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Beginner Help #7803822 04/12/20 05:07 PM
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Hi, I currently live in the DFW area and have close to zero knowledge of hunting. I'm an Eagle Scout and a half-decent fisherman, so I'm somewhat familiar with the outdoors and everything. Can you all offer some advice for a guy in his 20s to get started hunting? If it helps any, I've pictured in my mind going hunting this coming summer while camping/fishing up at LBJ grasslands. But are there other places you can hunt/fishing/camp near DFW? I have a 20 gauge semi auto shotgun, fishing/camping equipment, and a 4x4. If that helps at all?

I guess I'm posting this because I have no idea where to start with getting into hunting. I never knew any friends or family that hunted, and I don't know anyone now either. I've considered just going by myself one weekend after getting a license and taking the safety course, but is there a better way to do it? I'm not even sure what game to hunt or how seasons work really. Can someone point me in the right direction or offer any sort of advice? I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much.

Also I wanted to add this, what type of game should I start out hunting? Is is possible for me to even hunt anything in the summer?

Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7803834 04/12/20 05:15 PM
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welcome ta texasHF
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Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7803845 04/12/20 05:27 PM
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There'll be plenty of folks coming along soon to help you out, explain the public hunting areas in your area, etc. Go ahead and get the Hunter Safety course out of the way ASAP. Save for a .22 and a centerfire rifle. You're gonna need them. up


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: Beginner Help [Re: Creekrunner] #7803849 04/12/20 05:29 PM
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Thanks!! I appreciate it. I've looked at .22's a little online. Never bought one before. Any suggestions?

Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7803854 04/12/20 05:39 PM
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A good place to start is Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Understand the seasons, license requirements, and game limits. There are public lands to hunt if you have the permits. Check out Lone Star Outdoor Podcast when you have a chance. Join a local gun range that offers clays and get proficient with your shotgun. You will meet other hunters there too. There are plenty of opportunities for dove come September. Good luck, stay safe and legal. Welcome to THF.

Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7803881 04/12/20 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew32198
Thanks!! I appreciate it. I've looked at .22's a little online. Never bought one before. Any suggestions?



Ruger 10/22. I'd go stainless and composite these days. It's the Coke of the industry.


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7803921 04/12/20 06:41 PM
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Get the hunter safety course behind you when the virus is done. Also get yourself a Texas LTC. That makes everything easier. And yes on the 10/22.


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Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7803923 04/12/20 06:42 PM
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Public lands dove hunting is a great place to begin.
As said earlier......hunter safety course......first
...,...... maybe some sporting clays (too much fun!!)
come fall, early September for north zone......you'll be ready for some bacon/jalepeno dove vittles.

Gun safety is Paramount!!.

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Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804011 04/12/20 08:03 PM
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Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804013 04/12/20 08:05 PM
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Subscribe to Texas Fish and Game. Cheap and a wealth of good info. You'll likely enjoy it.

Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804054 04/12/20 08:34 PM
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Welcome to our Forum. Its almost certainly the very best place for someone with zero experience to start. You can, and should, ask any question you want to and not feel uncomfortable doing so. Everyone likes to showoff how much they know so when a rookie asks basic questions then almost everybody can answer so you should get alot of feedback. Don't just use this advice as a way to "get started"-extremely experienced guys on here are always continually learning from others on here. Youll have to cut through some of the BS but thats life. Once you get started you should continue asking any question you want. There have been several rookies come on here in the last year or so, I hope they chime in and let you learn from their early experiences. If you continue to stay active on this forum and ask questions then I will chime in more as you go.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804066 04/12/20 08:43 PM
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Combat Infantryman, the ultimate hunter where the prey shoots back.
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Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804081 04/12/20 09:05 PM
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I've done some research the past few weeks, looking at game, seeing what licenses I need, etc. I think small game would obviously be a place to start, LBJ looks appealing to me just because you can camp and fish there, and you can hunt squirrels year round. Does anyone have experience up there? Is it real crowded? I don't want to mess other hunters up or annoy them if I'm out walking through their area. Is there a better "beginner" spot?

From what I've gathered, squirrel or rabbit seems like a place to start. Is it better if you use a shotgun or rifle? What would I do about the pellets being left over in the meat after using a shotgun?

Also update: online hunter safety course is in progress

Last edited by Andrew32198; 04/12/20 09:06 PM.
Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804121 04/12/20 09:35 PM
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Hard to know where to start with advise so I wont try to prioritize and just offer some here and there. You need to actually "hunt" enough to keep you interested, BUT I would advise spending a lot of time "shooting" before you put too much into hunting. You really want to have the proper weapon and know how to use it effectively and safely. Personally, I am much more of a hunter than a shooter but for a beginner you have a real responsibility when you pick up a firearm. Also, ive never met an Eagle Scout I didn't like-congrats on that.
Another piece of advice is that even if this thread loses some steam later on you should keep trying to post. That is if you haven't lost interest. Otherwise you will likely be forgotten about on here but if you stay engaged the advice will keep flowing. Im not saying you have to post daily or weekly or any set amount but just keep us updated on your new adventure cause I guarantee you a lot of good guys on here will want to know whats up with you.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804192 04/12/20 10:46 PM
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Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804196 04/12/20 10:49 PM
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OP, check your PMs.

Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804211 04/12/20 11:02 PM
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on your Eagle Scout cheers
My son is an Eagle Scout also, what troop do you belong to and where is it located?

Last edited by Stub; 04/12/20 11:03 PM.

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Re: Beginner Help [Re: Stub] #7804269 04/12/20 11:53 PM
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I'm from Oklahoma, Troop 1. In college at TCU now, recently trying to get reacquainted with the outdoors after a few years of not doing anything.

Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804277 04/13/20 12:00 AM
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Re: Beginner Help [Re: tex70] #7804306 04/13/20 12:22 AM
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You wanna share what part of Oklahoma? One of my leases is up there.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804392 04/13/20 01:34 AM
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First I would ask your friends who hunts, find one that you trust not to steer you wrong. Ask them to mentor you. Like stated above, you have to take safety hunter's course, get signed up for it.

Next look for a 22 to get some shooting practice. The 10-22 is fine, about $240 out the door. Look at pawn shops, but know your prices, they can stick it to you. I would also look at 22 bolt actions with a inexpensive scope. A shotgun for bird season, Remington 870,fool proof, the Army used to issue them.


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Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804509 04/13/20 05:18 AM
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Sounds to me like you have got everything you need except the license and hunter's ed. A .22 and a deer rifle will broaden your horizons, get them in the future but for now I think you just need to get out there and do it.

Eagle Scout, I assume you are pretty good at orienteering/land nav- if so then you have an advantage over a lot of experienced hunters believe it or not.

Best recommendation I can give you is look at the corps lakes. Pretty much all of them shotgun only anyway. I very strongly recommend bardwell and very specifically mustang creek. Access the area from highway 287, bring the shotgun and a zebco 33 and some beetle spins and you will have a great time. Cottontails and pigs down there, wallers all around by the creek, a lot of ducks in that creek too. I have caught a ton of largemouths and crapie down there, only game I have taken is cottontails but if you bring slugs you could very well get a pig.

Get as far away from the highway as you can get, I usually go south towards the lake. Be prepared to get your feet wet. If you do happen to get lost, just walk toward the sound of traffic. 287 is busy enough to get you home by the sound. Not ashamed to admit I have used the sound of traffic to get myself back on track in many different places and situations!

If you come in on the east bank of the creek you will be cut off by a big branch of it. Come in on the weat side you'll have more access but you'll be blazing your own trails.

Good luck!

Corps hunting regs 2020:

https://www.swf.usace.army.mil/Port...reations/SWF_2019-2020_Hunting_Guide.pdf

Bardwell hunting map:

https://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/bardwell/Hunting%20Map%20for%20Bardwell%20Lake.pdf


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Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804510 04/13/20 05:23 AM
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I should add, huntng season literally just ended down there at Bardwell the end of March. But it opens back up September 1


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Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804517 04/13/20 06:22 AM
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As for your question whether a shotgun or rimfire is better for squirrels, that depends on where/when you're hunting and your own preferences. When there's lots of leaves still on the trees and stuff for the limb chickens to eat up in the branches, you'll probably have more luck with a shotgun. Picking shot out of squirrels isn't too hard. If you're worried about lead, you can find non toxic shot... it's just more expensive. They're pretty easy to skin of you look up the tail trick on youtube or some such. You can learn a lot from squirrel hunting.

Re: Beginner Help [Re: Andrew32198] #7804638 04/13/20 01:42 PM
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My best advice is to approach hunting as consisting of three separate areas and learn as much as you can about each one - Animal Behavior, Firearms and Shooting (or Archery if that's your choice), and Basic Woodsmanship. Knowing the behavior of your prey will help you create and implement a plan that will give you the greatest chance of success. Knowing what firearm or bow is best to ethically take down the animal you plan to hunt and how to use it safely will demand a lot of time at the practice range. And finally, carrying the skills of Basic Woodsmanship will help you navigate safely in areas that may be unfamiliar to you in even the worst of conditions. I would suggest trying to find a mentor in each of these areas, keeping in mind that it could be multiple people who carry a lot of knowledge and experience in just one of them. For example, those old timers who shoot at the range but never hunt can be one of your best sources for learning about firearms and marksmanship.

My favorite hunting magazine is Deer and Deer Hunting because it covers two of the three topics I noted earlier quite well. And you already know the Internet has an almost endless number of information resources available for those who wish to take up the sport.

Oh yes, a final thought. I would strongly suggest taking the Hunter Education Classroom Course so that you can get a hard copy version of the book that comes with the course. You won't find a better "start up" reading resource to help you get going in each of the three areas I mentioned earlier.

Good luck.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 04/13/20 02:08 PM.

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