the daily for scouting or cooking some good meals from my wild game. Let me preface that there are thousands or videos, articles, books and more out there to use. I just prefer visual education from videos or shows which is why I choose to recommend this outlet.
- Find a hunting partner. They could be a newbie like yourself getting involved or it could be a best buddy you have that has been hunting for years and is the reason of influence for you. Either way, this is a big support for hunters because it would be the difference of success or failure on getting started.
Now that you have the 4 basics down, you need to formulate a game plan. What exactly do you want to hunt? Do you want to just get meat or are you interested in a solid trophy as well? What state do you want to hunt? Do you need to get a tag or a hunting license? These are real questions to ask which is where I would say things become daunting. I would advise that everyone start hunting in their home state first. Here are a few reasons for this.
- You get much cheaper licenses or tags in your home state. The state you live in is responsible for wildlife management and they want home staters to get out and enjoy the state game and fish. Therefore, there is a reward for you. This could be the difference of a $20 deer tag or a $400 deer tag.
- It is closer and you are more likely to get more familiar with an area than having to fly or drive far to another state.
Here is a true story. I never hunted elk until I moved to Colorado. It was a dream of mine but something I never was able to do for a multiple of reasons. The first year I moved there, I put a plan in place of what I needed to do to get a guide. Yes, that is correct, I hired a guide. I figured out what season I wanted to hunt, what weapon I wanted to use and started to line up dates for vacation from work. The amount of information I gathered from that hunt wasn’t fully absorbed until after I returned back from the hunt unsuccessful. I went back and analyzed what I did with the guides, how they operated and where they looked for elk. I saw where the true successes and failures came from. I like to say that I do not lose, I either win or I learn. This was 100% true on this hunt. I came home without an elk but I learned a whole hell of a lot. Now, I coach others on what to do and where to go. This is much different than a guide.
I work with clients on doing all of their tag applications for their desired hunting goals. This could be a goal for 20 years out that you want to hunt a bighorn sheep or it could be a 2 year plan of hunting an elk for experience and meat. Possibly, it could be both and usually is! I do point by point applications for clients or I do what I call the Unlimited Package. This package has me do all of your applications all over the country if you would like but it also includes education 1 on 1 via either Skype/FaceTime/In-Person (if local) monthly to really coach you on what you are doing throughout the year. This includes gear selection, prioritizing goals, looking at over the counter hunting options, point applications, bonus points, etc. Then, no matter where you are going in the country, we will work on where to go and how to hunt via professional resources. We then will take a look at google earth and put a plan in place to give you the best possible chance of meeting your harvest objectives. It truly is a one of a kind service that nobody else does and the resource pays for itself in hours because you learn things that took other hunters and I years to put together. This service isn’t just for the novice. If you have hunting goals or interests in animals that you have not hunted before, you will benefit from this. Why waste time when you don’t have to? Pretty cool eh? If you are interested in this personalized service like many other clients are, please give me a call at 720-248-7181 or shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
The one thing to note about hunting is that this is an investment in time and money that will not go away immediately. You will be refining and improving yourself along with your gear, tags, applications, etc for years! You must be serious and committed if you think you are going to get involved. Otherwise, your goals will never be met and there will be no long term outcome for you. I preface this for everyone because I want you to know what you are getting into. This is a community that is dedicated, especially the die hard whitetail hunters or the gritty backcountry hunters like myself.
Hope you get started or get more hunters involved so we can support the animals and the outdoors.
Scout, Hunt, Repeat