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Hunting And Killing

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Steve S., Oct 28, 2019.

  1. Aletheia

    Aletheia Member

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    Have to agree there is NO way hunting can be called an economical way to get meat for the family. The true cost per pound is likely impossible to calculate, but the price of gas is not even close. What is the government rate per mile for driving your vehicle for government business? That rate is calculated to cover the cost of driving on the job, so it is much closer to actual cost, and that is just the cost of transportation. Real cost accounting is far more complex. Guns, ammo, licenses, clothing, shooting practice, gun range membership, LOTS of stuff, adds up fast, and unless you can step out the back door and shoot a deer on your lawn, wild meat is just way too expensive to use it as justification for hunting, so we should all just stop trying.

    There are lots of other reasons to hunt, and as far as I'm concerned they are far more valid. But cheap food is most certainly not one of them. Another story. My father was being mocked by friends for the outrageous cost of the two ducks he shot during one whole weekend when he and my mother took the truck camper on a weekend "hunt". His response was to say the ducks cost only the price of the two shells. He and mom were already out there standing in that water anyway for all the other reasons they decided to take the weekend trip. All he did was shoot twice when they flew by. There is more to hunting than killing stuff.
     
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  2. hq

    hq Member

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    The cost can't really be an issue. Like you guys & many others have noted, the value of the whole experience is priceless.
    Yes, I can hunt on my property for "free", ie. the cost of a deer can be a bullet or two and a few hours of my spare time I love to spend in the woods anyway. Gas cost is negligible, I've bought most of my gear over the years and so on.
    On the other hand, I haven't developed the property on purpose. Built another cabin (dedicated sauna!) at the seashore a couple of decades ago and done some logging but that's about it. It has some 20k ft² of building permits available and it's a relatively high-value area for being somewhat rural but close (½ an hour) to a major city. Thinking of it this way as an unrealized business opportunity I'm "losing" the interest and profit for a pretty sizable sum every year by hunting it instead of developing, renting or selling it. If I were to put a realistic price tag on venison hunted there, my accountant would faint.

    So I don't. Being genuinely a part of the food chain and being able to offset a hard day at work by spending evening hours in a treestand - or inviting buddies to join you - at will is far more than worth it. Financially it doesn't make sense at all but there are so many things that can't be quantified in numbers.
     
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  3. Ram1500

    Ram1500 Member

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    I have been there for 20 years. Love the outdoors but no longer want to kill game animals. I will eat game and enjoy it and support hunters. I will harvest and clean up a mess or crappie or catfish but hunting no longer is a need.
     
  4. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Things changed a little for me after so much training and so many deployments. I still get a little excited when the season is coming up and I'm getting ready, and I get a little "jump" when I first see a shooter deer or turkey, but nothing like when I was younger. When the rifle, shotgun, or x-bow comes to the shoulder, it's "all business" now, if that makes any sense, I guess because I "know" what the outcome will be. I've had other hunters who have been with me when I kill a critter mention how "relaxed and focused" I seem to be during and after the shot. It's still fun, but not the same as it was when I was younger. Maybe when all the excitement is gone, it will be time to just shoot targets, or just sitting with other hunters. I think Hemingway may have had a point.
     
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  5. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    And speaking candidly about cost.......I've spent an embarrassing amount of money on shooting prairie dogs. I now own 5 dedicated varmint rifles with quality scopes, all the equipment to reload, and a cabinet full of components. And each hunt ends with no meat, a boatload empties to reload, and burning desire to do it again. It is an expensive sport and not a shooting sport that everyone would choose, judging by the tenor of some of these posts. But, I never fail to get really excited as I approach every hunt, whether it is bagging a fat doe for my freezer, calling turkeys at first light, shooting squirrels with my favorite rimfire, or whacking prairie dogs. I love it all.
     
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  6. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    Perhaps you just don't feel hungry. We hunt just enough to fill the freezer and make enough jerky for my cooking. After that I still go out but I might as well have a camera than a rifle. You see my time in the thickets is my time. I know there will be food on the table regardless and watching the doe or buck without them noticing me is just as satisfying as bringing the corpus delectamenti home.
     
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  7. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    ....and that was the just of my post.
    While I know and acknowledge that there are still a few spots on this earth where folks need to hunt for subsistence, the majority of us here cannot claim that. Now while I truly love the taste of grouse, pheasant and other game, if it were down to getting by the cheapest and most efficiently, I should ride my bike to the local grocery store and buy a family pack of those boneless chicken thighs for $1.99 a pound. Very tasty, especially on the grill. Would be very hard to discern from that over $5 a pound wild pheasant I was referring to earlier in this thread.

    Like my bird dog, I swear we as humans still have a instinct born into us to hunt. The thrill we get from hunting, is from that previous million years of knowing we are not going hungry tonight. We need to realize that this drive to hunt is what got us to eat meat, developed our brain and survive long enough to evolve into what we are today. That same drive kept our species alive and growing even after we learned how to grow some crops and raise some domestic animals. Now that it's only been a few generations since we all actually needed to hunt and gather to survive, like my bird dog, that instinct has not been completely bred out of us yet. We ain't as far distanced from the animal world as we would like to think sometimes.
     
  8. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    Bucks with nice racks were exciting years passed, but after helping on many cull hunts on trophy ranches, sitting in a blind with the owner, looking at numbered ear tags, taking inventory of $2500.00 to $6000.00 bucks, it just made me feel silly for ever being attracted to it. The meat on the "free", "inferior" deer tastes just fine, and taking them cleanly has become as exciting as a trophy.
     
  9. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    Reminded me of this passage from Sir Samuel White Baker:

    "Had I been as I was in my younger days, without a life's experience, I could have shot thirty or forty of these splendid animals with ease; but from the moment of this first example I determined to kill no more, but only to admire. In accordance with this determination, I took great pains upon many occasions to obtain a shot, and after long stalks, having obtained a magnificent position, I raised my rifle, took a most deadly aim, and touched the trigger, having carefully kept the rifle upon half-cock. Away went the buffalo, to live for another day, instead of being slaughtered uselessly, to rot upon the plains, or to be devoured by wolves, or buried in the soil by bears. This sort of stalking afforded me much pleasure, but it did not suit my American attendant. "Well, if you came all the way from the Old Country to shoot, and you won't shoot when you've got the chance, you'd have done better to stop at home." This was the consolation I received for my self-denial when sparing buffaloes."
     
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  10. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I tell each fish I catch that he’s lucky he’s not going to the frying pan. It’s just as much fun fishing, and there is some excitement in the catch, but I don’t get much from eating my fish anymore. Similarly when hunting I have lost that thrill. It happened over time... .256winmag got me a button buck and I about lost my mind. Grandaddys 30-30 got me a basket rack 7 pt and I was walking on air. My .270 got me a few truly nice bucks and I was thrilled, but it became too easy as time went on. Now unless it’s a really really nice deer or a special challenge then I don’t bother with it. I made it harder on myself at 17 and killed a deer with a revolver. At 19 I got one with a bow. I got an OK deer a few years ago with a 1911. Rifle, muzzleloader (in-line and caplock), revolver, slide gun, contender, compound bow, recurve bow are all done, so the crossbow has to be done, as do slugs and buckshot from a shotgun. I guess after that I will go after new species. Make it a challenge for yourself and maybe you will get some enjoyment back from a successful kill.
     
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  11. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I don't know about anyone else but being on a deer stand in the woods when the sun comes up fills me with joy. Nothing like the scurry of squirrels, the flitter of birds, the occasional spotting of an animal you have never seen in the wild. The sounds of geese and swans, hawks. and everything else alive. I have let deer pass many times. I am seventy one years old and my heart still pounds when I hear the steps of a deer in the leaves or look around and a deer that just appears. I still thrill at a well placed shot and a clean kill. Yes it saddens me a little to take a life. But it maybe a better death for the deer, I don't know. It is now painful and a lot of work just to get up the ladder to my stand. Up until a few days before I wonder if it is worth it. But then that excitement gets me. I probably could not do it if I didn't have a friend that provides me and my son a place to stay and hunt. And my son and his and grandson to do the hard work. I love to watch deer too. But my friend has a big family to feed so we fill all the tags we can. In my younger days I could track deer and walk up on them. Sometimes I just did it to see how close I could get and leave again undetected. I don't believe so much in stages. I think I have always been a Sportsman. I just am not as obsessed as I was in younger days. There is something primal and beautiful in killing your own food. Some connection with all my ancestors. If I do not hunt anymore I will still be happy with my memories and sense of who I am.
     
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  12. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I appreciate the many good posts. There are many points of view and all valid so long as we don't judge one another. Thanks.
     
  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    We have lots of deer and LOTS of pigs. Of the two, I prefer pork and I REALLY enjoy shooting the things, especially after I put the disk on the tractor to straighten out all the damage only to have the things mess up more. You know, you can even grill or BBQ pork! I just turned 67 and, while I ain't that mad at deer anymore, I sure take pleasure in putting a pig in the ice chest!

    The one thing I get out of venison that I don't with pigs is jerky. Oh, and I do like venison chili. :D And, I made the most delicious chicken fried backstrap the other night, not that I'm braggin' or anything. :D
     
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    It's nice, but when I was healthy, I'd 10 to one rather watch a sunrise over the salt marsh and decoys than from a deer stand. But, those days are over. I'm pretty infirm and my mud wading days are pretty much done, I'm afraid.
     
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  15. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I'm supposed to go take a management elk off a big west Texas ranch in a few months. I took six management deer (MLD permit) last season off a Uvalde ranch and butchered 'em all myself. I was sore for a week!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    edit.....double tap
     
  17. whughett

    whughett Member

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    My moment came about 20 years ago , sitting on an early morning stand watching a doe with her two yearlings. I haven’t carried a gun in the wood since.
     
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  18. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    I get that, but I've also taken a good doe with her yearlings on tow. It wasn't long before they returned after the shot. At first I was mortified as they nudged her on the ground, until I put glass on them to see they were just getting to the corn. My experience is we tend to place human emotions where they do not exist, at least not in the way we understand them.
     
  19. spazzy

    spazzy Member

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    I've always enjoyed small game hunting (squirrel) and bird (grouse and pheasant) especially with dogs. I would trade seeing trophy bucks for having a rooster or grouse explode from cover. And there is nothing better than walking old logging roads grouse hunting.

    To me every aspect is better. I walk way more small game hunting so I see more country, I get to hunt with my dog and watch them work cover/retrieve, usually more shooting per day/excitement, cleaning game after the hunt takes a few minutes.

    I do enjoy the camaraderie of deer camp but success of that hunt is less important to me.
     
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  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I don’t hear like I used to but at distance I can still see as well as ever, I too enjoy being in nature. I can’t say I go out in prime duck hunting weather just for fun, though.

    I’ll be honest, only one deer has been killed at our place during my lifetime. My Grandfather taught me how to skin rabbits and squirrels there and those are fond memories and I have always enjoyed watched the deer. I still kill there quite a bit but I think we are finally getting some movement on our hog problem.

    We still run our cattle the same as always but don’t kill them either. We sell them off and buy beer others have killed and processed instead. I haven’t had cow tongue soup since we quit having to use up every part. ;)
     
  21. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    I'm sitting here by the north window watching the sunlight slowly brighten the shadows between me and the pasture next door and melting the frost on the ground.
    Now IF, I had gotten out before first light and walked out back in the dark I would be sitting in my spot, all bundled up, watching that same sunrise light.
    Albeit a tad less comfortable than I am right now... ;)
    I have my one remaining "Any deer" tag and will head out later and see if that buck that I had in front of me during the Antlerless only season is still around.
    Think I'll be giving the does a pass for now..?
     
  22. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    Hunting for me is all about the challenge. Getting as close to the game as possible - and this is why I handgun hunt. I know guys who have to kill to be satisfied, but for me (irrespective of the results) any time spent in the woods with a firearm is quality time.
     
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  23. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 Member

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    For me hunting is about mastering the game and its habits, the firearm, marksmanship, my emotions and physical strength ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It's just a better way of putting food on the table.
     
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  24. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I haven’t read all of the pages, but several of the posts have me thinking a lot about the buck I took today, and reassuring my feelings about the decision to shoot him.

    My grandpa bought a property for me to keep some of my colts almost 20 yrs ago, and I bought it about 10yrs ago. I’ve been managing the herds there as much as I can, despite trespassing, road shooting, and poaching, and many years of neighbors leasing land to folks who would even shoot a fawn in spots. I held 2 bloodlines there for several years, and failed to kill the patriarch of either. However, I picked off a son of each the last two years, the biggest bucks on the property, 7 and 8 years old, at least, respectively. I hunted those two bucks exclusively for 4 years on the property, experiencing a shortage of mature doe there, with other places to hunt for doe, and I happily took tags home for 2 years. For my management plan, taking both 2 years earlier would have been better, but I was never afforded a shot on them.

    I took both of these Forest Kings the last two winters, so this year was looking mighty thin - dependent upon cruisers. I had two very respectable 4yr olds move in, nice deer, but nothing like what I had been hunting in the last 10 yrs. When a 3rd 10pt 4yr old moved in, and I received word the trespassing leasors on the neighboring property passed away this summer, I made up my mind to cull the smaller of the 3, a respectable 9, but with much less body and rack mass than the other two. A 9 point buck I would have completely missed 20 years ago for the excitement of having a shot opportunity to harvest...

    I took him this morning, a great thrill and appreciated sacrifice to manage the future herd. But driving home, I felt a bit of self-disappointment in having harvested a sub-prime buck, smaller than others in the area. Thankfully, I’m reminded of my fawns in the area, and their mama’s, who will only be exposed to the bigger bucks next season, hopefully propagating a further future for the property without any more time lost in rebuilding.

    “Men plan and God smiles,” I know, but it’s been working well for me in the area for a long time. Hopefully this sub-optimal situation pays off as planned.
     
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  25. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    I have very fond memories of the 2 men who taught me hunting. My father had quit hunting long before I started, back in 86 my gf's father and her older brother taught me hunting. I was already a shooter reloaded my own ammo. Had spent time in the woods carring a gun I even took some small game, but the real essence of deer hunting fell to these two men. Lessons I'll never forget. I'm now 54 and it's time to transfer that knowledge to others. 2 of my grandchildren want to learn to hunt. That is a thrill for me. The older now 16 will likely start next season. The younger 11 will have to wait until he's a little older by nys rules.

    I spent many years where hunting was methodical a step by step process. It felt a little like shooting paper from the bench.

    I hunted to do my part to balance nature. Here in NY the wolves were hunted to extinction. They being the best predator of the whitetail. The thrill of hunting was absent for a while I found that using different types of firearms rejuvenated me in my career as a hunter.

    The whole experience of hunting is a series of highs and lows. I almost quit due to injuries, but found a way, a cartridge that worked well on game and didn't cause pain. I got a big thrill today when I called my SIL today to come tag the 7 point I shot. He got to see all the trails, tracks left in the area I was hunting. I even signed over my unfilled doe tag so he could hunt tomorrow since he worked today.

    I've hunted alone for the last 5 or so years. It was quite thrilling hunting with other forum members this past season. I believe that get back what we put in wether we measure success in terms of taking game orgy watching game walk away to grow bigger next year.
     
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