Home Forums Bows and Equipment A change of heart

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    • ReadyHawk
      Post count: 62

      Ya know I’ve been preparing for this up coming hunting season when I suddenly realized,,,I don’t want to kill anything. Oh I still love shooting my longbow and enjoy 3D shoots but,,,,I just don’t want to kill…….Maybe I’m just becoming an old softy.?

    • David Petersen
      Post count: 2749

      A man should never do anything his gut tells him it will be queasy with. I was an archer before I was a hunter, and if/when the day comes I can no longer hunt or don’t choose to, I’ll still be an archer. And should you change your mind someday and return to hunting, you’ll be all practiced up with well-tuned gear. Davd

    • Br549
      Post count: 15

      ReadyHawk, there is nothing wrong with that. I believe that is respectable, as killing is not for everyone. After all these years of hunting, and taking many game animals, I still feel a bit of remorse every time I do. I have always gave thanks for the animal giving its life to sustain my family. When I was 6, my Grandfather which was a full blooded Cherokee, caught me shooting the beak off of a woodpecker with a .22 . After a good dose of hickory tea, he explained how the bird would suffer a horrible death by starving. He told me that birds spirit would haunt me forever, and he was right. I am now 41, and that woodpecker haunts me to this very day. I believe the old man put some kind of Cherokee voodoo on me. Anyway, I have nothing but the utmost respect for a man that is honest and follows his own path. Chris

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      Fear not, Freind, you are not alone.

      Many of us “old timers” battle this feeling annually and more and more walk by me every year and every year I tell myself I “need” to shoot more for meat.

      I “plan” to shoot many this year and me thinks the new “old” stuff Im using will add some zing to it yet never will another deer fall from my arrows that wont get a heart felt apology from me.

      More than beasts of the field, they are and have been part of our life and as our own mortality rears up in our faces it cannot but do the same again when we take the life of a living creature that we care so deeply about.

      Catch 22……for sure.

      I often wonder when I will face that final decision myself yet encourage you to go hunt anyway.

      Take a camera or something else should you so choose.

      God Bless!
      Steve Sr.

    • ReadyHawk
      Post count: 62

      Ya know I hesitated before posting this, seeing how this is a hunting forum, cause I didn’t know how it would be received. But I had to be true to my feelings and honest with myself. It actually came with some sense of relief. Thanks guys for your support. And Chris,,,I hope one day that you will realize that the woodpecker has forgiven you.


    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      ReadyHawk wrote: Ya know I hesitated before posting this, seeing how this is a hunting forum, cause I didn’t know how it would be received. But I had to be true to my feelings and honest with myself. It actually came with some sense of relief. Thanks guys for your support. And Chris,,,I hope one day that you will realize that the woodpecker has forgiven you.


      You have, Kevin, some of the most fun of your life at your fingertips that will use all you have learned from hunting and I promise you will learn more.

      I TOO……hesitate here. Some will scoff. Fine. Ive no problem with that. Too old and stuck in my ways to give a rip most days. 😀

      For literally decades, when leaving the woods (or days when I just felt like it) I have done something that I FEEL has made me a much better hunter.

      Laugh if you will but it IS POSSIBLE and have done so successfully about 8 times (out of hundreds of tries!).

      I have “counted coup” on a mature whitetail with the end of my bow by slipping amongst what cover and shadows available till I can reach out and touch them with the tip of my bow.

      Tough? oh, let me tell you! REWARDING?…….I cannot find the words to tell you how much!

      I have a friend that makes this look “easy”…and he MAKES ME ILL! lol

      I’ve realized that somehow the “mind set” for lack of a better term, I have while doing so “affects” the results???

      With an intention of SHOOTING ONE….I fail miserably. ??? Yet have done so twice when conditions were perfect.

      It’s frustrating like nothing else in this life….but well worth the attempts and quite educational IMHO.

      Just thoughts on something I feel you would enjoy immensely.

      God Bless
      Steve Sr.

    • ReadyHawk
      Post count: 62

      Just as a side note to my original post: I have taken deer before with rifle and bow (compound) and was looking forward to taking one with a longbow for the first time. Got arrows ready, ghillie poncho tailored, a few spots scouted out, been shootin a lot of 3D,,,but as the season drew nearer I found that I could no longer suppress the feelings of compassion that had been building up. Maybe I should go anyway and not shoot when one comes within range and be satisfied knowing I could have.

    • Rogue
      Post count: 84

      ReadyHawk, I will always have the utmost respect for a man who stands by his convictions.
      My most memorable hunts more often than not have resulted in unfilled tags.

      The hunt goes on with or without us all, it will be there if or when you are ready.

    • ReadyHawk
      Post count: 62

      Thanks Rogue. My most exciting hunt was the one I missed 3 times. A high tined 8 point. Called him in all 3 times and caught a glance each time. A hunt I’ll never forget.

    • roninrus1
      Post count: 27

      I think this is something that comes with age.
      Maybe its longer feeling the need to impress others.
      Or just the enjoyment of being alive and seeing other life.
      Haven’t taken but one deer in 10 years. Had opportunities but no “need”.
      It could be I am just lazy, but preparation and practice still take effort and time.
      One thing I have always felt – a real man does what HE wants.
      That does not mean he excludes the feelings or needs of other but considers the reasons for those feelings/needs and bases decision on validity.

      Dang, does that sound too philosophical for an east Texas country boy?

    • strait-aero
      Post count: 350

      ReadyHawk…I went through the same thing a few years ago after finishing off a young deer that had been wounded. My son had shot the yearling with a slug gun and it ran over near me and I had to finish it off. Had some mixed emotions about hunting in general for awhile. Took me some time to get over it…. So, I believe I know where your’re coming from.
      Hope you keep up with the traditional archery end of it; hone your skills. Maybe we all soften up alittle bit with age but it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

    • paleoman
      Post count: 918

      I think it’s natural to have less “fire for the kill as we get older. I’ve read that for the thousands of years our species hunted for our food, if you lived to 40 or so you were an old man on average. By the time you were that old the young ones were doing the bulk of the hunting. The conclusion being there is some evidence for lack of a hunting drive in older people because that drive did not survive to middle age. In a nutshell, that makes sense to me. I just turned 50 last winter and while I still enjoy success, I’m not driven like I used to be to achieve it. A good day among the fall colors with some hope of seeing your game is glorious, and if I miss getting up for those o’dark thirty missions once in a while I don’t beat myself up about it.

    • ReadyHawk
      Post count: 62

      Thanks for all the support. I hope you all have a successful ethical harvest.

    • SteveMcD
      Post count: 870

      I can only echo what has been said already.

      “To thine own self be true” — Shakespeare

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