Now I'm learning something. I guess I new it all along but hearing things said differently surely helps.
Nonya, showing the difference between shooting and hunting was the key for me. Also mo30284's comments about Mississippi elk.
Growing up in western Pennsylvania and living in idaho since 1966 is quite a combination..
Hunting: When I "missed the bus" because of a new snow and grabbing dad's rifle (I had no respect for my 38-40) and heading for the woods. Making a loop around a couple of ridges on shanks pony (this is in PA) and spotting deer in their beds or cut their tracks because I wasn't stealthy enough. Picking a track that looked like a buck and tracking and stalking until I could see if it was a buck. Lots of fun, good experience. Whoever made the first mistake lost. I was the one who make the first mistake in all cases but one. That resulted in taking my first WT buck. a real nice 9 point.
Another memorable hunt was down by Paris Idaho. A nice fresh snow and I busted a herd of Muleys with a real decent buck. The cover was fairly thick with sage patches of some size. I started my WT style track and stalk. They started making a large circle around a wooded ridge. About half way around I knew that they would complete the circle and pass close to where I first saw them. I quick timed across to where I first saw them and figured they would just about hit their original tracks. I picked my spot. Shortly here comes a doe, another doe and another and another. I know the buck is coming. I'm in a nice kneeling position. The scope is on 3 power. The distance is about 30 yards. When that buck comes through in a few moments the 130 Sierra Boat Tail will do its job and I will final get a really decent 4 X 4. I wait and wait and wait, confused. I lower the rifle and wait some more. What in the world happened. I went up and counted tracks. One set shy of the full herd???? I go back to where I was kneeling. As I approach the spot I see a set of track about 20 yards BEHIND where I was kneeling. I recall a grin, a thought of you SOB and a feeling of respect for Mr. Buck. Enough respect that I quit the chase and went back to the camper cooked a nice dinner and lounged around the rest of the afternoon completely satisfied with the day and the hunt.
All the rest of my mule deer hunts
and all my elk horse hunts I consider myself a shooter and sportsman and not a hunter in the same sense as a one on one chess game with a savvy buck. Shanks pony is not the best way to travel for muleys and elk. There is just too much area out here.;)
RE: the freezer. After cooking and eating elk, some beef actually stinks, that is, smells bad when cooked. And the cuts I like are $$$$ a pound.:mad:
And I'm cheap.