New hunter, looking for a mentor/trainer

Hopefully this sounds coherent.

I'm in north Georgia. I'm looking for someone that can teach me hunting, because a teacher seems like a better way to learn than stomping through the woods on my own. I'm a mid 40s male, and mildly autistic. I'm interested in learning subsistence hunting, particularly/primarily feral pig hunting. Hunting was not a family tradition at all, so I had no opportunity to learn as a child. None of the people that I'm friends with hunt. I have shot and killed exactly one animal: a rabbit that was menacing the family garden, in central Ohio, with a Crossman air rifle, roughly 30 years ago. (And no, my mom wouldn't let me eat it, and she threw the hide out after I'd salt-cured it and scraped it, but before I was able to get it tanned.)

I have a capable center fire rifle that's mostly sighted in—a 6.5CM AR-10 that I need to check again once I can get some ELD-X bullets and dies--I've completed my hunters' safety course, and I'm in good enough shape that a 10 mile section hike on the Appalachian trail carrying a 20# day pack isn't a big deal. I'm an okay shot; certainly not a recon sniper, but also not someone that doesn't know which end goes bang.. What I don't have is knowledge of any people that hunt, or knowledge of people that want to mentor a new wannabe hunter. I'm not particularly woods-savvy.

As far as I know, the state ended the mentorship program some time after 2019, and I might have been too old anyways. (Was it just for minors? IDK.) I’m not opposed to guided hunts--aside from being poor--but I think that hunting in a walled garden isn’t a great way to reduce the impact of an invasive species, and probably isn't a great way to learn bushcraft of any kind. I can't afford memberships at hunting preserves, along with the other issues associated with guided hunts, except that they're also usually not guided. I’d be fine with hunting on private farm land, if I knew people that had both farms and a feral pig problem. (I'd be surprised if all the orchards around Ellijay didn't have booming feral pig populations in the fall, but I don't know the owners.) I’d be fine with some traveling, but I’d prefer something within a 3 hour drive or less.

I'd prefer to not hunt on WMAs, because the regulations on when you can use center fire rifles on feral pigs are extremely restrictive. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that, for instance, the only time you can use a full power cartridge for hunting feral pigs at e.g. Pine Log WMA is during their firearms deer seasons, which are Nov. 16-19 and Dec 14-17, as opposed to the state-wide deer season of Oct 22 - Jan 8.) On the other hand, I'm fine with hunting on national forest land.

Can anyone offer ideas of guidance? I don't know how people usually learn when they don't have family or friends that already hunt.


“Well Rounded Outdoorsman MOD “
Staff member
Good luck ! Sounds like a great opportunity for someone to make a friendship . I don’t hunt anywhere with hogs but I hear areas of the north ga mountains have plenty . If all else fails take your small game weapon after deer season and get a FS map and start hiking . If nothing else you’ll see some beautiful country and with every trip the woods will teach you if you’ll let them .


Slow Mod
Staff member
Welcome to Woody's. Your post was very coherent and well thought out. I applaud you for reaching out for help with something that is new to you. With the positive attitude that you have displayed I don't doubt that you will find a lot of help here.

It looks like a couple of members have reached out to you already. I will not be of much direct helpas I am probably not near enough to you and do not have pigs yet. When you get ready to go after deer as well as pigs there is an old post with some great information that you will probably find helpful.


35 Whelen

Senior Member
If you can, get a bolt action 22 Magnum rifle with scope and the onX hunt app on your phone and start scouting/squirrel hunting the closest WMA or National Forest land to you until February 28th. When you start being able to find and kill squirrels consistently what you learn in the process will help you be able to find and kill deer, hogs, and bear in these mountains.