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Old February 17, 2001, 07:17 PM   #26
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Join Date: July 7, 2000
Location: Anchorage
Posts: 863
My gun has a plastic stalk but I swear I have more with wood. Alaska, Kodiak especially is one good place to have a synthetic stalk and stainless gun. There is soo much moisture in alaska, and especially around the coast, and on islands, that the weather, and salt water can really be rough on a gun. Basic cleaning, and caring for them goes a long ways, but givin the same owner, and same care, the synthetic gun will live longer. In some areas...Texas, and drier climates, I really think there's any difference...except maybe the stalk wont scratch and will look prettier longer(if you consider flat black pretty)
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Old February 17, 2001, 07:25 PM   #27
Keith Rogan
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Join Date: March 11, 1999
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 1,014

I'm not so sure it's an ethics issue, exactly (though that's certainly an element), but rather it's this notion of "instant gratification." If you don't want to bother going to the range regularly for practice, you just buy a "better" gun and more powerful optics. You don't want to scout the country you're hunting, so you buy a GPS and talk someone else (me) into taking you along.
And more than that, they take hunting as some sort of competitive sport, as if killing the first deer or the biggest deer is the entire goal - rather than just enjoying hunting for its own sake.
And you're right about many of these guys coming to the sport late. You see this in Alaska a lot, they move here and figure "I'm in Alaska, I should go hunting". And you know, I WANT people to hunt, but for its own sake, not as some sort of weird "buddy thing" or as a competition, but simply as a way to enjoy yourself. If you don't enjoy just being in the woods to see stuff, you probably shouldn't hunt.


If I had to boil down "how to be a good hunter" in just a few words, I'd tell you to SLOW DOWN. Hike past where the other hunters are likely to be and then just move into the wind a few slow steps at a time, pause and look around, squat and look low under the brush canopy 18" or so over the ground. After you've completely (and quietly) checked 360 degrees, move another few yards and do it again. If you're moving more than a 1/4 mile or so in an hour, you're going too fast.
You won't get bored. If you move slow enough and quietly enough and look hard enough you'll see all kinds of things that you never noticed before - all kinds of small critters and birds, tracks, droppings, etc. And you'll see deer, more deer than you imagined were in the area. I've shot deer in their beds many times. I've dropped back behind the rest of my party and shot deer lying within yards of where they had just passed. Always look behind you because frequently even if you miss a deer, they'll stand to look after you pass and they get your scent.
Deer are everywhere and most people have NO idea how many deer there are in a given area - far more than you might imagine and many of them are almost entirely nocturnal, you'll never see them from a stand, you have to find them.

90% of the deer will just lay low against the ground and even flatten their ears down to become part of the terrain - difficult to see at first but with practice they just stand right out. 90% of hunters walk right past them.

That's the gist of it - the rest can't be taught, it has to be learned - and the only way to learn is to slow down.

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Old February 17, 2001, 07:36 PM   #28
Keith Rogan
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Join Date: March 11, 1999
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 1,014

I live in Kodiak, and as you point out it's the wettest saltiest place in North America. None of my guns are rusty, none of them have ever "changed their zero" because of swelling. Every fall I squirt a little sno-seal between the stock and the barrel and action. I wipe my guns down every evening with an oily rag when I use them. No problem.
I think this whole thing is just a "sell" so that gun manufacturers can convince people to pay $150 extra for a $3 plastic stock.

I admit though, that this is almost entirely an esthetics issue - there's no reason NOT to have a plastic gun (except that they charge you MORE, which is nuts). If I had a stainless steel gun I'd paint it black so I didn't scare game with it, no big deal.

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Old February 17, 2001, 08:03 PM   #29
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Join Date: October 29, 1999
Location: rural Illinois
Posts: 589
Keith R. I get a kick out of your post!
Most of the folks on this forum are the type that would be welcome to hunt with me anytime. The dude in your post probably isn't here. (He's busy checking his stocks/investments on the net). I don't remember his name but I met him. He drives a new Ford Excursion. Lawyer or accountant or somethin. got a $1000 bird dog that disappears over the horizon while he's talkin on his cell phone. heeheehee.
Most of us are folks you wouldn't mind sharing a hunt with. We're ethical, gentle men and women with a love of nature. My father-in-law used to give me crap about hunting until I told him the only difference between him and me was I do my own killing, he expects somebody else to do it for him. The subject hasn't come up since.
I just finished re-reading Ruark's "Old Man and the Boy" for the umpteenth time. good read.
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Old February 17, 2001, 10:10 PM   #30
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Join Date: May 31, 2000
Posts: 1,127
A response for Art Eatman

By threat I mean killing an animal when there is a specific risk to people, livestock or companion animals. I think it's a bit extreme to suggest that anything we kill we should eat. Maybe I am attempting to draw a line between between hunting as we know it and pest control.

I don't hunt coyotes but if I see one I will shoot it, same with porcupines because of the threat to my dogs. Ground hogs present a threat to cattle and horses. The lowly opossum carries a bacterial infection that is harmful to horses and is a threat. Feral dogs will attack and shooting if they are threatening doesn't cause me too much concern.

The definitions of threat will vary and may be take to extremes. My wife doesn't much care for the squirrels that ravage her bird feeders but that doesn't mean we are going to shoot them.

What I find offensive are people who hunt animals only for the rack, fur, organs that someone thinks are the natural form of Viagara, or for the sheer delight of just killing something.

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