Home Forums Campfire Forum Feeling Guilty

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    • CareyE
      Member
      Post count: 111

      First a little background for my post. I had a somewhat tough season with the stick as in a limited number of deer sightings hunting, mostly on public land. Anyone familiar with deer hunting in the Keystone State knows that this is not unusual. I did get permission later in the archery season to hunt a 20 acre parcel near the PA Game Lands that the deer I am pictured with was taken. The new land seems to be a prime doe bedding area. The short story is that I saw a decent amount of deer the last two weeks of the archery season that included a couple of nice bucks. No shots presented themselves and my archery season ended with no deer taken.

      The PA Firearms Deer season started yesterday. I worked until 8 AM and was not able to get out at first light. When I got to my new spot I noticed the truck of the gentleman who gave me permission to hunt, so I continued on, the reason being the small size of the hunting parcel.

      Driving to the nearby Game Lands I noticed what seemed to be a “truck dealers” parking lot. So, I drove home deciding to wait until the afternoon to see if my benefactor was done hunting.

      As hoped for, his truck was gone so I preceded to hunt…with my rifle. Anyone who hunts in PA knows how many hunters are out there with a gun. The area I hunted was surrounded by guys hunting. Where my stand is located, there is a good possibility that even a fatally wounded bow-shot deer may travel off the property. Permission to retrieve is not a problem, however, with so many hunters afield, I am not so confident in the ethics of those that might see my deer run and or fall.

      I was in my stand a whole ten minutes when a group of does came running in and stopped. As I was gutting the doe, I felt guilty for not taking her with my stick. In my mind I was bringing home meat for my family. In my heart, I felt like I cheated…the deer and myself.

      I think I’m writing this to help feel better. Anyone else been there?

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2555

      I’ve never felt guilty about not taking deer with my bow, regretful maybe, especially when I’ve spent so much time and work hoping to make a clean shot if an opportunity came my way and I love being close to nature in the slow and personal way that traditional archery requires .

      But when it comes to feeding my family (we feed two for the most part) I’m not concerned, I like to rifle hunt too so it concerns me none and it surely helps on the food bill around here.

    • David Fudala
      Post count: 224

      Well, if I ever really broke it down I think a pound of venison would cost me more than I’d pay for high quality veal so excluding the economical meat on the table myth, I’d have to ask myself simply, did I enjoy myself? Personally, I gave up gun hunting years ago for that simple reason. Even before I switched to trad gear, the gun hunt had lost its luster for me. So IMO, as a sport hunter, if you enjoy yourself and you are successful in legally harvesting your quarry, why feel guilt? Sure, rifle hunting is easier than bowhunting and in comparison I can understand a feeling of guilt once both methods are compared but, it is a legal and ethical way to harvest a big game animal? I don’t think you should let it bother you? If you aren’t enjoying the hunt, harvest or not, that’s a different discussion.

    • Olinb Rindal
      Post count: 6

      If it makes you feel better, Yote Robertson shot a deer with a rifle this year.

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      Nothing wrong with “shopping in the woods” for meat with a rifle, as opposed to hunting with a bow, as a good friend said to me a little while ago!

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2271

      Carey, i understand what you are saying. I don’t get as much time in the woods as I’d like, but that’s just the nature of where I’m at in life. It’s the way it needs to be and I wouldn’t have any other way. So it’s been a few years now since i killed my first and only deer with a bow. The last two years i killed two deer with a rifle. Yes it felt like cheating but it sure put some nice free range organic meat in the freezer. I live and hunt in Pa too and i learned early to try to drop the deer in its track as the hunters out numbered the deer. You made a good choice when you took a hard look at the situation. Keep practicing with your bow for the winter season. Enjoy those steaks! Best dwc

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      I will never get the fun and excitement that I get from bow hunting when I’m out with a rifle. When I reach that point in the season where the rifle comes out of the man cave, I’m purely in “get it done” mode at that point. But sometimes it’s what you have to do, and I believe that whatever we have in our hands, we should make our decision and then put it to rest and go afield with a clear and resolved conscience. There’s nothing wrong with hunting well (rifle or bow), and putting good healthy meat in the freezer for family and friends.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2374

      Gun hunting and bowhunting shouldn’t be confused. Bow hunting is one thing, gun hunting another. I enjoy both, but as most around here do, I prefer bowhunting.

      Don’t get all wrapped up in the BS, and don’t worry about it. Enjoy that deer! I hope you thanked it when you came upon her. If you didn’t, that’s something to feel guilty about.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      If my son didn’t gun hunt, and we didn’t have any venison, I’d have no qualms with using a rifle.

      Agree with all of the above, except the thanking part. I think appreciating it sufficient. If I were that deer, and you thanked me, I’d tell you to take your thank you and shove it. Well, that is if I weren’t dead.

    • CareyE
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 111

      Thanks guys for taking time to respond. As someone who hunted everything when I was younger, I suppose the yearning to go out in rifle season is instinctual for me. I believe I have come to the point in my life that the means is now more important than the end. Don’t get me wrong, I much prefer deer meat over beef any day, but I guess now it tastes better to me if I shop with the “stick”.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2374

      Patrick wrote: …Agree with all of the above, except the thanking part. I think appreciating it sufficient. If I were that deer, and you thanked me, I’d tell you to take your thank you and shove it. Well, that is if I weren’t dead.

      Me thinks you will end up crippled and unable to walk :shock::

      http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/The-Little-Deer-Awi-Usdi-Cherokee.html

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      Steve Graf wrote: Me thinks you will end up crippled and unable to walk :shock::

      Me doesn’t think deer could ever speak Cherokee.

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