"Whoso List to Hunt" opens with a bold pronouncement from its speaker: if anyone out there wants ("lists") to go hunting, he knows where you can find a deer ("an hind"). The poem thus addresses its readers directly: the speaker seems to be inviting the reader to join the hunt. Through this use of apostrophe, the speaker positions his poem as a public statement: he is speaking to a broad, general audience, making a pronouncement. It will thus come as a surprise in the following lines when he describes, with almost obsessive detail, his feelings of despair and disappointment. In the first line of the poem, the reader does not yet receive any hints about the speaker's failure in his hunt; instead, it reads almost like a boast.
However, the speaker does use this first line to set up the extended metaphor that structures the poem: though this poem is outwardly about hunting, its real subject is love—passionate, unrequited love. The speaker does not yet give the reader any concrete clues that the poem is about anything other than hunting--that will come in the following lines. But the speaker's use of sound in the first line sets the stage for some of the dynamics that will gradually unfold over the rest of the poem. For instance, the first line of the poem contains consonance: "hunt" and "hind." (The difference between /nt/ and /nd/ is slight, particularly in spoken English). The consonance punctuates the line's two clauses, marking the close of each, and it also suggests a relationship between them. That is, the "hind" exists in this poem to be hunted: she has no existence outside of the hunt. The consonance between the two words reinforces that limitation on her freedom, her agency.
More broadly, the sound of the first line is rich, with strong alliteration in "hunt" and "hind" (which reinforces the link between the two words) and in "whoso" and "where." The speaker is showing off, demonstrating his literary skill—fittingly enough. "Whoso List to Hunt" was one of the first sonnets to be written in English, so it makes sense that the poet is trying to show his readers that one can write sonnets in English--that the language is capable of literary beauty. In doing so, he makes an allusion to one of the most prominent and prestigious writers of sonnets, Francesco Petrarch, who popularized the form in the 14th century: "Whoso List to Hunt" is an elaborate rewriting of Petrarch 190. As Wyatt brings the sonnet into English, he uses English meter: "Whoso List to Hunt" is in iambic pentameter, a meter developed by the English poet and author Geoffrey Chaucer, working from French models. However, Wyatt writes at a period early in the development of English meter, and his meter accordingly lacks the polish that one finds in later writers. The first line of the poem is metrically ambiguous, even confused. (Most plausibly, it could be scanned as an anapest followed by four iambs). Though this metrical confusion likely reflects the poet's relative lack of sophistication, it also suggests the speaker's confusion and distress—which becomes the subject of the following lines.