Here’s what the hunting industry is missing.

Thanks to WWE, I have a bow hunting certification. Now what?

I would like to express my frustration with the hunting industry. They are incredibly kind, and incredibly welcoming – but it’s just a difficult sport to get started in. My options are mostly regulated to “go out into the fields of South Dakota with my friends” or “buy a 2,000+ dollar safari.” Now, going out into the fields with my friends isn’t a horrible option, but I feel like there has to be something better – because not everyone has friends like mine.

Thanks to WWE, I have a bow hunting certification. Now what?
Thanks to WWE, I have a bow hunting certification. Now what?

So here is my suggestion, hunting industry: An “introductory hunt” program. You see, despite my professional success, there are some things I’m really not too bright about. I am in desperate want of a list of what permits I need and how to get them and when I can shoot stuff and how I can find when I can shoot stuff because I know its out there. I also want someone who, in exchange for money, will spend a few hours with me on a simple, low-pressure hunt. I don’t even care if I shoot anything; I just want to learn what it’s like.

I’ve been through some really basic hunting programs at the NRA Women’s Wilderness Escape, and once got up at 5 a.m. to follow the other ladies at the Girls Gun Getaway on a coyote hunt – but I still feel like I don’t know where to start. And I know, I know, if I am confused there are plenty of other people out there who are confused too.

If that information is available out there on the world wide web, where is it, and why are hunting companies not promoting it? To a certain extent, I feel like I must be missing something – I have the knowledge of the world at my finger tips, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to get my own food. I know the information is out there, but it shouldn’t be so difficult to piece together.

45 thoughts on “Here’s what the hunting industry is missing.”

  1. Hi, there is no “hunting industry” as such. For the rules (seasons, legal game, etc.), the state wildlife agency publishes that information annually. I download that information from most of the northwestern states and Alaska every year, although I only hunt in Washington and Utah currently. Usually those agencies also regulate outfitters and guides, and can provide contacts. South Dakota heavily promotes hunting (we just received a promotional package last week). The NRA or a local chapter of the Wild Turkey Federation should also have information and programs.

    If you were in Utah, I could introduce you to several commercial bird hunting operations and even provide dogs services.

  2. How on earth are “hunting companies” mostly small businesses on the true hunting, as opposed to “outdoor gear”, side supposed to know anything about each of the 50 states various regs and opportunities? These aren’t huge companies, they’d have to use the same scattered resources and time investment you’re bemoaning. Find and join local hunt clubs and do the legwork yourself. It isn’t realistic to expect small local companies to do it for you for free from across the country.

      1. Quick Caleb, “in exchange for money” hire more people at GNM not to do gun reviews but to, in usable detail, research publicly available information on all 50 states hunting regulations, ins and outs for every species/area/season, best locations, best specialized gear, etc, and publish it in a way that is usable by, and useful for, the novice hunter over the internet.

        Cost-benefit analysis, how does it make sense for an industry that makes generalized “stuff” to expand into “particularized info not necessarily even related to the particular stuff they produce?”

        Local hunt clubs, local hunt forums, local hunting guides, state hunting agencies; those are the info people, they already exist and they specialize in that market for *free*.

        Finding them is, in fact, as easy as opening a browser and picking up a phone for a local call. How can Bushnell or Savage compete with that, and why on earth would they try?

        1. I’m sorry, but we live in a world where people have done exactly that for concealed carry, and offer basic CCW classes. Just because “it’s always been this way” for hunting doesn’t mean it should stay that way.

        2. Matthew, you are deeply out of touch with the realities of the current entrepreneurial market. Who would’ve thought that someone could quit his job and make a very comfortable living by doing a FREE daily podcast about readily available information about preparedness? But Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast did just that back in 2008-when the 2012 apocalypse, and podcasting in general, were barely a blip on most people’s radars.

          To further make my point, he spent the first year of the show recording the podcast IN HIS CAR during his morning commute to work…not exactly top-notch production quality. But you know what? He was able to (and still does) provide information and perspective that simply aren’t evident by reading an article on a webpage or sifting through thousands of websites. (Caleb and Gun Nuts Media are another fine example of this…I can find thousands of pictures and reviews of the latest whiz bang single-stack polymer pistol, but I come to GNM and a few other blogs for the PERSPECTIVE and INSIGHT that many other blogs don’t offer.)

          The same concept could apply to an ENTIRELY NEW segment of the hunting industry: teaching people like Shelley and myself-who did not grow up in hunting households and don’t have a knack for hunting-about the finer points of hunting such as how to spot a game trail, how to skin a squirrel, or how to set up a deer stand for example. Have you noticed that EVERYONE offers a “seminar” or “tactical ninja course” nowadays? I fail to understand why people who have been hunting their whole lives aren’t on Social Media creating a marketing presence and, after establishing themselves as experts in the field, offering 5-10 person Hunting 101 seminars at $100-300 per student. And YES this would be vastly different than yet another guided hunt. Personal branding and community go a LONG way towards making a small business venture successful.

          Lastly, the “hunting industry” doesn’t have to be limited to rifle manufacturers or the box stores like Bass Pro and Cabelas. Just like the preparedness industry isn’t limited to MSR, Gerber, and Mountain House. Thousands of people have created a better life for themselves and their families by filling a void that existed. Shelley’s post points out yet another void in a rapidly developing market. The vacuum WILL be filled by someone eventually…the smart people are the ones who get in on it now and establish roots early. I would LOVE to find show similar to the Survival Podcast but dedicated solely to hunting; daily varied shows ranging from the most basic information to highly in depth topics such as, I dunno, Antarctic polar bear hunting (is that even a thing…? LOL)

          1. The point being, those resources already exist for the most part -at the local and state level-, hell, even the extant hunting mags provide regional coverage with articles on local areas. By definition, the “hunting industry” though, as a term, refers to the big picture.

            Survival training is a curious example for you to use as it parallels hunting in the meaningful aspects.

            There are “fundamentals of hunting”: land nav, reading terrain, general species knowledge, weapons handling, game processing, etc, one can get from general sources but those skills are only -useful- if you know the regulations and particulars of your own local area. An umbrella source, if created, will simply link to the same local resources you can find yourself with minimal effort.

            Survival training is pretty much the same: sure you can get nationally (or internationally) relevant info on, say, shelter building, or solar stills, but to do it -right- you need local knowledge of your particular terrain, climate, seasonal changes, flora and fauna, disease, etc, etc. There is no way an umbrella source can provide that in a useful way beside linking to locals who are already providing that information.

            Now, if a given area lacks a local source now, then yes, there is a niche in that particular area, but that is not something a general “survival industry” or “hunting industry” can generate, it will require a -local- to step up. Now, could an agglomerater then make that info easier to find, like this site and many other gun blogs do? Sure. But, again, that will be using ground-up extant resources, not “industry-driven” creation of them.

            My point is, the push shouldn’t be calling for some “industry” solution, it isn’t in the “industry’s” reasonable capabilities or interests (or they’d be doing it already). In as much as it is a commercial enterprise, local hunting guides and outfitters provide that info, they just don’t provide it for “free” or get paid for their knowledge by selling other people ads on their websites.

        3. There are plenty introduction to competition shooting classes; the problem is they’re not in Alaska. In fact, Caleb used to teach them (and I think he made more money doing that…). There’s also the Babes with Bullets and A Girl & A Gun Programs. There are introduction to competition shooting courses out there, perhaps not as many as I’d like, and probably not in Alaska, but it’s a growing market. Babes with Bullets is probably the best example. I think a lot of them are oriented toward women because we’re less likely to “just show up.” (Unless we’re Jessica Hook, in which case we’re just that B.A.) Just showing up WORKS for competition shooting because there aren’t a bunch of legalities tied into it like there are with hunting. I can’t “just show up” in the woods and expect there to be someone there who will help me out and walk me through what I’m supposed to be doing.

          A good basic self defense course will teach you the skills you need, and, again, walk you through what you don’t know and direct you to the proper websites to check for your local area. There are plenty of these classes that exist and make a lot of money. You can do a web search for “Basic Handgun Self Defense.” Things will pop up. Lots of them.

          I don’t understand why you’re so hung-up on the word “industry.” I just want there to be a well put together class that will teach me some basic skills and direct me where I need to go. I don’t care who does it. A car dealership can put it on if that will make you happy. I really felt like I presented a solution here, one that I don’t have the knowledge or skills to fulfill myself. In fact, again, if you read the comments, there are plenty of people who thought it was a good solution and even a couple people who are in the process of working on it.

          1. Shelly,

            I think we are looking at the same available info, including in the comments, and coming to different conclusions. When you started off by saying “industry” I read that as an overarching national level effort, like the “auto industry” which, as the examples of CCW and competition show, is probably not practical or it would already be being done.

            If you didn’t mean “industry” per se, but that individual members of the commercial side should step up in their own state and local backyards, so to speak, that’s a different issue.

            Some do, guides, outfitters and hunting shops in my area partner with the State to provide classes and training. Even without them most State’s DNR and F&W agencies provide general and specific classes that do *exactly* what you say you are looking for, as do private groups like Women of the Wilderness and various clubs. The Alaska Outdoor forums, and forums in other states, offer sub-forums on hunting opportunities and provide a way for individuals to hook up with more experienced hunters. That should definitely be encouraged but I don’t think that is what you were proposing.

            I guess my skepticism comes from the fact that, per my experience as someone who still isn’t really a hunter and doesn’t come a hunting family tradition, and per the comments, this kind of information seems pretty easy to track down already; if the new hunter chooses to look and put themselves out there a little. I’m not sure what could be done on a more over-arching scale that wouldn’t end up being just another list of links to existing sources, with little to no new useful content.

            One thing we don’t really have in Alaska, that might be skewing my viewpoint, is private lands where the landowners allow the public to hunt with permission because public lands are limited.

            I remember during my college years in Seattle going pheasant hunting in Eastern WA on a classmate’s farm. We had access to their acreage and all the neighbors by mutual agreement. Those sorts of contacts I can definitely see being hard to track down as they are the opposite of “industry” but are completely interpersonal. Offering a way for private landowners to connect with hunters new and old would be quite a useful service in areas with fewer experienced hunters and few public lands to use. Although I’m not sure how much actual help could be provided, in practice, without it edging into the regulated guiding and outfitting side.

    1. I’m really big into exchanging money for services, I hear small companies really like that.

      1. They do, and those small companies even have names like “guides” and “outfitters” and “game ranches.” Some aren’t “companies” at all, but private clubs and non-profits, who call themselves things like “hunt clubs.” Some your taxes pay for and are “Fish and Game” employees who can answer all sorts of questions.

        All of the above know the areas in which they operate and can hook you up with the local knowledge no out-of-state rifle manufacturer will ever be able to match by adding a couple staffers to troll the internet for info.

          1. Communication goes two ways. Maybe expand and explain your point in reference to my comments, including those that reference existing small businesses who currently provide such information, instead of snarking about what “small companies like?”

        1. Your comments show a fundamental misunderstanding of what I’m trying to say. The internet is out there, but I want the sport of hunting to GROW, which means consolidating information in an easily accessible, affordable package. If you think I’m the only one who has experienced this frustration, I suggest reading the rest of the comments on this post.

          Yes, there are guides and outfitters out there – but they take you hunting, which is fundamentally different then something simple teaching you how to hunt, or even how to learn how to hunt. I have looked at the licenses and I have seen the information, but that doesn’t make it easy to decipher.

          You can say there’s not a market for it, but basic CCW classes exist besides constantly changing laws, laws the differ (sometimes drastically) state to state and plenty of information about the topic being available on the internet. A basic hunter’s education course may teach you hunters safety, but it doesn’t teach you HOW to hunt.

          Even I know more than many people who may be interested in taking up the sport (again, scroll down) and with no commercialized or otherwise well-organized starting point those people may NEVER take up the sport. That’s a problem, and a serious one. With the cultural focus on organic and humanely-harvested meat, hunting should be booming – because what is more organic or humanely-harvested than a cleanly shot buck? It’s not though, because it’s difficult to get started in if you’re an “outsider” who doesn’t know the right people or exactly where to look. Most people don’t even know what they don’t know.

          1. Shelley,

            I appreciate the clarification. I think I understand what you were getting at now.

            My point still remains though. You brought up the “hunting industry” as if it is a coherent whole that should, or even can, act as proposed. It isn’t.

            Let’s compare to two other shooting “industries” that also depend on growth both for economic success and to help buttress their own existence and our rights: CCW (which you mention) and competitive shooting.

            The CCW “industry” consists of gun makers, equipment (like holster) makers, and trainers. In addition there are websites and blogs, some monetized, some not, which are information sources. That “industry”, and your own mention of it, demonstrates my point.

            In the 20+ years since the shall-issue wave started, no one to my knowledge has found it practicable to generate a centralized resource that does what you propose. The company websites talk about “check local laws”, traveling trainers bring in local law experts, if they cover the law in detail at all. The true resources are the NRA and other big non-profits, the state gun rights organizations, local bloggers and local trainers. Even counting the NRA I’d be hard pressed to name a resource above state level that does anything near to what you propose, certainly nothing in a monetized fashion. At best you can find things like handgunlaw and USA Carry, but even they qualify with statements about “checking local info on your own.”

            The “Competition Shooting Industry” is in a similar situation, the same mix of suppliers and trainers, with primarily state-level organizations providing links to local opportunities to learn the sports for free.

            To put a point on it, I consider Gun Nuts Media a great resource for competition shooting information, training tips, even stories from individuals about how they got into competition as novices. What I don’t see is Gun Nuts Media, or anyone else in the “competition shooting industry”, exploiting the same market niche, which you note appears to exist for hunting, in the manner you suggest for competitive shooting growth. The best I can find are, again, lists of links of state and local organizations to contact. If there was money in it, someone would be doing it. I’m confident Caleb would be because he and your team are sharp enough to figure out how to make it work, profitably in particular, if practicable.

            Even more pointedly, I have yet to find a detailed explanation, centralized here or anywhere else, on how to get into competitive shooting in Alaska in general and Anchorage in particular… and I don’t expect to. The details, when you start unpacking them, are simply too massive and variable to make that practical even with our small population and limited opportunities.

            I don’t want to come across as a “nattering nabob of negativity” but simply asserting something that seems self-evident isn’t really useful. I’ve always felt that the person identifying a problem should propose something resembling a solution as well, particularly when asserting their claim against something so general as an “industry.”

  3. You know why more people golf than hunt? ‘Cause the game is there, even in bad weather,
    the permit process is easy. Not so with hunting. Some of the same can be said for action pistol shooting. It’s easy; register, show up, shoot.

    The permitting process is crazy ’cause it is different in EVERY state. For instance, a number of years ago we went bowhunting for pronghorn in Montana. This was booked through a booking agent whose job is to help with permitting. The booking agent’s employee, a man who has taken the North American 29 with a bow, was going with us. We spent the first 3 hours of the hunt buying yet some other additional permit we didn’t know we needed. When I got home I had an e-mail from MT reminding me to get that easily forgotten additional permit. Many times the states, KS for instance, contract out the license selling concession so that the operators can’t even advise a person. South Dakota pronghorn is easy.

    There are Learn To Hunt programs out there for kids and women. Kansas has them.

    Oh, and you want to try to navigate the real outfitters from the part-timer, out-of-work cowboys when you’re forking over $5-$25K for a hunt? That’s a bleeping full-time job.

    Call Chris Peterson at Dakota Hunting Trips, book your (mule deer or pronghorn so you end wiht tasty vittles) hunt through him and have him explain the process beginning to end. Might as well start in your own state.

    happy hunting

  4. Join a hunting/conservation club in your area. Also consider joining local chapters of Pheasants Forever, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to name a few. Many state DNR’s have ‘learn-to-hunt’ programs. Circulating in these “social circles” will put you in a position to learn and find hunting partners.

  5. I actually completely agree with this. As a novice hunter, the idea of trying to find some local land where I can hunt is *incredibly* intimidating. Everyone seems to learn from their dad or a friend… well, my dad’s and friends aren’t hunters. Where do *I* start?

    I mean, I’ve read all the literature on the DNR site for the permit, but that doesn’t make me comfortable going up to a random local farmer and saying “hey, I’ve never hunted a day in my life, mind if I hang out in your woods and shoot stuff?”

      1. Same here. In Virginia, my wife and I decided to join a hunting club just so we could learn from experienced guys and have a dedicated place to hunt. If you didn’t grow up doing it, it is hard to figure it all out.

    1. This has been my experience as well. And to piggyback on Keith’s comment, my experience with three different hunting or rod and gun clubs in two separate states have been less than helpful (to be generous). In all three instances, I was the young new guy in a room full of older (mostly) retirees who are more interested in talking about their new _______ (fill in the blank) than in helping anyone out. I don’t expect them to jump up and down and welcome me with unbridled enthusiasm, but it would be nice to simply not walk into a room and feel that I’ve inconveniencing them.

      As an aside, this is the same attitude that some HAM radio clubs present to new (particularly younger) members which is part of why Amateur Radio is in trouble.

  6. Upland hunting might be the way to break into the hobby. I’d say to find a game preserve/game farm near you and see if they offer such a service. At least here in the Midwest, most are pretty understanding and easy going. You’d buy the birds and pay to have a guided hunt with dogs, and that’d introduce you to upland hunting without a huge price tag.

    As you go larger in game, costs go up and the amount of permitting tends to go up too.

    1. This is a pretty good idea; booking a hunt at one of the bird preserves would probably be the smartest way to go.

  7. Always check your state fish and wildlife (aka fish and game in some states).

    This is the source for hunting regulations in your state, and are your starting point.

    They will always publish their rules, as well as maps of which public lands you can hunt what game animals in.

    For instance, South Dakota has this: http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/areas/default.aspx

    And this: http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/areas/maps/default.aspx

    Following the links at the first place, gives you this info if you want to hunt bighorn sheep (good eatin’, them are): http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/big-game/big-horn-sheep.aspx

    The second link from Googling ‘sioux falls south dakota hunting guides’ is this one: http://southeastsouthdakota.com/outdoor-adventure/hunting/

    Want the address where you can send my check for finding this for you? (I’m being facetious)

    Here in Oregon, most places where you can get hunting and fishing licenses also have booklets printed by the state fish and game folks with the rules and maps of what you can hunt where. I remember it being the same when I lived in Alaska, only there the booklets are separated by which Game Management Unit you were hunting in.

  8. I believe that SD hunting industry marketing is targeted at bringing in large amounts of out of state dollars, while assuming that the resident community grew up within the local hunting culture and already knows the ropes. That makes a lot of sense, but the demographic that falls through the crack is the recent transplant who has no local support structure and may have the additional complication of being new to hunting. From personal experience, you’re right, there’s no one out soliciting the money of these tweeners by advertising and providing an intermediate guiding service. I finally tracked down the GFP hunting guide which has maps of all the public lands and I’ll be out walking the fields by myself this fall for pheasant. I also found a very cool iPhone app put out by SDGFP which has hunting, fishing, and parks guides and integrates GPS functionality with its maps. Just search for SDGFP on the App Store. Also, the GFP Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls down by the butterfly house has some nice course offerings and people paid to talk with people who want help. And of course there’s local organizations including the gun clubs and the Isaac Walton League. There are resources available if you look which probably lead those who make a living in the hunting world here to assume that niche is taken care of. But clearly, there’s no one out holding a big arrow saying “here’s a smooth path for local newbies.” Me, not being naturally gregarious, could have used that arrow and someone to take me through the motions, so I can empathize with your frustration.

  9. To a great degree, hunting is a social experience. While you may sit in your stand alone, you don’t usually go hunting alone. You go with at least one other person so you can share your experiences, etc, at the end of each day. Getting started in hunting can be a real challenge, especially if you didn’t grow up in a “hunting family” or you have moved away from the area where you grew up. The biggest challenge isn’t understanding the rules, fees, or equipment, but rather finding a place where you can hunt. This is a bigger challenge in the Eastern US where there is less public land available than there is in the Western US. This is even more of a challenge if you do not live in a rural area where you get to know your neighbors that own farms that you might be able to hunt on. The next biggest challenge–if you can’t figure it out from reading books, etc.–is finding someone to show you how to hunt. Most hunters relied on their dads (or uncles) to teach them how to hunt. If you missed out on that experience, then you need to find someone who learned from their dad/uncle to show you. Lacking that, you are lost. Getting involved in a local club can help–a fish & game association would be great–but too often these can be “good ole boy” clubs that are hard for outsiders to get involved with. I too would hesitate to invest thousands of dollars for equipment, a guide, and lodging expenses if I don’t even know whether I will like the experience or not. So, Shelley, I applaud the challenge you have thrown down. You have the desire–and I am sure you are not alone in this. Now you need someone to help you along. I suspect someone will do that for you, but what about the others out there that don’t have access to reaching out through the Internet like you do?

  10. Excellent post, and I think some of the commenters are missing a piece of the puzzle here.

    There is very much a “hunting industry.” Who do you think Cabela’s, Bass Pro, Orvis, and so on are?

    A couple years back, my family hired a well-reviewed fishing guide for two days. We learned a lot about the species of fish we were targeting, fished with quality gear, learned new techniques, and had a wonderful time. It wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime expense either.

    I was so impressed with the experience that I immediately sought an analogous experience with hunting … and found the situation much more intimidating. Prices were much higher, gear expectations were significantly different, and the number of game laws and firearm laws involved in traveling to hunt were challenging.

    There is an opportunity here, both for the big names and the small. I’ve been on a couple hunts but have never even had a chance to take a shot. I’m a member of a local rod&gun club, but trying to find a hunting mentor who is willing to sacrifice their own personal hunting time to accompany me is a rough road to start down.

    For now, I don’t have much time to hunt anyway, so … no big loss I guess. But if you think you have it rough in hunter-friendly areas, imagine being in the same situation in heavily anti- areas….

    1. I definitely feel you in the less-friendly hunting areas. While Seattle isn’t anti-gun, hunting isn’t really a “thing” out there like it is here in SD. The possibility of hunting wasn’t even on the table when I lived out there, not because it wasn’t impossible, but because, as I said, it wasn’t really a “thing.” It’s such a part of society here in SD that it’s weird that I don’t hunt, I’m actually very appreciative of the opportunity it’s presented.

  11. I have to disagree with such an assessment of Washington. While the “granolas” certainly influence everything including hunting AND firearms ownership, WA is an awesome place to hunt. What a wonderland! Took my first black bear there right at Gorst. The amount of National Forest (as opposed to National Park) and tree company land available to hunt is PHENOMENAL! Find an Atlas and Gazetteer for WA or SD and see what is available. Get plat maps. Roosevelt elk – wahoo!

    I agree with the assessment that fishing is easier. IMHO fishing is more socially acceptable. Is hunting work? ABSOLUTELY! It’s harder than golf and it’s harder than action shooting. It takes work whether that work is finding the land and animals or finding an outfitter that provides/arranges the animals and land.

    Again, contact an outfitter and get your start. Spring turkey is still going on in SD. Prairie dog is very close on the horizon.

    And here, I’m assuming you can see my e-mail address from inside WP. E-mail me with questions. I’ll do whatever I can to advise you (and crazy Caleb) to the best of my ability down the hunting to road. I’m looking forward to hearing about your journey.

  12. I know this may be over simplifying things, but if you are in an area where hunting is quite popular wouldn’t it be pretty easy to find someone to tag along with to show you the ropes? I know many people, myself included, that would just invite you along if you showed interest. Knowing you already have a head on your shoulders when it comes to gun handling just makes it that much easier.

    In my home state of Iowa, there are many public hunting areas available. A book called “The Sportsman’s Atlas” can be purchased at most of the larger outlets of hunting/fishing gear. It lists all public areas by county with maps of their locations and descriptions of activities and facilities available. It includes not only hunting areas, but fishing, camping, hiking, and even public shooting ranges as well. I know I have seen similar Atlases for Minnesota and Wisconsin, so it wouldn’t surprise me if one existed for South Dakota as well.

  13. I hear you and I’m trying not to sound like an interloper, but I’m a designer/strategist working with the US’s premiere hunting education company on this very issue. Our multi-headed education effort will launch this year. Not everyone has a father or grandfather who shows them the ropes. We hope to address this vital void in the hunting lifestyle.

    1. I would be interested to hear more about this as information becomes available!

  14. here in alabama pretty much any sporting goods store or place you can buy your hunting permit has a booklet with every critter’s season, limit, etc. in it as well as public hunting land. if you guys were closer i would swap you shooting tips for a whitetail deer and/or squirrel hunt. most hunters i know have no problem taking someone who has never been and actually enjoy sharing their love of hunting with others, it is infectious. more especially if that person has a good head on their shoulders and already safely knows their way around firearms.

  15. I don’t think the issue is booklets; rather, it’s what are you supposed to do when you show up at the right place at the right time and why isn’t anyone trying to make money by offering the answer (along with helping you with the place and time thing while they’re at it)?

  16. Shelley… I think you’ll find hunting opportunities and regulations vary significantly from state to state… I think Ohio has done an outstanding job with opportunities for new hunters including their yout apprentice and special youth-only hunting weekends… also Ohio has the Become an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program for gal to get introduced to hunting and outdoor shooting sports and more…

    If you haven’t yet taken the Hunter Education Course, you might consider it… Ohio’s course is tailored for Ohio, but it covers all the safety and basic hunting knowledge most people need to get started with licenses and where to hunt and who to hunt with… Out local sportsman’s club has also hosted Women in the Outdoors events specific to hunting for women… I realize this is all local for Ohio… but that is where I’m from and familiar with…

    I’ve hunted all my life… but I’ve not hunted everything so I’m just learning about turkey hunting in depth this year… luckily I have a good friend who knows his stuff…

    http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/education-and-outdoor-discovery/becoming-an-outdoors-woman

    http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/hunting-trapping-and-shooting-sports/hunting-and-trapping-basics

    Plus… I’ll leave an open invite that if you’re ever out to Ohio… let me know… the gals and I would be glad to show you what we know… we love sharing our love for the shooting sports, firearms, hunting, and the outdoors… we have great places locally… like Cherrybend Pheasant Farm which provide a complete hunting service with guide, education, dogs, etc for only $125… so there are places providing the services you seek for a reasonable fee… but you won’t get a world class whitetail hunt for $125… hope some of this helps…

    Dann in Ohio

    1. I appreciate it Dann; like I said, the post isn’t really about me. I am fortunate enough to know people, but part of what I want is people who are interested in organic meats and humanely-harvested animals to get interested in hunting, and that’s hard to market when, for the most part, you have to live in the right area or know someone.

  17. I would absolutely love and support that idea. (New branch for Gun Nuts’ operations?)
    I live in suburban St. Louis. My dad used to hunt back before he and mom got married, but hasn’t done so since. Then, I got started shooting in boy scouts and, In recent years, I’ve gotten more into it. Problem is, he’s out of town during the good times of year with work and I have no clue where to start. I took the hunter’s safety course, but that was basically just how to safely walk in the woods and handle your firearm.
    Being raised in the suburbs (and on a few air force bases before that)
    My local range, which is run by the Missouri DNR, does offer some programs (which is where I took hunter’s safety), but they’re all in the realm of “beginner’s x”

  18. I hear ya. My wife wants to do some hunting.

    I have no interest, beyond being the dude who ensures she has quality ,guns, bow, gear, proper training, practice, then gets bloody and hauls the carcass out………then enjoys the fruits of her (hopeful) success.

    But sorting through the various sites and info book published, there is a tremendous amount of research just finding out where exactly that place is………places I grew up in………..cross the wrong county road, and the rules are different. Application processes and such for lottery tags. Maps provided by most DFW’s are crude, and often unusable for navigation purposes. Unless you are intimately familiar with the area already.

    Then what? Go stand or walk around, hoping for the best? All of the Outdoor Channel shows highlight the aspects of the event she hopes to enjoy, but no real “hunting for dummies”. Even though I have no desire to hunt any game animal on the planet, I do want her to be able to participate and enjoy this pastime. But life, jobs, family, all tend to get in the way of pouring over publications and websites that speak in a language I don’t understand because I have never hunted an animal.

  19. If someone tries to take in all that hunting has to offer all at once, it can be a little daunting. Normally when someone tries to get a youngster into hunting, they start small. I think a newbie should do the same. Pick a small game animal. It does not matter which small game animal just pick one. Read the regulations, of course, and as much information as you can on how to hunt that animal. Talk to local game clubs for more information. Then hunt. Truth be told, the best way to learn is by doing (ie. making tons of stupid mistakes). After you feel confident in pursuing that animal add another (maybe two) to the list. Go slow and be patient.

    I would avoid big game at first, unless you can afford a guide. I made the mistake of starting on whitetail, which lead to years of frustration before I began to figure it out. Regardless, my advise is just to start doing it and learn as you go. The animals will teach you more than the “hunting industry” ever will.

    PS. I am not normally a grammar/spelling Nazi, because mine is usually terrible. But in your third sentence, did you mean relegated instead of regulated?

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