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Old November 17, 1999, 02:22 AM   #1
swampgator
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Join Date: October 14, 1999
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Not a flame contest by a "Dutch School Girl who hugs a tree" but a real honest to God question.

I grew up in the woods and swamps, so I've always been outdoors. Hunting was just a natural extension of a boy's life in my neck of the woods.
Now that I am older I feel that being in the woods hunting gives me a chance to be closer to nature. To be part of the life cycle of nature.
(This does sound like tree hugging crap.)

Anyway also I feel that selective thinning of the wildlife will keep animals from becoming over-populated, thus keeping nature in check with itself.

What do think, and why do you hunt?



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Root Hog or Die Poor
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Old November 17, 1999, 07:02 AM   #2
The Mohican Sneak
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I hunt for a variety of reasons, but I guess the main reason I hunt, is the escape.

The escape from the everyday life. In the woods there are no horns honking, brakes squealing, pagers beeping, telephones ringing, and so on; just peace and quiet with nothing more than a birds song, or the stamp of cloven feet to break the silence.

Watching the sun shatter the ice black sky with it's pink and purple spears of light is something only a hunter or outdoorsman/woman, can appreciate. Making my way across a frost laden field before daylight is an awakening for me. Ever stepped out of the house on the way to a hunt and taken a deep breathe? Only to have the cold fresh air about keep it?

Watching the birds, squirrels, and woodland creatures play from my perch in a tree makes it worth my while. If I get a deer, that's just an added bonus. I happen to like deer meat, which is another reason I hunt. It's better than beef, in my book, and I know what it's been eating -- acorns, rye, wheat, oats, and peas. Not some "fattener" or chemical man has pumped into it, just to make a dollar.

I don't hunt because I feel I'm helping thin the deer herd. I don't hunt to be barbaric or just to kill something. I hunt to put meat in my freezer and enjoy the whole experience.

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>>>>>>>>------------TMS---------------->>>


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Old November 17, 1999, 08:56 AM   #3
swampgator
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Agreed. Don't get me wrong, I didn't mean it to sound like I alone was keeping the herds in check, but hunters overall do serve as a population control.

With any luck by this time tomorrow I'll have my first buck of the season.

Gator

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Old November 17, 1999, 01:44 PM   #4
TJ
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The reasons I hunt (in no particular order):

1 To put meat on the table and thus supplement my meager grad studnet income.

2 To get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors.

3 To exercise my rights as a resident of a gun and hunting friendly state.

4 Because that moose ate my garden this summer and needed killin'.

5 To use all that nifty stuff from Cabela's!

Good hunting.
TJ
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Old November 17, 1999, 03:52 PM   #5
Dr.Rob
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Well it started as a way to spend time with my dad (male bonding i guess). But it is a retreat of sorts where for 10 days (elk hunting anyway) you stop caring about ringing phones etc and become of singular purpose and mind. You live breathe and eat hunting for the noble creatures and try to put one in the freezer.

I'm a big fan of wild game as a health food.. and I like the taste too. We should ALL eat more buffalo too.

I'm not crazy about the taste of duck or freezing my ass off in a pre-dawn blind wet and cold while the dog MOCKS my shooting ability. But I'm MORE than happy to stalk in the bitter cold and high elevations chasing elk and deer and grouse. And the dog doesn't mock my ability as much shooting grouse.

And lastly.. because its FUN to hike ten miles a day carrrying twenty pounds of gear and weapons and kick them outta thier beds in the dark timber and smell them on the wind and draw the crisp air into your lungs. Its cool.

And yeah it gives me an excuse to use all that cabela/sportsmans guide stuff.

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Old November 17, 1999, 08:34 PM   #6
Robert Foote
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I don't. Didn't grow up doing it, didn't stay around home to become one of the good old boys, and was too busy making a living all those years elsewhere. Now that I do live in good game country, it's all behind posted fences for nonresident hunters who will pay to get in. Not to mention that the hunting regs look like income tax instructions. So I just get out and prowl on my own as best I can, do my thing, and pursue other shooting sports. My kids, whom I taught how to handle guns and shoot, have zero interest at this point. I suspect that 98% of all kids nationwide could care less. Some years back I talked with a rep of a large sporting goods firm who stated that they expected hunting to go into a long steady decline from which it would not recover. I think he was right.

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Old November 18, 1999, 12:26 AM   #7
Long Path
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Most straight-forward answer?

Because that's how I was reared.

That's it.

I wish I was much more analytical about my approach, but that's the most honest answer. I hunted as a boy with my Dad, and continue hunting as a man, with and without my Dad.

Although I do have 35 lbs of fresh venison for my efforts this last weekend, I hunt because it gives me pleasure, such as the ones I first beheld as a boy with my dad. It probably wouldn't be so much fun if I hadn't.

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Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?

Matt




[This message has been edited by Long Path (edited November 18, 1999).]
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Old November 18, 1999, 08:13 AM   #8
2tapcm
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I must agree hunting is a great escape.

There is nothing like penetrating an animals habitat/defenses and just watching. I love to see the squirrels running about, the muskrat swimming down the creek in a silent "V", the hawk resting in the tree 20 feet away eyeing up the sparrows, and the silent flight of an owl gliding past. The the smell of leaves, freshly plowed fields, and crisp clean air. Then there is the burst of adrenalin that explodes in your chest when you hear the crunch, crunch, crunch of that deer making its way through the woods, or the sudden sight of the one that seemed to melt out of no where without making a sound.

I also love wild game. There is nothing better than thick venison inner loin grilled to perfection!

I am proud to call myself a hunter and will pass the tradition along to my son. If he does not want to I will not pressure him but I can't imagine not hunting. My father hunted but unfortunately drifted out of it when I was old enough and is now gone. I mainly had to learn on my own. I now hunt with my in-laws and am lucky enough to learn from them. My wife has 4 brothers and her father who all hunt. I do not agree that hunting is declining, but we must do our best to pass the tradition down to our children. Now if I can only get my wife to start!
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Old November 18, 1999, 02:19 PM   #9
Burnout
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I hunt mostly for the meat. I really enjoy having such good food around the house. The antlers and hide I give away. I have used the antlers to make door handles and I made a keychain once. Also, it's fun to go out with the hunting buddies for a good hike. If we can't find anything during the day, we often fall a couple snags; saves from having to make special trips to get the firewood.
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Old November 18, 1999, 02:34 PM   #10
swampgator
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Glad to see that there are many here among us who like the sport.

Longpath: I think you summed it up.

Question: How big are Whitetail in everyone's respective areas?

On a sad note I did not get my first buck of the season this morning. No excuses. Will hunt this afternoon in a different location and post the results (or lack thereof!)

Gator

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[This message has been edited by swampgator (edited November 18, 1999).]
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Old November 18, 1999, 04:56 PM   #11
LoneStar
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In no particular order:

Spending time with my Dad, brother, and assorted "Huntin' buddies". Seems this is the only real time we have to get together.

Meat, I don't need or want to pay some yahoo to pack my meat full of chemicals & packing it in styrafoam. I prefer to have my dinner provided by my own luck & skill, and grace & bounty of nature.

Respect for the Animal - I eat meat, naturally. I believe it shows more respect for the animal that has to die to provide that meat if I take it upon myself to go out and take an animal that is free, and has spent it's life free, as opposed to spending it's life confined.

Reinforces my sense of self reliance. If I need to, I can take care of (feed) myself & my family.

Witness Nature - Nature, she's a real Mother!
The contrast of beauty & cruelty of the natural world is both awe-inspiring, and humbling

Challenge - The only thing better than working a long, almost perfect stalk on a big game animal, just to have it all blown at the last instant by a spooked jack-rabbit (happend openning day), is when it all goes your way, and you are lucky enough to take the animal. No matter how good you are, you can always get better. And LUCK is always the deciding factor. You will never know how it's going to turn out until you get in there & try.

Because I can!
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Old November 18, 1999, 05:16 PM   #12
Dr.Rob
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No whitetails where i Hunt.. just mule deer and elk.. oh and its a also a MOOSE release area.

Damn those are BIG critters.

Dad's deer was the BIGGEST Mulie I've seen in this area in a long while, and I'd guess on the hoof he weighed over 250 pounds.
The deer weighed enough gutted and with the hide on that it took three of us to drag it a quarter mile back to a road. (I'll have a pic soon)

Dad is curing the hide for my nephew and the horns are making a hat rack last I heard.

Dr.Rob
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Old November 18, 1999, 05:36 PM   #13
Will Beararms
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I know you will not take exception to this but as a general rule, I no longer feel the need to justify my passion for hunting. Like Karl Malone it is simply a matter of "who I am". The same holds true for shooting and owning guns.

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"When guns are outlawed;I will be an outlaw."
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Old November 18, 1999, 08:59 PM   #14
Art Eatman
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A lot of "All of the above.", I guess. And I'm a natural-food freak...

Will Beararms, I think a lot of us don't feel we're justifying so much as explaining why there is so much happiness in hunting. It's those negative-minded folks who need to give us some justifications.

Robert Foote, if you're not too far from SW Texas, I'll be happy to take you quail-hunting. I can't get Dennis to come out and shoot these Saber Tooth Quail and keep them off my front porch. It's gettin' downright dangerous!

It's for the children, you know...
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Old November 18, 1999, 09:25 PM   #15
Rbean
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I have never heard it put any better than this by Jeff Cooper "One should not look at life through the window of his own soul, but I have hunted all my life for the experience of hunting: neither primarly for meat (though I enjoy vension), nor primarly for trophies (though I have some very nice ones). I hunt because I must and I cannot explain that to anyone who does not already understand it"
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Old November 18, 1999, 09:27 PM   #16
Ankeny
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Like many of you, I hunt because it is a deep rooted part of who I am. I was raised on wild game and brought up in a family of hunters.

I no longer hunt for meat. I hunt for trophies and if I can't find a trophy I often harvest a "lesser" animal and donate the meat to people who are less fortunate than I. Sometimes I don’t even fill my tag. Unfortunately, trophy hunters like my self are often misunderstood and viewed as glory hounds that kill only for self-aggrandizement. In some cases this might be true, but those hunters have no ethics and are slobs.

This year my meat processing bill came to over $600.00 and I only kept part of a mule deer for myself. I gave the rest away. Try explaining that to the anti-hunting crowd…
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Old November 19, 1999, 03:03 AM   #17
Long Path
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Swampgator--

Varies GREATLY in S. Texas where I now hunt. Average buck is about 100 lbs or so, but don't you know last year I happened to shoot one that ran to right at about 200 lbs on the hoof (monster!). We're pretty sure he was one that escaped from a local game ranch.

Art-- Lemme get my 1100, I'll give you a hand on the vicious quail...

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Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?

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Old November 19, 1999, 12:20 PM   #18
Bill Hebert
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I hunt for many of the same reasons as have already been posted but I have one more BIG reason.... Deer season falls at the same time of the year when my mother-in-law decides to visit and I sure would prefer to be out on the lease than at home. Heck, I just realized I would even hunt without a gun instead of staying home.....
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Old November 19, 1999, 02:25 PM   #19
Jack Straw
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My usual answer when asked this question by someone who doesn't hunt is simply that hunting makes me happy. Some accept this answer while others seem offended that I should do something so selfish as to pursue my own happiness; to those folks I offer no apology. When questioned as to why it makes me happy, I offer the responses offered here (the joy of being out, the taste of wild game, being the most effective tool of wildlife management, the time spent with family and friends, etc...). Those answers are true but for some questioners those answers are insufficient. Beyond those answers, I can only say that hunting simply scratches some inner itch that I cannot explain and quite frankly, do not want explained.

Rbean (Mr Bean, I presume? ) posted a quote from Jeff Cooper that essentially becomes my final answer. I need to memorize that one.

Jack
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Old November 23, 1999, 04:38 PM   #20
Paul Revere
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To respect God's creatures and his creation enough to become a part of it. To be an active participant in Nature. The feeling of being alive you get when that rush of adrenalin spikes your senses in the wild.

To carry out the tradition and the traits of our anchient ancestors, knowing that we have the instinctive ability to hunt and forrage. To use our intellect, and physical skills to coordinate the efforts necessary to humanely and swiftly harvest an animal for our personal consumption.

To breathe fresh clean air, smell natural smells, and to see life in its bare harsh reality as God meant it to be. And to taste the fruits of our dedicated efforts, untainted by domestically used chemicals, steroids, and antibiotics. Such a lean, high protein food source, a natural resource owned by the people, available to all who care to pursue it.

Hunting is freedom. Freedom from the hustle and bustle, freedom from the sight of human population growth, freedom from lines, crowds, and traffic. It is this freedom that constantly reminds us of our stewardship responsibility to our wild animals. Being a hunter forces us to accept and participate in this stewardship role. Hunting makes us better people, more caring, more responsible. Hunting makes us both physically and mentally more healthy. Hunting makes us appreciate life, how precious it really is, how so many humans take this life for granted.

We know that we can depend on our abilities to always provide for ourselves and our loved ones, no matter how dire our world becomes. Our skills as hunters make us better observers, hone and release our senses, and seep into our character as humans.

Although not all humans are meant to be hunters, those that participate in this endeavor eventually become realists, naturalists, and conservationists. Some humans are just better gatherers, forragers, and order givers. Some humans just don't get it. About life that is. It's a full circle. For something to live, something else must die. Whether it be oceanic photoplankton being swallowed by a whale, or a root vegetable being consumed by a cottontail rabbit, or a red fox munching down a field mouse, or a barn swallow gulping down a gypsy moth, or a whitetail deer being consumed by a human family, this circle is clear.

At one with Nature. A hunter.

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Old November 23, 1999, 10:03 PM   #21
swifter...
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I spent about 20 years as a non-hunting, tree-hugging backpacker. I enjoyed observing animals.
I gradually returned to hunting, which I'd grown up doing. I have more enjoyment now, because I'm no longer an observer, I am now a participant...



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The Bill of Rights, and the Golden Rule are enough for civilized behavior. The rest is window dressing. Shoot carefully, swifter...

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