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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey y'all,

I'm fairly new to hunting. I've been once when I was younger and never saw or shot anything.Always wanted to go back and actually get into this great sport and I finally decided to do it. Basically what I'm wondering is what should I read/do/practice to get ready for fall? I put in for rifle tags this year but if I don't draw I'll probably end up getting a general season Elk tag. Let me narrow down my questions to these:

1. Where should I hunt? I don't know much about Utah's wilderness. Don't know anyone or really anywhere outside of the Wasatch Front. Where would you recommend I start? The one time I went hunting was up north of vernal and man was it crowded!

2. What will I need? I have my 30-06, camouflage clothing, and a good knife. What should I invest in? Rangefinder? Binoculars?

3. What general advice would you give a new guy like me?

Thanks!
 

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Your super greeny! First off the best advise is get out as much as possible. Like every weekend and twice a week if you can. Second rifle hunt sometimes sucks because of how many people there are and random bullets,you really want to learn how to hunt fast get a bow. The learning curve is steep but you'll learn a lot faster. See if you can get within bow range with a camera and practice stalking. The best way to find animals is go to a good look out point and use your binos or wait at a spring. Nothing beats experience so go out and get some. Get off the road, get off the beaten path and Bushwack it. Sometimes it pays to be patient and wait. Look for movement not deer and remember that's what their looking for too. Stick to the shadows. Pay attention to the wind. Never make noises louder then a squirrel when hiking. Walk a few paces and listen and watch. Animals are most active at dusk and dawn, be there well before and stay quite and patient. Don't take any shots your not 100% sure of. If you shoot one make an amazing effort to try and find it even if blood is scarce. Have fun!
 
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Welcome and hunt with whatever weapon you feel comfortable with I personally don't discriminate I like hunting rifle just as much as I do bow. Not sure of your location but spend some time on the weekends getting up early and being on top of the mountain before sun comes up that will help alot. You will see animals and learn their behaviors. Put some effort into it and you should start having some success. You can look up success rates on the dwr's website and odds of drawing certain areas.
 

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As far as investment I'd definitely get a good pair of binoculars.

I agree with the others that you need to get out as much as possible, if you wait until the season starts then you could get frustrated with how long it takes to get used to it. You can learn a lot about hunting just by spending time in the mountains even if you don't have a gun.
 

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Start hiking as soon as the snow melts. Get used to the higher elevations and carry a pack around with a little weight to it.

I agree that the more time you spend in the woods, the better off you will be at learning where to find elk and what their habits are.

My suggestion for gear will be to have some emergency gear on hand in case you get caught on the mountain while hunting. First aid kit, extra food, a rain poncho, fire, etc. Last thing we want is to lose a fellow hunter on the mountain.
 

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Your super greeny! First off the best advise is get out as much as possible. Like every weekend and twice a week if you can. Second rifle sucks,you really want to learn how to hunt get a bow. The learning curve is steep but you'll learn a lot faster. See if you can get within bow range with a camera and practice stalking. The best way to find animals is go to a good look out point and use your binos or wait at a spring. Nothing beats experience so go out and get some. Get off the road, get off the beaten path and Bushwack it. Sometimes it pays to be patient and wait. Look for movement not deer and remember that's what their looking for too. Stick to the shadows. Pay attention to the wind. Never make noises louder then a squirrel when hiking. Walk a few paces and listen and watch. Animals are most active at dusk and dawn, be there well before and stay quite and patient. Don't take any shots your not 100% sure of. If you shoot one make an amazing effort to try and find it even if blood is scarce. Have fun!
I'm still pretty green, although I've taken a few big game animals by now .... this, in any case, is the coolest piece of advice I've seen posted within 150 words! :shock::-o:neutral::):):)

Except for the bow-rifle judgement. Just hike, and hike, and hike a bit more. Seeing some orange a couple miles off doesn't mean you can't enjoy the mountain, and be successful.
 

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Except for the bow-rifle judgement.


Didnt mean it as a judgement....I like to rifle hunt too...I just meant it takes more skill to get within 20 yards rather then 200 and it will hone your skills faster because your liable to make more mistakes sooner. live and learn! ;-)
 
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Hey y'all,

I'm fairly new to hunting. I've been once when I was younger and never saw or shot anything.Always wanted to go back and actually get into this great sport and I finally decided to do it. Basically what I'm wondering is what should I read/do/practice to get ready for fall? I put in for rifle tags this year but if I don't draw I'll probably end up getting a general season Elk tag. Let me narrow down my questions to these:

1. Where should I hunt? I don't know much about Utah's wilderness. Don't know anyone or really anywhere outside of the Wasatch Front. Where would you recommend I start? The one time I went hunting was up north of vernal and man was it crowded!

2. What will I need? I have my 30-06, camouflage clothing, and a good knife. What should I invest in? Rangefinder? Binoculars?

3. What general advice would you give a new guy like me?

Thanks!
You have made a good start by coming to this forum, there are a lot of great guys with a lot of good information, so reading through a lot of the past posts will give a novice some good information.

My general advice is to seek a friend or friends to hunt with, it is much safer and hopefully you can find some that can teach you hunting and ethics.

I can see that it could be hard to start with no background, and maybe a little hard to understand for someone like me that grew up hunting with my father who started taking me out when I could walk on my own.

Good luck and stay safe.
 

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Hey y'all,

I'm fairly new to hunting. I've been once when I was younger and never saw or shot anything.Always wanted to go back and actually get into this great sport and I finally decided to do it. Basically what I'm wondering is what should I read/do/practice to get ready for fall? I put in for rifle tags this year but if I don't draw I'll probably end up getting a general season Elk tag. Let me narrow down my questions to these:

1. Where should I hunt? I don't know much about Utah's wilderness. Don't know anyone or really anywhere outside of the Wasatch Front. Where would you recommend I start? The one time I went hunting was up north of vernal and man was it crowded! Where to hunt specifically is completely irrelevant. ALL the woods in Utah have animals that most hunters never see. IF you find yourself in crowds, you are among folks who aren't really hunting as much as camping. You need to get there ahead of the crowds, hike up a drainage a mile and hunt from there-you will find doing this one thing will elevate your seeing animals more than everything else. Stay out of the Wilderness until you develop the skills to survive in the wilderness alone. That means tent/sleeping bag time in the woods. If you want to learn the woods, you need to be in the woods. So, start spending the night away from your truck and away from the campground. Walk quiet (like a ninja)in a mile or so and set up camp. Be quiet, and listen. get comfortable with the woods. ALWAYS hunt into the wind...ALWAYS. Means the wind is in your face or at an angle on your face. Get up higher than the surrounding terrain, sit down, get our your Binos and look around-don't move.


2. What will I need? I have my 30-06, camouflage clothing, and a good knife. What should I invest in? Rangefinder? Binoculars? Don't rush out and buy gear...yet. The 30-06 is all you'll ever need. Clothes; buy good once or bad every season. ALL your clothes should be either synthetic or wool(smartwool, icebreaker, etc). Don't waste your money on nylon, cotton. They will kill you. You do not need 'hunt' specific clothing. It's fashionable, expensive and not really needed. Also, as cool looking as Camo looks, its completely not needed. Clothes in muted earth tones are just fine and a lot cheaper. I wear Under Armor underwear(on sale), Icebreaker layers (on sale). You don't need a rangefinder. The 30-06 will shoot out to about 330 yards (990 feet!). Sight in 1.5" high at 100 yards and your fine. Besides learn to get within 100 yards of your target and learn to kill with one shot. Bino's: Buy once, don't buy cheap. They will last you forever. I carry 10x42 leupold. Nikon, leupold, etc. are just fine.

3. What general advice would you give a new guy like me? Get in the woods ahead of the other hunters(campers). Show up a day or two early. Get in 1 mile and spike camp and you will be hunting alone. Use google earth to look for roadless areas and THAT is where the animals will be and where you should be..

Thanks!
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I got into the hunting game late too. When I first started I got a lot of my information from this site when it was run by the DWR. Lots of good people who were willing to help out a newbie. If I were you, this is how I'd approach your questions:

1. There's been some solid advice on getting out often. Hunt the area you will have the most knowledge of by your own scouting. If travel is limited stay close to home, even if it's kind of crowded. The deer have to go somewhere when pressured, find out where that is.

2. Like Bax said, first and foremost is safety get that stuff before heading out. I'd also invest in good boots, a good pack, and good glass.

3. Don't get discouraged. I was fortunate enough to get a deer my first two seasons. Then I switched to elk hunting the general units. Way more difficult and I've yet to harvest a bull. The consistently successful hunters on this forum have decades of experience that we newbies don't have, and the only way to get it is to be persistent. Also, don't overlook the antlerless hunt opportunities in surrounding states for some affordable higher success rate hunts.
 

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If anyone is looking for hunting buddies in southern utah im ready to start scouting soon.
 

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I find this thread really cool ... there's another thread somewhere right on the best camo patterns. As here, the people with the most experience say "all you need is (1) no-cotton clothing in earth tones, a (2) rifle that shoots somewhat reliably to about 100 yards, and (3) time to spent in the mountains." Of these the last turns out to be the most difficult to get. The first two you can blow a few thousand dollars on, but it's not going to get you anywhere. Ha.
 

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The best advice I ever received about hunting is to not base your success off of whether or not you kill an animal. Out of the last 3 years I have been out hunting for deer, i have only killed 1. Not because I didn't have opportunities but you don't necessarly need to kill something unless it is worth it to you. I have met some of the best people I know while hunting and some of the best memories I have are from hunting trips where I never killed anythnig.

With that being said, get some good binos, some good hiking boots and work them in, find someone to go out with you and learn from each other. Study the animal you are hunting, it will take a while before you realize what they are going to do and where you need to be so that you have can have the perfect hunting scenario happen.

There has been some great advice given but the one i agree with most is patience. Be patient when hunting in general, you will get to where you need to be. There is no need to rush when out on the mountain, or when trying to get a shot. Take your time and make sure you are doing it right and there will be a far greater chance of you getting a good animal. That is my 2 cents.

Let us know where you put in. I know a lot of the guys on here have their honey holes and sweet spots but they all have some extensive knowledge of specific areas that I'm sure some of them could give you some info to point you in the right direction for specific units.

Just have fun, enjoy being out on the mountain.
 

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Just have fun, enjoy being out on the mountain.
+1000

Hunting truly is so much more than the kill. The experience of tracking, stalking, being in nature, listening to the sounds around you, smelling the fall smells, dozing off while leaning up against a tree, and feeling the breeze on your face are so enjoyable to me.

If every day of my life were lived having this as a part of it, I would die a happy and fulfilled man.

Have as much fun as you can. Don't spend a grundle of money on gear just yet. Learn from your mistakes. Learn about the animal you are hunting, and be engaged in the whole process.
 

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To make this short and sweet, here is my order of things/advice

1) The more time you invest, the more successful you'll be. That includes all phases - scouting, practicing, actual hunting, etc. There are great places to hunt all along the Front and elswe here across the state. Pick your spot and get to work!

2) Go the extra mile (literally) to beat the crowds. 1 mile is standard, 2 miles is good, 3+ miles is often best.

3) Get good boots...nothing ruins a hunt faster than blistered sore feet. My rule is if it's under $300, they're probably not good enough (if you follow #2 above).

4) Get the best glass you can absolutely afford. Can't stress this enough! If you can't see them, you can't shoot them.

5) Learn basic survival techniques before heading out. Always let someone know where yiu will be and when you'll be back. Maybe this should be #1?

6) Practice shooting and know your limits. If you can't shoot past 200 yards at the range, don't take that shot when hunting. If anything, your effective range is less in the field.

Good luck!!
 

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To make this short and sweet, here is my order of things/advice

1) The more time you invest, the more successful you'll be. That includes all phases - scouting, practicing, actual hunting, etc. There are great places to hunt all along the Front and elswe here across the state. Pick your spot and get to work!

2) Go the extra mile (literally) to beat the crowds. 1 mile is standard, 2 miles is good, 3+ miles is often best.

3) Get good boots...nothing ruins a hunt faster than blistered sore feet. My rule is if it's under $300, they're probably not good enough (if you follow #2 above).

4) Get the best glass you can absolutely afford. Can't stress this enough! If you can't see them, you can't shoot them.

5) Learn basic survival techniques before heading out. Always let someone know where yiu will be and when you'll be back. Maybe this should be #1?

6) Practice shooting and know your limits. If you can't shoot past 200 yards at the range, don't take that shot when hunting. If anything, your effective range is less in the field.

Good luck!!
Good stuff Mike! I'll second that. Number 3 caught my attention. Makes sense... I always skimp in this area and have experienced many a blistered foot over the years. Now if I can just get the wife to buy in I'll be good to go. $300 for boots will be a tough sell but money very well spent if the boots are worth the price. My bro bought a $280 pair of Danner's a couple years ago and I thought he had lost it until I noticed he wasnt bitching like me at the fire when we got back that day. :)
 

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Good stuff Mike! I'll second that. Number 3 caught my attention. Makes sense... I always skimp in this area and have experienced many a blistered foot over the years. Now if I can just get the wife to buy in I'll be good to go. $300 for boots will be a tough sell but money very well spent if the boots are worth the price. My bro bought a $280 pair of Danner's a couple years ago and I thought he had lost it until I noticed he wasnt bitching like me at the fire when we got back that day.
I'M telling you Jake, your Bro and I are on to something :)

I should have also added good socks to my list. They are almost as important as good boots! Nothing worse than socks that won't stay up and ball up in your boots!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you all so much for the advice! I honestly didn't expect nearly half as much help. I really appreciate the help and positive attitudes!
Here are the units I applied for:
1) DB-1552 - Rifle Buck Deer (ANY LEGAL WEAPON) - South Slope, Bonanza/Vernal (Oct 22 - 30, 2016)
2) DB-1550 - Rifle Buck Deer (ANY LEGAL WEAPON) - Plateau, Thousand Lakes (Oct 22 - 30, 2016)
3) DB-1551 - Rifle Buck Deer (ANY LEGAL WEAPON) - San Juan, Abajo Mtns (Oct 22 - 30, 2016)
4) DB-1547 - Rifle Buck Deer (ANY LEGAL WEAPON) - Pine Valley (Oct 22 - 30, 2016)
5) DB-1540 - Rifle Buck Deer (ANY LEGAL WEAPON) - Monroe (Oct 22 - 30, 2016)

1) EB-3066 - Limited Entry Rifle Bull Elk (ANY LEGAL WEAPON) - San Juan Bull Elk (Sept 17 - 25, 2016)
2) EB-3047 - Limited Entry Rifle Bull Elk (ANY LEGAL WEAPON) - Monroe (Sept 17 - 25, 2016)

Any thoughts on these units?
 

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Congrats! You picked the best elk units in the state! You're a natural!:grin: Unfortunately, you'll need dozens of points to draw those tags. You have a long wait ahead of you. You have a reasonable chance of drawing a deer tag.

For advice, I'll reiterate what others have said--survival gear, good boots, become proficient with your weapon of choice, good binoculars. I'll add one--get good at studying maps and google earth. You can get away from the crowds without hiking 2 miles. You just need to find obscure spots that nobody else will go to for whatever reason.

Good luck!
 
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