Contributors to this thread:
Was he hunting?
I have a friend that I have been hunting with for over fifty years. In that time we have changed a bit physically and more importantly in our attitudes. We live in northwestern Vermont where any legal deer is a trophy. A few years ago my friend passed up on a buck as it was heading in the direction of his son. His son never saw the deer. I was upset by his decision but kept my mouth shut. I questioned whether he was actually hunting. Last year I was faced with a similar situation . I had a doe come by as I was muzzle loader hunting . The conditions were good but not perfect. We had all taken deer by that point so we didn't "need venison" but I could have used the meat. I waited for the perfect shot that never came. Where you are in the hunting experience will determine how you react. The newer hunter almost always says shoot at the first good opportunity. The mature hunter will say shoot when it feels right. I welcome thoughtful responses. It appears my buddy is more mature than I am.
IMO.....I'm beyond judging a "hunt" by whether or not I kill something. Ya it's fun and tasty, but there are things beyond the kill that can make a hunt successful and something to enjoy. To me.....witnessing a beautiful sunrise sitting in a treestand in the quiet woods is always a treasure. Heck....any sunrise is a great one....hunting or fishing.
It’s up to the individual to say whether he is hunting. It’s different for many people for many reasons.
You’re not by yourself when waiting on the “perfect shot” and you wind up a zero. Back in my youth, deer were very scarce, and a “nice” buck was even more scarce. While hunting public land I heard a deer jump an old grown up fence that I knew to be only thirty yards or so away in the woods. Now I was a youngster at the time and hadn’t taken up the bow as yet, I was hunting with a shotgun. The deer turned out to be a buck, a mature buck at that. As he walked in front of me part of his lower body was obscured by some vines, but I still had a clear shot at his heart/lung area. I opted to wait until he cleared the vines in just a few more steps. Here’s the kicker, he disappeared behind that vine choked tree, turned straight away from me and left the country. I guess he saw me, smelled me, or both. Shoulda, woulda, coulda ……….
I do more “hunting” than killing and that’s the way I prefer it. The worst part about a kill is it usually means the hunt is over. My “maturity” also varies by species according to how accomplished with that specie I am.
I've let more and more deer walk over the years...maybe it's an age thing, maybe not. Sometimes the perfect shot presents itself and I go for it. I guess it depends on my mindset that day.
You're upset because a buddy passed on a deer so his son could have the opportunity to take it, and then question if he is really hunting???
I have done the same thing, and I applaud your buddy for doing the same.
You my friend, have your priorities mixed up..
I feel youre over reacting on the son thing. Thats just a stand up thing to do. Every hunter has their own standards. If deer are that scarce where you hunt, i sure as hell wouldnt be shooting everything. Sounds like youre a tag filler no matter how many tags you have. Think about that.
Kudos to the father for passing on a deer hoping his son could get a chance. I would definitely do the same.
The hunter in all of us, is personal. We hunt for different reasons. We hunt with different weapons. We hunt using different techniques. Some of us hunt meat, some bone, some trophies. The trophy is also personal. The eye of the beholder may be looking for a mature animal, or one with a high "score", or the amount they can kill. I'm reminded of this often, when I see the negativity that one hunter feels about another hunter, simply because they don't think the same way we do? I'd say you nailed it. Your partner is in a different place than you. One day you may be there as well, so embrace your differences and also your similarities. We as hunters should strive to be less judgmental toward fellow hunters, period! Guilty!
I know hunters that only take bucks even though they could use the meat/don't take animals every year.
Why everyone hunts is different. So long as you are taking an ethical shot and the meat goes to good use I don't see an issue with passing on an animal or even taking a yearling. I might be in a different boat on those matters then them. But were in the same body of water so to speak.
I think some of you are reading green mountain wrong or maybe I am. To me he’s acknowledging the “maturity” in his hunting buddy that maybe he didn’t understand at the time but is slowly coming to that “maturity”. I could be wrong. I do agree though what dad in a target poor environment wouldn’t pass an animal that they thought was headed right for their kid. I know I’ve purposely passed nice bucks just because I know that certain buck is a killable deer my daughter could have a shot at in a few sits.
Agreed, LINK. I knew that's how someone was going to take it as soon as I read it and there would be an ass chewing...lol.
I don’t get too worked up about what people do. I hunt a lot and kill very little.
Get this though, friends had a monster on their land. 200 + gross typical. I think he netted maybe 194 or something.
The father passed him opening day of rifle. Hoping his son would get a shot . . . 3 days later his son killed it.
But passing up 190 typical?!?!? I don’t know that I could do it ;)
could it be he was sleepin but didnt want to admit it
I have a 15 ear old son that is in to hunting. I may not pull the string back for a few years and that's fine by me. My only goal is is getting him opportunities.
Why should it bother you that your friend elected to pass a deer in hope that his son might get a chance? His decision, not yours.
For me, I’ve killed enough whitetails with a bow and a gun that it certainly isn’t about the kill anymore. Having the health and time to enjoy God’s beautiful creation. Sunrises and sunsets in the woods on a cool, brisk day. The sound of feet in the leaves quickly approaching as a buck chases a doe past you. Seeing the excitement on a young son or daughters face as they tell you that “they got one”
Lots of things make for a great hunt now, as a matter of fact it’s a rare day when a don’t have a good hunt.
In 2005 I was hunting a few hundred yards from my father on opening morning of Michigan gun season. I let a really nice likely 3 year old MI buck walk by as he was heading in my Fathers direction. He turned and crossed the creek before he got to my dad. Sure wish he would have continued on to my father. My father died shortly before the 2006 season. Yes, I was hunting hard that morning! Sure wish I could let one more walk that has a chance to go by my dad!
man..thats a nice buck Don