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I've never hunted. My father was not a hunter or gun owner. His father was an occasional dove hunter earlier in his life.

My entry into gun ownership was about self-defense. But now I am entertaining the idea of trying hunting. And that is actually why I got the 6.8mm. Stay true to my roots of self-defense while leaving the option of hunting open.

I understand that in general that hunting is declining in the United States. So that is why I am saying that I am swimming against the current. It seems the barriers are high. The hunting safety course. Proper equipment. Knowledge of how to do it. I'm in Texas, so actually having a place to hunt for us city folks (for those that are not independently wealthy) is problematic. Maybe the biggest barrier is the mindset of hunting. Turning on the TV to watch a hunting show is like watching the National Geographic channel. The orgiastic ecstasy displayed by the hunter as he yells and high-fives after the kill on some of these shows seems like such a foreign emotion and world-view. There seems to be little sense of sacred (yeah, I was the kid who read about the Indians praying over the spirit of the animal he killed).

I have a friend who will go hunting with me, if we can make arrangements for a location. He is experienced. But still, it seems very foreign. He talks about shooting "feral dogs" and wanting to find a place to shoot coyotes. Which is about the last thing I would want to do.

Well, it's going to be an adventure for me, the city-slicker swimming against the current.
 

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Hunting for me is a passion. Nothing better then spending time with family and friends.

Just do yourself and your buddies a favor. Become extremely familiar with your firearms operation and mind all safety at all times.

Most hunting shows suck. LOL
 

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Hunting is not all about the kill, at least not for me anymore. its time spent together with friends and family out doors in Nature away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. some of my best naps have been 40 feet up a tree in my stand with a cold front coming in and the tree swaying in the cool air, ahhhhhhhhh I think I am headed there in my mind right now. of course when I get something that is always a big plus. matter of fact I am going hunting Friday lets hope I get s nice turkey or a big buck
 

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Hunting is about getting in touch with your primal self, it is about being one with nature and understanding your balance in the world. I hunt becuase if I dont I honestly feel horrible, I dont get a lot of time to do it but if I dont take the time I can when I can I dont feel right. I spent all the time in the world growing up out of doors. Even know if I need a break I will head for the woods.

Hunting is still about making a clean kill and using what you can off of the animal. Most hunting shows are all about the trophy's but hunting isnt about the trophy, it is about the respect for the animal in making a clean kill.

I think once you try it you will like it.
 

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Hunting also teaches you respect for your prey, and for some strange reason Ia lways feel closer to God while I am hunting.
 

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If I want to be close to God I would always go sit on a rock in the middle of no where then head to the local church....

I would say you will save money on meat but the last year I spent over 200 bucks on two seperate state licenses and I I got nothing :D they year before was worse (money wise) and I got 2 doe and a turkey.
 

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It is a state of mind and the love of the hunt and animal. I still to this day give a word of thanks to God over my harvest. I also give him a word of thanks when I'm unsuccesful because I am returning home safely. The t.v. shows are pretty much staged. Although I will say Eastmans is the only one I still watch.
My best hunts have been when surronded by friends and it didn't matter that much if succesful or not.

As far as being in Texas and finding places to hunt and not being rich. Well your not the only one with that problem. Depending on what you want you can find stuff. I am still looking for a lease that is reasonable and a good fit. I have some friends with some property but there kind of restrictive. (no green fields.....) So Just keep looking TPWD is working hard to find more land to use for public hunting and you can find some decent weekend hunt packages.
 

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I like watching the Primos Archery... all of the hunting shows I watch are archery... the rifle shows are oh there he is.... BANG.... FLOP....

the Primos archery they show them missing they show bad hits... they show two days of searching for an animal....
 

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Mike…I commend you for making the choice to hunt while expressing legitimate concerns about the actual act of taking the life of an animal.

For many who grew up in metropolitan areas it can be a difficult choice. I think that is the result of a "rose colored" view of nature and perhaps life in general. They enjoy heading to the local McDonnell's for a Big Mac yet do not allow themselves to appreciate that someone at a meat packing plant killed the animal you are eating. He did so as a service so that the general public never experiences the actual act of killing what we eat as carnivores. As a result, the only early exposure to the death of an animal was through a Disney version of Bambi…or the loss of a family pet. These exposures to hunting or the death of an animal were often unrealistic or heavily insulated by parents wanting to "protect " their children from the realities of life…for as long as possible. I often think they did their children a disservice.

For those who were raised in a rural environment, it is perhaps a little easier to accept as we all were exposed to the killing of animals at a very early age. We witnessed and often participated in the killing and butchering of domestic animals as a part of our early education to family life on the farm.

Hunting at an early age was part of our education as well with many taking their first deer before reaching double digits in age. Many of us knew how to field dress a deer before we reached puberty. This early experience and exposure to death was part of the maturing process. However along with this education came an emphasis on personal responsibility. We were taught when killing an animal to do it quickly and as humanely as possible. Not to allow the animal to suffer unnecessarily. There is never any joy in seeing an animal suffer….even a predator like a Coyote who kills without sympathy or remorse.

I also was taught never to hunt for "sport". You killed for only two reasons:
One… to put meat on the dinner table.
Two…to protect the life or safety of humans and domesticated animals.

You killed prairie dogs and ground hogs because their burrows were a hazard to livestock. You killed Coyotes because they would kill your dogs. You killed quail, rabbits, squirrels and deer to put meat on the table.
If an animal was not a threat and you did not plan to eat it…you let it walk.

But hunting is far more than the act of taking a life.

The experience of sitting in a tree stand early in the morning as the woods come alive is an experience that every human being should have the opportunity to enjoy. Such mornings are some of the best experiences in life. It is a opportunity to enjoy nature and to be introspective without life's many distractions.

Sitting around a potbelly stove with a hot fire cracking, sharing stories of the buck that got away… can be some of the best male bonding, short of military service.

Stalking within 20 ft of a bedded doe without being spotted or winded…Following a doe and yearling for over a ¼ mile while only 30 yds behind… and crawling within 30 ft of a Bedded Buck and Doe before being charged by the buck…( I was covered in skunk scent) … are three hunting experiences I will never forget. In all three cases… a shot was never fired. The value of the experience was the challenge of being able to do it….not to put another deer in the freezer.

The ironic truth in hunting is that a true hunter respects and values the life of his quarry even more than a non-hunter. By learning about and observing the animal on it's home turf you gain a much greater appreciation and respect for it's endurance, intelligence, it's will to survive and it's tolerance for pain and cold. You appreciate the animal more after years of hunting than you did as a new hunter. If you never fire a shot…it is this knowledge that you come to value most.

Unfortunately, there are some who claim to " hunt" who should never set foot in the woods armed. They have never learned to take a shot only when they are certain it will be a quick and humane kill. They will shoot repeatedly at a running deer through heavy brush. They take high-risk shots and the result are wounded animals that are never recovered. They "road hunt" riding in pick up's because they are too lazy or poorly skilled to actually set foot in the woods to still hunt. These are not hunters…they are opportunists with a gun. They are to be avoided, as they are risks to themselves and to you.

When hunting… there is a time for elation. When you have been watching a old wary buck for three years. When you have collected his antler sheds in February or March of the previous years…when you know where he likes to bed, yet have never seen him during daylight hours. Then finally on the last day of an 11 day hunting season after spending ALL day, EVERY day watching for this buck…. you catch him off guard and have one chance to take a good high percentage shot…you do. He drops in his tracks… and all your efforts to take this deer over the past three years are rewarded. You too will shout and put your fist in the air and feel the primordial emotion that swells up inside you. It's not about the rack. It's about the challenge of pitting your skill and intelligence against one of the most wary and smartest four legged animals in North America…and being successful.

That is what hunting holds in store for you.

Kerry
Farmington, MO
 

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Kerry has a very good explanation, I think a lot of it has to do with the death thing... most people dont understand death.. if you have dealt it then you will understand it better. That is the biggest lesson to be learned.
 

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Kerry needs to write for a living if he doesn't already. Well said sir.
 

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The ironic truth in hunting is that a true hunter respects and values the life of his quarry even more than a non-hunter.
This statement is sadly more true every day.

We have a society that thinks chicken and beef come wrapped in plastic. They are never exposed to death and killing in any manner except what they watch on TV and in the movies, which won't show "food" being processed.

A hunter does not kill like any other species of animal. A true hunter always feels some sense of remorse, not out of the "cruelty of the act" but out of respect for the animal. Does a pack of wolves that drag down a deer feel any remorse for the killing and coinsuming the deer? Not possible.

Therefore, the argument that animals have rights is specious. Rights originate from HUMAN social interaction. In return for consideration, one bestows consideration. These considerations do not exist in animals from the smartest of any species to the most lowly form of virus. None of them can respect our human rights and all would consume us at any time.

Hunting places man closer to nature and animals. We do it because we care about nature, not because we are cruel. Hunters respect animals and their environment more than any anti hunter ever could. Hunters spend more money that actually benefits the animals and environment than any anti ever has. The antis are only concerned with changing our (human) behavior and conduct, spending their efforts and money to that end and not actuall protecting animals and their existance.

Hunters are the stewards of wildlife and work to conserve and protect wildlife and their habitat.

When I take an animal, I always give thanks. Thanks to the Creator for providing us the animal and thanks to the animal for the hunt and sustaniance it provides.

I think I'll spend my time in the woods and fields hunting rather than watching violent TV and movies, sitting in front of a violent video game (although staying inside this week with temps well below 0 F does not sound too bad! :wink: ) or staying in a luxury lodge being air conditioned and consuming excessive energy.

I might make a little smoke from my campfire, however I won't feel guilty about it! :D
 

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I agree with what's been said...
spending time in the great outdoors with friends and family, away from all the BS, one with nature, heightened sense of awareness, it's all there (similar reasons I like to fish and mountain bike)


I spent a few days hunting with my dad last week, I am 43, he's 75
He's taken me hunting a zillion times, taught me so much, etc..

I finally got the chance to take him out
We had such a great time, I can't express how truly happy I was to be out there with my dad hunting, recounting stories of long ago hunts, all the stories of him and my uncles and his buds out hunting deer, hogs, alligators, varmints, etc..
It will be time I will cherish to my grave

I take my 11 year old hunting, he has shot 3 deer and I have instilled in him the ethical responsibility of 1 clean shot and to minimize suffering.

To anyone that objects to hunting I pose this question:

What sounds like a better life for the animal:
to live wild and free their whole lives or to be raised in captivity in a pen?

Not to mention that the meat is "free range organic"

I always feel a little bit of remorse when I walk up on a downed deer.
Never admitted it, but I do and I usually tell them "sorry about that old buddy" or something like that.. and I give thanks to God for the food we are provided.

Like I mentioned, my dad and I hunted for a few days and he never even shot one, he could have easily shot 20 does if he wanted, I kept after him to take one, but, he's 75 and has killed a ton of deer, he said several times "I am just happy to be out here and knowing I could take one if I wanted" He did get pumped the last morning at a few nice bucks but was unable to get lined up for a good clean shot and passed.

he was just happy to be out there with his son doing one of his favorite things....
 

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You ask the right questions. Sounds like you are going to try this. It's me 28 years ago.
Check out the Wyoming Game and Fish web site. Out of state antelope and deer tags are not cheap but we have a good success rate. Save some bucks for the tag and ask the boss for time off in October. Get the hunter safety class done. Practice at the range and learn the limitations of you and your equipment. Read what you can and practice the skills required. Kerry summed things up pretty well.
If you want try big game hunting you can come up to Wyoming and hunt with us. I am no guide but it ain't my first rodeo either. Pull your own weight, be safe and enjoy the time in the field is all I ask. You get about 3 months to decide on the tags.

Almost forgot, Merry Christmas.

Greg/buellist
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've appreciated all the feedback and thoughts.

I am not a vegetarian/vegan. I believe there is a form of moral transaction that occurs when a human chooses to eat an animal. And part of taking that on must be the willingness to see it through from beginning to end. The moral burden includes the act of death. Now I'm grateful to not be involved in that act, but I think an honest man must be willing to confront it, at least in spirit, if he is going to eat meat. Maybe hunting will give me a deeper appreciation for an act that I give little thought to: eating.

Buellist, Wyoming sounds great, though I am a good ways away from trying something like that. My aunt and uncle own a home in Western Wyoming that I could probably have access to. And my wife's family owns a cabin near Island Park, Idaho. Maybe someday, if it's in the cards.
 

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Mike--I'm kind of in the same boat. My 11 y.o. son wants to go deer hunting. I went hunting with my dad when I was a kid (we shot AT a lot but didn't kill much...) but I never got the bug.

A friend is willing to help--in fact, we were set up to go at the start of gun season this year. But my son just isn't good enough with a shotgun to warrant it. We'll be ready next year.

We have our own property (75 wooded acres backed up to a National Forrest) so that's not a problem. The problem is, I have no idea how to gut a deer. My kid will be up to speed with the gun by next year (I got him a youth 20 gauge with a slug barrel) but it's like a dog chasing the car--what to do with it once I catch it.

So, hopefully, my friend will go with us and teach me how to dress the deer once we get one.

This is a great site--thanks to all who help and advise!

Tim C.
 

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Its not hard to field dress. You can pick up a video at Cabela's or Amazon and it will give you the basics. Some of the tricks I know that aren't shown are:
1.Spray a little wd-40 or silicone on your knife if you plan to skin
2.bring water and plenty of gloves
3.put a little dab of vicks vapor rub under your nose (and your sons) before you start. It totally covers the abdominal smells that will erupt. It helps ALOT 8)
 

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Gutting one isnt that hard, but it is done wrong a lot of the times, I worked for a butcher in highschool and we use to get deer with a lot of the stuff inside that is suppose to come out. if you go slow on the initial cut from the sternum down you wont punch anything and it is actually pretty clean and easy. Having someone that knows what they are doing is a big help. starting with something small, like a rabbit is also good.
 
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