View Full Version : The Making of a Hunter

March 7, 2008, 10:06 PM
I was raised hunting. From my earliest memories, I recall having to kill domestic animals for dinner. My mother and grandmother taught me how to get chicken ready for the pot; I was not more than six at the time. We butchered our pigs; my father expected my brother and me to kill and dress out hogs as soon as we were strong enough to hold them up to fence rack them. The same holds true for hunting game; my parents expected me to bring home rabbits in the spring and squirrels thought late summer. Father shot deer and black bear. As soon as we were old enough to shot a high powered rife, such as a 30-30 we were off hunting larger game.

There is something like a pull or attraction when I spot wild game; all my random thoughts vanish and I sense only the presence of my prey. My nerves loosen and not heart is silent. I feel one instinct, to kill my prey. Afterwards, I feel an exhilaration that was missing moments before. I am excited field dressing game. Once the hunt is over, I would begin to talk about the good day hunting, yet I am not so aware of the moment when I shot, it is my like a picture in my head than a feeling memory.

I target shoot more today than I hunt. Mainly because I am not as fond of squirrel and other critters such as possum as I was when I was a kid. In addition, one can no longer just go out and hunt anyway and deer season is far shorter than it once was. Besides, too many people who are not from the county are hunting about and most do not know much more than how to scare game. I will say this, there are plenty of shooters who can shoot as well as I can but very few men can hunt as well as me, they are just not born to it.

I bench rest shoot mainly for fun; I shoot 223 and cartridges based on the 308 case. When it comes to hunting, it is a whole other thing. I have a natural attraction or drive towards killing game; it allows me to turn completely cold and emotionless when I see game. My shots at game have always been much better than what I can do at target shooting giving the same body position and the same necessity to shoot quickly. I practiced a good deal to see if I could improve my off hand target shooting, but it is never as good as it is at game. I think it is also true that the more dangerous the game is the better I shoot. When I was much younger, I lived for confronting dangerous game, perhaps not Cape buffalo or elephant, but bears and even cougars can be dangerous when they know they are being stalked. Sure, I shoot tighter groups on a bench with everything set perfect, but that is not how

April 20, 2008, 10:01 PM
I never hunted with my Father. He wasn't a hunter. I had to wait until i was 14 and could hunt alone.
Today i enjoy hunting with my Grandsons.
I enjoy mooching through the forest over sitting in a tree stand. I am teaching the boys how to hunt my way. We do sit in stands on the weekends when there are so many hunters around.
I feel we are unfit hunters nowadays, as when it comes to tracking game there is no instinct left in us. I believe the old hunters, the good ones used there nose more than we are able to today.
We do not use dogs for bird hunting(ruffed grouse) as there is so much more to see in the forest and field to be watching a dog as close as one must. Maybe i just use that as an excuse for not training a dog for anything but retrieving water fowl.
I used to get so worked up before Deer Opener that I couldn't sleep at all, Nowadays that excitement isn't there anymore, But I pretend it is for the Grandsons. But i will enjoy being the camp cook when they can take to the hunt alone.

April 20, 2008, 10:24 PM
I am with the same mindset as Charshooter. I am an okay shot on targets but gimme prey and I will light 'em up. I had not fired my savage bolt action in months... Seen a rabbit on out about 60-70 yards and settled into perfect shot mode and had to wait and pass on several possible shots and put the crosshairs a couple inches above his head and when I shot he cartwheeled... I handed the rifle to my daughter (16) and said "Now honey, try to avoid them gut shots okay... We went out to the kill and she said "oh heck no you didn't plan a head shot!" I just grinned as she looked at the entrance hole in the back of his head and exit 'tween his eyes. I will be doing some self improving training on my pre shot skills with some serious tracking in the WMA this summer. My daughter will hopefully be ready to hunt hard this fall...