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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
Feel free to answer only part/one of my questions. I know it's a lot.

Much respect to all of you. I am looking to begin hunting at the age of 30. I have always been someone with a lot of concern for animal welfare, and I have reached a point in my life where, despite my health issues that make eating meat important to me, I can't deal with what goes on in factory farming. However you feel about all that is irrelevant, of course; I am just asking for help getting starting with all this.

My goal is to eventually hunt ducks, turkeys, geese, deer, and wild boar. I want to stock my freezer with enough meat to where I hardly ever need to buy it from the grocer. This may sound like kind of a crazy goal, but I am totally serious about it. I should mention that my Dad is also planning to learn how to do this with me, but has no idea what he is doing, either!

So far I know that I need to take the Hunter Safety Education class and do a field day. After that, though, I have no earthly idea what I am doing.

1. What weapon to use? My priority is precision and lessening the amount of pain the animal experiences. Obviously, being a bow hunter is insanely badass, and I am interested in the upper body strength that it takes, but I want the easiest method for a clean, painless, fast kill.
a. Where do I get a weapon?
b. I have never shot a gun before. Is there a way I can learn to shoot a gun properly, safely, and also with some level of precision?
c. Gun storage; what do you recommend?

2. What do I do with the body? Once I shoot and kill the animal what do I do with it? I have no problem paying someone else to process it, but where do I put it to transport it to the processor? I drive a Toyota Yaris....:oops: Do some people process the animal themselves? If so, how do they do that? What equipment do they need?

3. Do people usually go out for just a day trip, or you typically camp?

4. Do I really need to wear camo? I don't own any camo, nor do I like camo. I feel like this might be a stupid question.

5. What else can you tell me? Tips, info, the good bad and the ugly?
 

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Hi everyone,
Feel free to answer only part/one of my questions. I know it's a lot.

Much respect to all of you. I am looking to begin hunting at the age of 30. I have always been someone with a lot of concern for animal welfare, and I have reached a point in my life where, despite my health issues that make eating meat important to me, I can't deal with what goes on in factory farming. However you feel about all that is irrelevant, of course; I am just asking for help getting starting with all this.

My goal is to eventually hunt ducks, turkeys, geese, deer, and wild boar. I want to stock my freezer with enough meat to where I hardly ever need to buy it from the grocer. This may sound like kind of a crazy goal, but I am totally serious about it. I should mention that my Dad is also planning to learn how to do this with me, but has no idea what he is doing, either!

So far I know that I need to take the Hunter Safety Education class and do a field day. After that, though, I have no earthly idea what I am doing.

1. What weapon to use? My priority is precision and lessening the amount of pain the animal experiences. Obviously, being a bow hunter is insanely badass, and I am interested in the upper body strength that it takes, but I want the easiest method for a clean, painless, fast kill.
a. Where do I get a weapon?
b. I have never shot a gun before. Is there a way I can learn to shoot a gun properly, safely, and also with some level of precision?
c. Gun storage; what do you recommend?

2. What do I do with the body? Once I shoot and kill the animal what do I do with it? I have no problem paying someone else to process it, but where do I put it to transport it to the processor? I drive a Toyota Yaris....:oops: Do some people process the animal themselves? If so, how do they do that? What equipment do they need?

3. Do people usually go out for just a day trip, or you typically camp?

4. Do I really need to wear camo? I don't own any camo, nor do I like camo. I feel like this might be a stupid question.

5. What else can you tell me? Tips, info, the good bad and the ugly?
Raise the meat yourself. Much easier, the meat goes in the freezer and the rest goes in the trash.
 

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First off, welcome aboard and it's always nice to see new hunters.

There is so much to learn to become an ethical successful hunter. I would first start by choosing one species and really focus on just that.

I would also look for a friend or family member that hunts. Nothing will ever beat first hand knowledge and mentoring.

The answers to all of your questions and then some has recently be covered and eloquently written in Steven Rinellas "The complete guide to hunting, butchering, and cooking wild game Volume 1 and 2" It's also worth watching his show on Sportsmen channel or Netflix.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First off, welcome aboard and it's always nice to see new hunters.

There is so much to learn to become an ethical successful hunter. I would first start by choosing one species and really focus on just that.

I would also look for a friend or family member that hunts. Nothing will ever beat first hand knowledge and mentoring.

The answers to all of your questions and then some has recently be covered and eloquently written in Steven Rinellas "The complete guide to hunting, butchering, and cooking wild game Volume 1 and 2" It's also worth watching his show on Sportsmen channel or Netflix.

Good luck
A book is a very good idea. How did I not think of that? I bet I can find them at the public library and everything.
 

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Allegan SGA treated me well.

Get books and subscribe to fur fish and game...maybe outdoor life.

Processing is easy. Killing is hard. I wish I had someone to kill for me and I would process the meat.

But I can't tell you what I have killed in 25 years or so..I am only 32.

Lots of books and videos on processing game. Start with squirrel and go from there, I like squirrel soup.

I boil skinned whole squirrels about 45 minutes, pull all meat off the bones and toss it in with veggies and noodles also boiling.

Feeds me for a few days.
 

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A book is a very good idea. How did I not think of that? I bet I can find them at the public library and everything.
Those two books I listed are with out question the most comprehensive, digestible, and smart handbooks on hunting out there. The author is from your area also. Take some time and check him out. It will be beyond helpful.
 

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At the risk of jumping the gun, pun intended, consider getting a 20 or 12 gage Remington 870. You'll literally be able to hunt anything in Michigan with it. Obviously, do Hunter safety 1st and then see if you can get trained in some gun safety safety. The killing is hard, but it is part of the process. Just focus on being thankful for another day on the planet and that the animal will help you make it another day and be respectful of the animal's life that you've taken.
 

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Assuming your post is legitimate and not trolling, welcome to the site and best wishes to you and Dad for a successful future in the great outdoors. For a real good educational source, among several others, pick up a copy of "Michigan Outdoor News" at a local magazine stand. It's a bi-weekly newspaper with articles pertinent to the seasons at hand, plus conservation information, Government activity, listings of local clubs and functions. If you like it then you can subscribe.
A lot of questions to answer so I'll try with my opinions on just a few.

Every game you pursue has it's own skills, habitat, weaponry, seasons, licensing requirements and techniques to develop...and costs.
Simplest and easiest is starting with a nice little .22 rifle, .410 or .20 ga shotgun shotgun and practicing on small game like squirrels, grouse and rabbits. Learning to hunt, clean them and cook them is easy with hundreds of YouTube videos available for every species. Some folks use a bow for small game but I'd say use a firearm until you're adept and comfortable. No use being discouraged early with the more challenging devices. Not that you can't be discouraged with a gun too, enjoy the fact you had the opportunity to be there...success will come.
Practicing marksmanship, patience, stealth and observation of everything around you will go far towards success with more challenging game like Turkeys and Deer. Small game hunting can also be a satisfying solitary endeavor. You don't need a group for setting up equipment like waterfowling or helping drag a deer like big game hunting. Squirrel hunting is usually done in more moderate weather. Investment is reasonable with a decent .22 being had for around $200 and shotguns under $300. Budgeting for appropriate clothing and boots, a knife, compass, small pack and other basics you might need can go from Walmart quality to expedition quality.
Turkey hunting is simple to get into also. A shotgun or bow, Camo clothing and maybe a call or two will get you started. Turkey seasons are spring and fall, in the spring you can also pick morel mushrooms. :D
Double or triple that patience and stealth you learned squirrel hunting.

Ducks and geese are a water-fowling sport where more equipment would be needed. Usually done from a camouflaged boat, blinds in the cattails or layout blinds in open fields. A better quality shotgun for dependability, decoys, calls and fowl weather gear is usually the case. There are guide services available around the State if you want to get your "feet wet" before any major investments.

The Whitetail is a whole 'nuther story.
Bow or gun are credible weapons...Bows or guns can start at a few hundred $$ to thousands.
Draw weight, or strength needed to pull a bow, can be adjusted for almost any stature - and with proper shot placement make a clean kill. The modern compound bow has opened the door even for children to have success at big game. Any quality shop can give you instructions, set you up with compatible equipment...some even have indoor ranges and leagues for year round practice, practice, practice. You might even meet new friends that are hunters and give you some advice.
There are also the next generation of crossbows. As accurate as a rifle with the power to take big game.
Rifles or shotguns for big game are a frequent topic in here. everyone has a preference or two.
Brand, price, type of action (how each, or the next, cartridge is loaded) caliber.
This is another personal choice on feeling comfortable and confident with shooting and of course the budget.
Some folks walk out their back door in the morning with jeans and a hoody, orange cap, pocket knife and Grampa's old single shot 12 gauge shotgun - and hang their deer that afternoon.
Others spend a fortune on rifles, scopes, clothing and boots, land, off road vehicles - to do the same thing.
It's all relevant to how we each enjoy the great outdoors...and with a bit of luck partake in it's bounty.
 

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A book is a very good idea. How did I not think of that? I bet I can find them at the public library and everything.
Your public library may not have the books on its shelves. However, you can use MeL Cat to see which library in the state has it and have it sent to your library for pick up.

It looks like both volumes may be available at one of the libraries in the state. If the little box on the right of the entry says "View Full Text", that is a book review. Click on the box that says "Get this from MeL Cat".

http://mel.org/

http://search.mel.org/iii/encore/plus/C__SThe complete guide to hunting, butchering, and cooking wild game__Orightresult;jsessionid=4B24C2D3E77803152A66FB11567E7EB8?lang=eng
 

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You can learn only so much from books.You need to find a friend that hunts.Somebody that can help you put to use what you read.As far as the equipment goes garage sales can be a great place to pick up some of the things you will need.Good will and Salvation Army get hunting coats from time to time also.I believe the Department of Natural Resources also puts on workshops for women that want to learn more about hunting.But I think one of your best resources will be to find a mentor to help you along.
 

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At the risk of jumping the gun, pun intended, consider getting a 20 or 12 gage Remington 870. You'll literally be able to hunt anything in Michigan with it. Obviously, do Hunter safety 1st and then see if you can get trained in some gun safety safety. The killing is hard, but it is part of the process. Just focus on being thankful for another day on the planet and that the animal will help you make it another day and be respectful of the animal's life that you've taken.
That would be my first pick. A 12 gauge shotgun. You can hunt just about anything in the state with it. A versatile weapon.
 

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The Remington 870 is a great gun! I have killed many deer and ducks and small game with it!

Start with small game, all you need is a gun and some ammo. Next easiest imo would be deer just like hunting a big squirrel. I would definitely try to find someone too go out with for duck hunting first before you jump in to deep. It takes a lot more equipment then most other hunting!
 
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Sorry for the inference but, like jimp, I hope your post is sincere.
Your reference to factory farming raises lots of eyebrows and disgust to those who know what goes on. It is an interesting jump into hunting for your own meat and we all welcome you wholehearted into the hunting community. Hunting has supplied food for humans since the beginning of time. You won't know how you will actually feel/react about taking a life until you actually do it for the first time, even if it is for food. You won't miss the growth hormones or steroids in the lean natural meat that you harvest. You have received good advice in this post already. I agree that you need to find a mentor or friend to get you started. Most everyone here started with a dad, older sibling, or friend into their hunting way of life. I also agree that a 12 or 20 gauge pump shotgun would be a great starting gun. It is versatile, effective, and inexpensive. I would look to deer hunting first. You can shoot/kill (don't be afraid of the word kill, it's honest) a deer at reasonably close range and while they are standing still. Squirrels and ducks are fast. The deer also provides a large target. You still need to be proficient in shot placement for a quick ethical kill however. Aim to an exact spot, not the whole animal. Aim small, miss small. You also will get back 40-60 pounds of wholesome, God given, tasty meat from your processor.
 

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Duck hunting wouldn't be my first endeavor. You'll want to spend a few weeks practicing at the trap & skeet range before you set foot in a marsh or swamp. Duck hunting is more social than deer, squirrel, turkey hunting and you want to be around a partner you can trust not to swing your way on a bird and cause a safety issue.

What about purchasing a hunt at a game ranch? Borrow hunting gear if needed. I've never hunted a ranch but I'm sure they have animals that need to be culled at some point. At least that way you could see if hunting is something you want to pursue further or not before you drop big money into all the gear yourself.

For safety, join a local rod & gun club and make contacts. Most clubs have monthly meetings that work great for networking. My club offers hunter safety and various firearm safety classes by certified staff at a reduced rate for members. I forget what it is called but my club offers a "pre CPL" class for people that want / need to brush up on firearm safety before taking the CPL class itself. I think annual dues at my club are $125 and you can use the ranges to shoot whenever you want.
 

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Safety... safety... safety... and then once you have that covered... more safety. IMO hunters safety isn't enough in most cases. Rifles, shotguns, handguns... they are all tools of death. If you disrespect them there is a very good chance you or someone around you will end up dead.

The best training for safety would probably be a Marine vet... or Army. Some police have terrible gun safety training as well so I won't recommend them.

BTW bunnies require very little space to raise and are very cheap and a healthy meat.
 

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I've recommended the .22, .410 or 20 Ga as a start for a young lady who's never fired or even held a gun before.
Dunham's has a .22 semi for $160.00 this weekend and would make a great start to get that 1st whiff of gunpowder. Too much gun and getting kicked in the pants by a 12 Ga the first time out is no good for confidence, practicing safety and repetitive shooting over many hours. Maybe even for Dad until experience and comfort-ability take over. .
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
At the risk of jumping the gun, pun intended, consider getting a 20 or 12 gage Remington 870. You'll literally be able to hunt anything in Michigan with it. Obviously, do Hunter safety 1st and then see if you can get trained in some gun safety safety. The killing is hard, but it is part of the process. Just focus on being thankful for another day on the planet and that the animal will help you make it another day and be respectful of the animal's life that you've taken.
Thank you for your sincere reply. Choosing a gun and learning about guns, particularly for a total novice like me with no gun experience whatsoever - I've never shot one before, not even a BB gun - is of course very overwhelming and important. I am going to take my hunter safety over the winter, then do a "field day" at the place in Allegan an above poster mentioned in February. I am also planning to practice shooting for quite some time before I even venture out into the "real world" and try to hunt. There's a shooting range just a few minutes away from my house so I'm going to try to learn more there, too. I want to be safe and make sure I am taking accurate shots, also.
 

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I don't have land yet, hence the hunting idea. Plus, my Dad wants to do this and it's kind of a bonding thing.
You can raise quite a few rabbits in a standard backyard and a variety of fowl if the community allows it. This will put you in control of everything to do with the process. Your father can help and it's very rewarding. That and it'll fill your freezer quicker than learning to hunt which you can certainly do as well. For that I'd recommend joining a woman's hunting group like http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10369_15424---,00.html If your not a joiner then maybe find a mentor among the people you know and trust. The thing is you have to develop a certain amount of woodmanship and field craft which you can't learn from TV or the internet.

Good luck whatever you choose.
 
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