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Brand New to Hunting/seeking permit advice and potentially even mentor

1016 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Lone_Hunter
Hey all, my name is Joe and I am brand new to hunting. I grew up fly fishing, backpacking, and camping, however, hunting or even guns just weren't part of the family tradition (but i get the sense this forum likes black sheep). I have completed hunters ed, i am a good shot w my .22, and i can hike all day, but i am still brand new and need some guidance.

Helped a guy pack out and elk just over 7 miles this fall and absolutely loved it, even though it was brutal, so i am pretty committed to the sport. I feel like if i didnt hate myself after that, this hunting thing is for me

Should i try and start pooling points for hunts down the line? Should i try and get in field w hunts that have low success rate but high draw odds just for exposure? Do i put in for LE or Once in a lifetime hunts? I understand the value of stockpiling points but would love to get out and really hunt this fall.
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Good on ya for joining the forum, and welcome! This can be a great place to lurk & actively seek advice, especially starting this early in your new hobby & this early in the annual tag process.

You'll need advice from others about field strategy as I've been skunked on elk and never really found mule deer to be of interest. There are some hunters here who are both talented & generous with their knowledge that I hope you are able to connect with for that information.

That said, early planning and logistics are also a struggle for new & first generation hunters like us. My father quit hunting in his twenties and never really looked back, at least not until I started exploring it decades later.

Utah provides unique opportunities for both big & small game. Getting field time always helps to learn to identity evidence of game, even when out hunting other species. I'd second picking up small or upland game hunting as previously mentioned. Most of those species are free or cheaper than big game & you can start doing so without the entrance exam of a species specific tag application.

If it's appealing I'd recommend starting "close" to home and getting to know the wildlife in that environment. Having more time in the field doing so can help & being closer to home allows more opportunity to do so. I did the opposite and spent several great years getting to know a phenomenal hunting unit & place but lost valuable time getting to know the unit I'm closest to & ultimately more likely to hunt in the future. But your mileage may vary.

While at home, dedicate time to the various guidebooks Utah DWR has each year for hunting. I'd recommend reading most of them to learn the range of opportunity as well as the necessary steps to hunt them. They do a fairly good job explaining those things.

I'd also play with online maps & hunt planners that are free & readily available. You'll get to know the landscape that way without as much burden from getting out and hiking everywhere. It's not the same as field time but it can be done in spare time without the cost of time & money required to travel.

I hope you get plenty of advice here. The strategy needed to apply for and eventually use points is a specific niche that some here are very skilled at. I hope they share what they are comfortable with.

Best of luck & enjoy the learning!
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I went east to the Boulder because I was fascinated by the area and want to get to know it over a lifetime. I loved my time there and learned a lot.

And, I can't sustain hunting so far from home. Living in Utah distorts your sense of distance. Driving 5-8 hours seems normal until you start looking at transportation costs or describe it to others not in the West.

My hunting will mostly remain local now. Getting to know my backyard better actually sounds refreshing.
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