I worry more about the blue tongue and other outbreaks we have due to the dense game population.We havnt had a real winter in many years,thus the largest recorded game numbers and extended season.High game numbers are their own worst enemy,the hunters and the VERY small number of poachers dont even put a dent in them.I am happy for a couplke big muleys I watched the last week because they will probably make it through another year and I may get to kill one next year!
You guys should see the opening day of rifle season in PA. You want to talk about a stressed deer herd? Several times I have left small bucks and does walk/run by only to have them shot on the next property. You know the guys, their rifle gets shot once a year before the opening day, their motto is "if it's brown, it's down". Why do they think they have the right to go into the woods and shoot at everything they see? You are right Kirby, they do not respect the animals. I'm glad I'm not the only one.
I suspect that few people understand how subtle the affects of their actions are on animals. When I was hunting antelope in Bates Hole there was a large buck with a herd of about 30 does. He was so spooky that even at 2K when I stopped the truck to get out and glass him he broke into a run and left the herd of does. On a private ranch the year before antelope would let you park the truck and shoot at ranges of 500 yards. The spooky behavior was also seen in the other units I hunted thsi year on public land
In Idaho, not a single buck nor bull ever was seen in the shooting zone over a 30 day period. There were elk on all sides of the bowl but they never came into the bowl and stopped because of the continuous high level of noise and high level of odor coming from the shooting point and from the bowl being walked through every few days.
In Idaho, I walked through a valley that held a herd of elk and did not come with 500 yards of them, but as I left the bottom of the valley, I shot a snowshoe hare with the 308. The elk immediately left the valley. That walk and single rifle shot which was buffered by trees and probably 1500 yards from them was enough to move them.
In Idaho, I twice disrupted a black bear from his bed and he left the area and no fresh tracks were seen thereafter.
In Idaho, there were at least 12 and perhaps 16 mule deer does on a far hillside and over a three week period they all left the hillside even though no one ever shot at them nor at any buck associated with them. They simply did not like the humans walk within 500 to 800 yards of them. That alone was enough to move them and they were no longer seen anywhere.
In Idaho, I shot at an elk at long range and the lead cow immediately recognized the danger and took the herd and lead them back into the rocky ledges where there was cover.
I would agree that scouting is disruptive to the animals. My experience is that if you scout an area that it will need four to fourteen days to stabilize after you have walked through it depending on the species and how hard they have been hunted in previous years. Elk seem to me to be the most sensitive to people walking around.
I may be getting soft in my older age. I would agree with that. When I was younger, it was nothing to shoot a couple does, a couple pronghorns and then a good buck every year. I am not an old man by any means but I have shot a decent number of animals and I have noticed over the last few years that when I shoot does for meat, I find myself feeling bad for doing it.
I totally understand the need for it to control game populations, it is critical but I find myself feeling bad.
I guess in some way, I have always been like that. I was taught early on, before I could even hunt that taking a big game animal was a happy event but also one that should always contain a bit of sadness and always humble respect for the game you have just killed.
I can honestly say that every buck I have taken over my 22 year hunting career, I have set next to each one and said thanks to that animal with a big of sadness. Its always a sad thing to see an animal that beautiful die and I have always been taught that humility should be part of hunting.
Again, I believe these teachings are what makes me so respectful of the game I hunt and I believe that this should be in the mind and heart of all hunters. I also believe it allows me to get more out of my hunts then if I did not feel this way.
So yes, I would agree, while I love to hunt, I am getting softer in my old age I suppose. To me the hunt is not the killing, its the watching and learning and sharing experiences and memories, the killing is simply the end of the season.
I hear alot of hunters tend to loose a taste for the killing as they get older. I do not know if that will happen to me, I do not see that happening because I love hunting so much but I am aware that I am killing beautiful creatures more and more every year. I do not think that is a bad thing at all.
Maybe I have just not gotten enough sleep this year with the new little one and its making me get mushy in the head!!!
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I feel what ur sayin Kirby, we dont get the extreme winters you all get up there but we do get some extreme weather changes during out season. Case in point this year and last year, this year i sat on a mountain top (OK mountain so ya its a hill!!) in a cut off shirt staring at the stars and slept in only a sleeping bag only 2 weeks ago. Last year me and the same buddy i was on the mountain top with were caught in a actual blizzard the same day to the day one year earlier, complete white out and 50mph wind!! these animals have to adapt to all sorts of conditions in addition to what we do to them.
Down here we dont really have the large expanses of privatly owned land so you are in constant contention with the property owner next to you as to wether you wanna shot whatever moves or let these guys enjoy life and take only the select animal. It gets to be a real pain in the ass let me tell you.
This year i saw deer running for there life to the point of complete exhaustion in wyoming. And in NO WAY am i condeming the state of WY, a true mecca of western big game hunting. This is simply the fault of many poor hunters in every state. In my own home state i visted Sandy Sanders wildlife refuge this year and was greeted by tons of beer cans and bottles most every where. Had it been during the hunting season i am sure i would have seem much of the same as i saw in WY. And this is coming from a guy who loves a cold beer by the campfire, bottom line, pick up your $h!t and leave it the way you found it or better!!!!!
All of us have to take it on ourselves to act in the upmost respetful manner to represent our sport so it can be passed down. Lots of people out there would love to stop this pursuit we call hunting and piss poor people acting the way we have all seen only give them more ammo for there cause.
Good huntin guys
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The "chase" style hunting has become very popular in Washington. It is a race to see who gets to the animal first. Usually involves running them until they have to stop, the blazing away.
This is why we don't hunt in the state we live in. Since I bought a home in Montana, we get to see more wildlife than people it seems. I have seen some hunters that don't seem to respect animals or obey laws. I have seen pickup trucks with deer over flowing the beds, and I wonder how much is going to be wasted. Especially when you see the same brand new truck the rest of the week with the animals still in the back unskinned!!! I understand that populations need to be kept in check, and a sound management plan has to followed. Just seems that some abuse it. This year, I didn't even fill the doe tag I had. It was more fun to watch the bucks rutting and chasing does. I doubt that I will ever stop hunting. Will I stop buying the occasional 1 doe tag, even though 5 tags are allowed? Nope, it helps with the overall management of the game we hunt. I do feel bad though......just seems different.
Are you getting soft? Nope, you just respect the animals, the outdoors and your passion for hunting.
Anyway, what are you doing philosophizing......you are supposed to be in the shop working