Contributors to this thread:
Gratitude or entitlement...
There has been a lot said on a previous post about an animal that was not recovered which brought questions to mind that we can only answer for ourselves:
Does the hunt need a kill for gratitude to exist? If the answer is "yes", then are we bound to the clutches of disappointment and failure as judged by an outcome oriented hunt?
If the mindset is shifted away from the "result/kill" and onto the thrill of the chase before we enter the woods, does this detach our ego from pursuit of the animal and bring us closer to both our utilitarian ancestors who hunted for survival and to our true nature as predators?
Do we ever deserve a kill or are we merely beneficiaries participating in the timeless dance of predator and prey?
If the population of the planet was 1 without nobody to show the object of our harvest, would our decision making during the hunt be the same?
We are all haunted eternally by the ghosts of our mistakes in the deer woods. These ghosts serve as sages offering opportunity to reflect, learn, and keep us humble. This is a brotherhood of mostly strangers and we are the future of it so we have to stick together. Be safe Orion brothers.
When I was younger it was all about the kill, only because I had deer hunted for 5 years before getting my first. After killing several deer the next few years I learned that the thrill was in the hunt! The search! Trying to outsmart the animal, and the kill became secondary. . I then decided that bucks only was my game, and then mature bucks only, about 25 years ago. My wall is NOT covered with massive racks, just the opposite. I mounted my first deer (doe), my first buck (average 6 pointer) and one that a friend wanted to mounted for practice, and that was the 10 pointer from New Brunswick that 200+ lbs. . I'm not into the bone on their heads, I'm in the woods to enjoy nature. I went out Thanksgiving morning, in full camo, with my camera. Went into the woods in the dark and did everything the same as if I was hunting, minus the bow. Same amount of satisfaction as walking out there with a bow.3 . That doesn't make me a better sportman, it's just what I want to do at the age of 66. Ask me the same question 48 years ago, and you'd get a completely different answer.
When I first started I would have loved to fill all my tags and rack up the numbers. Now I’m just happy for one or one of anything and then go after a nice buck. Not saying it works out that way cuz after all I do live in MA with no deer population but that’s the game plan.
That's an awesome Thanksgiving morning Bob. I have an uncle who went from hunter to photographer. I'm not there but I understand the common ground is the admiration of the woods/nature.
I start with the chase trying for a buck that I'm proud of, then until to kill for food. But I guess you guys found that out yesterday :)
Travis/Shawn - the only thing I learned lately is that some guys on the site make comments based upon THEIR perspective of hunting, and where they hunt, and how they hunt. Nothing wrong with that as long as you understand where they're coming from. . Shawn - you were the only one who saw the angle of your shot. You said it was quartering towards, but that could mean a slight quartering shot or more extreme quartering shot. I've seen hunters hit the shoulder or front leg bone on a pure broadside shot with the same outcome as you had. . Travis - you're hunting PRIVATE land that you decide to manage a certain way. I hunt state land only and would NEVER shoot doe or anything else short of a mature buck. We're both doing the same thing,....deciding how to manage the land we hunt. . So some guys reply that the shot was bad without being there, and others criticize for taking young, small deer. Why? It's their perspective, nothing more. Doesn't make them right and you wrong. . I had more than a few guys giving me hell when I was debating Dr. Williams about WB. Some telling me to shut up and others saying I wrong. My opinion can't be wrong, it's an opinion, nothing more. But I own it. And YES, I can be an a _ _hole at times, and I own that as well. . So, hunt on and keep posting. It's the differences of opinions that makes life interesting. Look how interesting politics is now!!
It took me 7 yrs before I shot my first deer he was a spike and to me he was the greatest deer ever I still have his spikes to this day fast forward 23 yrs later and many deer shot and some lost and the regret over the lost ones still stays with me. We as humans r not perfect and never will be I’m very far from it and I like BBB feel very different about hunting then I did then. I’ve shot a lot of deer over the yrs and still have not shot what I would consider to be a old big racked monster of a deer. I hunt because I love the chase and the peacefulness of what we as hunters do. I enjoy being out there seeing what many people in this world don’t see. Yes I get caught up in the hype of wanting to see deer every time I’m out there and then have to reel myself back in and remember why I’m out there and what im after. Deer to me r a majestic animal that deserve my utmost respect and admiration. I enjoy taking pics and watching them as much as I enjoy the fact that I’m lucky enough to take one home. That is what I am trying to pass onto my son. It’s not about the kill for me it’s about what we get to see that others don’t. Grate Ful Draw I respect what u have said and I for one am thankful for it . BBB u r not asshole in anyway I have seen u help other young hunters get started in this life style as well as give advice to many just like many others here have. I’ve caught shit on here just like the next guy but the reality is most people r just trying to help. Some r not but most r
Today 3:00 got out of work ,drove like a maniac to get in my ground blind by 3:30..10mins later a doe comes in from behind me,never heard her with the wind..multiple shots at 25-30yrds.she meanders off...im armed with a xl regular coffee and a pack of smokes.4:26 time to sneak out......i used to drive from bridgeport to cornwall/kent ,sit on a rock and watch the sun come up over the mountians as the morning mist rises over the housy.brown trout slurping down whatever flavorful bug that was unfortunate to crash land..when the gnats got too much to handle and my coffee gone,id leave.....me and my friends would drive all the way to watch hill on a cold november night when the tides were right..we'd walk all the way out to the light house..id pull up a seat and watch the meteor shower..after a bit id look back and my buds are doing the same thing..we'd hardly fish..
People would ask me why i do these crazy things. I would ask them,have you ever watched the brillient colors just before the sun climbs over the horizon? Or watch the animals at sunset as the world prepares to go to sleep? Or realize in the darkness just how puny your world is in the grand scheme? Its surprising how many people cant answer.
I guess Notme isn’t all fluff afterall. Nice post.
Archery hunting to me started as a quest to kill a deer. That's it. It was a challenge for me to get one with the bow because not many people bowhunted in the 80's and I loved telling people that I hunted deer with a bow. I started at age 12 and I was 17 before I killed my first one, a doe.....Then a really big buck the same year. It was happiness and relief all rolled into one....and a sense that I could conquer this bow hunting thing.
A friend told me that once you get your first one they start coming pretty regularly, and he was right. So the quest turned into how close I could get and make a killing shot. I snuck into trees, waited, watched and I killed. It was great! I love that part of bow hunting. I absolutely love putting an arrow through a deer's chest, watching them bleed out and topple over in sight. I thought to myself, nothing could be better than bow hunting. And how could anybody hunt with a gun for deer when you can get within spitting distance of a 200lb wild animal and kill it with a sharp stick?
Even to this day, some 30 plus seasons into my quest, I still get the most enjoyment out of putting a perfect arrow through the lungs of the beast and following that bloodtrail to my deer.
But as I age, and I get to spend time with my son bowhunting, that to me trumps even watching a deer do the crab walk and fall over.....just barely ;)
I truly find nothing more fascinating than eavesdropping on the wild woods. My curiosity sometimes gets the best of me when I'm watching a squirrel store nuts for a half hour. I think.....this is what is happening when no-one is looking. ....and I get to peek in. That feeling is even more intense when I see turkeys, bobcat, and the ever illusive deer. To be in THEIR world is a treasure.
Great points guys. I couldnt agree more. When deer season ends, I'm not sad that I cant go try to kill another... I'm sad that it's harder to get that time in the outdoors.
It's why I take my kids shed hunting and hiking. Why I love turkey season and chasing wild trout (or other fish). Why I love trail running and mountain biking or hiking etc. Being in the wild, in the outdoors... It's a gift!
Jmil, totally get that and well said. Being part of the woods, not just an intruder or visitor. Ever watch a squirrel and have a hawk swoop right by your head and make a play for prey? Non-hunters will never see that. Only us, the blessed fellowship of the stick and string. I used to kill, kill, kill as long a someone (even food bank folks) were going to eat it. But at 58 years old, uphill drags are,,,,,well, a drag. I GET to eat venison twice a week and I feel fortunate. Grateful for sure.
I am grateful I get to spend time in the woods. Whether it by myself or with family. I try to go out year round hiking, snoe shoeing, checking cams, or just simply sitting the woods for an hour or 2. Theres something about being 20ft in a tree and watching the woods come alive. Dr. Deer how about when the red tailed hawk thinks your hat is a squirrel. I have had this happen twice. They attacked out of nowhere. One time took my hat off my head. Almost needed to change my skibbys after that one. Now with that being said.... I must say we would not spend all this money on hunting equipment, bows, treestands, guns, camo etc. If we were not there to harvest an animal and just go in the woods to enjoy nature. Anyone who denys this is full of it. I have invested thousands of $$ and alot of hours in the woods. Not only because i enjoy it but becuae I want to harvest a deer. Period. If you were just going to sit in the woods you would not be in camo with a bow or gun in hand. You would have a camera and most likely be in plain clothes like every other tree hugger. Im in my hunting prime at 30... This may change when im 50/60, but for now ill enjoy the woods until an opportunity presents itself to harvest an animal. That is what I appreciate and am thankful for. I will never say I deserve a harvest. You have to EARN IT! Work for it. Put the time in. I went 10 years before I harvested a deer in zone 2 massachusetts. The population has finally rebounded and I have seen alot of deer over the last 4/5 years.