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Why do you hunt?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by workingman, Nov 22, 2011.

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  1. workingman

    workingman Member

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    Howdy folks,
    I am just curious if I am the only hunter here who does not care if they kill anything. I have been deer hunting for 12 years now. Still ain't killed one.
    Seen some, had shots at some. Circumstanses just did not allow for me to take the shot. I am in my mid 40's now and really just don't want to kill a deer anymore. But tomorrow morning rest assured I will be in the woods.
    I love the act of hunting. Getting my rifle sighted in. Developing a load. Imagining the shot and the kill. I love getting up earlly to get in woods. Walking trails I ain't walked on before. Sitting quietly in leaves waiting on the sun to rise and warm me up. Coming home tired from the trail. This is why I hunt.
     
  2. Hunterdad

    Hunterdad Member

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    I mainly hunt for the meat. I love harvesting my own game. The one thing that keeps me going back everytime is watching and hearing the woods/water come "alive" when the sun comes up.
     
  3. Nimrod2

    Nimrod2 Member

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    I dearly love to hunt and I dearly love to make a clean kill. No, it isn't all about the kill but that is the major part of it for me.
    When I am about to make a shot, I can hear my heart beating and my pulse races. The blood rushes through my brain and I can hear it when the adrenaline spikes. I am hooked on the rush I get when a shot is imminent. It is my drug of choice. I have to fight to maintain calm control of myself and make a good shot.
    Yeah, I love to watch the woods come alive at daybreak. I greatly enjoy teaching my grandsons how to identify birds on the wing. I love to observe the various animals interacting with predators/competitors and food types.
    Still, all the various trappings and activities that surround hunting are sorta like getting a hug from your sister. It's all very nice and good but making the kill is what makes the hunting experience the ultimate outdoor experience- for me.
     
  4. RevGeo

    RevGeo Member

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    I suppose I started hunting because I was raised by a hunter. My dad was a career military officer and an expert rifleman - he placed third at Camp Perry shooting 600 yards with an '03 Springfield. I was surrounded by guns and reloading and hunting gear the whole time I was growing up.
    I didn't grow up on a farm but I did grow up in the country and many of my friends were farmer's kids. I say plenty of hogs, cattle, sheep, goats, turkeys and chickens slaughtered for the pot. I also saw living plants killed or have parts of their bodies cut or ripped off and eaten. I guess I learned early that there can't be life without the death of other living things. That goes for me as well. After I'm dead other organisms will live on my remains. I believe it was Edward Abbey who said 'All my life the earth has sustained me. In return I owe the earth a body and the debt will be paid.' Or words to that effect...

    I have always loved the outdoors. When I am hunting and fishing I feel myself to be an active participant in life on earth. I like the feeling of self-sufficiency that comes from gathering and raising my own food.
    I have never understood the concept of differentiating between 'nature' and 'human nature'. How can anything that exists in the universe be anything other than natural? I find seperating mankind from the rest of nature to be a human conceit, I guess.
    Now, I'm not going to start chanting or anything, but I find actively participating in nature to be the only reason for living. That and to reproduce, perhaps.
    I truly believe that humans contain the gene or whatever to hunt, fish and to generally gather their own food from nature. Since agriculture is a relatively new activity in the human experience we obviously haven't lost our desire or impulse to gather food from nature.

    Oh hell, I guess I hunt because I love everything about it.
     
  5. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Try hunting with a bow. Way more satisfaction. Plus, you still have the option of letting them(deer) walk....:)
     
  6. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    I think being a rifleman kind of puts hunting in our blood. Guns are primarily made to shoot and take out living things. I enjoy working up an accurate load, accurizing my guns then using them on anything from nuisance critters to deer or black bear which will be harvested for the meat. I enjoy being in the fresh outdoors, I enjoy seeing nature, I enjoy seeing the tiny critters in the forest chattering away at me!

    Yesterday, I noticed movement at a tiny 2" diameter hole in the ground in the middle of my mowed path to the woods. I sat down with my cell phone video camera and waited a good 20 minutes for it to come out, I think it was a weasel, mink, or some other small, long animal. I had no urge to shoot it with my 500 Magnum pistol, but, instead was hoping for some neat video shots, real close of this little thing coming and going! I told my wife about it and that I had wished I would have had the GOOD digital camera with me that would have REALLY made an excellent video, so she left the camera for me today, to take down there and set on a small tripod and just let the video run for 2 Gigabytes and see what comes out of the hole! I can just set the camera up and leave it there for a couple of hours.

    When friends and neighbors have a nuisance animal problem (skunks are our worst problem here, far more than anything else), they call me. I have no problem shooting an animal that is ruining fields (woodchucks), are living under my barn (skunks) or living in my neighbor's eaves and behind their vinyl siding (red squirrels and chipmunks). The way I look at it, if I shoot an animal and put it down in my woods, some hungry fox, coyote, fisher cat, etc, will come along and eat the thing. Perhaps a predator that is nearly starving to death will be fed enough to stay alive for a few more years!
     
  7. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    I hunt for the friendships that are made, for my love of all things outdoors, and to do my part for conservation. I also couldn't care less whether I kill something or not, I just love every second that I'm out in the field or the blind.
     
  8. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    I enjoy getting outside and the focus it brings me into the here and now while out there. I also enjoy seeing the world as the sun rises such as the fog over a lake, etc. Also, I find there is some sort of connect I feel to our ancestors.
     
  9. ScrapMetalSlug

    ScrapMetalSlug Member

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    I love being part of the food chain. Wild game is better than any meat available in stores IMHO. I love getting out in the woods, spending time in the wild. It is nice to be focused on something that has nothing to do with my job. A connection to the past.
    Really a million reasons for me, and no reason not to. If I sleep in a morning and don't hunt, I am disappointed in myself the whole day. Surprisingly enough, my parents/aunts/uncles don't hunt. I have to go back to my grandparents to find some hunters, who are unfortunately no longer with us.
     
  10. ZeroJunk

    ZeroJunk Member

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    I'm with the OP. I just like to get out and enjoy. I hunted every day last week. Saw three bucks that would score from 120 to 140 , furthest about 150 yards, closest about 30 yards. But, I have several on the wall that size and in piles of antlers. I just don't care about shooting them anymore. Now if a 160 or better poked his head out I suspect I would shoot him, but that is not likely in this part of the world. Getting the shot is the big thing, making it doesn't amount to much to me.
     
  11. waffentomas

    waffentomas Member

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    I hunt for meat. Though I killed a nice big mulie last year, it was my first trophy class kill, and I really don't care how he scores. I've been fortunate to get drawn for cow tags most years, so that's been a plus. Our camp has a 'mayor'...we call him 'grumpy'. We agree to his terms when we enter camp. You kill a deer you get to take it home, but elk hunting is a different thing, and it takes a bunch of us to have a successful hunt. So elk meat is evenly distributed between the participants. You don't like it, don't come back. He's fair, and nobody has a problem with how he doles it out. When you tag out, you get to be camp (female canine). You cook, do dishes and clean up. Having a wolf tag kept me in the woods every day, even after the deer and elk tags were filled.

    Since I hunt in Idaho, but live in Washington, I pay out of state fees, and so there is pressure to bring home meat. I hunt a lot harder than all the in-state guys, mainly because I am healthy (lots of knee, ankle and shoulder problems in camp) and come to camp in the best shape. I stay in shape all year long, and ramp it up a bit come late August to get ready for the - wake up at 5 am and get ready to hike up hill in the dark for two hours. I seriously HATE huffing and puffing up a mountain while my legs burn - so I train all year just so I don't have to deal with it.

    It's a great group I hunt with and I look forward to it all year long. It's great fun, but a few years back I drew a bear tag, and that was the ONLY kill that year. As much as we love to hunt, it was tough dividing up a 300lb black bear. It doesn't go that far, so meat is the real reason.
     
  12. CSA 357

    CSA 357 Member

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    there are so many things to see while hunting, i have messed up a great hunt many time by pulling the trigger! after that its all work, but i do love deer meat and hope to get some for the frezzer very soon
     
  13. gatesbox

    gatesbox Member

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    I'm afraid to ask this question on the rimfire forum I participate with, but I have a hard time understanding squirrel hunting. Why hunt squirrel? I guess perhaps in some areas they are much more of a pest. But out west they seem like fairly pleasant rodents that don't do much. I would understand if they tasted like filet mignon, but I can't imagine that is the case, nor do I want to eat something that just ate my garbage...

    I can understand most game, deer, me personally I love eating wild hog...

    What is the allure in hunting squirrel....
     
  14. workingman

    workingman Member

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    Gatesbox
    but I have a hard time understanding squirrel huntingLots of people around here eat squirrel. Myself, I don't like it so much. Used to eat when I was young because I killed. Acted like I liked it too. Not anymore. I am going to have to kill some around the house though. They are getting quiet pesty. I have been told if you get them in your house it can be a real problem.
     
  15. cottswald

    cottswald Member

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    Eastern Tree Squirrels are in many respects quite different from certain ground squirrels species found out west. Perhaps one of the biggest differences is in thier diet. They feed on fruits, pine cones, tree sap, and lots of nuts (Walnut, Hickory, Beech, Oak) which they bury in the fall and uncover throughout the year. They will also feed on various seeds. Unlike many other critters, Eastern Tree Squirrels have no taste for human garbage (non, nada). Many folks including myself find squirrel meat quite excuisite! Here in Ohio we call it the "other dark meat". As with many types of wild game, it can depend a lot on how you fix it. I would not rule it out unless you have at least tried it.

    As for hunting, squirrel behavior in the wild can be quite different from what you see in the city. Many squirrels (especially those born this year) have never seen a human, and will make themselves quite elusive to the human eye. The challenge of squirrel hunting can at times be quite humbling, and whether by shotgun or .22, I can think of few better ways to effectively hone your basic hunting skills. If all goes well and you're lucky enough to bag your limit, makes for a great morning outdoors!


    Back to "Why do You Hunt". Here's one of my favorite quotes from “Rabbit Hunting: Stories and Techniques.”

    “The joys of hunting lie in using my senses and wits in ways I’d never done before …and I’ve come to know with wonder that although I carry the gun or bow, I go human-clumsy into a world whose natural inhabitants are far sharper of eye, ear and nose than I.

    My hunting days I hope will always include some time with friends, but that has long since become a secondary inducement. …One day I realized that I was sitting there in the woods with a gun on my lap, because it made me happy. It was something I wanted to do for myself alone, a pleasure and satisfaction that didn’t depend on companions. I was hunting because I loved the hunt itself, with no strings attached. Its own attraction was enough, the best reason of all for being and staying a hunter.”
     
  16. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    lol. I found that book at my small-town local library when I was in 8th grade, or so. I must have checked it out close to a dozen times between then and when I graduated high school and went off to basic training.

    Even to this day, nearly 15 years later, I think back to that book every time I'm out walking, and a cottontail I didn't notice darts out from under some brush less than three feet away from me.
     
  17. gatesbox

    gatesbox Member

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    cottswald, thank you for the eloquent post....on all fronts, High Road indeed! An enlightening perspective...
     
  18. Frozen North

    Frozen North Member

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    I hunt for three main reasons...

    1)It forces me to chill out and slow down. I need to be reminded how to do this from time to time. The pace of my day to day life can be ridiculous, and my summer fishing lends itself to my hyperactive ways. My friends call me captain A.D.H.D. when I take them out in the boat. They never seem to complain when we are landing fish though! Hunting forces me to shift down to creep, shut up, chill out, and just burn some time. This is very good for me.

    2) Hunting season is huge bonding time for me and my three sons. Quality time can be hard to come by, we always make time to hunt.

    3) MEAT. Cheap, low fat, low cholesterol, non medicated MEAT.
     
  19. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    That's the truth. Shooting them is easy. After that, it's a job. Especially since we don't take them to a processor. We do all our own butchering and I like it that way.
    I do hunt mainly because I love venison, but the time spent in the woods, the comraderie around the campfire, the getting away from the real world, and things like that make it fun even if it's not successful. There's just nothing quiet like watching the sun rise when it's a crisp, cool morning and enjoying it without the noises of the city to screw everything up.
     
  20. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    I think you just don't know what you're missing. I love to get out. I go out several times a year just to hike and watch the deer and elk. But come hunting season, I aim to get one. I've come to rely on game meat pretty heavily, and I'm disappointed if I don;t get one. Sure, I still have a good time but I like to accomplish my goals too.

    I LOVE being out in the woods. Whether I'm hunting or hiking or whatever, I'm having a good time when I'm out with the critters. BUT, when I have a rifle in my hands I do my best to put something down, and there's no better feeling than a successful hunt. The hunt is good no matter what, and beats workin' all day long. But if I don't get elbow deep in an elk or deer, then the hunt could have gone better.

    That reminds me...I'm hitting elk camp Thanksgiving day. One more shift, and I'm a free man. 4 days playing guide on a bull elk hunt, then 7 days on my cow elk hunt. Turkey day can't get here fast enough.
     
  21. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    I have been hunting for ovr 50 of my 57 years. aint killed a good deer in 14 years, got a couple good leases full of good bucks, kill evry hog I see and got plenty of em. I am lucky I also got 3 cattle pastures with hunting rights. some people dont have the chances I have so I consider myself lucky. I like the camp life, campfire etc. the coyotes at nite. it would have to be a helluva buck for me to pull the trigger as warm as it has been. I got wallhangers at home, really dont need another, but just might. I hope to take a cougar as I know I got em on my pastures. just like the outdoors, cold beer and good friends and just sometimes just being at camp alone for a few days.
     
  22. cottswald

    cottswald Member

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    Also found it in a small town library a few years ago. Pages sorta crinkled like it had been used often, but not much recently (if ya know what I mean). Enjoyed it immensely. A great read for anyone.
     
  23. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Because I enjoy it.
     
  24. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    It just sorta came natural to me, back seventy years ago. Wasn't even something I really thought about. As the years went by and I did indeed give it some thought, it came to be the package of connecting to bygone generations as well as hunt-camp camaraderie and the satisfaction of providing my own meat myownself.
     
  25. waterhill

    waterhill Member

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    I love watchin' birds and squirrells while waiting on my prize.I love nature.
     
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