Learn to Hunt: Watch Three Adults Start Down the Road to Becoming New Hunters
courtesy YouTube and Modern Carnivore
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By John McAdams of Wide Open Spaces

Mark Norquist of Modern Carnivore helped organize a film series documenting the journey of three people as they go down the path toward becoming hunters.

Let’s face it: it can be tough to learn how to hunt (particularly as an adult) if you don’t have a good mentor. While there are many Americans who would love to hunt, but the barriers to entry for first timers are simply too high for most people. However, Mark of Modern Carnivore is doing his best to help recruit new hunters with his “Awaken the Hunter Within” project.

In this series of videos, Norquist teams up with other hunting mentors in Minnesota like Jamie Carlson, Benjamin Pena and Ryan Lisson (of Zero to Hunt) to teach three novices–Becca, Pierce and Alex–the skills necessary to become successful hunters.

Watch the video below to learn more about each of them and why they want to learn to hunt.

To see the entire film and watch Becca, Pierce and Alex as they grow into new hunters, visit the Modern Carnivore website.

You’ll see them learn to shoot, get a lesson covering the ins and outs of scouting for deer and get tips for how to pick out a good hunting spot. You’ll see them go on small-game hunts for grouse and squirrel, and then a hunt for deer in the woods of Minnesota.

The film ends with them butchering, cooking and eating a deer, and also discussing what they learned along the way and how entering that new world made them feel.

Watching this film and observing the growth and development of Becca, Pierce and Alex as hunters is a great experience. I highly worth a watch and you may want to pass this on to friends who may have an interest in becoming hunters.

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  1. I’m a a expert shooter with a pistol, rifle, and shotgun(according to my last qualification round). So, naturally, that makes me an expert hunter. HA!!! I couldn’t hit an elephant in the ass with a banjo!!! Thanks for this article. I’ll be saving it, and watching it many times while I search for the proper mentor!!

  2. I’d still like to see some network expand on this idea with a “Shooting With the Stars” or “Blasting Feral Pigs With the Stars” show – having professional guides and instructors teaching celebrities who don’t care about their careers how to shoot or hunt.

  3. Having begun hunting as an adult with no family or friends who hunt my experience is as follows:
    Forget mentors. They’re either cagey and weird or they’re a club of old timers who don’t actually hunt anymore just like telling stories about past hunts while walking through the woods.
    Most professional hunting resources like magazines and shows are practically useless. YouTube has some good stuff put up by regular folks. One guy who talks about public lands has been very helpful for me.
    It’s all about the pregame. Get a topo map, a couple of trail cams and canvass your planned area months in advance.
    Have a plan for that first kill because your head will be spinning. Know the check station, how you’ll get it out of the woods, self processing or taking it somewhere, do you have what you need to self process.

    I wasted a couple of seasons playing the mentor game. Talking to people at work, from the gun club, even fish and game. For some reason every hunter I’ve gone out with was completely useless to the educational process. They always had answers to specific questions but offered no real guidance. As if acting as gatekeepers. I really wish there was a genuine mentorship type program out there other than paying a guide to be weird and cagey while you basically tag along. If hunting does die I feel like the hunters will be the ones to blame.

    • I am fortunate enough to have a coworker buddy of mine mentor me now and then. But, other than that, I generally agree with your assessment of most hunting media and most hunters. As much as hunters fret about hunting’s declining popularity, they can be their own worst enemy in that regard. “Gatekeepers” is an apt description.

      • I’m not sure of your location, but I would advise looking for new friends to hunt with.
        Everyone I ever hunted with growing up was always showing me something I hadn’t known prior. Friends, family, neighbors, teachers, the old guy down the street…always willing to pass on the knowledge…except for their “secret” spot.

        Maybe it’s just that those of us in flyover country treat each other differently.

    • That’s too bad, Shire-Man. I was blessed with great mentors in my Dad, who instilled a love of the woods and water, and older hunters I was fortunate enough to be around in my younger days. Now I pass along whatever I may have learned to anyone who asks, along with my son-in-law and grandchildren. But you’re right about one thing, the best way to learn is to spend countless hours in the outdoors, taking in what Nature tells you. You never stop learning about animal behavior, you never know it all. These days I prefer the challenge of bowhunting, which none of my mentors pursued, so I’m kinda self-taught there. Even after 40 years pursuing whitetail and countless harvests, only yesterday I saw three deer do things that surprised me, it’s a lifelong education. Now I love the preparation and habitat management as much if not more than the actual harvest. Funny how that works. Keep doing what you’re doing and happy hunting.

  4. One thing that puts me off from hunting is the tag system. I get that it’s to prevent over-hunting of large game species, but why is “eating your tag” a thing? If you get say, a buck tag, and only see doe all season, then you’re out the cost of the tag. Not even seeing your quarry all season is discouraging. Wasting money on top of that is just adding insult.

    • The reason why many say hunters are the best conservationists is because tag fees go to pay for conservation efforts. I’m curious where you live as I have found most in-state tags for medium sized and small game to be very cheap. In my state it is less than $20 for a whitetail tag. As a portion of hunting costs, that is certainly on the smaller side.

    • But that’s not how tags work. The first tag is good for anything. Buck, doe, fawn, mulies, whitetails, whatever sex and species you happen across. Then, in addition, most States offer special tags for certain areas. Those have specific requirements(sex,species, etc.) in order to take certain numbers out of certain areas. This is the management of the game, but it would work the same if tags were free. The fee is just govt., which ever demands to have its greasy fingers in your wallet. Kind of like all the other criminals.

  5. The BIG problem with hunting as I see it is the way it packaged and marketed now. Look at the big publications, the big shows, and the few hunting celebritards. All have one huge thing in common, they are all hunting over a food plot on land they leased or hunting with a guide on a huge ranch that costs more than most of us make in a month to stay and hunt on, never mind the travel expenses we would take on and the vacation time we would use to get to the place and hunt one critter. Fishing rags are just as bad about this as well it seems every single outdoor publication preaches this new affluent style of outdoor sporting in which you HAVE to lease the land, you HAVE to own a boat to fish this lake or river, and you HAVE to buy these accessories or you can’t hunt and fish anywhere. Whatever happened to just going out on public land and hunting? What happened to fishing from the bank?

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