How To Start Deer Hunting For Beginners

how to start deer hunting for beginners

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.

Take a hunter safety course

Type in a search online and you’ll find a few places close to home to take one. Most states require certification to buy a 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.

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 trap shut and do what he does. Once he sees that you’re respecting his ritual, he’ll let you in on some of his secrets.

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.

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.

man teaching about 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

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. 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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