Super-noob questions

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by CapnCurry, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. CapnCurry

    Portland, OR
    New Member

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    OK, so I just moved up to Oregon from Las Vegas, NV - and Vegas ain't exactly prime hunting territory. I know precisely zero about hunting, so I'm going to ask some very noobish questions in the spirit of "the only dumb question is the one that doesn't get asked." :)

    So, I'm thinking I'd like to start by hunting small game - rabbits, perhaps, or squirrels, or something small. I need to be able to dress anything I catch in the field and bring it home in a medium-sized ice chest, and I'd be hunting for food (as opposed to pelts or trophies).

    Second, the only firearm I currently have to my name is a Springfield XD 40 pistol. I'd like to hunt with that, but I don't know how realistic that is - I imagine that's rather a large caliber for what I propose to hunt, but I don't know how big an issue that is. I'd really like to hunt pistol, though, instead of rifle, as part of the exercise is getting some meaningful practice in with a handgun.

    Finally, for my first trip or two out into the field, I think it'd be tremendously helpful to have a guide who can make sure I'm not about to do anything phenomenally silly. I'm not sure what I need there, though - I don't really want the whole "hunting expedition" package; maybe just a more casual guided trip, but I don't even know what I don't know - so I'm not sure what kind of help I need.

    So, my three questions:

    1. What are my small-game food-hunting options in the Northwest Oregon area?
    2. Given that I understand long-gun hunting is *much* easier, is it feasible to hunt small game with a .40 caliber, or any other caliber of handgun?
    3. Before I go make a pig's breakfast of anything out in the field, what kind of assistance should I look into? Recommendations for people or guide companies welcome. :)

  2. RockKrawler


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    If you head over to a local sporting good store,i like Bi-Mart,they will have the hunting/fishing/upland game synopsis avail for free.
    In that,you will find the state regulations on hunting small game/ big game / varmints/etc. it will list what calibers are legal for hunting.
    You will want to read it,and then read it again,unless you have a law degree in which case it may make perfect sense the 1st time around :)
    Good luck,
  3. Spray-n-pray

    Battle Ground
    Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are hunting rabbits and squirrels with a .40sw you might not leave much of it left for a meal. A good .22 would serve you well.
  4. Shawn the Locksmith

    Shawn the Locksmith
    The Dalles, Or

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    (hire a good lawyer and have him read it over and over and then call you ODFW agent in Salem and get "THEIR" interpretation and then .........:) Rabbits year round, squirrels are seasonal. You're in a good area and then east of you.
  5. RallySoob

    Salem, OR
    Active Member

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    lol, If you are being serious about the .40 pistol then I would honestly tell you that you shouldn't hunt small game to eat using that caliber of weapon...but I have a feeling you may be a Joker. It will literaly blowup small animals and you won't have anything left to eat as mentioned above. And hitting small fast moving targets with a pistol would be really hard unless you were very close to them. Sounds like you need a cheap 22lr rifle. Not sure there are any guided trips for small game to eat like that. Practice shooting pop cans at 25yds and make your way out to 75yds. once you get consistent, then you can go out looking for something to 'eat'. People do eat small game believe it or not... I don't. But I'm sure it all "tastes like chicken" ;)

    If you are stuck on using a pistol then go with a long barrel target type 22lr. Some of those 22lr pistols are super accurate
  6. coyote223

    NW Oregon
    Stamp Collector,,,

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    I spend a fair amount of time in the woods. I see very few rabbits and squirrels on the NW side. Need to go east for a good rabbit population,,,

    A lot of squirrels inside PDX city limits. In the woods, they seem to be in little pockets. Takes some work to find them. Certain times of year are better than others for squirrel.

    They are small, not much meat on them. There won't be anything left from the .40, get a good .22,,,:winkkiss:
  7. clearconscience

    Vancouver, WA
    Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    I'm going to give you my $.02

    If your looking to get a cheap/free meal. Find a farm type auction and buy a few male and female rabbits and some chickens, or even better ducks. They will reproduce and give you food for years. Or even the rest of your life. It's good eatin.
    My father-n-law in Ohio has cows, chickens, ducks, rabbits, etc. He kills a few over few months and takes them to the Amish that will clean them dirt cheap. Keeps the meat in a freezer. I tell you that guy will never go hungry. And I know where I'm going when the SHTF.

    If your looking for sport hunting/food/ whatever, then buy a nice used hunting rifle and hunt something a little easier like a deer or elk. And eat for months. Talk to guys on here and you may meet some guys you like and that trust you and you trust to be out in the woods with a gun. Even if you don't have to take a hunters education course.
    Hunting with a .40 is just not going to be an option. It's going to obliterate anything you can legally hunt with it. If you really want small game then get a .22lr. You can pick one up even used for $200 or under.

    Just know your laws, know whats in season, and get your tags. Don't poach! And talk to the locals in your area. Good luck.
  8. rickoshay

    gaston or

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    I don't think I would eat rabbits or squirrels in western Oregon you should get a 22lr 12ga to start with birds might be better to eat.
  9. Scott

    Battle Ground
    Well-Known Member

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    Grey squirels in WA are protected so if you hunt better get the book out. It is not cheap to get a ticket and know what and what not to shoot and the seaons.
  10. FarmerTed1971

    Portland, Oregon, United States
    Well-Known Member

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    Seriously? LOL
  11. snew

    Hillsboro, OR
    Active Member

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    The .40 is perfect for small game. It's notoriously underpowered for a defensive cartrige so it's perfect for foraging.
  12. WhyteCheddar

    East of Moscow by the Willamette
    Well-Known Member

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    Now thats funny right there.
  13. P_Ribs

    Hockinson, Wa

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    1. Small game mammals are limited to squirrels, rabbits of which there are a few different types, moles (although an odd game, good tasting), and nutria which is actually a very tasty animal despite its appearance. Bird hunting will expand these options but require more time and money to be able to properly hunt.

    2. As for handgun hunting, a .40 is a bit excessive but there are a lot of very nice .22lr handguns available. I personally carry a sig mosquito in the woods with me on a daily basis and have shot lots and lots of rabbits and squirrels. You could use a larger caliber for Nutria but again a .40 may be excessive.

    3. Eating any of these animals is perfectly fine and sometimes quite good; Squirrel, rabbits, and moles are all very lean meats and require some fine trimming to get all the meat and usually taste best in a stew or shepherds pie type dish. Rabbits and squirrel are notorious for lack of nutritional value so although they can produce some meat it is not a meat you could survive solely off of if needed. Nutria is a very easily cooked meat and has some very good flavors and nutritional value. Although you have to get over the fact it's a nutria which unfortunately for some is difficult, it is well worth it.

    4. As for finding a guide, sounds more like you're looking for sometime to help with some hunter safety type things and to teach how to field dress. Not likely to find a proffesional for that but PM me and I can point you in the right direction.
  14. nwwoodsman

    Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer

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    Please do yourself and the animals a favor and get the meaningful practice in before you start hunting. Not everything you shoot drops with the first shot. Without exaggeration, I talked to a guy who took his son-in-law hunting for the first time this year and shot an elk, I kid you not, no b.s. here, 12 times before he finally killed it. Lot of "pig food" there.
    Next, get yourself a hunting synopsis, a book on butchering and gutting animals, and a shotgun. Lot of shot guns availible where you can pick up an extra slug barrel for deer huntin. Not knockin handgun hunting but it's a lot more versatile that a .40

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