Home Forums Campfire Forum Measuring Up

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    • Stephen Graf
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      Post count: 2371

      I enjoyed Jason Wesbrock’s Campfire Philosopher column again, as I usually do.

      I have been through the cycle: From shooting the first deer seen to waiting for a really big buck. I didn’t spend much time at the big buck end of the spectrum. It felt wrong to me.

      So now I shoot the first decent sized deer that looks like it will yield enough meat to make the effort of killing it worthwhile. Been that way for many years now. I find this attitude brings the honest joy of hunting that I crave.

      I have wondered though, if killing young foolish bucks was hurting the deer population. I recently read about a study that showed that the tendency to shoot only the largest deer, elk, whatever antlered creature has, over the last few centuries has resulted in a general diminishing of animal size. I can find the study name if pressed to do so.

      So now I feel completely vindicated in my attitudes toward killing the first decent animal and feeding my family. And not so bad about what I did when a friend thought he was doing me a favor.

      Apparently he entered one of my critters that I shot when we were together in the state record book. He then brought the plaque over one day to surprise me. I took the plaque, turned it upside down nailed it to a piece of firewood to make a table, and put two beers on it. (had the nails and hammer on the porch right next to the wood when he nocked on the door)

      When he gave me the incredulous look you might expect, I just said: “I thought you knew how I felt about these things?” A few beers later all was forgiven.

      And the plaque eventually followed the firewood it was attached to into the stove. So it did serve the higher purpose of keeping my kids warm 😀

    • Fallguy
      Member
      Post count: 317

      The commercialization of hunting has not produced any positive results. The endless pursuit of large antlers has not done anything positive for the animals we pursue or the image of those that pursue them. I believe that is the main underlying issue with the very severe kick in the image that hunters took over the killing of the Lion called Cecil. That individual had already killed a lion on an earlier safari and was now out to kill another one that was more impressive than the last.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      I guess we’re not messing things up too bad;

      In the early 1900’s there were an estimated 500,000 white-tailed in the United States.. Today there are over 20 million deer in the United States and numbers are rising.

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Steve, that’s a great story of strong resolve. My hat’s off to you. Before I got addicted to archery, I got addicted to flintlock hunting. My plan, if you could call it that, was to fill only doe tags in the early and regular season. In PA, you can use your antlered deer tag to take a buck or doe in the winter flintlock season. Food on the table.

      Enjoy the holiday weekend. Best wishes, dwc

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
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      Post count: 2371

      R2 wrote: I guess we’re not messing things up too bad;

      In the early 1900’s there were an estimated 500,000 white-tailed in the United States.. Today there are over 20 million deer in the United States and numbers are rising.

      In North Carolina, the population has been steadily declining for the last 15 years or so. I think this is true in other states as well.

      Last year, we had a crazy state wide outbreak of hemorrhagic disease (that’s what the WRC claims anyway) that killed at least 40% of the herd state wide. Deer harvest was off 60%.

      There was exactly one article about it in the local paper. The local retail organization reminded the paper that lower deer populations means fewer hunting licenses sold and fewer hunters in stores and thus fewer ads in the paper. No more stories about declining deer populations.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      And that relates how to whether I decide to shoot a small, medium or large or extra large? First, second or third deer that comes along?

      If the opportunity comes along for a big buck, I’ll try for it in a heartbeat. And I’ll not worry about vindicating myself to anyone.

      But I ain’t going home to an empty freezer cause it ain’t a big buck either. Nor am I so desperate to kill that I’ll take a not grown animal.

      Disease in animals, not just deer, is a major problem in a lot of areas, much of it related to man’s doings. Game farms, grazing privately owned animals on public lands are two major sources. Some also due to overpopulation in some areas. Everything that overpopulates, except bugs it seems, begins to get into the starvation and disease mode.

      When it comes to commercialization, what ain’t that’s popular and can be profitable to some one? When has it ever not been so?

      Where do some of the resources come from that help provide the opportunity for hunters to hunt to spend their money doing so? Not only from licenses but also from tax revenue.

      There’s something about all of it that some of us don’t like but the hunting opportunity is still there, more so than ever.,

    • grumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      My dirty old hat is off to you too, Steve. :D:D

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      Thanks for the kind words. Hopefully we all find what we’re seeking this upcoming season.

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 579

      I’m glad there are others out there with similar views of hunting. Sometimes (usually when I pick up the big hunting publications, or watch a hunting show) I get overwhelmed and disgusted with hunters when the focus is only on killing big bucks.

      Happy to make your acquaintance on here Steve.

      Preston

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      “J.Wesbrock wrote: Hopefully we all find what we’re seeking this upcoming season.

      Good words. As we each pursue what is in our hearts, let it be done in fair chase and with best of intentions. Best, dwc

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      I’m happy as a clam at high tide with just taking some good fall pics every year anymore. But, I think the Blue Moon is rising and it’s time to ask the Patron Saint of Meat for a Blessing:D I’m so overdue it ain’t funny! Enjoy the day.

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      J. and all, great comments and well said. This morning early while Lin was on the lower deck brushing the dog and I was on the upper–two nice bucks one 6 and the other 8 points were standing just off the trail about 10 feet from her and Goldie and a 15 yard tree stand shot from me–flicking their tails and just observing us. I said to my bride below–sure I can’t hunt here this year–she glanced up to me and said “well that wouldn’t be hunting as you describe it, just killing”. Good point dear.8)

      Back to the challenge—wouldn’t want anything less as I see you all agree.:D

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Post count: 2371

      colmike wrote: …well that wouldn’t be hunting as you describe it, just killing”. Good point dear.8)

      Back to the challenge—wouldn’t want anything less as I see you all agree.:D

      Deer taste the same either way 😀 If your freezer is empty, it might be time to take a chip shot, every now and again.

      I know if my freezer is empty, the gun comes out until it isn’t anymore 😳

      Used up the last package of ground venison last night. I’m starting to get those accusing looks that imply I ain’t doing my job 😯

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Isn’t it nice, though? You get a dirty look for not going hunting? Life is good. d

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Post count: 2371

      Saw seven deer last night, got busted seven times. Too wet and still.

      Could have shot the first deer, but it was too small bodied to make it worth while. After he gave me a shot at about 5 yards, he turned around and looked right at me. I thought we were going to bump noses till he back flipped out of there.

      I wish this rain would stop… Been raining for a week, going to rain for at least another…

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