Hunting Washington Forum

Classifieds & Organizations => Where To Go - Partners - Hunt Swaps => Topic started by: NewHunter24 on August 01, 2021, 02:13:26 AM

Title: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: NewHunter24 on August 01, 2021, 02:13:26 AM
Just picked up a rifle (delayed nics still  :'( ) and looking to do my first ever hunting day in the next few weeks. I have not shot a gun or done anything related to hunting in the last 20 years so I am a little lost on where to start. I plan on sighting in the rifle and shooting over the next few weeks but dont know where to go, I checked onx for public land near mason county & it looks like there is a ton I would love to check out. I do have a few questions though..

When using onx and public, dnr, green diamond land comes up how do I tell if it's a place i can actually use? Would there be gates blocking the entrances? I noticed a lot of the green diamond land has dirt roads, can you still hunt near the roads just not on them?

How do you not get lost in the woods without spending a ton on a gps? I have always used trails in the past as a reference but never really climbed hills & moved super far away from some reference point i know.

Any tips for a beginner to hunting?
Title: Re: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: Fatherof5 on August 01, 2021, 09:03:00 AM
As far as where to go and the land down in that area I don’t have much information.
You mentioned onX, are you using it on a smartphone? If so You can download sections of the map for when you’re off-line/with no service. I’ve been using that for years in place of an actual GPS unit.
Title: Re: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: brokentrail on August 01, 2021, 09:58:15 AM
For Green Diamond, some of their land is by permit only and some is free public access, this link will get you started and has maps that will show you those areas

https://www.greendiamond.com/recreation/

As to getting lost... I use Onx and I have a backup GPS.  In most places that are not back country hunts, you will eventually run into a road, if you walk far enough, especially on timber company properites.  When I leave my truck I mark it with Onx and my GPS (which I leave turned off unless I need it in an emergency).  I also know which general direction I am going.  If I am going in and heading east, eventually when I come out I'm going to be heading west.  I use landmarks and general direction 90% of the time and refer to Onx when needed.  If I get in and my Onx dies, and I'm not exactly certain where I am, I can fire up the GPS, find the truck, and start heading in the correct direction.

I have no idea as to your experience level, how often you have roamed around the woods, if you are good at map orientation, etc, so these are just some thoughts.  If I can help you somehow, PM me, and lmk.  We need more hunters, always.
Title: Re: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: TheStovePipeKid on August 01, 2021, 01:46:22 PM
Buy a quality compass and a hunting map of the area you plan to hunt. Take some time to learn orienteering and study your map for major landmarks. Map and compass never run out of batteries and work 24hrs a day. You may also want to look at older used models of gps units. You can find good deals on a quality unit to take just in case, it doesn't need to be new or have all the latest wizz-bangs. Not knowing your woodsman skill level I would encourage you to focus on that this year and not worry so much about taking game. If you can't get back out of the woods then honing your hunting skills won't be worth much. Slip over to the new member introductions thread and fill us in on where you come from and where you are at in life. I hunt the Mason County area too and there are a lot of others as well. And yes, hit the range and make sure you are able to make clean ethical shots. Good luck!
Title: Re: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: NewHunter24 on August 02, 2021, 01:40:41 AM
Thankyou guys! Planning on going to a small area I have picked out in the next few days, it has a few valleys and a ton of logging roads. Going with onx offline maps and making sure to pick up an compass and paper map in the next few days. Any recommendations on a decent compass? I do still have one question though!

The land I wanted to check out has a locked gate at the entrance, I have seen people drive up there in the past and it has a public nature trail. Its listed on onx as being owned by the state of Washington also has dept of natural resources land and turns into green diamond on the fat side. Can I just park at the gate and walk up?
Title: Re: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: hunter399 on August 02, 2021, 02:15:52 AM
Thankyou guys! Planning on going to a small area I have picked out in the next few days, it has a few valleys and a ton of logging roads. Going with onx offline maps and making sure to pick up an compass and paper map in the next few days. Any recommendations on a decent compass? I do still have one question though!

The land I wanted to check out has a locked gate at the entrance, I have seen people drive up there in the past and it has a public nature trail. Its listed on onx as being owned by the state of Washington also has dept of natural resources land and turns into green diamond on the fat side. Can I just park at the gate and walk up?
Look on onx ,see who owns land at gate.
Google there website about access rules ECT.
Title: Re: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: NewHunter24 on August 02, 2021, 04:02:19 AM
Thankyou guys! Planning on going to a small area I have picked out in the next few days, it has a few valleys and a ton of logging roads. Going with onx offline maps and making sure to pick up an compass and paper map in the next few days. Any recommendations on a decent compass? I do still have one question though!

The land I wanted to check out has a locked gate at the entrance, I have seen people drive up there in the past and it has a public nature trail. Its listed on onx as being owned by the state of Washington also has dept of natural resources land and turns into green diamond on the fat side. Can I just park at the gate and walk up?
Look on onx ,see who owns land at gate.
Google there website about access rules ECT.

Says it is privately owned for the first 50ish yards of the entrance where the gate is located.
Title: Re: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: Skyvalhunter on August 02, 2021, 05:45:27 AM
Any tips for a beginner to hunting?
Apply for out of state tags
Title: Re: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: hunter399 on August 02, 2021, 08:54:58 AM
Thankyou guys! Planning on going to a small area I have picked out in the next few days, it has a few valleys and a ton of logging roads. Going with onx offline maps and making sure to pick up an compass and paper map in the next few days. Any recommendations on a decent compass? I do still have one question though!

The land I wanted to check out has a locked gate at the entrance, I have seen people drive up there in the past and it has a public nature trail. Its listed on onx as being owned by the state of Washington also has dept of natural resources land and turns into green diamond on the fat side. Can I just park at the gate and walk up?
Look on onx ,see who owns land at gate.
Google there website about access rules ECT.

Says it is privately owned for the first 50ish yards of the entrance where the gate is located.
If your 100% sure it's private at the gate .
Then I'm not sure what to tell ya.
Title: Re: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: NewHunter24 on August 09, 2021, 06:18:55 AM
Just picked up my rifle and I'm doing the hunters safety course in the next few days then buying a deer and bear tag!

I noticed there was a burn ban in wa state,  where is the correct place to check the exact locations? Would like to sight it in and get some practice but what I was reading all state public access land is closed to shooting until Sept 30th? Is there anywhere I can still go, how do people make sure they are sighted in if hunting is allowed still?
Title: Re: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: brokentrail on August 09, 2021, 08:59:53 AM
Most, I assume,  will likely sight in at an actual range if they can't do so on the public grounds they usually use.

DNR burn ban map is located here:
https://www.dnr.wa.gov/burn-restrictions

Title: Re: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: Farmer72 on August 09, 2021, 10:25:49 AM
If you can't find a spot to sight in shoot me a PM. I have access to a private 25yd and 100yd range in Kitsap County.

I could take you there and get you dialed in if you need.
Title: Re: First time ever hunting soon
Post by: bracer40 on August 09, 2021, 11:34:07 AM
Just picked up a rifle (delayed nics still  :'( ) and looking to do my first ever hunting day in the next few weeks. I have not shot a gun or done anything related to hunting in the last 20 years so I am a little lost on where to start. I plan on sighting in the rifle and shooting over the next few weeks but dont know where to go, I checked onx for public land near mason county & it looks like there is a ton I would love to check out. I do have a few questions though..

When using onx and public, dnr, green diamond land comes up how do I tell if it's a place i can actually use? Would there be gates blocking the entrances? I noticed a lot of the green diamond land has dirt roads, can you still hunt near the roads just not on them?

How do you not get lost in the woods without spending a ton on a gps? I have always used trails in the past as a reference but never really climbed hills & moved super far away from some reference point i know.

Any tips for a beginner to hunting?

Newhunter,

Rather than looking for “a place out in the woods” to sight in, I’d recommend doing a simple google search for your nearest gun ranges. Yeah, it’ll cost a few bucks but in return you’ll have a safe place to shoot, a solid bench for sighting in and if you’re humble enough to ask for help, might find others one can learn from (many ranges will have an experienced rangemaster on hand to ensure safe shooting).
With our woods as dry as they’ve been, shooting is one of the banned activities (at least on much of Eastern WA), along with parking in dry grass, throwing lit buts out the window and of course, campfires.
Good luck on your upcoming season!
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