New to hunting

D_unit760

New Member
Nov 4, 2019
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San Diego
Hey everyone, I'm Danny. I'm a San Diego native and completely new to hunting. I got my hunter safety certificate when I was like 8 (34 now). I have about a billion questions on where to start with hunting. Ultimately i would like to do archery deer hunting. I got a Hoyt nitrux last year, so am still getting dialed in with practicing.

So my questions-
1. What kind of gear would you reccomend for a San Diego mule deer hunt? Also, is there a good secondhand website for gear? Not looking to break the bank.

2. Are you able to glass areas and explore different zones out of the seasons? I feel like practicing glassing and looking for sign is something that should be a year round thing?

3. Does anyone have a workout routine that they would reccomend? I know hunting is physically demanding and I'm a little soggy in the middle.

4. Would you reccomend starting hunting something besides Muleys? Like Sutherland turkey or something? I feel like I'm jumping in feet first with the deer.

5. Does anyone know of an intro to hunting class or anything? Something that teaches you basics or like how to field dress an animal?

I'm sure I have more questions, but I'll start with those. I'm loving this site! Thanks in advance for the help!

---Danny
 
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TrapLine

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Feb 21, 2019
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Welcome to the site Danny. Great questions with many different answers but this is how I would do it.

1. Army Surplus, cheap and it works, really well. Craigslist and ebay. I like grinding them down on craigslist. Yea, im that guy.

2. You can hunt coyote all year, glass all you want. Make notes of what animals you see and wait for their season to open.

3.Go scout

4.Always hunt coyote but bring tags along in case you need them.

5. youtube
 

D_unit760

New Member
Nov 4, 2019
25
12
3
35
San Diego
Welcome to the site Danny. Great questions with many different answers but this is how I would do it.

1. Army Surplus, cheap and it works, really well. Craigslist and ebay. I like grinding them down on craigslist. Yea, im that guy.

2. You can hunt coyote all year, glass all you want. Make notes of what animals you see and wait for their season to open.

3.Go scout

4.Always hunt coyote but bring tags along in case you need them.

5. youtube
Do you have any pack recommendations for mule deer? Love the avatar by the way.
 

ilovesprig

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 3, 2012
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Escondido
Hey everyone, I'm Danny. I'm a San Diego native and completely new to hunting. I got my hunter safety certificate when I was like 8 (34 now). I have about a billion questions on where to start with hunting. Ultimately i would like to do archery deer hunting. I got a Hoyt nitrux last year, so am still getting dialed in with practicing.

So my questions-
1. What kind of gear would you reccomend for a San Diego mule deer hunt? Also, is there a good secondhand website for gear? Not looking to break the bank.

2. Are you able to glass areas and explore different zones out of the seasons? I feel like practicing glassing and looking for sign is something that should be a year round thing?

3. Does anyone have a workout routine that they would reccomend? I know hunting is physically demanding and I'm a little soggy in the middle.

4. Would you reccomend starting hunting something besides Muleys? Like Sutherland turkey or something? I feel like I'm jumping in feet first with the deer.

5. Does anyone know of an intro to hunting class or anything? Something that teaches you basics or like how to field dress an animal?

I'm sure I have more questions, but I'll start with those. I'm loving this site! Thanks in advance for the help!

---Danny
Danny,

Welcome to SCH...I'll try to answer your questions in order.

1...You really don't need a bunch of special gear for deer hunting...Most any back pack or fanny pack will work (if you're dragging your deer), have a couple of decent knives (one of which should be a Havalon or Outdoor Edge replaceable blade type), paracord, orange tape, TP, a COUPLE of ink pens, and a container for water...All this kind of stuff can be bought at Wal-Mart...As far as camo cloths, depending on your size...I have a ton of stuff you can have...Just show up at a NWTF monthly meeting...But again, you don't need camo stuff for deer hunting (Levi's, plaid shirt, & hat have killed a million deer)...Swap meets, Goodwill, Salvation Army, & AmVets almost always have camo cloths.

2...Most all areas of BLM, wildlife areas, and CNF are open year round for scouting...Glassing will depend on the habitat you're targeting...D16 has everything from desert to pine trees.

3...Yes, deer hunting can be physically challenging, but doesn't have to be...Again, if you hunt some deep canyon and you need to get a deer out of there...You better have some good friends or be in shape...At 34, you should be in shape for a lot of reasons ( ;) ).

4...Turkey hunting is very similar to deer hunting...Hunt both...They basically live in the same places...Here you will need full camo...Which can be used for both hunts.

5...You Tube is your friend...No real classes on deer hunting that I know of, but NWTF has a Spring Turkey Tune-Up (Feb. 22, 2020) that will cover everything you need to know about turkey hunting...And again, very much like deer hunting.

Lots of good threads here on SCH...Read them, read your regulations, and watch some how to videos....Good luck, Steve
 

D_unit760

New Member
Nov 4, 2019
25
12
3
35
San Diego
Danny,

Welcome to SCH...I'll try to answer your questions in order.

1...You really don't need a bunch of special gear for deer hunting...Most any back pack or fanny pack will work (if you're dragging your deer), have a couple of decent knives (one of which should be a Havalon or Outdoor Edge replaceable blade type), paracord, orange tape, TP, a COUPLE of ink pens, and a container for water...All this kind of stuff can be bought at Wal-Mart...As far as camo cloths, depending on your size...I have a ton of stuff you can have...Just show up at a NWTF monthly meeting...But again, you don't need camo stuff for deer hunting (Levi's, plaid shirt, & hat have killed a million deer)...Swap meets, Goodwill, Salvation Army, & AmVets almost always have camo cloths.

2...Most all areas of BLM, wildlife areas, and CNF are open year round for scouting...Glassing will depend on the habitat you're targeting...D16 has everything from desert to pine trees.

3...Yes, deer hunting can be physically challenging, but doesn't have to be...Again, if you hunt some deep canyon and you need to get a deer out of there...You better have some good friends or be in shape...At 34, you should be in shape for a lot of reasons ( ;) ).

4...Turkey hunting is very similar to deer hunting...Hunt both...They basically live in the same places...Here you will need full camo...Which can be used for both hunts.

5...You Tube is your friend...No real classes on deer hunting that I know of, but NWTF has a Spring Turkey Tune-Up (Feb. 22, 2020) that will cover everything you need to know about turkey hunting...And again, very much like deer hunting.

Lots of good threads here on SCH...Read them, read your regulations, and watch some how to videos....Good luck, Steve

Ok total newb question, what's the NWTF?
 
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TrapLine

Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2019
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Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Always carry more water than you think you need. I know its heavy but you will get used to it.

The last hunt I was on the guy a partnered up with ask me “are you going to take all that gear” when I was putting my backpack on and I told him “everytime”. About half way through the hunt he ran out of water. I hooked him from my backpack and he was like “damm its still cold”. Its better to be the one with cold water on a hot day than no water.
 

D_unit760

New Member
Nov 4, 2019
25
12
3
35
San Diego
Always carry more water than you think you need. I know its heavy but you will get used to it.

The last hunt I was on the guy a partnered up with ask me “are you going to take all that gear” when I was putting my backpack on and I told him “everytime”. About half way through the hunt he ran out of water. I hooked him from my backpack and he was like “damm its still cold”. Its better to be the one with cold water on a hot day than no water.
Grew up in Ramona and used to hike Iron mountain a few times a week. Theres always people that brought 1 tiny water bottle dying of heat up there. The nice thing about having too much water is, the more you drink, the lighter it gets.
 
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D_unit760

New Member
Nov 4, 2019
25
12
3
35
San Diego
Danny,

Welcome to SCH...I'll try to answer your questions in order.

1...You really don't need a bunch of special gear for deer hunting...Most any back pack or fanny pack will work (if you're dragging your deer), have a couple of decent knives (one of which should be a Havalon or Outdoor Edge replaceable blade type), paracord, orange tape, TP, a COUPLE of ink pens, and a container for water...All this kind of stuff can be bought at Wal-Mart...As far as camo cloths, depending on your size...I have a ton of stuff you can have...Just show up at a NWTF monthly meeting...But again, you don't need camo stuff for deer hunting (Levi's, plaid shirt, & hat have killed a million deer)...Swap meets, Goodwill, Salvation Army, & AmVets almost always have camo cloths.

2...Most all areas of BLM, wildlife areas, and CNF are open year round for scouting...Glassing will depend on the habitat you're targeting...D16 has everything from desert to pine trees.

3...Yes, deer hunting can be physically challenging, but doesn't have to be...Again, if you hunt some deep canyon and you need to get a deer out of there...You better have some good friends or be in shape...At 34, you should be in shape for a lot of reasons ( ;) ).

4...Turkey hunting is very similar to deer hunting...Hunt both...They basically live in the same places...Here you will need full camo...Which can be used for both hunts.

5...You Tube is your friend...No real classes on deer hunting that I know of, but NWTF has a Spring Turkey Tune-Up (Feb. 22, 2020) that will cover everything you need to know about turkey hunting...And again, very much like deer hunting.

Lots of good threads here on SCH...Read them, read your regulations, and watch some how to videos....Good luck, Steve

I'm a xxl in shirts. 36/38 waist 32 length. I'm a big dude lol I'll have to check out one of the NWTF meetings. I'm sure there are some good resources there.
 
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TheGDog

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Nov 28, 2018
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RE: The water thing. Especially when you're n00b. Divide the water you're carrying into more than one container, such that when you run out of water initially when sucking on your drink tube from the bladder... you'll know that means you've hit half-way point on amount of water you brought. When you get to that half-way point on amount of water you brought today? STOP!!!.. make note of how far you got in, then turn around and head back! Running out of water is no joke man. It can be VERY scary. Especially if you have to climb back up and out to return to your vehicle.

You also mention needed to get back in shape. I recommend just going scouting man. And bring 6 Liters minimum. The weight of that water will help you get your legs back in shape and you get a good idea for how much water YOU need when temps/conditions are such and such.


Scour thru the threads on here man. You will find some good info. And like everybody will tell you.. you'll learn a lot more just by going out there and observing things first hand.
 

D_unit760

New Member
Nov 4, 2019
25
12
3
35
San Diego
RE: The water thing. Especially when you're n00b. Divide the water you're carrying into more than one container, such that when you run out of water initially when sucking on your drink tube from the bladder... you'll know that means you've hit half-way point on amount of water you brought. When you get to that half-way point on amount of water you brought today? STOP!!!.. make note of how far you got in, then turn around and head back! Running out of water is no joke man. It can be VERY scary. Especially if you have to climb back up and out to return to your vehicle.

You also mention needed to get back in shape. I recommend just going scouting man. And bring 6 Liters minimum. The weight of that water will help you get your legs back in shape and you get a good idea for how much water YOU need when temps/conditions are such and such.


Scour thru the threads on here man. You will find some good info. And like everybody will tell you.. you'll learn a lot more just by going out there and observing things first hand.
That's a good idea with the water, especially since it's not a set end point like hiking a mountain.
 

TheGDog

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Nov 28, 2018
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It's also a good idea because containers fail sometimes. That way you're not totally screwed.
 
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SurfNHuntSD

Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2013
3,794
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San Diego
Hey everyone, I'm Danny. I'm a San Diego native and completely new to hunting. I got my hunter safety certificate when I was like 8 (34 now). I have about a billion questions on where to start with hunting. Ultimately i would like to do archery deer hunting. I got a Hoyt nitrux last year, so am still getting dialed in with practicing.

So my questions-
1. What kind of gear would you reccomend for a San Diego mule deer hunt? Also, is there a good secondhand website for gear? Not looking to break the bank.

2. Are you able to glass areas and explore different zones out of the seasons? I feel like practicing glassing and looking for sign is something that should be a year round thing?

3. Does anyone have a workout routine that they would reccomend? I know hunting is physically demanding and I'm a little soggy in the middle.

4. Would you reccomend starting hunting something besides Muleys? Like Sutherland turkey or something? I feel like I'm jumping in feet first with the deer.

5. Does anyone know of an intro to hunting class or anything? Something that teaches you basics or like how to field dress an animal?

I'm sure I have more questions, but I'll start with those. I'm loving this site! Thanks in advance for the help!

---Danny
1. Clothing is easy here as it doesn't get too cold. You can splurge on the high end stuff (Kuiu, Firstlite, Sitka) but don't need to. Wal-Mart stuff works fine, and the mid-range stuff (Kings Camo) is a bit better. If budget is an issue, spend your money on decent boots and glass.

2. Yes absolutely.

3. Hike! Best part about it is it'll double as a scouting trip. Tackle some steep hills, then glass when you get to the top. If you wanna turn it up a notch, fill your pack with heavy things.

4. Yes, I'd first recommend getting into upland and small game (rabbits, quail, dove) to get your feet wet. Turkeys and deer have a high learning curve here. The small stuff will keep you interested and you'll learn things and areas along the way. Buy a shotgun.

5. Nope. YouTube is a great resource though.
 

TheGDog

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Nov 28, 2018
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So my questions-
.
.
.
4. Would you reccomend starting hunting something besides Muleys? Like Sutherland turkey or something? I feel like I'm jumping in feet first with the deer.
.
.
---Danny
You *can* choose to go big first, if you want. That's what I did! But I was very focused and extremely committed to making it happen. If your level of commitment is not full-on "RAWR!!! FTW I'm making this happen, RAWR!!!"... then no, I would suggest going small game / predator hunting route first. There are different techniques for hunting deer, but it's definitely NOT continuously moving around all day. And which tactic you choose really will be dictated by what kind of habitat/terrian it is, and your level of fitness/health too. When I jumped in to all this, in my research I found where it said the typical new hunter in SoCal tends to go 3-to-5 years of hunting before getting his first deer. I made it happen in a little more than 1yr... but it took a helluva lot of just getting out there. AND... asking lots of questions to others with more experience. And reading thru forum threads and applying things out in the field. If you want to jump in feet first, you'll have to sorta say bye-bye to your socializing schedule to a certain degree, and be ok with that.

But really, not to much of a thing to worry about since you're kinda too late really to be jumping in it for this years season. So you've got all this upcoming year to commit to scouting and looking and searching and noticing. And heck, we actually had good rain this year, so you'll probably see a decent amount of deer. Note: you will see a heckuva lot of Does before you ever even get to see your first Buck. You will (jokingly) even begin to question whether they even exist.

DEFINITELY get yourself a couple of TrailCameras (and locks for them) though! They will do soo much to inspire you and rejuvenate your drive once you actually see on the pics "OK, Wow!, They ARE actually here and I'm not just some idiot walking around miles and miles for nothing!"

Having now tried some of the other hunting pursuits now... Dove Hunting with decoys is a freakin blast! Way more fun. Taking out Ground Squirrels at distance is great fun and great practice for developing your aim with hitting those small little targets with a rifle off a shooting rest/shooting sticks in the field.

Predator hunting is very interesting. It's kind of in-between. It can be very frustrating and fruitless on unsuccessful days. (which is usually when I switch it over to trying for Ground Squirrels as a consolation prize). And later you will learn that those fruitless days may have just been because you did something not smart and they busted you, and thus never came in. And then other times you'll have these amazing up-close fast-paced encounters that will be these super cool memories and stories you'll have forever!

RE: Youtube research, definitely watch the videos about how to do Gutless Method out in the field by yourself.
 

D_unit760

New Member
Nov 4, 2019
25
12
3
35
San Diego
1. Clothing is easy here as it doesn't get too cold. You can splurge on the high end stuff (Kuiu, Firstlite, Sitka) but don't need to. Wal-Mart stuff works fine, and the mid-range stuff (Kings Camo) is a bit better. If budget is an issue, spend your money on decent boots and glass.

2. Yes absolutely.

3. Hike! Best part about it is it'll double as a scouting trip. Tackle some steep hills, then glass when you get to the top. If you wanna turn it up a notch, fill your pack with heavy things.

4. Yes, I'd first recommend getting into upland and small game (rabbits, quail, dove) to get your feet wet. Turkeys and deer have a high learning curve here. The small stuff will keep you interested and you'll learn things and areas along the way. Buy a shotgun.

5. Nope. YouTube is a great resource though.

Do you have any recommendations on boots?
 

Truduct

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Dec 20, 2014
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tricerusa.com
Cool, I just ordered some vortex viper HD roof prism 10×42. Gotta try on boot before I buy since I'm flat footed.
With Italian boots I find I wear a size larger than normal. When going down hill with weight is when this is most obvious. You can try on Crispi and Scarpa at REI then buy the ones you want online since REI has limited supply and mostly cater to recreational people. All 4 of those brands run about the same since they are Italian.
Put the boot on and then kick your toe straight down if your toe hits the front of the boot move up a size.
I ran Schnees for a few seasons now I am using Kuiu’s Scarpa boot. I normally wear an 11 but my boots are a size 12.
I run those same bumps on my chest good glass.
 
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D_unit760

New Member
Nov 4, 2019
25
12
3
35
San Diego
With Italian boots I find I wear a size larger than normal. When going down hill with weight is when this is most obvious. You can try on Crispi and Scarpa at REI then buy the ones you want online since REI has limited supply and mostly cater to recreational people. All 4 of those brands run about the same since they are Italian.
Put the boot on and then kick your toe straight down if your toe hits the front of the boot move up a size.
I ran Schnees for a few seasons now I am using Kuiu’s Scarpa boot. I normally wear an 11 but my boots are a size 12.
I run those same bumps on my chest good glass.
I wear a 13/14 and am flat footed with wider feet. Shoukd be fun trying to find a pair lol
 
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