deer hunting for beginner

Deer hunting tips for beginners: Tips for first time hunters

We spend a lot of time talking about hunting like it’s second nature on this site. But if you’re new to the sport, I want to share some tips that could help you jump start your hunting career.

In this guide below, we’ll help the newbies by providing some actionable tips and tactics for deer hunting for beginners.

Take a hunter safety course

This is definitely step number one for beginner hunters. You need to take a course on gun and hunter safety. The last thing we want is someone to go into the woods that doesn’t have a clue what’s going on.

Check out to get started taking a hunter safety course online. Most states require certification to buy a hunting license. Even if it’s not required, it’s a good idea. It will make you safer for yourself and others.

Get your hunting license

Simple enough, get your hunting license. Check your state’s fish and wildlife agency website to find more information. You can buy hunting license at most sportsman stores but also Walmarts and gas stations in the area.

Find an experienced hunter and tag a long

Don’t ask this person to teach you. Just ask if you can come along. Don’t take a gun. Don’t ask to take a shot. Just keep your mouth shut and do what he or she does.

Once he sees that you are patient and willing to learn, he’ll offer you more beginner tips and tactics to begin hunting.

Follow all laws and regulations in your state

Nothing will take the wind out of your hunting sails faster than making enemies with the Game Warden. Stay on his good side. I’ve rarely seen a game warden in the area I hunt but if I do, I want to make friends with them.

Look up your local states hunting regulations and laws. Just do a Google search to find you local agency. Most local sportsman stores will have a hard copy of your local fish and wildlife magazines and guides. Take a free copy and read over it well to understand what you should and should not do while hunting.

Learn gun safety

Organized classes are helpful and may be required. Again, they’re a good idea regardless. Learn the rules of gun safety and live by them. And then be a dear and pass them on.

Know the firearm you are using. Practice with it regularly.

gun safety
Man showing gun safety in a class setting

Practice shooting

Get comfortable with your firearm/bow/crossbow/spear/whatever you’re going to be taking trophies with. Shooting ranges, tin cans on fence posts, 3-D targets—whatever it takes, don’t EVER let your first shot be in the field. You’ll be nervous enough.

Borrow a gun before you buy

A good idea is to borrow a gun before you go out and spend the money on purchasing one. It will give you the opportunity to find out our personal preferences before you sink big money into something. And if you borrow a firearm, treat it like a prized possession. And return it cleaner than you received it.

Know your surroundings

Talk to local hunters about the landscape, local features, local animal habits, etc. This is where you’ll be hunting. Get familiar.

Gear up but keep it simple

Gear for a beginner hunter shouldn’t be complicated. Dress appropriately. Sharp knife. Good boots. Gun. Ammo. Camo (dress for the season). You have your whole life to buy crazy gear. Start slow.

Small game first

Deer hunting seems like the obvious opener. But it’s a complex, difficult and sometimes fruitless hunt. Why not go out with a mentor on a squirrel hunt or dove hunt. It’s a lot of fun and you pick up lots of principles that will be applied to bigger hunts throughout your life.

So if you’re not a hunter, get going on this checklist. We’ll see you in the field!

What other tips do you have for the beginner hunter?


  • Hey folks! I'm Trey Copeland, founder of Made To Hunt. I'm from Kentucky and love the outdoors. I've been hunting or fishing in many states including KY, MO, MS, AR, TN and FL as well as Mexico and Costa Rica. For more updates follow me on Twitter.

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