If you’re new to hunting, or maybe you have never hunted but have thought to yourself it’s something you’d be interested in giving a try, then know you can do it. You just have to have realistic expectations.
When I started hunting, I was fortunate to have two uncles that would each take me a few times a season. But by the time I was 14 years old and had become the proud owner of a four-wheeler, I was out on my own. Back then, gaining permission on private property was easier. Before the widespread adoption of leasing land took away most hunters’ ability to secure a good place to hunt based on a handshake a little sweat equity. The number of mistakes I made and the challenges I faced learning to hunt on my own is what I attribute to the lifelong passion I have for hunting. It was a learned skill that I’ll never perfect. I just hope to continuously evolve throughout my life. There were no youth seasons back then. No one was trying to set us up for success. There was no R3 efforts, and conversation organizations weren’t tripping all over themselves to take youth out for mentored opportunities. All of these advancements are great. I’m a huge fan. They get people out in the woods and often build hunters, and just as importantly, supporters of hunting. Yet, when we make an experience unnaturally easy, we run the risk of diluting the actual experience. I’ve taken a number of people on their first deer and turkey hunts. More often than not, the hunters I was mentoring shot a deer or turkey, sometimes within the first hour of their first hunt. [full article]