Hunting and shooting are difficult activities with steep learning curves, which can often present as a barrier of entry to many people who want to start hunting and shooting. Fortunately, we have a great community who are happy to help each other out.
Every couple of Tuesday’s we like to run “Help a Hunter” on social media, asking everyone for their best advice on a certain topic.
Here’s a list of what we got from end of 2022 to Q1 2023.
- Unwritten range etiquette new hunters/shooters might not know
- Your 2023 hunting/shooting/fishing/outdoors goals
- Podcast list for 2023
- How can new shooters/hunters meet people to take them out?
- 5 miscellaneous items to take on a hunt?
- Advice for searching for game (glassing, tracking, listening, etc)
- Hunted animal cooking tips, recipes, books, etc
- Plug an Australian hunting small business/podcast/organisation
- Advice for hunting in state forests
Unwritten range etiquette new hunters/shooters might not know:
- Always check the rules of the range. Each range could have subtle differences. For example, take the gun to firing line in a bag vs not in a bag. Always follow the instructions of the ROs. Take advice given to you by "experts" with a grain of salt!
- Never be afraid to ask others for advice.
- But, at the same time, don’t be afraid to filter out the bullshit that may not be relevant to you.
- Don’t touch other people's stuff without asking. I took my taipan light to the range to zero. 3 people came and picked it up without asking. I might be a cool guy and all but look with your eyes not your hands.
- Don’t handle someone else’s firearm without asking permission first
- If someone offers you a shot with their firearm, don’t send all their ammo down range
- If you go to an SSAA range, expect not to be allowed to use a magazine in your rifle
- Don’t take someone else’s brass
- Don’t ever talk back to the safety officials
Your 2023 hunting/shooting/fishing/outdoors goals:
- Definitely keen to get a few deer hunts in this year, as well as taking as many opportunities as I can for fishing
- Most of my hunting is for pest control on farms, pigs, foxes, etc. Going to get onto some serious meat hunts
- Hopefully take my daughter for a hike and achieve more with the bow
- Take a hog deer stag and bull tahr
- Take a deer species
- Take my daughter for her first hike, and go after a red stag
- Fill the freezer with venison for the first year since before covid!
Podcast list for 2023:
- Sent It Mate Podcast
- Hunting Connection Podcast
- Meat Eater Podcast
- Bailing, Scaling, and BBQ
How can new hunters/shooters meet people to take them out?
- Just be yourself
- But also, social media. Most shooting mates I've met have been from social media
- Social media and club meets have been where I’ve met people/made friends. As a woman, I feel I need to be a bit more cautious when it comes to people’s intentions but so far so good
- There are a few hunting clubs out there that are worth their weight in gold and actually have properties for members to hunt on and have existing members who are happy to take new blokes out to help them get into it. They also have people who can even help with info on state forests or where you might have some luck down in Victoria in the parks down there. But like others said you can’t expect it all at once people want to get to know who they are sharing info with so it might not all come straight away
- Social media is great to meet likeminded people. Talk to lots of people, meet up and have a chat. If you’re a genuine person, it will be picked up pretty quick. Organise a trip into state forest and get someone to show you the ropes and what to look for or offer to pay for supplies/ fuel and some people will happily take you out. Just don’t expect everything for nothing, we like to get to know people properly before you get taken to their favourite spots or properties
- Create a little hunting group. Organise a camp in state forest and all go for a hunt. Build relationships with people and enjoy the bush. Not taking someone to your personal spots where owners might not like it
- Your first option should be to talk to extended family members. Almost everyone has a cousin, uncle, in-law, etc, who has some history in shooting and/or hunting, but don't even know it
- Become mates with your local gun shop staff. They know everyone in the local area
- Facebook “take me hunting” pages
- Talk to lots of people, express your interests, meet up and chat, offer to pay for supplies
5 miscellaneous items to take on a hunt
- I don’t know why but I always bring a fire starter flint whenever I go out and my car is always packed with firewood (more so for camping than hunting tbh). I bring my earphones to listen to music too.
- Coffee ☕ current Book that I am reading 📚 jetboil/fumo for rapid boiling water 🔥 camera for a different type of shooting 📷 running shoes for hitting the trails and grab some nature charged endorphins 👟
- Ugg boots, to keep my feet warm. Rubbish bag because sometimes previous people are grots. Starting to bring a kindle just to read a bit more in the downtime. Audio recorder to record the sound of nature. Hand warmers to put in my wet socks.
- Darts (smokes), hipflask, book, pipe, and tobacco
- Torch, windproof matches, jetboil/fumo, coffee, book
- Wind puffer, camera, fox whistle, headlamp, meat bags
- Snake bandage, spare shoelaces, book, fire starters, killer pythons
Advice for searching for game (glassing, tracking, listening, etc)
- I've found that alternating between glassing with binos, using your eyes, and glassing with the scope is pretty good, keeps you with a fresh perspective.
- What the lads said plus get a good rest before heading out.
- If hunting goat in thick scrub, put your face on the wind. You'll smell them long before you see them.
- Not many animals around me so I find that doing a ton of research beforehand really helps, learn the animals, know what to look for, study google earth for likely areas. I always find, the slower you move or glass, the more you see. Walk a little, glass a lot
- While glassing make an effort to look from right to left.
The human eye is often used to looking from left to right so much so that while reading sentences the human brain predicts words and often the eyes skip past those words.
Looking from right to left makes the brain and eyes work more and take in details more.
- Be patient. Wait on a side of a ridge and wait for deer to sun themselves on the other side. Glass often!
- If you find a track, look at the soil. Is it hard, mud, dirt? Each will tell you how old the track is
Hunted animal cooking tips, recipes, books, etc
- Wild Meat by Ross O’meara looks amazing will be getting my hands on a copy of that!
- The River Café Cook Book by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers
- When in doubt - slow cook, and make pies
- If you are having trouble thinking of venison recipes, no harm in using lamb recipes
- Never grind a shank. Ever. It’s a sin
Plug an Australian hunting small business/podcast/organisation
- Definitely go check out downunderarmament.myshopify.com great bloke and cool patches
- Hunting Connection Podcast
- Fill the Freezer
- Eat What you Kill
- Peak Country Apparel
- Bailing, Scaling, and BBQ
- Send It Mate Podcast
- Hey Succa and Skulls
Instagram tags to follow (follower submissions)
- @lowvisgear@practicalriflesolutions @taylor_wiese_ @guyjacko @maxwell_morepowder @223stormin_norman @plain.jane.emily
- @australianprecisionholsters@robert_herbert @gunsporttrading @redacted_actual_ @precisionvarminting @precisionrifleshop
- @lowvisgear@dn_sn @mainlander_nz @cleansandcarbines
- @gntlmn__club@australianprecisionholsters @huntingconnectionpodcast @australianhuntingpodcast @warwickfirearms @btenergetics
- @senditmatepodcast, @bailing_scailing_and_bbq, @thehunterscampfire & @becomingabowhunter.podcast
Advice for hunting in state forests
- Don't be disheartened when you don't get something - you've got your whole life ahead of you to hunt, and be out in nature
- Always double check your targets for safety. You’re not the only hunter or user of the land
- Find the water course and the feed. Follow the sign
- Learn the area before you arrive through maps. Work out where the sun rises, and sun sets
- Study the mapping software as much as possible. Tells you so much about where animals are