Upon inquiring what the ZSC 011 peeps plans were for deer season, I got a few responses from people who had never been hunting before who'd like to learn. Unfortunately, I do not feel qualified to put a course of instruction together. But, this being the internet, I'm sure ya'll have some thoughts.
My hunting experience is in Southern AL swamp/farmland. The whitetail are small and plentiful. If you're willing to get up early or hang out at dusk near the tree line then you'll be rewarded with supper. Being that this will be my first season out west, I expect a tougher time of it.
That said, I can think of the following someone would need to be successful:
-Literacy. Read your states game regs cover to cover.
-An alarm clock and warm dry clothes. Hunting is cold and miserable, and a successful day ends with evisceration. You gotta be up early and prepared for the weather, whether it should involve cold or rain. Also, there may be sitting around and waiting, which will mean warmer clothing than when you're moving.
-Avoid smoking, pumping gas, cooking etc in you clothing. Animals can smell you.
-Navigation and map reading. You're out there tromping through the bush. Be aware of what land you are on. DO NOT TRESPASS.
-Tracking. Know what the footprint, poop and hair-tufts of your game look like. Knowing the behavior of the animal might help.
-Operation of your weapon. More than just knowing where the trigger is, you need to be safe and a good shot. All of your shots should be inside a (small) paper plate when at the range. Know how to estimate distances. Don't make shots longer than you know you've hit before. Buck fever will open your groups up, so don't take questionable shots!!! Also, safety people. The four rules don't get left at the range.
-Mammalian anatomy. I found that a year of course study in anatomy and physiology really helped my understanding of butchering, but everyone should know how to field dress their prey. If you have to carry out large game, then you'll need to know how to butcher the meat away from the bone.
Like I said, I've got a couple heads on the wall, but I'm no expert. I know I've missed something I am familiar with, and a ton of shit I am not. (it's the unknown unknowns that'll get you
). So what info would you want an adult hunter to know before they took up the sport?