how to get into bird hunting

#1. Get Your Hunting License

https://www. instagram. com/p/7JSkVbEN3W/Hunting licenses are affordable and easy to obtain. They are issued by individual states, and you will require one for both your home and your intended hunting area. License requirements and fees vary by state.

In most places, you’ll first need to take a hunter’s ed course. This is typically a one-day class taught by volunteers. It’s equivalent to the driver’s ed course you took in high school—a basic introduction. Even if you’re already familiar with firearms and the outdoors, hunter’s ed is a fantastic refresher in all the nitty-gritty details of remaining legal and safe in the field. The class covers important things like how not to hold your gun backwards and what kind of ammunition will bring you the most success.

Hunter’s ed classes tend to be hosted at gun ranges and take place infrequently. Consult your state’s fish and game department website for a list of classes and dates, and sign up for one now. Trying to get into one at the last minute can be a real hassle and often impossible. You’ll also need proof of completing a hunter’s ed course to buy out-of-state licenses, so keep your certification card in a safe place.

After finishing the course, you can purchase a license online or at almost any big-box or gun store that serves the hunting community. Additionally, depending on the state, you may need a special tag for the kind of animal you wish to shoot. My annual hunting license costs $47 in California, and an upland bird tag costs only $8 and covers quail, turkeys, pheasants, and doves, among other species we’ll talk about later.

What equipment and gear do I need to get started with bird hunting?

how to get into bird hunting

Siler, who has been hunting since he was a young boy, suggests bringing the essentials on your first hunts: a shotgun, ammunition, and patience.

“All you need to wear is jeans, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes if the weather is nice,” he stated.

When it comes to bird hunting, Silas prefers the 12-gauge shotgun equipped with a “choke-tube.” A choke tube is a tapered fitting that fits over the front of a shotgun barrel and can be adjusted to shoot shell shots in a variety of dispersed, narrow to wide patterns.

Siler explained that you can tailor the shotgun to particular birds and terrain by varying the type of shot used in each shell and the set-path for that shot. This makes the shotgun an extremely adaptable weapon.

“If your target is close in, you can open the choke tube up for a wider spread of shot,” he advised. Alternatively, you can make the shot’s path narrower and longer. ”.

John Holyoke, longtime Maine outdoorsman, staff writer and writer of the outdoors column Out There for The Bangor Daily News,and Julie Harris, fellow columnist at the Bangor Daily News with It’s a Bird Dog’s Life, both hunt with .20-gauge shotguns. They recommend wearing at least a blaze orange hat or vest so you are visible in the woods.

According to Siler, it’s a great idea to wear a blaze orange hat or vest so that you can be seen by other hunters in your group or nearby.

In addition, Harris enjoys donning a vest that has pockets where she can store a compass, ammunition, whistle, and other items she might need for a day in the woods. Additionally, vests can be made with a larger pocket in the back to hold dressed birds after a successful hunt.

She remarked, “I always make sure to have good rubber boots.” “The terrain can get mucky at times. ”.

Getting out into the field

With your hunting license and certificate from the Hunter Education Course in hand, it’s time to head out into the field.

Finding groups of people to hunt with is one of the nice things about bird hunting, according to Silas. “A paid guide or an unofficial group of friends can take you hunting so you can begin applying the knowledge you gained from [hunter’s ed].” ”.

A guided bird hunt typically costs about $100, in contrast to guided big game hunts for animals like deer, bear, moose, or elk, which Silas said can cost thousands of dollars.

“Having a guide or someone with actual experience with you makes it easier for you to go hunting and have a fun and authentic experience,” stated Siler. “The simplest way to get started in the hunting sport is with a guided bird hunt.” ”.

FAQ

What are the best birds to hunt for beginners?

Upland game birds – like pheasant, quail, grouse, chukar and wild turkey – and waterfowl like ducks and geese, are excellent choices for new hunters. Game birds are wide-spread, offer an exciting shooting challenge, and are easy to process and cook.

What is the easiest bird to shoot?

In the upland world, pheasants are regarded as the easiest bird to shoot. Their profile is larger than most upland quarry and their flight plan is measured and predictable. And because they prefer grass over trees, line of sight usually isn’t as much of an issue as with other winged game.

What is bird hunting called?

Upland hunting is an American term for a form of bird hunting (fowling) in which the hunter pursues upland birds including quail, pheasant, grouse, woodcock, prairie chicken, chukar, grey partridge, and other landfowls.