Podcast Questions...I want to hunt

BenWolf

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Dec 7, 2015
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Hi,

I'm 29, originally from England and now living in Illinois. Growing up I spent a lot of time fly fishing for trout with my father who has fished for England. The best part of fishing was the chase of the hunt and then knowing you have something you can eat. And we ate a lot of amazing rainbow trout.

Now moving to Illinois and getting older I am thinking more and more about where my food comes from. I am considering getting into hunting but I just don't know where to start.

I know this is a topic that will be boring for most because it is entry level stuff but that's what makes it so hard to find information.

Where do I need to start?
How do you find a good gun? What type of gun do you get?
What animals are best for food?
What is the process of kill to food when you aren't close to home?

I hope this can be a discussion on the podcast and I look forward to hearing input here.

Thanks everyone.
 

Southern Elk

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Welcome BenWolf. Seeing as how you're in Illinois, I think hunting whitetail deer would be a good place for you to start. You would need to start by obtaining your hunting license. You need to check your state regulations, but I would bet that you have to pass a hunters education course first. There is some public land that you could hunt in Illinois. I've never hunted there, so I can't help with that.

As far as a gun, you will get tons of different opinions from everyone. I would consider a .270 or 30-06. Both of these are all around good rifles that can be used for hunting many different big game animals. There are several good manufacturers out there, Remington, Browning, Winchester, Savage, ect. You will also want to equip your rifle with a scope. I would recommend a 3x9 x 40 or 50mm. There are lots of good scope manufacturers too. Leopold, Nikon, and Vortex to name a few.

As far as getting your meat home, most people either quarter or debone the animal and put it on ice, in a cooler, until they get it processed. You can process the meat yourself, or have a commercial processor do it for you. There a so many good ways to eat venison...steaks, sausage, burgers, roast, jerky, etc, etc...

Good luck to you! I'm sure that you will get a lot of good help on this site. Post up any other questions that you might have.
 

JohnCushman

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Nov 27, 2009
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South East Colorado
Hi,

I'm 29, originally from England and now living in Illinois. Growing up I spent a lot of time fly fishing for trout with my father who has fished for England. The best part of fishing was the chase of the hunt and then knowing you have something you can eat. And we ate a lot of amazing rainbow trout.

Now moving to Illinois and getting older I am thinking more and more about where my food comes from. I am considering getting into hunting but I just don't know where to start.

I know this is a topic that will be boring for most because it is entry level stuff but that's what makes it so hard to find information.

Where do I need to start?
How do you find a good gun? What type of gun do you get?
What animals are best for food?
What is the process of kill to food when you aren't close to home?

I hope this can be a discussion on the podcast and I look forward to hearing input here.

Thanks everyone.


You're in the right forum for information!! Don't overlook archery either or muzzleloaders to extend your seasons. Look at your state DNR to see what the regulations are for you to get a Hunters Safety Course being from another country and if that will effect you getting a hunting license or purchasing a gun.
 

1_pointer

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Indiana
Kudo's for wanting to start the journey! To start, I would suggest the Illinois DNR webpage. They have a portion of that called "Getting Started".

http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/GettingStarted.aspx

Follow the links and see where each takes you. That will probably generate as many questions as it answers, but it will give you a very good start. Write down you questions as they come up so you don't forget them. If you cannot readily find the answers on their webpage ask them here.

Not trying to step on folks toes, but you've been given some bad information already. You cannot use a centerfire rifle for hunting in IL as was suggested previously. Shotguns with slugs and muzzleloaders are the legal weapons for deer in that state. That leads to an answer of your second question of how to find what type of gun. If you are new to shooting a firearm I strongly suggest a bolt action .22LR. It'll be cheap to buy and to shoot. Next step for most all of the hunting in IL would be a shotgun. I would suggest a pump action shotgun. These are often sold with both a regular/smooth barrel and a slug barrel, which I would strongly suggest. I know I'll probably get some disagreement on this, but I would suggest you get one in 20ga. It'll work just fine for all manner of game, including deer.

Though whitetails are the only big game in the state, your post leads me to believe you are very new to hunting. As such, I would strongly suggest you start with small game, particularly rabbits and squirrels. They are more abundant, cheaper to hunt, easier to find access to, and taste really good! As far as how to clean one after you kill it, YouTube is your friend. Much easier to see it being done than for me to type out how to do it. It's easy and all one needs is a small knife or game shears to do so. Also, getting them out of the woods and home is much easier. They'll easily fit in a small cooler.

Good luck and feel free to come back with more questions!
 

kansasdad

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Wichita
Welcome and hope you stay and share your experiences.

Steven Rinella's "The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering and Cooking Wild Game" covers tons of ground for both novice and experienced hunters. Volume one covers large animals. The second volume is just now or soon to be released and covers small game.
 

Southern Elk

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Montana
Kudo's for wanting to start the journey! To start, I would suggest the Illinois DNR webpage. They have a portion of that called "Getting Started".

http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/GettingStarted.aspx

Follow the links and see where each takes you. That will probably generate as many questions as it answers, but it will give you a very good start. Write down you questions as they come up so you don't forget them. If you cannot readily find the answers on their webpage ask them here.

Not trying to step on folks toes, but you've been given some bad information already. You cannot use a centerfire rifle for hunting in IL as was suggested previously. Shotguns with slugs and muzzleloaders are the legal weapons for deer in that state. That leads to an answer of your second question of how to find what type of gun. If you are new to shooting a firearm I strongly suggest a bolt action .22LR. It'll be cheap to buy and to shoot. Next step for most all of the hunting in IL would be a shotgun. I would suggest a pump action shotgun. These are often sold with both a regular/smooth barrel and a slug barrel, which I would strongly suggest. I know I'll probably get some disagreement on this, but I would suggest you get one in 20ga. It'll work just fine for all manner of game, including deer.

Though whitetails are the only big game in the state, your post leads me to believe you are very new to hunting. As such, I would strongly suggest you start with small game, particularly rabbits and squirrels. They are more abundant, cheaper to hunt, easier to find access to, and taste really good! As far as how to clean one after you kill it, YouTube is your friend. Much easier to see it being done than for me to type out how to do it. It's easy and all one needs is a small knife or game shears to do so. Also, getting them out of the woods and home is much easier. They'll easily fit in a small cooler.

Good luck and feel free to come back with more questions!

My apologies for not being familiar with the Illinois regulations regarding center fire rifles. I have never hunted there. I do however stand by the my recommendations of those being good all around rifles. And you can hunt with them in most other states.
 

BenWolf

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Dec 7, 2015
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Thanks for the input. There is lots of information online but it is hard for someone completely new to understand. To be completely honest I have no idea what the numbers are you are giving. Lots of homework for me to look into.

I will first start looking at what needs to be done to obtain a license. Then will check into different gun options.

How do people practice. I live in a township so no outdoor space I can start shooting. In this case do people use shooting ranges?
 

Southern Elk

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Being totally new to the sport, I bet you would learn a lot from a hunter's safety course. It would be good if you could find a hunter near you to be a mentor. Just tagging along with someone would really help with your learning curve. I wish you lived closer to me, but maybe someone here will step up and help you out. I grew up hunting. I'm sure it can be overwhelming to someone just starting out as an adult.
 

Colberjs

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Eastern, OK
Welcome and hope you stay and share your experiences.

Steven Rinella's "The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering and Cooking Wild Game" covers tons of ground for both novice and experienced hunters. Volume one covers large animals. The second volume is just now or soon to be released and covers small game.

This is what I would suggest also. You can get the book on Amazon for under $20 and would be a worthwhile investment into your future hunting career.
 

Dave N

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Where in Illinois?

Lots of good advice so far. Being completely new, you really need someone to guide you through the steps involved. Most of us had a father, uncle, neighbor, etc. that got us started.

Another thing about Illinois. It SUCKS when it comes to firearms. We're the only state I know of that makes you get licensed by the state to buy guns and ammo. Background checks required even when giving a gun to one of your kids!

If you can, find someone local that hunts and ask if they might let you shoot some of their stuff. Offer to buy the ammo! This will give you the shoulder experience of recoil, and will let you know if you want to continue. As stated before, start small. Good luck!
 

BenWolf

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Dec 7, 2015
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I am in the northwest suburbs not far from Huntley.

I honestly think it is a good thing that guns are regulated and a license is required. Otherwise you would have people like me running around with no gun experience with guns. Thankful I'm not reckless and understand the need to follow safety guidelines but there are others out there who aren't.

I think my plan is to put some research in this winter. Get a license and at least hit a range to get used to using a gun.

When are the main hunting seasons in Illinois and surround states? I'm not to far from Wisconsin.
 

charliebravo77

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PM'd you, but figured I'd answer a lot of the questions here as well, since I was in exactly your same shoes about 3 years ago. Now, thanks to finding someone to show me the ropes I've got 4 antelope, 2 deer, 2 turkeys, ducks, doves, and pheasants under my belt.

First and foremost you will need to apply for a FOID https://www.ispfsb.com/ if you want to own/use firearms to hunt.

Second, you will need to take a hunter education course http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Pages/HunterSafety.aspx

The IL hunting seasons and regulations are laid out in the Hunting & Trapping Digest http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/HuntTrapDigest.pdf

IL has very difficult public hunting due to high pressure and a lack of public areas, but you can take a look at what parks may be around you here engineeredpursuit.com/illinois-public-hunting-areas/

Each DNR site has very specific rules as to what can be hunted, when, and how. Some sites require lotteries, some are walk-in, some have day-of drawings.

If by some chance you have access to private land, well you just became my new best friend.

Trying out a variety of guns is good advice, and between myself and my hunting partner here we've got plenty to choose from. That said, a 12 gauge shotgun and a muzzleloader will equip you for everything that IL has to offer.

Going out of state to hunt adds in the need/ability for a rifle, particularly if western hunting is appealing to you.

I'm hoping to take up fly fishing in the spring so maybe we can trade some knowledge.
 
Joined
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I am in the northwest suburbs not far from Huntley.

I honestly think it is a good thing that guns are regulated and a license is required. Otherwise you would have people like me running around with no gun experience with guns. Thankful I'm not reckless and understand the need to follow safety guidelines but there are others out there who aren't.

I think my plan is to put some research in this winter. Get a license and at least hit a range to get used to using a gun.

When are the main hunting seasons in Illinois and surround states? I'm not to far from Wisconsin.

Apply for a FOID card today, its just an application you fill in and submit with a passport photo to the state police, this will take 1-3 months to get back and is more or less the gateway to the whole process.

The next step is hunter safety, its a weekend long class on safety and general hunting. Its essentially a requirement everywhere. Generally they are offered in late winter and late summer before deer and turkey seasons, they tend to fill up fast.

As to where to go in Illinois here are some facts to digest:

Some interesting statistics related to Illinois Deer Hunting:

2.3% of Illinois is public land. The DNR owns around 1% of the state and Shawnee National forest is 0.7% of the state.

1.4% of tags statewide are issued are for Site Specific DNR land representing 0.8% of the state land.

There a few areas like Pope County tags in Shawnee National Forest where you can hunt public land without a site specific permit. Pope, Hardin, Johnson, Massac add another 10,000 tags that could potentially be used on public land representing almost half of the public land tags.

446,737 tags went unfilled in 2014; 1 out of every 4 tags sold was reported as being filled.
Landowner (resident and non-resident) tags represent 25% of permits issued in Illinois


The fact that Illinois has the highest lease rates per acre has a lot to do with large population, trophy demand and lack of public land.

Illinois public land distribution is very heavily skewed towards the southern part of the state while ¾ of the population lives in the NE part of the state. Region 2 (Greater Chicagoland) has around 75% of the human population in the state and about 7% of the huntable DNR land, draw odds will increase the further away from this area you get.


I live in downtown Chicago and it doesn't stop me from having successful hunts on public land, its just a lot of drive time and you really have to focus your efforts on high value hunts. To put it in perspective I've shot 3-4 big game animals/year while living in the city DIY on public land but at the cost of 100+ hours of driving to hunt each fall and I hunt WI/MO/NE/WY in addition to a few efforts in Illinois.

PM me or CharlieBravo77, I hunt with him a lot. There are a few options for deer about 2 hours away that you can draw with decent frequency. The Illinois deer draw is in April for the following fall. Its a good thing you are starting now because getting all the pieces put together takes a calendar year between our horrible DNR and awful gun laws.
 
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