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Author Topic: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group  (Read 1145 times)

Offline Keola

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Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« on: January 27, 2020, 08:26:44 PM »
I've been hunting the last 3-4 years with family and friends and have been wildly unsuccessful. Most of them are giving up and stopping hunting. I'm hoping to join or make a group and learn from someone even if it's only during a few scouting trips though building a long term hunting party would be ideal. My son and wife are also interested in joining so a family and safe environment is preferred. Been around weapons my whole life and maturity with a firearm is key.

I'm more than happy to put the boots on the ground, miles on the vehicle or whatever is needed. I love being in the woods and have a pretty good sense of the woods here, i just know that I'm doing something wrong. The few master hunters I've gone with are all the bird dog type. I'm sure we pushed more than was necessary.

About me
38 year old guy who can still run a few miles... slowly LOL
Son is 16 who wants to hunt
Weapon type: Muzzle last few times but open to modern
Animals: I draw for all 4 every year but haven't harvested
Side: I've tried east and west and don't have a preference

Offline the1rod

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Re: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2020, 08:53:13 PM »
The few master hunters I've gone with are all the bird dog type. I'm sure we pushed more than was necessary.





Welcome to the forum!  There are lots of great people and information here that will help you on your way. In my opinion,  the quote above is exactly the problem with hunting with others.  There are so many ways to hunt and what is right for one person might be wrong for another,  and it sucks to hunt with someone and feel like your doing the wrong thing. From the sounds of things, you have the best hunting group you could ask for already.  Read study and learn,  find an area to focus on and spend some time getting to know it,  and get out there with your son and learn your way. When you get the chance to go with someone,  great,  suck up as much knowledge as you can and take the tips and tricks and apply them to your style of hunting. Good luck with your adventures,  and remember to just enjoy being out there and don't put too much stress on killing an animal, there's alot more to a successful hunt than a notched tag.

Offline WSU

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Re: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2020, 09:14:48 PM »
Pm me your phone number if you want. I donít need more hunting partners but will offer advice if you are interested.

Online ghosthunter

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Re: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2020, 09:16:31 PM »
Pm sent
GHOST CAMP "We Came To Hunt"
Proud Parent of A United States Marine

We are all traveling from Birth to the Packing House. ( Broken Trail)

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2020, 05:26:43 AM »
Are you open to hunting out of state? If so do you have any points built up?

Offline Billy74

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Re: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2020, 07:45:45 AM »
Im kind of in the same boat but i like getting out on my own but would never turn down help from experienced hunter.  Its such a personal experience.  I wish one of my non hunting buddies (thats all of them) would take the same level of interest i have and want to share the learning experience.  I get it though. As an adult time and money are so limited and pouring it into hunting isnít at the top of everyones list and experience hunters have the same limits and asking them to take away from their hunt time and risk waisting it on someone who they donít know and may not be that into it or have conflicting ideas about ethics or will blow up a well earned area by inviting his buddies next year.  Id love to start a novice hunter group here on the east-side even if it was just to compare notes and things learned. 


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Offline KevrosWanderin

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Re: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2020, 07:12:40 AM »
I would personally like to have all of that are constantly looking. Meet up somewhere for lunch or something. This would allow people to get to talk in person. Connect with like minded people. *censored* it would be like speed dating. There is a great little cafe out on 90. (LOL Generalizing!!!) I would make the drive once a month from Tacoma. Even if it was just to shoot the *censored* with like minded people that are trying to learn this great state. I too am a new transplant from a diff. state it is a struggle to get many to talk about a region they go to! I know jack about hunting in elevation and where critters live. Take me back to the flat mid west and I can read it like a book. My home office wall looks like a detectives. Map taped up there with exerts from the regs taped everywhere with marking drawings all them. Slowly I am getting things figured out. It is just taking time.
While inexperienced, a open mind, a will to learn, and the drive to achieve what you dream about. You can do anything. Persistence is key. Some dream of wealth or material things. I dream of experiences and wild places

Offline mcrawfordaf

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Re: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2020, 08:30:48 AM »
My home office wall looks like a detectives. Map taped up there with exerts from the regs taped everywhere with marking drawings all them.

This is me. I've printed out a large scale map the WA state GMU map in color, laminated it and have been marking season dates and also areas where public land is. My google maps has dozens of "Want to Go here" places pinned. The WA state interactive map does a somewhat decent job of at least showing what lands are what. Then additional research into BLM regs, WDFW regs, Feel Free to Hunt, Written Permission, etc. Here's a shot of me explaining WA state hunting regs to my wife...

Offline HighGrouseHunt

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Re: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2020, 10:25:49 AM »
Hey Keola,

Despite creeping in shadows and just watching the HW page for past few years, this is actually my first post. Your post about looking for mentors / partners was what finally spurred me to join.

I think a lot of folks are intimidated or uncomfortable about the idea of being viewed as a "mentor", or being perceived as an "experienced hunter". We all know someone who has hunted longer, hunts harder, shoots bigger bucks, and is generally more *censored* than we are, and therefore it always seems like there must be someone better suited to being a "mentor".

With that said, I grew up hunting and fishing and those experiences lead to a lifelong dedication to work for wildlife and wild places. Knowing that other hunters and fishermen are generally the most passionate about the things I care most about, it has been hard to watch older hunters "aging out", and the failure to recruit new hunters fast enough to offset it. This has lead to not only financial constraints on wildlife agencies from things like Pittman-Robertson funds and reduced tag sales, but more significantly it has resulted in a loss of public understanding and support for wildlife management and the value of public lands. If we want to continue to enjoy one of the most successful wildlife management models in the world, we need to recruit more hunters. Its that simple. 

In my opinion, until relatively recently the hunting community missed the boat when it came to recruiting new hunters by focusing almost exclusively on getting kids into hunting. While I think that getting kids into hunting is great, it is only one part of the equation. Those kids that start hunting with family at a young age are incredibly fortunate because they typically have a built in mentor who gradually teaches them all of the aspects needed to eventually do it all on their own. Adult onset hunters usually have to start from scratch and learn all the things that  a parent or relative might pass down unknowingly to a kid. This can range from knowing what type of weapon to buy and what gear you need, to knowing how to gut, pack-out, butcher, and cook your game.

I believe that helping out newer adult hunters like yourself (including your son and wife) is critical to getting new families into hunting, so that they will be able pass down their own experience through the channels that we have relied on for so long.

I am happy to help in whatever way I can, feel free to shoot me a PM and maybe we could grab a beer sometime. The same offer stands for other new hunters as well. 

About me.

- 34 year old guy that currently splits time between Seattle and NE Washington due to grad school
- grew up hunting and have hunted White-tails, Mule Deer, Elk, Antelope, Turkeys, waterfowl, and upland birds with rifle, shotgun, and bow
- In the past couple of years I have focused on rifle Deer, Turkey, and grouse in the NE corner and east slopes of the cascades North of 1-90 due largely to season dates and my work and school obligations.
- I spend pretty much all of my time each spring summer and fall working and recreating in those areas too. 

Offline Keola

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Re: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2020, 09:39:24 PM »
Greetings All!,

Thanks for the warm reception and the great advice. I try to live the mantra that a bad day hunting is still an amazing day in the woods. For those that reached out directly, I appreciate your time and have responded. I'll do my best to quickly respond so it's not a novel.

I agree that each person has their own hunting style and it's great to get in there and try. It would also be nice to have someone who can give advice or adjustments... simple stuff like when to stalk or when to sit and wait a while, which draw has appeal and why, and finally some of the tricks for skinning the animal you harvest to maximize meat. I'm native Hawaiian so I take treating the animal properly with very high regard. I love playing in the woods so I try to get out there a lot I also am guessing I have a few bad habits that skunk up an area quickly and spook the elk. Deer I have an easier time with because they tend to be... dumb :).

I'd love to hunt out of state but can't seem to figure out timing for ID. I have NO points outside of WA.

I really like the idea of meeting up with others to at least chat it up. If others are serious about it then I'd be happy to post some ideas for a spot to meet up. I think its best for all who are interested to make sure we are good fit and would actually want to spend time together in the woods :P. For example I'm a tech guy so I do all of my mapping on OnXMaps and use Rino radios so I have that extra GPS security blanket. Some may be turned off by the need to have power in base camp for charging. I've hunted from my vehicle, from a trailer and a tent a couple of times so I'm not tied to it, but a place to dry my clothes and charge my tech is nice  :tung:.

HighGrouseHunt - I'm honored and appreciate your offer! I think it would be great to see if a few of us can get together and work something out. I'm in the Renton area so I'm pretty flexible on location for a meet up (sorry to those on the far east side). I have 3 kids and a wife so I need to be.... cautious about my schedule and timing (i think the wife will let me come out to play LOL).

sorry for the long message but with so many great responses I wanted to make sure I addressed and thanked all of you.

Offline UrbanCarnivore

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Re: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2020, 09:45:54 PM »
I'm in a similar boat looking for some local knowledge after moving from Colorado (where I had proven successful as an adult onset hunter). I'd love to participate in a meetup if something evolves from this thread.

Offline Special T

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Re: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2020, 08:13:52 AM »
My advise is get involved.
There is a pinned post in the contests events and organizations that has a listing of most all sportsmen orgs and clubs.

I got my start volunteering and making friends at my bow club. Not only did my shooting improve, but when I volunteered to be the club secretary I was forced to take notes an learn everyone's name.
I made 2 of my best hunting  through it. Not to mention it was a way to get my whole family involved in something I was passionate about.

I'm a west side deer hunter I hunt blacktail. Blacktail Trophy tactics 2 by Byod Iverson forever changed how I hunted and scouted. I rarely saw game  before, and when I did they were exploding out of the area.  When I find an area with blacktail I like to get to know it really well. I've done lots of scouting this time of year. Made maps, clipped branches found possible places to have ground blinds or tree stands.

https://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,190137.0.html



« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 09:17:23 AM by Special T »
In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

Confucius

Offline mburrows

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Re: Struggling hunter looking for mentors / good group
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2020, 09:14:11 AM »
Get out turkey hunting, shed hunting or mushroom hunting this spring.  Pick an area with good habitat and just start learning. Lots of good learning resources out there but unless you get out and learn habitat and animal behavior all the books, seminars, etc. wont help you.

Also, highly recommend exploring other states if you want to improve your odds at success and expand your hunting season.

 


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