San Diego Newbie
Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:20 PM
Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:37 AM
Frist of all, let me say Thank you for your service.
Welcome to CPC you will like it here, there is a lot of
good knowlage here.
Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:06 AM
Telling us what kind of game or bird you will be hunting will help us help you. Forest and BLM maps, dvds and various other forums may help... some specializing on specific critters more so than others; Deer, predators etc! "ALLPREDATORCALLS.COM is one.
Above all, it will normally just take a lot of time and patience. It ain't gonna happen over night. A mentor is best, but not always possible, and may be where an outfitter can sometimes be best, and learn the fastest. Maybe!
Anyway, All The Best
Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:42 PM
CLUB MEMBERS WORKING TO REDUCE REDUNDANCY!
Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:31 AM
Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:15 AM
When it comes to hunting, hunting certain animals take different tactics. With birds, you don't have to worry about them scenting or smelling you and typically you want to flush them to shoot them with a shotgun. If you are hunting small game like cottontails, jack rabbits and squirrels then it's more of a being quiet, stealthy and spotting them before they spot you (if you are using a rifle). If you are hunting that type of game with a shotgun, then you still want to try and follow those tips, but you have a better chance if they are on the run with a shotgun. If you are looking to predator hunt, like coyotes or bobcats you'll need good camo (full camo) and since predators use their smell you'll need to know wind direction and mask your scent if possible (that a very, very simplified explanation). If you are looking to hunt deer, hogs (pigs) or perhaps some other larger game, those animals also have a good sense of smell. Anyway, knowing what type of animals you plan on hunting is important. Then learn about those animals, their habits, habitats, food sources, what their tracks look like, scat and the range of their territory and you'll start to understand where and when to look for them.
You'll probably need to do what almost all of us have done (I just started last year too), that is do a ton of research (internet, books, tv, video, etc.), scouting, driving and miles of walking. Everytime I come back from a scouting hike or hunt I know I've done allot of walking, climbing and hiking around because my ankles are swollen and the soles of my feet are on fire! Basically it takes a desire to want to find the animals you are desiring to harvest.
As far as teaching someone to spot, stalk, etc., I would recommend watching some hunting shows on your cable channels (if available) or look up some videos on YouTube (I do that all the time), though I wouldn't recommend watching the stupid idiots that are doing things improperly (they are just perpetuating bad media for our sport).
Well, it would be good for you to let everyone know what you plan on hunting, what type of equipment you have and then perhaps someone can provide you with some more helpful information.
Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:22 PM
Posted 21 August 2012 - 01:13 PM
I keep the following in my hunting pack:
2 Liter Hydration Pack
Large Knife (with flint, sharpener, pummel, etc.)
Pocket Knife (very sharp for cleaning animals)
First Aid Kid
Snake/Bee Sting Kit
Allen/Hex Wrenches (for making scope adjustments if needed in the field)
Compass (has built-in whistle and magnifying glass)
Maps (for area I'm hunting)
Vinyl Gloves (for cleaning rabbits)
Cleaning Cloth or unscented wipes
2 1/2 Gallon Ziploc Bag (for storing rabbits while walking around so fleas and ticks don't get on me)
1 Gallon Ziploc Bags (for placing dressed rabbit meat into when cleaned)
Rolled up plastic Grocery Bags (for rabbit remains if I'm cleaning at a campground)
Beef Jerky or other quick, easy snacks
I'm sure there is something else I forgotten, but that is about everything in my backpack. I also carry a set of shooting sticks when I hunt for my longer range shots.
Cleaning Jack Rabbits:
This video definitely helped me out when I was first starting. I hope it is helpful to you too.
Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:48 PM
Here are two videos (one video split into two parts) on cleaning rabbits:
Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:42 PM
As for what knife to use, that is like asking what gun. Everyone has their own personal preference. For cleaning them though, I don't even use a knife, I use and recommend a pair of multi-scissors.
I can have one skinned and cleaned in record time with these things. Just lop off the legs at the knees, then the head (yes, it will cut it right off if used properly) and the fur comes off nice, clean, and quick. Then use it to cut just under the skin of the belly without puncturing anything and cut it right open form neck to nuts. Fling out the guts and presto! All done.
Since I give away a lot of rabbit meat to those who have never tried it, I usually have to "butcher" it to make it look like chicken pieces. Four shoulders and a pair of backstraps.. For that I have recently fallen in love with the fillet/boning knife from Outdoor Edge. It is super light, compact, sharp, and extremely flexible.
Outdoor Edge® Fish & Bone Knife | Bass Pro Shops
Looking at your gun list, if you have never hunted, or it has been a real long time, I would start with the shotgun and rabbits. Then, once you have gotten very proficient with the shotgun, don't be afraid to put it down and try the (rimfire) rifles. Too much fun and a terrific skill builder at the same time.
Even without a mentor or someone to be right there with you, rabbits are a perfect entry level game. They are very abundant, and very good eating. Well, at least the cottontail (to me). I would try the jacks first instead of the (delicious) cottontails first just so you don't have anything to judge it by first before trying it. And you will be amazed at how quick your skill and ability will increase chasing these crafty little guys. ARH on here is about the finest example you will ever find of that. And don't be fooled into thinking rabbits are only out in the mornings and evenings. There are more of them, but there is still plenty out there in the mid day. Or so I've heard . Just walk around, don't wait for them come to you. And look for them in the shade under brush most of the time. There are several recent posts on here about both such topics. Just beware of that one particular idiot that has written some of them
You are absolutely correct in your assessment of the wealth of knowledge out there these days. This will surely play to your advantage. Get out there and get at it, then do a write-up about it along with any new questions you thought of, wait for some replies, then go use the new info and try it again. I promise you, if you listen to some sound advice, and are smart enough to spell your own name correctly, you will be successful and get better with each trip, write-up, and advice.
Best of luck, and Happy Hunting.
Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:52 PM
Posted 21 August 2012 - 06:06 PM
Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:58 PM
I've noticed by looking around that the general census is that you find a greater ratio of cotton:jack in the forest and the opposite in desert. Do I have that right. If so, I should be finding cottontails in the CNF right? Which would be easier to find, generally speaking of course.
I have actually scouted some in the CNF and I know the cottontails are there, but I personally had a hard time finding them there. There is quite a bit of private land on the border of the CNF and I have seen allot of cottontails jumping around and being lazy, chomping on grass on the private land but haven't had any success in the actual CNF... yet. I have blasted ground squirrels there though.
On the other hand, I've harvested both cottontails and jack rabbits in the desert type locations. It will depend on the time of the year as to which seems to be more abundant, at least in my limited experience. When I was hunting jacks in April, May and June (you can hunt jacks year round), I was seeing more cottontails than jack rabbits. Now that it is rabbit season I see more jacks than cottontails. That is fine with me though because I have found a few ways to cook the jacks that others would even eat. I don't mind the flavor though. It looks somewhat like beef with a stronger flavor. I also enjoy the challenge of stalking the jacks and hunting them with my .25 caliber Benjamin Marauder PCP air rifle. It is kind of like bow hunting, but with the ability to take down your target at 90 to 100 yards (if I just can't stalk in any closer).
The desert type area near us has a large quantity of tall brush, shrub oak, manzinita, sage brush, cactus and other vegetation that makes it a bit more challenging to spot the rabbits before they spot you. It can be done though and I have gotten quite a few bunnies and jacks with a bit of persistance. Now I almost never come home empty handed (though it does happen from time to time ).
Like Bisley mentioned though, do your homework and if you have any questions there is always someone around here to help out.
Oh... lately it has been almost as hot in the CNF as it was in the nearby desert (other than if you are in the shade). As long as you have a hydration pack and keep spare, cool water in your vehicle to refill when you go back to the car/truck for a rest you'll usually be alright (unless you are on medication where you shouldn't be in the sun or heat). I've been in the mountain/desert area with T-shirt and a thick, long sleeved shirt over that to keep from getting sunburned (and carrying a pack that weighs about 30 pounds plus or minus) when it has been 95 to 100 degrees and while I was hot and got tired, as long as I kept hydrated I was alright and was able to hunt long enough to bring some game back home.
Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:28 PM
You will notice that in the summer months (100+ degree days) there are always more jacks to be spotted than cottontails. Jacks cool themselves through those long ears of theirs and are much less bothered by the heat than cottontails. Does not mean you won't see any of those fluffy white tails out there, just that you have to look a little harder and be more alert. And just like any other animal you hunt, look for sign. You can easily tell the difference between the two species in the scat. Much larger for the jacks. Also, just like hunting quail, birds of prey in the air tend to make the little guys very leery. Your best hunting is without any hawks and such flying over you. A very often overlooked thing to remember.And if you can find yourself some public land next to an alfalfa (or other grassy) field, you have struck gold!
Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:13 AM
C'mon ARH, there's no rabbits of any kind to be found when the temps get into triple digits .
Oh, yeah... I forgot. There aren't any rabbits out when it gets hot.
And if you can find yourself some public land next to an alfalfa (or other grassy) field, you have struck gold!
Now that we be a freaking gold mine. I'd love to find an area like that! I'm still looking for an area near me like that.
Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:19 PM
Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:27 AM
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