Contributors to this thread:
petting dead deer
maybe it's just me I guess, but it drives me nuts to watch a deer kill video when the hunter goes up and starts petting and patting the dead critter like it's his pet lab or something. I'll certainly smooth a deer's hair for photos and take care to make the animal look respected, but it just seems wrong to treat something I've just killed like a puppy. Am I alone in feeling that way? Maybe it's just because I never shoot anything big and usually I'm just excited about eating what I've put on the ground?
I've always been in awe of what just happened. Holding the antlers and smoothing the hair, etc.. is part of the process of soaking it all in.
It's always odd to me when I do it too, but I usually do.
If it bothers you, the solution is simple, don't do it.
I think it's just part of wanting to handle something you greatly admire. Funny how I can never get enough of philandering antlers, my own and others!!! ;)
Probably just our tendency to feel the fur... be close to the animal. Kind of why we hunt, isn't it? Hunters are after all, the epitome of conservationists. We enjoy being close to nature and admire the creatures we pursue. At least I do.
I don't even think about it, but always admire them for a bit, certainly run my hand across their hair/fur a few times. Hope to do it again soon.
Worry less about what other people do! Just showing compassion for the animal who's life was taken to sustain ours!
We do it when the animal is dead, because it`s too hard to do when it is still alive and running around.....
Some of 'em even kiss fish------
Good luck, Robb
Turn the TV off and start living....
I like to whisper in their ear
I just wanna, touch it, and pet it and hug it! LOL.
Maybe it's a primal human bond between animal and human, knowing that death comes to us all in one form or another, but I'm not ashamed to say I pet a dead (dying) deer just this morning myself. Don't ask me why, just seemed the natural thing to do after I pulled it off a residential county road (it had been hit, back legs broken). Gave it a couple pats on the head, stroked it's neck a little, wished it well in it's death and walked away. Guess I'm just a wimp..
Being a biologist I examine the whole deer to look for ticks, infection, and just admire it. I do the same with every animal or fish I kill, trap, or catch. I release salmon in Nfld and always hold them in the water by the tail to revive the and admire what a magnificent fish they are.
Guess I was never into "petting" dead animals.
I do just that, and I think it is a way of personally connecting and respecting the animal that you have just ended it's life; thanking it for giving up it's life to nourish yours.
my best, Paul
I usually walk up and stand there for a bit just admiring the deer in its final resting place. Then I will kneel down, place my hand on the deer and thank the Good Lord for the opportunity and for the deer that gave its life to feed me and my family. I'll pet the deer, then get to work.
Do what works for you and be happy for others when they do the same.
"Funny how I can never get enough of philandering antlers, my ownll and others!!! ;) " LOL: I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm staying clear of deerslayer!
They do it a lot with bears.....I don't much like either.
I've always done it too. Never really even thought about it before, just something I subconsciously do while admiring the animal. Heck I even stroke the feathers on my turkeys now that I think about it!
Me too. I admire the animal. The hair, the ears, the eye lashes etc. Its only a couple times a year I get to do it and its pretty awesome
My brother in law had a deer run into the side of his car in Tampa, deer is stunned. Some idiot lady is trying to console the deer when it jumps up knocking her down where her head smacks the payment. Had to call the ambulance.
I've petted a ribeye before.....
It always remind me that yes there is a God and this wasn't a random incident.
lawdy X2. I also say a prayer of thanks to the Almighty.
As long as they aint laying on the ground kicking up their heels and rolling around like some jerk and laughing or crying ;0( ...... it dosnt bother me, I'm sure Ive 'prolly done the petting, smoothing a time or two ;0)
I'm planning on killing my first elk in Sept. and I've already been thinking about how long my guide will have to give me to admire it. It will be more than "Give me a minute." I'll handle the antlers, pet it, stroke its fur, and just soak it in for a while. I know I'll do that with my bear in June also. Something about coming up and experiencing a wild animal that you just took life from. Probably no videos though, that's my time with the animal, never really figured it to be for public consumption, but that's just me.
You are the first human to touch these magnificent creatures. It's an almost spiritual moment. Then we eat it :)
Not odd at all! I agree with 'Empty Freezer' and I realize in the past I've rushed into gutting and dragging deer out. The moment of walking up to a deer for me usually is somewhat 'spiritual' and I make sure to take time now to soak it in, and I usually end up 'petting' it at some point lol. I'm sure I'd feel the same way if I get the chance to walk up on a moose or elk. I don't seem to do it with coyotes though. The more I hunt, the more I try to follow which way my hunter/predator heart leads me, not so much opinions on a forum lol
I have a dead pet rabbit in my chest freezer. Every so often I will open the cardboard casket and pet old spunky. Does that make me weird?
I've petted a animal I've taken but do not know why; almost a reflex action. I see it all the time on the hunting channels. I think it is because the hunter is very happy with what he has just accomplished.
I usually try and pull ticks off, not sure why, might be my OCD.
Yes Pat, it sure does. :)
I've never considered it petting but more just being in awe of what happened. Kind of like, touching it makes it real or something? It's always a cool moment when the hunt comes together with a successful kill and an animal that was living just minutes earlier and "untouchable" now comes to hand. I think it's more of a reaction and admiration for the animal and the moment.
We all have our own personal and private ways of reconciling......
you guys kill me. I'm reading these and crying, I'm laughing so hard. and I realized my deal... I'm really allergic to deer hair. I even swallow a benadryl before I start gutting... so duh, I don't pet deer hide any more than I need to. I'm such an idiot. thanks for your replies , though.
I pet my alive Siberian Husky. If I were to pet a dead animal, it would be a soft fluffy bunny.
I do not pet my kills but I do roll them around a little making sure they are healthy before I get to work on them just something I was taught as a youth basically a healthy animal eats very well un healthy best left for the coyotes they need to eat also! Bowhunting is a little different mind set than killing a deer at 400 yards with a rifle, I believe we understand what life and death is all about a little deeper than the guy or girl who hunts with a bullet!
there is no question the petting of the carcass is a new phenomena and one that we really should be leading a motion to eliminate wherever possible. good call out.
I don't like it either. Some don't seem to be getting the precise point. There's a big difference between examining the dead animal to petting. Petting looks very weird no matter what the reasoning.
When my kids were young and had friends come over sometimes they'd touch the animals in my trophy room and I could see finger marks usually petting the hair backwards. Drove me absolutely crazy so I banned all kids from coming in my house (not). If you are going to pet the animals at least go the right way:)
Now I've heard it all... a thread on petting dead deer.
I've never called it petting, but whenever I approach an animal I've just killed, I kneel down and run my hand along the antlers as well as smooth it's hair with a few strokes. Just something I've always done without thinking about as to the "why".
I figure if that's the "weirdest" thing I ever do, then I'm pretty much good to go.
My daughter brushed a dead moose's teeth once!!!
wyobullshooters X10. I do the same, not really petting but admiring and showing some respect. Scooby
My brother attempted to pet his dead deer.....it jumped up, gored him in the leg and then fled.
Reading thru some of these posts confirms that the world has some heartless bastards
Im with Wyobullshooter
When my son was ten, he shot his first deer w/ a bow. He is 40 now. Anyway I kept him out of school the next day to help take it to check in and process it. First thing after I took it down from hanging , and it laying on the ground I went inside for something, and when I looked out he was lying on the ground hugging it. He was not taught that. It just was natural to him. I guess his way of taking it in.
Pat only weird if it has been more than one year. Should have ate him by then.
I think it's odd if you don't. But that could just be me. It seems like a natural reaction to finally be able to touch the quarry you spent so much time and effort (physically and emotionally) into.
You mean you don't like to feel the warmth of the animal, the softness of it's hair, the warm blood on your hands. You like golf?
We are not talking about respect, we are talking about petting.
Some may respect a dead animal as much as I do but you cannot respect a dead animal more than I do. Few have handled as many animals in their lifetime as I have and I always respect every single one. It's an important part of the culture I've been integrated into for over 45 years.
Some consider me old fashioned in this "new society", but I follow the ways of the Elder Cree - ultimate respect of the land and the creatures that live on it. The animal is dead. It has given it's life (figuratively speaking) so that you may live on. For us it's not a time for thumbs up, high fives, fists in the air while saying "yes" through clenched teeth, etc. etc. as I've also seen on television.
I've been on this site for a relatively long time and the vast majority of the people on Bowsite are respectful. There's nothing wrong with admiring your animal, or adjusting it so it's in a position that shows your respect, or tucking in the tongue, handling it with care, etc. To me, one stroke or two of your hand to adjust the fur or feathers is not petting.
BUT, I've seen true petting on television... and based on what I've been told by non hunting visitors it projects an air of hypocrisy to non hunters (as well as other negative sentiments). We are all allowed our opinion, but after reading what was posted after I left to go hunting this morning, I felt that I had explained myself poorly. I could go on but I have some ptarmigan to clean.
If I felt that I needed to pet an animal after I killed it I would probably stop killing animals. I respect them , In fact I love wildlife and often feel some remorse at taking the life. But I know what I am doing. I am taking the life. Its my responsibility the animal is not giving me its life. In fact the animal wants to live. I am taking that life as part of the circle. It goes back to survival. It is primal and I hunt because that is part of the life cycle. If I do not kill , I do not eat the animal. That has always been since life began. I love hunting, I hate killing. I have never enjoyed the killing aspect but there it is. Its the main point of hunting. Procurement of food. I love that process and truly wish there was a way without causing suffering or pain. ' When I kill an animal the hunt is over. The work begins when the knife comes out., Like I said. If I personally felt the need to pet an animal that I had just taken the life of I believe that I personally would be re evaluating what drives me to hunt. Or I could just take a camera and not kill at all. To me petting is attemting to remove a feeling of guilt. Remorse on the other hand is like sorry this life has to be taken. I do not feel any need to apologize to a dead animal.
God bless, Steve
You're 13 years old, raising rabbits and have an order for 2 dozen dressed. I don't believe I pet a single one of the furry things..... just go into heartless bastard mode I guess and do your work, your job..... you don't pet em or build a shrine or have services. You kill them, prepare them to cook and eat. They didn't commit suicide and jump under the cellophane. You did it. With a club and a knife.
And somebody is going to eat them. Hopefully they thank God for the food they are about to receive. That life you took is no less sacred than anything you've ever killed with your bow. Neither is that hamburger or steak you had for dinner. I fail to see the difference but for one thing..... Who it was that took that life. And had to deal with it.
People deal with taking that life as best they can. Everyone in their own way. I'd be the last person to tell you how you should deal with it. Honestly.... I don't really care. I should also be availed that courtesy. I understand for many it's not exactly a a daily event. But they should understand for others..... it pretty much is. Or has been.
WRT non-hunters, IMO, most people should have to kill what they eat at least once in their lives. Kill it, prepare it for cooking and eating it. They would learn not just the skills of dealing with such things, but the mental aspects as well. They would then have first hand knowledge of the real world and not some fantasy world where meat is grown under lights in foam and cellophane. But they don't.
I have a board by my desk with a bunch of "trophy" pics on it. Look at it every day and relive many of them. Some are so faded you can hardly see them. Have to get to the back of the office to see them, it's not in general view. I am constantly amazed at the number of times outside folks have worked their way back there to see it...... and then ask me how I got the animals to stand still for the pictures with me in it.....
These people are not dealing with anything ..... at all.... they have never had to deal with reality, have checked out of reality. And don't even know it.
I'm with wyobullshooter on this.....always do it.....never really think about it.
A singular act does not necessarily convey the same emotion in every context. For instance, if I punch a stranger on the jaw, it has a different connotation than if I slug my best friend on the shoulder. Further, given we are tactile, what looks like petting (or patting) is most likely subconscious input behavior.
Randy, what if you miss? I'm short you know ;)
Any punch in the nethers carries the same connotation regards of context. You got me. lol
Being the first person to touch that animal and also having a great deal of respect for the animal is why I give them a pat or a few strokes, but not something scripted.
It's part of the experience and admiration for that animal. Being able to touch an elusive animal is just something many are unable to experience.
Now that you say it that way it does sound weird but I do it every time
Maybe it's just our nature to admire other animals for their beauty and our long history of respect and thanks to that animal for what it provides us.Not weird at all.
didnt we just go over this with respect and thanks .... I dont want anyone calling me a poser so! that is all MikeC
No, perfectly normal to give thanks in that manner. Why do we feel compelled to take hero shots that shift the focus from the fallen animal to the mighty hunter would be the better hypothetical. I don't think the animals care either way, they are dead.
Wanted to kick a few for going down where they did.......
In the end it would have done at least as much good as petting it, and to exactly the same effect.
And there's a difference between petting it and smoothing out some ruffled hair. I like to smooth out a rooster's feathers and make em all nice before before I stuff him in my game vest. I save the pelts for a lady that makes Hawaiian hat bands, bands that sell for many hundreds of dollars and want them nice. Guess if a person were to see me doing it they might think I was "petting" it. They would be wrong as petting implies some emotional attachment to animal. If I was emotionally attached I wouldn't have killed it. In what world would that make any logical sense?
What one may see as petting doesn't necessarily mean they are petting it at all. Could be smoothing out some hair or fur for aesthetics.... or simply experiencing the texture, If I can, I like to feel the texture of many things before I buy them, from clothing to car seats. I'm not petting them. When you start to construct a shrine however......
I don't sweat the small stuff.....or pet the dead stuff.
Was this a sexual question?lol