BKowal

New hunter hoping to still-hunt the Catskills this season

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Hi everyone,
I have always wanted to go hunting and I plan to finally do it this year for my first time. I am planning to go to the Catskill Mountains for whitetail this season. If anyone has any tips for gear or location, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks and looking forward to contributing to the forum!

-BK

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Welcome.  The map attached shows a lot of land open to public hunting.  Everything in green is NYC Watershed land that is open to public hunting.

https://nycdep.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9622fdc0897a4067a80fe25bc2f25f53

For more help, post specific questions in the forums available on this site.

 

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Welcome.  I've never hunted the Catskill mountain area and someone may correct me on this but I would make sure you have a compass and know how to use it. 

Good luck this year.

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Good luck. Make sure you check on the zone you are in and any restrictions on antler size or sex of deer. 

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"We Feed 'em"

"He Breeds 'em"

Legends Lodge, "Where Legends are born"

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Contact the regional DEC office for your area, or better yet stop in and ask for information on state lands (which are different than the NY City Watershed lands). Do you have your safety class? No such thing as getting out there too soon for scouting, even if it is just getting familiar with the lay of the land, scouting mast crops ,  browse, recent logging and crops nearby..With all our COVID restrictions there are NONE on the public land access. :).

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Welcome to HuntingNY !!

You came to the right place to get help, starting deer hunting. Many experienced hunters here who will be happy to help get you going!

Still hunting, is a skill that takes practice. It involves SLOWLY making your way through an area, trying to see deer before they see you. Sounds easy enough right? So much involved with still hunting, to be able to do it successfully. But, it can be done by a new hunter! Let us know what specific questions you have, and we'll get ya going in the right direction!

Best of luck on your hunting adventures!

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Welcome to the addiction! 

A suggestion on gear for your first year. You don't need top of the line gear to enjoy hunting and time in the woods. Many of us have hunted and are still hunting with middle of the road gear or hand me downs and do just fine. 

Focus your money on a good pair of boots and some good under layers to keep you warm. 

After that this sport is all about learning and practice. The more you do of both the more successful you will be and the more enjoyment you will get out of it. Some of the best days in the woods wont even involve shooting a deer. 

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5 hours ago, Steve D said:

Welcome....GPS and learn how to use it or at minimum a compass.

First off, welcome to hunting and the forum to the OP.

Second.  I've been "lost" before when I left my compass at home and wandered into an area where I couldn't get satellite reception.  Learn the compass and always bring one as a backup.

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NRA Lifetime member.

"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." - Native American Indian Proverb

"My goal in life is to become as wonderful as my dog thinks I am" - Toby & Eileen Green

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Welcome, do you have a weapon or need help picking one out? Are you going to bow hunt, crossbow or muzzle loader also? Still hunting is a great goal but might be hard for a first hunt. Most if not all shots will be rushed or moving target. As I advise a lot of people look into joining a club. Find one upstate that has land to hunt where you want to hunt. There are many that are quite reasonable so don't join the first one that may require a second mortgage to join. My experience has been great with every club I have been in, Guys have invited me to hunt their land, gave me tips on where to hunt both club land and their own. Butchered deer with my brother and myself. All clubs had a range too both gun and archery some even have trap shooting. Good luck.

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Welcome!  I’m in a similar camp - I’m a new hunter when it comes to public land big game hunting and I intend to go after bear and deer this season. Still hunting seems like an appealing tactic since it doesn’t require much gear.

A few questions that I’m working through and I’ll pose here in case it helps you too:

1) If you see sign in your preseason scouts how do you approach it come hunting season? When still hunting are you trying to bump a sleeping bear/deer or are you trying to ambush them when they’re traveling between feeding/eating areas as you would when placing a tree stand along a pinch point?

2) In my experience, when in a stand most activity occurs at sunrise/sunset. How do you factor time of day into a still hunt?

3) Think about how you’re going to pull out a couple of hundred pound animal if you’re bushwhacking several miles from a trail. For Castkills hunters, are you guys mostly quartering or dragging out?

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Thank you everyone for the well wishes and the advice!  

I am not looking to be the poster boy for expensive hunting, rather I am planning on being a minimalist to start (figure less likely the wife will kill me that way) So far, I am figuring that minimal gear should be a compass, map, knife, rope/cord,  binoculars, water/snacks, gun, and a little luck. Am I missing anything?

Thanks all!

-BK

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1 hour ago, BKowal said:

Thank you everyone for the well wishes and the advice!  

I am not looking to be the poster boy for expensive hunting, rather I am planning on being a minimalist to start (figure less likely the wife will kill me that way) So far, I am figuring that minimal gear should be a compass, map, knife, rope/cord,  binoculars, water/snacks, gun, and a little luck. Am I missing anything?

Thanks all!

-BK

Don't forget good boots.  We get a lot of snow and cold weather during deer season in the Catskills.  Still hunting demands really good, waterproof, warm, comfortable boots, and good ones don't come to you for less than $100.  I find waterproof 5.11 side zipper A.T.A.C boots are the best choice for the money.

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Layers.  It's cold in the morning and towards the end but temps heat up mid day.  Also hot when hiking in but cold once you're sitting there motionless for hours.


NRA Lifetime member.

"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." - Native American Indian Proverb

"My goal in life is to become as wonderful as my dog thinks I am" - Toby & Eileen Green

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I.m.o.... The catskills are amazing and beautiful, dangerous and deadly. Your best chance to harvest any animal is to remain mobile. May be you want to bring along a day bag but I would go nothing short of full camp on my back. Reliable gun with open sights and raised scope if your lucky. Some food and water purification. Remember your wind can go everywhere in the mountains. See you at pickup day!!!

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On 8/3/2020 at 1:34 AM, BKowal said:

Thank you everyone for the well wishes and the advice!  

I am not looking to be the poster boy for expensive hunting, rather I am planning on being a minimalist to start (figure less likely the wife will kill me that way) So far, I am figuring that minimal gear should be a compass, map, knife, rope/cord,  binoculars, water/snacks, gun, and a little luck. Am I missing anything?

Thanks all!

-BK

how u going to make fire?

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