New to hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting Discussion' started by Chrislarson757, May 31, 2016.

  1. Chrislarson757

    Chrislarson757 Member

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    Hey BDers,

    At the risk of exposing my newbie status, I'm looking for advice. Might be a long shot but I'm looking to go on my FIRST harvest. I'm looking at later this year at Big Horn Canyon Ranch for a pig or two (I smoke pork/ BBQ often and want to get my own meat this year). Will be me and another novice, so I would likely seek a guide at the ranch for assistance.

    I need some pointers and recommendations. What to expect, what fire arms would be suitable (have owned a few guns but do not currently own any rifles/ long guns). Has anyone hunted here before?

    Any and all advice would be much appreciated.
     
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  2. JFK

    JFK Well-Known "Member"

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    James
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    I'm still new to hunting too and got much of my advice and info from guys on BD. Get a rifle and start practicing. All of the major brands make accurate rifles so it's more of a preference based on looks, feel and how much you want to spend b. You don't have to spend a bunch but do budget a chunk of change for the scope. 243 and up will work for pigs. Get your rifle and practice with it at the range as much as you can and shoot in field positions off sticks, off your pack or kneeling. Be able to confidently hit an area the size of your fist on target at 100 yards, then push it out to 200 yards.

    I have never hunted at that ranch but do know that it's a high fence operation. Nothing wrong with that I guess but decide up front if that's for you. There are many free range ranches in ca that are full of pigs with high success rates and good guides who will show you how to hunt pigs. A big part of hunting, maybe the biggest part, is spending time in the field looking. Point being, if you go to a ranch where you drive up and shoot an animal in an enclosure after 15 minutes you are missing the best part of hunting.
     
  3. Chrislarson757

    Chrislarson757 Member

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    I appreciate the advice! I am thinking of spending a few days camping out, so I don't necessarily want to just "show up and bag an animal". I live in San Diego and I would like to take 2-3 days to camp out and enjoy the wilderness and the hunt. Any suggestions on where to go or look are much appreciated. I have standard backpacking gear, will this suffice other than essential hunting equipment?
     
  4. matt86m

    matt86m Not worthy of a Title

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    Id suggest a rifle in 30-06 especially if you are only going to buy 1. There are several different loads available for that caliber, you can shoot everything in North America with it. From prairie dogs to Elk.

    When you look at your budget spend the money in this order:
    Binoculars
    scope
    gun

    Then you can experiment with different ammo to see what shoots best in your gun.

    Like said above, practice, practice, practice! Not just off the bench, sitting, kneeling, standing, off a pack and sticks.

    You will spend most of your time looking thru binos. A quality scope will have better light transmission in low light (first and last light - or grey light - some call it). Most factory guns will shoot 1 moa right out of the box.

    1 moa is Minute of Angle meaning a 1 inch group at 100 yards, 2 inch group at 200, and so on.

    If you want to put meat on the table then BHCR is a quick way to do it. I talked to a guide from there and he put it like this; he could take someone in a wheel chair and get them on a pig with no problem and be done by lunch. He said to make it challenging, pick out 1 animal, make a good stalk on it, get as close as you can then take it.

    I just started shooting a bow and have thought about going there to get the first kill jitters out of the way before I am taking a shot on a deer or an elk.

    Central CA has a lot of ranches that will put together a package for you; room, food, hunt, guide and quartering.

    Go take a look at some rifles and then post up what you are looking at and get some opinions here.

    Good luck in your search and hunt!
     
  5. watersdeep

    watersdeep I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    BHCR is a pet n shoot, It's more of a see one shoot one Operation. i personally would rather spend more money And time going to public land and looking and actually hunting and Not shooting anything as opposed to going to the BHCR.

    And on the other hand if you just want to shoot something to get it out of your system then BHCR would hold you over till hunting season.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  6. Ali

    Ali Master of Nothing Admin

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    This is AWESOME advice top to bottom.

    0/6 and good glass is really all you need to kill just about anything in North America. Look at the Ruger American series for a cheap and straight shooting gun. Buy a good scope if you can afford it and plan on taking it with you as you upgrade guns down the line. A Leupold VX3 will work fine but if you can swing a VX6 you'll hold on to it forever.

    As for binos, I went cheap and couldn't be happier. Both of these are the best bang for the buck in cheaper binos you can get.





    Get a good harness like a:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...bino+hub&sprefix=horn+hunter+bino+hub,aps,196

    In other words, spend the $$$ on the scope.

    Go to BHCR and learn. Tell them you're new. Have a guide TEACH you. Learn to gut and cut your own animal. I've never hunted there but I've heard it's a great place to start.

    In the end you'll learn a ton and get some good tasting meat, go for it.
     
  7. Arima-bob

    Arima-bob pescadore n jäger

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    Great advice here! I agree about BHCR being a pet and shoot, but it can teach you a decent amount. I haven't hunted it, but know several who have. It can be as easy or challenging as you want it to be.

    The biggest part to understand is that these are not wild animals, and will not react like a wild animal. That said, I think it's a good way to get that initial kill under your belt.

    Just remember, there's no catch and release in hunting. Do your best to make clean, ethical shots.

    Also, for a good, inexpensive scope, check out the Nikko Sterling nighteater. I put one on my 30.06 and have been quite happy with it.
     
  8. Chrislarson757

    Chrislarson757 Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice. I've got some homework to do and will post any and all questions and updates. I really appreciate the information.
     
  9. surfgoose

    surfgoose active geezer

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    Welcome to the world of hunting, Chris! You will have some amazing adventures. I don't know what city you live in, but if you are anywhere near LA then I will offer to meet you for a midweek morning at a range like Angeles or Lytle Creek or Oak Tree and you can shoot one of my .270s and get a feel for how a hunting rifle is handled. You don't have to spend a bunch of money, either. If you have made the commitment and gotten your license and pig tag, and found the hunting ranch that you want to go to, I'll loan you the scoped rifle and shooting sticks so you can take your pig. I think that you would enjoy a guided hunt on Tejon Ranch or one of the many ranches up around Paso Robles better than Big Horn, but it is your choice.

    The future of hunting is bringing new people into the sport.
     
  10. Chrislarson757

    Chrislarson757 Member

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    Hey Gary,

    Thanks for the great offer! I'll have to see if I can make a day trip up that way. I'm in San Diego. I spoke to the staff at the ranch listed above, and the mentioned not needing any tags or licenses? Not that I'm opposed to getting them, just not sure if this is true (or legal).

    I am still doing looking into firearms and scopes, so I'm pretty much wide open to suggestions. I was going to talk to some local shops and see if there might be any used options for an entry-level hunter.

    I really do appreciate the offer and will surely look you up when I get some dates on the calendar. I'm working with a buddy on this trip so I'll have to coordinate with him on when and where/ how far from San Diego we can go.

    Thanks again for the insight and welcoming into the world of hunting.

     
  11. Arima-bob

    Arima-bob pescadore n jäger

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    BHCR doesn't require a license since their animals are not native to the continent and/or considered livestock.

    As for a rifle, look at what Big 5 has for sale. You can usually get a Remington rifle/scope combo relatively cheap. The rifles are decent, and the scopes are cheap, but they work ok. Just be careful not to bump it too hard. They will have to be re sighted if you do.
     
  12. surfgoose

    surfgoose active geezer

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    OK, Chris, I'm sure that you will be able to hook up with someone down your way who can show you the basics. In addition to the good advice already posted, I will add that a quality rangefinder is an excellent investment. And resist the impulse to get a mega-power scope, you aren't doing overwatch in Iraq, you will almost never need to reach more than 300 yards. I can count the shots I've taken over that distance on one hand in over fifty years of hunting big game.
     
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  13. el Toro

    el Toro I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Take the hunter's safety course first. Then hit the range and practice. Join friends in the field first a few times. Make sure this is something you are genuinely interested in. There aren't that many people I know that are willing to endure the kind of discomfort and effort necessary to have repeated hunting success, at least not big game. Most fizzle out. I've invested in a lot of new guys, and I'm not complaining, I love doing it, but very, very few have stuck with it and made it a lifelong passion.

    Then, once you are convinced you are all in, buy the best boots, binoculars, scope, rifle, backpack and clothing (in that order) you can afford. Buy once, cry once is something to keep in mind. You can go cheap with a Ruger American or Savage or Remmy package gun, but you may find yourself upgrading later to something nicer. If you are truly wanting this to be a lifestyle, it will be more cost effective to save longer and buy the good stuff first. Gear choices are an entirely separate subject.

    Get a 30-06 and be done with it. No one will ever question whether you have the proper caliber. It will adequately and effectively take anything in the United States and beyond.

    Lastly, this is just my opinion, but pass on Big Horn Canyon. Yes, I will admit that I "hunted" there many years ago when I started bowhunting. I needed convincing that a sharp stick could actually do the job. In retrospect, I regret it. I felt bad. It's not a hunt. There is no sport involved. The pigs are farm animals! I feel like I need a shower just thinking about it. I think you would learn more about real hunting and get a much better experience and sense of pride if you started off on the right foot with a fair chase hunt. Book a Central Coast guided pig hunt. Or apply for a local doe tag. Or an out of state cow elk hunt. There are plenty of fair chase options that are high success that would give you a much better genuine starter experience. JMHO.
     
  14. Aggro

    Aggro Keepin my pimp hand strong!

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    Great advice from Nate. You'll need your hunter safety card first before you can hunt. You have many options in CA. Locally you get to pick from mixed coniferous, riparian to meadows or buck brush. Every bit of it is different.

    The only other thing I can suggest would be to get into as good of shape as possible. Some of these areas are unforgiving. Though most have no problem keeping their bearings it would make sense for newbs to have a gps and compass back up. Getting pulled out by S & R would be pretty embarrassing.

    Other than that, get out there as much as possible. Nothing tops being in the bush for learning animal behavior.
     
  15. Chrislarson757

    Chrislarson757 Member

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    Hey guys I really appreciate the advice you've all provided. It's given me a great starting point(s).

    Is there anywhere around San Diego county that has some wildlife I could stalk for practice? Just to get out and camp and see what game is around.
     
  16. Aggro

    Aggro Keepin my pimp hand strong!

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    If you want to see a lot of local game head to Lake Cuyamaca.
     
  17. Arima-bob

    Arima-bob pescadore n jäger

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    I've seen lots of deer and turkey around Julian
     
  18. Vermonster

    Vermonster Well-Known "Member"

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of hunting!!! Lots of good advice here. Oh, and I may have a basic 30-06 package with a scope for sale soon...... ;)
     
  19. Chrislarson757

    Chrislarson757 Member

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    Any thoughts or concerns about this option/ package?

    image.png
     
  20. Arima-bob

    Arima-bob pescadore n jäger

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    The rifle is probably just fine, but I wouldn't put much faith in the scope.

    Not bad for a starter.
     

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