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Old December 12, 2012, 08:30 PM   #1
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Hunters and "gun guys"

It has been mentioned before here on TFL that cops are not necessarily "gun guys". I wonder if a similar thing is true with hunters?

I consider myself a gun guy. I keep up with guns (pistols and rifles), I reload, I go to the range often and punch paper (usually 150-200 rounds per week). I enjoy the heck out of all of it. I have been hunting twice in my life and while it it pleasant to be out in nature, if I go a whole weekend and only fire one or two shots I am disappointed.

THe first time I went hunting it was for hogs. Neither I nor my father in law saw any hogs, but on the last day I finally saw a coyote and thought "That'll do" so I bagged him. The other time it was for deer and I only saw one the entire time and it was on the run. On the last day a Road Runner came hopping up close enough to the blind for me to get off a shot at him with my revolver so I though "That'll do" and bagged him.

My FIL and the other group I hunted with...they don't seem to mind no shooting at anything. But when I hunt, I am out to shoot something. That's pretty much the long and short of it. I didn't grow up hunting; perhaps I have the wrong attitude towards the whole thing? Or maybe I need to hunt different things...things where there's a lot of shooting, like maybe prairie dogs or something.

How big a part of your hunt is the actual shooting?

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Old December 12, 2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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Hunting is a hobby just like guns,, Most just enjoy being in the woods,,, Peace & Quiet.

Hunting is 98% looking at woods,nature & other animals, The other 2% is trying to make a quick humane kill on the animal in general you are hunting JMO YMMV ; ) PS I like guns,Reloading & shooting ALL ARE HOBBIES

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Old December 12, 2012, 09:11 PM   #3
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For me, seeing the game I'm hunting for and then 'getting and making the shot' are most important.

As a teenager when my cousins and I hunted together, the motto was "if we're in the woods something is going down. Regular songbirds (robins, blue jays, etc) were off limits but if nothing else presented itself, some unlucky sparrow was going down

Frumious, the best way I know to get over "the shot" being most important is a trip to Africa. It isn't nearly as expensive as it sounds and I guarantee you will see more game in a couple hours than you've seen in your whole life in the U.S.

It makes you get picky about the animal you shoot at and the shots you will take.

Forgot to mention, I also love to reload, and shoot targets, be it paper, steel, or clay birds.
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Old December 12, 2012, 09:25 PM   #4
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For me hunting is relaxing and fun. The shot is followed by lots of work. Shooting session before hunting season are fun and the time I shoot the most. I consider myself a hunter that is a gun guy. I teach Hunter education. All 6 of the other instructors I teach with refer all cartridge, gun and trajectory questions to me. Most hunters, in my experience are not gun guys. Some don't have a clue about ballistics or accuracy.
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Old December 12, 2012, 09:51 PM   #5
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In a gun guy who hunts. Not a hunter who is a gun guy.

I like getting out and not having to worry about a darn thing. It allows me to forget about life for a while.
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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I came in the other way. I was first a hunter from a young age. I eventually became even more interested in guns and then reloading too. I still hunt but guns just as guns also interests me a great deal of the time. Even if I can't shoot it right now , I just like fooling with them. Looking at them. Playing with them , Talking about them. Anything !
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:23 PM   #7
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I used to be a gun guy. Now, I am pretty much just a hunter.
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:40 PM   #8
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gun guy that hunts ! I like to tinker, reload and ring out the accuracy of my guns (mostly older mausers).
I restore old guns for friends and acquaintances as long as it is something that won't be devalued. (someone is calling me bubba right now).
Oh yeah I love to hunt squirrel, rabbit, coyote, deer, bear, elk etc...
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:56 PM   #9
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I like both. Hunting for the peace and quiet in the woods and the sometimes opportunities to shoot something to mount or eat. Shooting to hone my skills off the bench and just make alot of noise.
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Old December 12, 2012, 11:28 PM   #10
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I'm an outdoorsman first, a hunter second, and a gun-guy last. Since I grew up in the woods and was involved in hunting since before I can remember (literally), I've always been around guns. Growing up on a farm, a gun was in my hands at an early age to deal with snakes in the chicken pen, groundhogs in the fields, feral animals and so forth before I ever shot at something while "hunting". There's a difference between shooting an animal and hunting to me, mainly that I eat what I hunt. Not to say I haven't eaten a BBQ'd groundhog or two.

How big a part of your hunt is the actual shooting?
A very small part, and my least favorite part. The frequency of shooting has zero relevance to hunting success for me. If I wanted to shoot, I'd punch paper or soda cans. YMMV.
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Old December 13, 2012, 12:20 AM   #11
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Hmmm...this is kind of what I was thinking. I don't know that I am cut out for hunting. At least not hunting where there's a lot of waiting.

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Old December 13, 2012, 05:47 AM   #12
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Enjoy a little "plinkin" now and then but not really a gun guy...........

Like being outside, hunting being part of being "outside".

And this too: There is something about catching/shooting/harvesting your own food. Don't know what it is but it gives you a sense of accomplishment not found as you slip the casheer $100 for a couple of bags of groceries.
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Old December 13, 2012, 06:41 AM   #13
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How big a part of your hunt is the actual shooting?
It is about 10% of the "hunt" for me. I break down my hunt into 4 phases (planning, hunting, field work/processing, storage).

The actual shooting occurs during planning while zeroing/practicing with weapon and the shot itself during the hunt. If you only equate hunting to shooting something, you're missing out on a lot of other aspects of hunting.
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Old December 13, 2012, 07:11 AM   #14
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I might even go so far as to say that most hunters are not gun guys.
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
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Old December 13, 2012, 07:56 AM   #15
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I do not that most hunters are not gun guys, but a lot of them are. Some of the best hunters, who get the most game, are the least knowledgeable gun guys I know.
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Old December 13, 2012, 08:57 AM   #16
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I might even go so far as to say that most hunters are not gun guys.
I'd go as far as to say you're not necessarily right.

I'm both and 85% of the guys I hunt with are gun guys as well and VERY knowledgeable. I've been hunting 25 years this year, and have killed a bunch of deer, several bears, and a few coyotes, and countless small game animals.

I also enjoy target shooting with my CCWs, read up on tactics and self defense, and am a gun enthusiast and reloader (for handgun calibers only).

About 5 years ago, I made the crossover between the two interests and (other than archery season) now hunt big game almost exclusively with handguns.

I think that hunters, like any other group, are a cross section of everyday people. I think that 'gun guys' are also a cross section of the population. I also think it's normal that these two groups might -- but not necessarily -- overlap fairly often.

Honestly, I think most of us hunters get a bum rap in the shooting community.

I don't think the distinction is necessary to point out. I also am a guitar guy, and have found that guitar guys and camera guys (I'm that too) seem to overlap greatly.

Common interests, common mindsets, yes. But everyone is different.
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Old December 13, 2012, 09:18 AM   #17
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I was a "gun and hunter" guy from the day I got a BB gun. I'd shoot about 10 large Winchester tubes a week when about 10 - 12 years old, luckily having a place to shoot right behind the house. I got pretty good at shooting my pump gun from the hip and could bounce a BB tube or cap on the ground pretty well.

We had a barrel where we burned trash and I'd put a quart soda bottle on it and shoot it offhand, starting at the neck and chipping away top to bottom until there was just the bottom left. That might take 30 shots or so, from about 25 feet.

I never passed up a chance to go to camp and hunt frogs, red squirrels, and a few birds with BB guns. As I got older, I shot as much as my allowance and earnings would allow, but still loved to hunt grouse and ducks, often about a mile from the house.

In high school, I bought my first centerfire, a .30-06 Savage 110, and a bunch of us learned where and how to hunt woodchucks as practice for deer and other game, and we were quite successful, despite my 2.5X Weaver's limitations.

Fast forward through years of bird and deer hunting, competitive shooting, and gunsmithing and today, I enjoy hunting more than ever, but don't usually care if I shoot anything or not. I just love to be outdoors with a rifle or shotgun and watch nature. Wanting a buck, but having an any-deer permit, I passed up about 9 deer before deciding to take a 131 lb. doe at 75 yards.

Best shot of this season: Hitting a grouse in the head, offhand, with my .270, at about 35 yards, as it walked away from me on a trail. That was a gun-guy shot!
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Old December 13, 2012, 09:39 AM   #18
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I'm a gun guy and a hunter, but my dad is not a gun guy. He's a great hunter, but the guns are tools. He has exactly 2 guns that are just for grins, whereas the others he has a purpose for. He usually turns to me for advice. I think there are more hunters that are gun guys than there are police that are "gun guys".
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Old December 13, 2012, 09:53 AM   #19
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this might be kinda backwards from what you asked but im a gun guy and not a hunter , but if im ever talking to someone about all my guns or if im talking to people who specifically hunt i always get the question like " which gun do you hunt with" or " which is ur prefered hunting rifle" and i have to awkwardly say none of them i just go out and shoot for the fun of it. I have no problem with people that do hunt but my family isnt really into guns so i never had anyone to teach me how to hunt. if i wana go out into nature i just go fishin.
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Old December 13, 2012, 09:55 AM   #20
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I think that if the "gun guys" who don't see game when hunting, like the OP, put as much time, research, effort and preparation into hunting as they do into, say, their handloads, then they might see and bag more game.

I'm a hunter. I like guns. I Carry. I handload. I am an "activist", actively encouraging others (especially kids!) to learn to hunt and/or shoot ...... Am I more of "gun guy" than hunter? I spend more time shooting than I do hunting .... but I spend more time preparing game for the table than I do shooting......

I'm a gun guy and a hunter, but my dad is not a gun guy. He's a great hunter, but the guns are tools.
Guns are tools. Fun to use, for sure, but they are a means to an end, or several ends, in my case ...... folks that pidgeonhole themselves as this or that are not appreciating the forest because of one or two interesting trees.
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Old December 13, 2012, 11:00 AM   #21
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I would say that just because your one it does not mean your necessarily the other. I for one would have to say I am both. I have hunted here in ny since I turned 12 and for almost twenty years have continued to put in the time and effort to ensure my hunting is successful. However I also served as a 4th echelon armorer in the USMC, and since the day I finished training I have found myself more and more getting into firearms. Everything from target shooting to recently getting into reloading. I have a nice collection of firearms started and intend to get as many as possible as funds allow. Point being, sometimes those who r one may or may not ever get very involved in the other. There is nothing wrong with any choice in this thread, to each there own. What we all need to do is work together and ensure the tools were using continue to be available for our legal needs.
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Old December 13, 2012, 11:02 AM   #22
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I've been a hunter and a shooter all my life. Reloader. IPSC competition, back in the 1980s. Trap, skeet, dove and quail. Lotsa .22 plinking, both rifle and pistol. Way back when, CASS style long before there was a CASS. 30 years of gun show tables; buy/sell/trade. Minor gunsmithing.

Deer, coyotes by calling, prairie dogs...

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Old December 13, 2012, 11:03 AM   #23
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I enjoy both aspects of hunting and shooting. I'm a gun guy I spend all year pretty much working with a rifle to get it ready to hunt. There are hunting opportunities that will fill your desire to pull the trigger and big game just isn't it for you.

You should take up bird hunting like pheasant, quail, dove, duck, or goose. You'll have good and bad days hunting, but the good days will let you shoot a bunch, not 100+ rounds but you'll get to shoot. If you head down to Argentina for a dove hunt you might get the opportunity to shoot 1K rounds a day!

Another good thing for you to do is take up varmint shooting like prairie dogs. I don't call it hunting because it really is just glorified target practice. It isn't like the game is elusive, you drive out to a town set up a bench, shooting mat, or card table and proceed to see how many targets of opportunity you can knock down. In a big town on a good day 300-500 rounds of can be shot pretty easily, it is very common to have several rifles of the same chamber so you don't really ever have to stop shooting, just swap out rifles as the barrels get hot.

Hunting coyotes can be quite thrilling and satisfying for the shooter that wants to hunt as well. Things sometimes happen fast, especially when you call in three or four dogs. That is where a semi-auto rifle or shotgun comes in very handy. Taking multiple yotes in a day isn't uncommon, and you might get other opportunities such as bob cat.
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Old December 13, 2012, 11:34 AM   #24
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Both. Always have been, always will be.
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Old December 13, 2012, 12:25 PM   #25
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I've been shooting and reloading lot of years and I've gone in cycles from trap/skeet then over to BR tried little pistol but I always been a hunter and varmint shooter.

I have very little interest in shooting coyote when I'm elk hunting or deer hunting. I have access to couple good ranches for antelope and PD shooting so if I see coyote in range I'll take him.

I've never felt the need that I have to shoot something. This year I had 2 elk tags,antelope and deer and got pretty nice buck is all. PD shooting is pretty slow here with the drought learn some years are like that.

I kind of got spoil living up northern Co could step out front door shoot geese/ducks about 1/2 mile south had pheasants. My wife work for HP and they had gun club and lease some land out east so had place to hunt doves.

Wife and I are getting pretty serious about archery hunting so be doing more of that which may include turkeys this coming year.

I think between fishing/hunting we spend almost 3mos camping.
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