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    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      After you pay your proper respect to your game, do you have any tradition? Some blood themselves,etc. Me, a single shot of top shelf vodka and a toast to the life taken when I’m back at camp or home. Anyone around me has to also. Well, I better get to testing this years’ selection:wink:

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      My celebration comes in cooking a fine meal with whatever I’ve taken. I’m normally not that inspired of a cook (unlike my better half), but when it’s something I’ve shot or caught, I really enjoy making it as delicious as possible. That’s my way of honoring and celebrating.

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      I’ve cut, rinsed and eaten a small piece of the heart a couple of times, right there on the spot wher the deer fell, but it was a little too over the top with symbolism. I am not a Lakota killing a bison! I would have loved to be one, but I’m not! 😀

      my cherished celebration is to sauté the filets mignons in butter and rosemary for loved ones the day of the kill.

      Also, after I butcher my deer, I usually return the carcass and hide to the woods for others to feast on.

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      I always sit next to the animal where I find it, place my hand on it, and repeat a little something I’ve been saying to the animals for 20 years or so.

      We always have a celebration at home…..usually the wife and kids all come out and help, we’ll build a fire, have a drink, etc….same goes for the processing.:D

      But yes, the ultimate celebration is the meal!

    • paleoman
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 918

      If it’s earlier in the a.m. and I’ve got time, I’ll build a small fire and just sit a bit. Being miles from nowhere with the north woods wind going through the spruce tops, maybe a raven croaking as he swishes overhead….can be pretty profound no matter how many times you’ve done. Then I usually look around for my knife that I put down in the leaves after the field dressing:D

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      This is a good thread. I appreciate your posts, all of you. For me, it simple. A few minutes to feel what’s in my heart and how privileged I am to have the time in the woods. It’s time to take it all in, again, just I was before the kill, but different. dwc

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      I pluck some brush, usually sagebrush, for their last meal then I say a prayer with blessing and thanks to their spirit and in thanks from me to my maker. I believe all life is connected and thus deserves our respect and gratitude.

    • Troy Warner
      Post count: 239

      I ask for forgiveness for killing then give thanks for the life and sustenance I and my family have just received.

      It’s a very personal ritual as are the pictures I take to honor the animal and remind me how beautiful every life really is. That’s one reason I seldom share my actual “hero” (I really dislike that word) pictures with any one out side family and extremely close friends, like my few hunting partners that actually “get” the reverence I feel on the hunt.

      Wow… some of the most personal stuff I’ve shared anywhere.

      Troy

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      What Troy said … then I convert it to meat immediately, so that I don’t have to dwell overly long on what I’ve just done.

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      When I began hunting I did not think so long about the life I had taken even though I knew the killing was counter to the excitement of the hunt. Making my first traditional kill on whitetail, finding it after dark as the moon was rising in the cool September evening changed me. I also began to know other hunters who had their own rituals. After that I began to seek forgiveness for taking the animals life, allowing myself time to live for awhile in my remorse while admiring the animal. Then to give thanks for the bounty the animal will provide me and my family. Makes no difference what animal, whether I killed it or not, I must give thanks.

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      I always put my hand on the body and look into their eyes. Then I say, “thank you for your life” and apologize for their death.

      Life should never be easy to take. Most hunters never realize that. Killing bears is the worst for me. I continue to hunt them but am deeply saddened every time I watch one die.

    • jpcarlson
      Member
      Post count: 218

      I start a prayer of thanks giving as I walk to the stand for having the health, time, and resources to go bow hunting. I give thanks for the chance to slow down and watch and listen. I give thanks for a good clean kill and the meat, and I toast the animal with a little bourbon on the rocks while I’m skinning and pulling the tenderloins out (to be fried up in a cast iron skillet with some butter, salt, pepper, and a little onion ASAP:)

      J

    • Wolfshead
      Post count: 82

      tradhunter1 wrote: I ask for forgiveness for killing then give thanks for the life and sustenance I and my family have just received.

      It’s a very personal ritual as are the pictures I take to honor the animal and remind me how beautiful every life really is. That’s one reason I seldom share my actual “hero” (I really dislike that word) pictures with any one out side family and extremely close friends, like my few hunting partners that actually “get” the reverence I feel on the hunt.

      Wow… some of the most personal stuff I’ve shared anywhere.

      Troy

      At 52, this will be my first ever season as a Hunter.

      I will hunt exclusively as a Traditional Bowhunter and for a definite reason.

      I always supported hunting but never participated.

      One because as a football player, then later as a coach, my falls were consumed with preparations for each game and opponent.

      Second was having to actually take a life. I just was not sure that it was something I was comfortable in doing myself…

      As a Trad Bowhunter, as you all know we offer our quarry the opportunity for fair chase, pursuing them on their turf on their terms, and for me their extreme advantage. I will probably be eating more tag than tenderloin, but the experience and the opportunity to spend the time in Nature and, hopefully, up close and personal with it’s inhabitants is very exciting for me.

      I am not sure how I feel about photographing my harvest as of yet out of respect for the animal. I am not hunting for trophies, I am hunting for meat and experiences. Those will be my trophies. Maybe a picture, maybe not….

      I will be developing my personal traditions and prayers this fall.

      Good luck to you all!

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      Hmmm. I don’t feel the guilt which seems to be a common response to killing. Sometimes I feel sadness, but I am not sure if the sadness is for the death, or for the end of the chase.

      I do feel thankful to the deer. And I express that with a simple touch and nod. And I do feel the rush of time as my own circle of life chases its tail. And I am forced to see my own bit of that earthly food chain more sharply: Oak – Deer – Man – Oak. And I make a promise to the deer to honor that chain (no cremation or embalming for me. Shallow unmarked grave will do).

    • David Fudala
      Post count: 224

      What a great topic Paleoman! It really got me thinking. For years being a wheelie bow pilot, I was never really concerned with the responsibilities associated with taking another life. I was consumed by the mentality that they were just animals for a very long time. My views have certainly changed since then and not a moment too soon! I have not harvested an animal of any type with traditional gear yet so I don’t know what my initial emotions and reaction will be? I think, ultimately, I’m going to try not to prepare for it too much. I would like my first reactions to by honest ones from my heart, rather than a staged presentation. From there, perhaps a tradition will develope? I’ll keep ya posted for sure!

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      I have been known to follow the tradition of the last bite, break of a piece of this years growth from a tree, the end piece goes in the animals mouth as the last bite, the next piece covers the wound and the last piece gets dipped in the blood and tucked in the side of my hat or somewhere convenient for the rest of the day.

      In my mind it gives pause for reflection on the hunt, the kill and process to come.

      Mark.

      Just recalled I first saw this hunting with a German gentleman and he said the tree must never be cut the leaves must be torn as they would be by a deer.

    • bumma
      Post count: 5

      I take a few moments to admire the animal and give thanks for the meat it will provide. At the end of that hunting day the heart is prepared, seasoned and cooked in a large cast iron fry pan either on an open fire or if the weather is bad then on top of the wood stove. Everyone from our group that hunted that day shares in the meal.

    • shreffler
      Post count: 69

      Ever since I was a kid my dad has always carried a flask or small bottle of Jaegermeister with him when we went deer hunting, and after any of us took an animal we would all take a swig and toast.

      I’ve been doing this since I was a kid (shhh don’t tell :wink:) and continue to do it even when I hunt on my own.

    • Bunyan Morris
      Member
      Post count: 135

      I too thank the animal for its gift. I do not feel any guilt over the death if it is clean and quick. I spend much time admiring the beauty and individuality of the animal and the surroundings. Because of the significance of death, in my mind I recount the events leading to, during and after. Then I share the event with my closest hunting partners and Connie when I return home.

      And then the year long celebration begins with the first meat brought to the table from the grill.

    • archer38
      Post count: 242

      I always feel a little sad when I kill an animal. It’s not guilt, I know why I’m a hunter. It’s more out of respect.

      As for traditions, When I’ve been fortunate to harvest a deer, the tenderloins are pulled immediately after field dressing and my better half prepares them while I finish hanging, skinning etc. When I’m fortunate to harvest a bear, the liver comes out and soaks in milk until I’m done skinning and such, then prepared fresh. I do my own butchering and so I return any of the carcass that I don’t use to the woods.

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