Are you a Hunter? or do you just shoot animals?

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dellet
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Are you a Hunter? or do you just shoot animals?

Post by dellet » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:11 am

Not trying to pass a judgement on anyone, actually a question I have been beating around for quite a while. The folks here seem pretty good.

Every year I read the hunting stories here and elsewhere wondering what happened to the hunters and where did all the animal shooters come from?

Not all that long ago, there was a thing referred to as "Woodcraft", generally practiced by people that were known as "Woodsman". In the general hierarchy of things, you had to be a woodsman, long before you could ever be a hunter.

Shooting was considered by far the easiest part of the hunt. First you had to know the land, how to read it and the weather patterns. Where the water was, good cover and feed for the quarry. Once you figured that out, you could start to learn the animals and their patterns.

At some point besides learning where they could be found, you needed to learn where to shoot them. (If your first thought after reading that was, "as close to the truck and road as possible", you might be more of an animal shooter, than a hunter. Age and handicap not included.) Knowing where the vitals are and what gets in the way of reaching them is a pretty good skill to have.

Tracking skills have been sadly replaced with tree stands and over powered cartridges. If you don't need to track an animal to find it and shoot it in known terrain, you won't have the skills needed to track a well shot or wounded one in unknown terrain. The solution seems to be "use enough gun". Don't get me wrong, I don't advocate a 22 short for musk ox at 500 yards, but needing a 300 magnum in a tree stand or ground blind, where the longest shot is 75 yards, to keep from possibly having to track more than 22 feet, is probably a good indication that either your skill level or worse, your commitment to the project is lacking.

It was not all that long ago people were talking down 300 Blackout as an underpowered cartridge, not suitable for hunting anything more than small game. People that talked about subsonic hunting were laughed at and driven out of town with pitchforks and torches. It took some skilled hunters to actually show it could be done cleanly and ethically. The key words there are "skilled" and "hunter".

Sadly, it seems I am hearing or reading about a lot of people having trouble getting clean kills this year with the cartridge and the cartridge is getting the blame. Many times it's probably more the shooter is to blame.

I have asked a couple people load data and accuracy, the answer is basically "I used a 113 grain ultimate expanding deer slayer that I shoot 1/4 MOA off the bench". My answer is always the same. "it's clearly not a problem with bullet choice, your rifle is up to the task, and your shooting skills are clearly not the problem. My best guess is, you should learn to hunt".

That generally brings a response of "what the hell do you mean by that?" My answer is simply another question:

Are you a hunter? or do you just shoot animals?
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Jim Timber
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Re: Are you a Hunter? or do you just shoot animals?

Post by Jim Timber » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:35 am

These issues come up a lot between gun and archery hunters. I had a bad archery season because for whatever reason the deer were either too far on the intended side of my elevated blind, or too close and came up behind it. Yeah, I'm a bad hunter - I passed on every shot that wasn't under 20yds due to wind or brush. Name one rifle hunter who'd do that? :roll:

I've lost more shots over the years from deer walking too close to me to draw on them than what happened this year. Hell, even my gun shot this year was weak hand/weak eye/across my chest. Deer came up too damn close again on the wrong side, but I was sitting on my ass on the ground. :lol:

I don't have a lot of respect for most gun hunters. They're slobs around here. Might shoot a box of ammo off a rest at the club to verify it's still zero'd, but most wouldn't waste the ammo if the first 5 rounds landed under 4 MOA (it's good enough for bambi!). The "tradition" amongst my immediate neighbors is to fill as many tags opening morning as possible so you can get to drinking beer or get back to something else. No one hunts during the week like I do. No one hunts the wind/weather/fronts/temps - they've got 9 days and by god they're not going to need 7 of them if they're "any good". So what if the fawn they bagged isn't worth dressing out - they filled a tag and they're successful. Damn it.

The flip side is the trophy guys. I used to run a forum of deer hunters and it became obvious that antlers and record books were the only reason 90% of those guys bothered planting food plots or doing any habitat work. Those aren't really "my people" and I walked away from it. Miserable SOB's when you really look at their motivation and values.


But if you really want to learn the woods and quarry, try trapping! I'm not a good trapper, but I enjoy trying to learn what the critters like and don't like and how I can fool them or what they'll bust me on (or simply ignore entirely :lol: ).

Nature's pretty effing amazing when you allow yourself to take it all in. Why would you want to be done before lunch on opening day? I don't get that at all.
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Re: Are you a Hunter? or do you just shoot animals?

Post by Walkers Bay » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:40 am

I'm 70-80% shooter/culler.
I night shoot.....not to be confused with hunting...... for meat and lower pest numbers.
But our deer numbers and regulations allow this.
On the flip side of this putting animals on the end of your rifle regularly makes you slow down and take effective and clean shots because you've had practice and experience.
Oh I do hunt but I do that for recreation, trophys and boys trips away.

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Re: Are you a Hunter? or do you just shoot animals?

Post by tikkablk » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:37 am

I think of myself as a hunter I am quite happy watching deer feeding, playing, interacting with other animals, fleeing from dogs and knowing there habits. I stalk onto deer with the wind in my face and in all weather conditions on a weekly basis. Just yesterday I had two chances on shooting 2 deer 25m-40m away but I refuse to shoot pregnant hinds now days. 90% of my hunting is goat and pig culling. And like what Walkers Bay says the more trigger time on animals the more proficient you become.

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Re: Are you a Hunter? or do you just shoot animals?

Post by rebel » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:02 am

I have deer hunted all of my adult life. At 18 years of age there might of been 100 deer in the entire county. Most working stiffs camped in the mountains to hunt, most well to do guys went out of state. If you couldn't read sign, you really lowered your chances of ever seeing a deer. If you didn't learn to shoot well in field positions you didn't get game. Oddly, most of my woodcraft came from squirrel hunting , trout fishing and just generally spending every waking moment in the woods as a kid. No internet, no video games, 3 channels on the TV.

Nothing wrong with tree stands. Man has sought for advantages since he first desired meat. My first bow kill was with a recurve. I did move quickly to a compound and when they become legal here, and I was much older, I obtained a crossbow. I make no distinction between how any of those kill, they kill the same. It requires a bit less skill IMO to use a crossbow than the other two, but I don't believe some is "better" for what they choose to hunt with.

Hunting for me has become a quiet, spiritual experience. One best done alone. I have no one to share that with as my kids don't seem interested at all.
I don't get to hunt as much as used to, so the little time I get to do it is cherished. I do believe that the experience is enjoyed in different ways by different folks. If your thing is shooting across beanfields in SC, you may scratch your head at dellets statement about magnums. If your thing is filling the freezer, and you kill as many as you can plus a couple of losses, you may get upset when someone asks how you tracked the deer. He/she may only get one or two shots a year. If you hunt in the hills, the wind must be conquered and used to one's advantage, folks from the flatland will be scoffed at stand placement.

I try and be careful of getting on my high horse when it involves losing a deer. It happens I know. I have been there and it sucks. You cannot track something with zero blood trail that is no longer running, leaving sign and has gone to ground. That's where it gets mental, and I personally have ruined an area for the season by spending several days looking for an animal, with no hope of getting meat.

It seems that some have an affinity for shot placement, some track well, some can hunt with more skill - understanding the animals movements and patterns, some have a little of all of this and sadly, some just go to shoot an animal. I try not to pass judgment and stick with what gives me the most satisfaction. It is hard to do.
Edit - I know what I consider myself, I guess you can judge from my posts which I am as you are the only fellows I talk to about it. However you think of me, it's all good as I am satisfied with what I do and how I do it.
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Re: Are you a Hunter? or do you just shoot animals?

Post by blaster » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:13 am

I'm both a shooter and a hunter depending on the game and area. on public land or a large tracts of land I have permission to hunt on, I hunt by walking/stalk, tree stands, ground blinds, what ever is legal and works. on my small piece of property surrounded by posted orange groves and cow pastures, I sit in a ladder stand over a feeder or game trail and shoot what ever legal hog, deer or turkey comes by. usually its for meat but if I ever saw a trophy buck during season, I'd shoot him too. :mrgreen: I like to "road hunt" too but that can either involve "spot & stalk" (hunting) or getting out of the truck and shooting. I like and do what ever is permissible and fun. 8)
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dellet
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Re: Are you a Hunter? or do you just shoot animals?

Post by dellet » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:40 pm

I'm pretty sure there is a bit of the animal shooter in every hunter. There just needs to be more of the hunter in every animal shooter.

Way too many people are looking for the "Magic bullet" when they would do a lot better just getting a better command of there skills. 99.9% of any successful hunt is before and after the shot and let's be honest, the need for tracking after the shot, is far more common than not.

I hunt for meat, so it makes no sense at all to me to aim for bone with a magnum round. Why blow a bunch of shoulder bone into a quarter of the animal?

I understand the want for a good blood trail, but do you really need a softball size exit hole to get that?

I guess it's just frustrating to see a skill set disappearing. I understand when technology replaces a skill. I don't like it, but understand it. Sadly outdoor skills, woodcraft is dying because people are to lazy to learn it.

Who needs to learn to track, if you can just blow both front legs off? It's all about the kill anyway, who needs to learn to hunt?
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Re: Are you a Hunter? or do you just shoot animals?

Post by rebel » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:57 pm

dellet wrote:I'm pretty sure there is a bit of the animal shooter in every hunter. There just needs to be more of the hunter in every animal shooter.

Way too many people are looking for the "Magic bullet" when they would do a lot better just getting a better command of there skills. 99.9% of any successful hunt is before and after the shot and let's be honest, the need for tracking after the shot, is far more common than not.

I hunt for meat, so it makes no sense at all to me to aim for bone with a magnum round. Why blow a bunch of shoulder bone into a quarter of the animal?

I understand the want for a good blood trail, but do you really need a softball size exit hole to get that?

I guess it's just frustrating to see a skill set disappearing. I understand when technology replaces a skill. I don't like it, but understand it. Sadly outdoor skills, woodcraft is dying because people are to lazy to learn it.

Who needs to learn to track, if you can just blow both front legs off? It's all about the kill anyway, who needs to learn to hunt?
Agreed. See it every day. Using a certain bullet or a magnum to compensate for lack of skills seems to be where it's at nowadays.
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Re: Are you a Hunter? or do you just shoot animals?

Post by plant.one » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:58 pm

rebel wrote:
dellet wrote:I'm pretty sure there is a bit of the animal shooter in every hunter. There just needs to be more of the hunter in every animal shooter.

Way too many people are looking for the "Magic bullet" when they would do a lot better just getting a better command of there skills. 99.9% of any successful hunt is before and after the shot and let's be honest, the need for tracking after the shot, is far more common than not.

I hunt for meat, so it makes no sense at all to me to aim for bone with a magnum round. Why blow a bunch of shoulder bone into a quarter of the animal?

I understand the want for a good blood trail, but do you really need a softball size exit hole to get that?

I guess it's just frustrating to see a skill set disappearing. I understand when technology replaces a skill. I don't like it, but understand it. Sadly outdoor skills, woodcraft is dying because people are to lazy to learn it.

Who needs to learn to track, if you can just blow both front legs off? It's all about the kill anyway, who needs to learn to hunt?
Agreed. See it every day. Using a certain bullet or a magnum to compensate for lack of skills seems to be where it's at nowadays.

its been around a LOOOOONG time. like a lot of other things - we just see more of it now with the internet. i'm all for use enough gun, but that often translates to 'whizbangultrasupermegamagnum' in too many folks mushy skulls.

i learned woodcraft stalking squirrels with a model 60 - altho i think i've taken as many with my bow as that mod 60 ever did - and knew how to track a deer a couple years before i went after one with a firearm. but i wont deny there's times i am just a game shooter - especially when the crop damage permits need filling.

still aint gonna stop me from enjoying a sunrise with a nice cup of coffee out in the woods though waiting for that big buck to wander by.
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Re: Are you a Hunter? or do you just shoot animals?

Post by rebel » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:09 pm

I am pretty sure dellet's point is do you just shoot them or have you have the skills to stalk and recover them. No one expects anyone to go out in red plaid wool and sneak anymore. Ambush hunting is more effective but when the moment comes, are you ready to put the bullet where it needs to be or do you plow a trough through guts because you are unprepared and excited. Those of us that shoot a lot tend to not do that, those of us who relegate one week for shooting, and one week for hunting tend to have that problem. Those of us that don't shoot at all and hunt should be ashamed.
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