The Library

Here we will house documents, training manuals, maps and links to resources for folks new to hunting. Please comment below or write to suggest anything new. California There are three basic steps to becoming a hunter in California. First, and foremost, get your hunting license. Second, purchase a firearm suited to your game and third, get comfortable shooting it.
  1. To get your hunting license, find a class on hunter education and go to it.
  2. Finding the right firearm is a little more difficult. First you must check regulations on the game you wish to hunt, as these regulations can affect what firearms you're allowed to use for that game. Next find a gun shop near you and pay them a visit. Ask the people who work there what gun they would suggest for your game. Don't feel pressured to buy, even if they say the perfect gun is right there. Get an idea of price and go home and research the guns you saw. Some guns have fatal flaws that can render them useless or even dangerous to the shooter. Gun store owners might not know this information and could put you at serious risk. If you're a member of BMHS, post a discussion on your chapter forum to see what other folks think of your gun of choice.
  3. Once you purchase a firearm, start shooting it. Find a gun range near you, preferably an outdoor range with 100 yard targets for rifles (if you're hunting big game). Talk to the management there and tell them it's your first time shooting that gun. They will most likely help you get sighted in and give you shooting tips. While most big game have a vital area about the size of an 8-inch circle, putting 10/10 rounds into an 8-inch circle at the range is not quite as difficult as in the field. Once you get comfortable with your gun, try different positions (kneeling, prone, standing, etc) to test your accuracy in more realistic conditions. Accuracy and practice are key, and remember "there always is a time where you wish you didn't take a shot, and wounding an animal is an experience no one wants to be part of." - John M.
In addition to these three basic steps, The Department of Fish and Game has a variety of useful info for CA. Here are some shortcut links to particularly useful pages on their site: Hunting Guides: Deer, Wild Pig, Quail, and Turkey Advanced hunter education clinics and classes

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  • Ralph Davis says:

    This is a great idea. My father bought a farm near DC when I was in high-school, and because you can hunt on your own family land without a license, I did–and got a few deer. However, like you–I have no relatives, or close friends who are hunters–so I’m still very much an amateur. Since my Dad has never hunted, a neighbor on the farm had to show me how to dress a deer–and I have yet to try a hand at rabbits, birds or other critters. I have a few rifles now (mostly old foreign military surplus …. GREAT deals for the money) but haven’t hunted since Dad sold his farm (10 years ago)…and I’d like to get back into it. Maybe I should join the DC chapter (even though I live in Charlotte, NC now), since I do get up there every couple months to see relatives. Anyway, GREAT MOVE! Teddy R. would be proud!

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