My Plans for Getting Started with Hunting
Even though I grew up in the country on a farm, raising and harvesting our own meat and poultry – I am slightly ashamed of saying that I have no experience with hunting. I have never had a problem with hunters, and always wished that I had those skills. But that seems to be the problem with hunting, most people who hunt were raised by other hunters (father, uncle, grandfather). But these days you will find older non-hunters, such as myself, becoming interested in learning about hunting and then going out to the field or bush themselves.
I consider hunting to be an essential skill for anybody seeking personal independence and self reliance. Not only are you harvesting natural resources that you did not have to feed or raise yourself, but this is also likely the healthiest meat that you can find. Naturally bred, antibiotic and hormone free, non-GMO fed, natural spring watered, free-range, organic meat – Almost the way that nature intended for us to eat. No factory-farmed meat can compare to the health benefits of consuming this natural resource.
Below you will find some of my initial thoughts on getting started with hunting, along with some of the information that I have gathered.
Hunting is an important part of the Food Pillar of Personal Sovereignty
Deer hunting is the standard hunting for Canadians and Americans. From what I have seen, most every hunter with a proper licence can harvest deer every year. In fact, there are so many deer in some places, that there have been culls from time to time. Harvesting one deer every year can add a lot of healthy, natural protein to your family’s table.
Venison was not a staple of my diet growing up, but I did enjoy it when friends or family shared some of their supply. I do look forward to the day when I am out in the bush myself.
Hunting for turkey seems to be becoming more popular, especially in eastern Canada. I believe that wild turkeys had mostly disappeared from eastern Canada, but had a population reintroduced. Now they are on the rebound and you can regularly see them on dirt roads in Ontario. From what I have heard, wild turkeys put the supermarket garbage to shame – this sounds like a great experiment to try out for my self.
Duck hunting is a common fall pastime anywhere there are wetlands. This is likely the first hunting pursuit that I will get into; mostly because of the ease of handling and cleaning the harvested animal, and I like the taste of duck. Areas where you hunt ducks can be fairly close to urban centres and don’t typically require you to take a week off of work to head to hunting camp.
Elk, Moose, and other large game
In my mind, you shouldn’t attempt to hunt large game such as elk or moose until you are very proficient in hunting deer. Typically much further away from inhabited areas (read: up north), you have to take time off of work and drive up north. You must typically enter a tag lottery to get the chance to hunt for one of these animals. A successful hunt will put a lot of meat into your freezer and give you a lot of piece of mind when you think about feeding your family. I am definitely a few years away from being in this big league.
Rifles and shotguns for hunting
More deer have been dropped by the Winchester 30-30 than any other rifle, and some even use it for hunting Moose, though many say it is underpowered for larger game and longer ranges. A rifle would still be used for Moose, Elk, Caribou, and other large game. Shotguns are the tool of choice when hunting fowl, mostly because of the improved chance of hitting the animal when it is flying. Also, there will actually be some meat left which would not be the case if you picked off a duck with a 30-30. Loading a 12-gauge shotgun with a 1oz slug is also another viable option for harvesting deer.
Bow hunting and cross bows
After duck hunting, I will likely continue my hunting career by moving into rifle hunting for deer. But one thing that has been of much interest to me is bow hunting and other traditional methods. Youtube videos of hunters making perfect heart shots at range are very addictive. And I am downright amazed at the videos of people dropping Moose and bear at 20 foot ranges too. Now that takes balls!
I can only imaging the sense of accomplishment that you feel after harvesting an animal with a bow. I have heard that it is similar to the feeling of your first buck – only every single time.
It also helps that bow hunting season typically starts before rifle season, which should mean that the animals aren’t yet all spooked by the large numbers of hunters in the bush.
Bow hunting is definitely something that I will explore, but only after I have attained a high level of mastery with my bow and great arrow accuracy.
To learn what I can about hunting I have been watching YouTube videos, talking with friends, surfing blogs, and will soon be reading a book. I recently purchased this book on Amazon that is meant for people just now getting started with hunting. It is called Hunting Skills You Need by Field & Stream and it only cost me $10. Check it out here now and I will review it as I read it.
Other animals are harvested through hunting, though you hear much less about it: dove, pigeon, goose, squirrel, rabbit, bear, etc.
Hunting just for trophies is disrespectful to mother nature is is not something I can condone. But harvesting an animal for the meat, attempting to make use of the skin and fur, and getting extra points for trying to use bones – Then mounting a trophy head is perfectly fine.
Are you a hunter? Do you have any advise for people just getting started with hunting?