I wonder how many are getting a "youtube" education or "experience" with hunting.
There are hunts, and there are hunts.
On my first hunting trip, I was taken to a older gentleman's favorite spot, and was it sporting? I guess that depends on your reason for hunting.
This was in Eastern Montana where it's mostly flat and foliage is sparse, mostly there are rolling hills/trenches cut by seasonal rain called "coolies" to hide in, and plenty of sage.
He wasn't sure of my skill level (I had been in the Air Force, and long before that did a lot of sport shooting and practical training for self defense with pistols) and had limited rifle experience, so I had all the best opportunities in a virtual shooting gallery with game that was not yet pressured.
I hit everything I shot at, and I only took the best shots offered. I took my first deer at 220 yards with a 308 Saiga (sporterized semi-auto based on the klashnikov), and my second at 180 yards, these were all one-shot and they dropped harvests.
No beer involved.
This same poor gentleman was suffering from a brain tumor (no one knew at the time) and was barely able to take his buck (his vision was being affected on occasion) after several shots in a less than ideal situation (his deer was facing away from us, only a neck shot available, they gave me several opportunities to shoot and I only took the best broad-side shots to give me the best possibility of a clean kill) because after I had filled my tags, there was slim pickings left for them the following days of the hunt.
I don't hunt for sport as much as for meat in the freezer.
If you feel better hiring someone in a factory setting to kill an animal (cow) by shooting it in the back of the head with a .22 at close range before slaughtering, then I guess you either don't know that is how it's done, or are fooling yourself that your any different buying it in the store all neat and wrapped for ya.
I have no problem with harvesting my own game, hanging it to age the meat (just like they do before it comes to the store) and butchering it myself.
Sure, if I did this on a regular basis I would have no time of my own, and I am happy to have someone else to do it so I can buy it in the store, but if you have ever been on a real hunt (they call it hunting, not shooting
) and never seen a single animal, then you would probably better understand what it's all really about.
Even rifle hunting in ideal areas, you can go for days and not see a single animal.
After getting the meat for the winter, I will then take on much more challenging hunts for sport.
Hunting isn't a "blood sport" or a challenge of man vs animal in a fight to the death, it's more about going out in the woods, spending time in nature, and doing nothing different than any other predator or omnivore.
I guess some of you think it isn't very sporting when a mountain lion kills a rabbit instead of taking on a wolf or a bear?
You all need to stop watching the Disney channel and get out in the woods and experience it.
Watching Animal Planet doesn't count either.
Oh and for those of you will illusions of taking on a deer with your bare hands or even with a knife, here is a nice story for you.
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/deer-att ... mer/nFDTY/
Deer kill about 150 people a year in the Unites States. But most of those deaths happen when deer are involved in collisions with automobiles.
We as a society have been given a false reality packaged by Disney et all that the forest is filled with friendly "pets" that sing a chorus with you skip down a trail.
These are wild animals, and they deserve respect and shouldn't be underestimated.
Wasn't too long ago in Montana that a woman was hospitalized with critical wounds when a buck crazed while in rut came into the university campus and proceeded to kick her with it's front hooves which are razor sharp (how else do you think they fly up steep slippery terrain?) and she barely lived to tell the tale.
You can think what you want about hunting, but until you have been threatened by a bear or stalked by a Lion, you don't really realize how dangerous it truly is.
The most dangerous wild animals are the ones that idiots have fed, because then they start loosing their natural fear of humans and start associating people with food.
I have had to stare down a Grizzly in Montana that fortunately decided that I wasn't worth the trouble (this is probably the same one that later that year or two my friend who lived in the area had to put down for attacking the side of his house and smashing a neighbors car on regular basis) when I was on my first solo deer hunt.
I saw him in the distance with my binoculars moving away from me, and thought, hmmm I wonder what that big brown thing is in the distance.
I was so fascinated that it didn't occur to me when he was about 300yrds away, that he stopped, sniffed the air and was now coming right to me.
He was on the other side of a draw, and moving steadily, and after about 10 seconds or so I realized he wasn't just heading my direction, but coming RIGHT to me.
I was forced to make a decision because in the next few minutes he came with in about 10 yrds of me and stood up, and I don't know why I didn't crap my pants, I surely was scared enough!
If you don't know already, bears have been clocked at over 30 MPH in a charge, and you don't get any time to do anything about it if they decide to charge unless you're prepared.
When he stood up I had my finger on the trigger, staring him down through my scope, with both eyes open to make sure I had an opportunity to get a couple shots off before he charged, literally praying that I didn't have to shoot him!
After looking at me a few moments, he went back down on all fours and went around me, and continued down the spur road I had just walked in on.
There was a pretty fresh snow, and I was able to see his tracks, and it stopped me cold! He had such large paws that they were longer and wider than the length of my feet!
No matter how "safe" you may think you are in the woods even hunting, or that you are even the only "hunter" often, there is plenty stalking you as well.
We had more problems with lions than bears, in Montana, but people tend to get complacent like Timothy Treadwell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Treadwell
and think they know something because they manage to get away with doing stupid things for a while, and there have been many instances when I was in the woods when I have no doubt I have been stalked, and it's not like the Lions are going to walk up and talk to you about it.
Another friend of mine had been confronted by a lion just walking around on a trail near town in Missoula Montana with his son, and fortunately he was armed, as the lion was hungry, and wasn't even fazed when he fired 4 rounds at it's feet, it didn't attack, but another time he was out, a young black bear charged them, and he hit it 5-6 times in the heart with his 9mm that he carried when ever in the woods, and the bear didn't stop until just a couple feet in front of them, looked dazed, and climbed up a near-by tree and THEN bled out.
If that bear had a mind to, it would have torn them both up before bleeding out, and this is with holes in it's heart!
Still think hunters are "unsporting" for going out into the woods with a weapon?
Also, getting into bow hunting, unless you have "urban deer" to hunt or another place where deer are used to people and not easily spooked, if you're going for them out in the forest, don't expect to get an opportunity to even shoot one for the first year or two that you go out.
Many people start bow hunting for a greater challenge, and it's also a lot more expensive to get all the gear needed, you don't just buy a cheap bow and go out in the woods and shoot a deer!
I would love to bow hunt some day, but I don't have the money for too many hobbies, and although I would rifle hunt if I get the opportunity, I know that it would take much more dedication, money for gear and time to learn to stalk up on animals to 30 yrds or less to hope you have a good shot!
Anyone thinking that bow hunting is some "beer party" hunting needs to go out there and try it themselves, and then tell us how it worked out for them.