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What makes you the (self-proclaimed) better hunter?


DoubleDose
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This is in response to some recent posts regarding judging hunters skills/abilities, based on their harvest record.

Is it because you know the deer behavior/biology better, like they have antlers and not horns?

Deer antlers and body size are a factor of age, genetics, and food.

Is it because you happen to hunt where all 3 of these factors are optimal (antler restrictions, agriculture, doe management)? Some of us can only hunt crappy public access state land.

Is it because you hunt in a high deer density area? Some of us may go days to weeks without seeing a deer.

Is it because you hunt in a low hunting pressure area? Some of us will see multiple hunters every day we hunt.

Is it because you put in more time?  Some of us have work and family commitments that may limit our season to a few days.

Are you "hunting" open areas where shooting is in the 100s of yards or are you hunting thick areas where shooting can be measured in feet?

You cannot kill big deer where there aren't big deer and that deer management has nothing to do with an individual single hunter and their skill/ability.

I propose that If you are fortunate enough to hunt an area with optimal deer and hunting conditions, you can be an average to below average hunter and kill many trophy deer.

This is a PSA for any newbies to hunting.  

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Everything is relative,and not everybody puts their emphasis on mature bucks. We all get something different from hunting and who cares if one guy manages to kill more mature bucks than another. People take themselves way to serious sometimes. And being a good trophy hunter makes you just that, and not a good person or better than anybody else except for just this one thing.

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On the property I hunt there is usually at most two big bucks that come thru. But I like the challenge of taking any buck off from it.  My goal is 5 points or better , but the freezer comes first.  Trophy hunters would say then find another place to hunt. But I like it there. It's our own to hunt. I share it with my buddy I have been friends with since middle school and I enjoy working on it and doing the best we can to get a deer there.  I walk away happy getting one deer a year for the freezer and chasing around for a buck. 

I def am not a guy to give advice on killing giant bucks. I've gotten one that I consider a trophy buck in my life. But I offer info on things I have learned and mistakes I have made. Hopefully it helps or entertains others.  To me hunting is more than the end prize.  I could never bring myself to go on a guided or paid hunt as getting that big buck wouldn't mean much to me.  

As others have said hunt the way you like and take the game that is legal and you are happy with. 

I enjoy sitting in a stand over land I have improved and worked all year on and try to reap the benefits of all the work, I enjoy a still hunt on public land too from time to time. But none of those am I expecting or need to shoot a monster buck to enjoy it. 

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For me

I don't have to get a deer when I'm in the woods.   I really enjoy being in woods and watching all that goes on.  I've had many a successful hunting day without seeing a deer.  An entertaining fox or fisher cat will often make my day.

That makes me a better self-proclaimed hunter as I feel good about myself

And for those they have to perch themselves up with accomplishments by looking down on others, they are often lacking in the things that actually matter.  

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44 minutes ago, hueyjazz said:

For me

I don't have to get a deer when I'm in the woods.   I really enjoy being in woods and watching all that goes on.  I've had many a successful hunting day without seeing a deer.  An entertaining fox or fisher cat will often make my day.

That makes me a better self-proclaimed hunter as I feel good about myself

And for those they have to perch themselves up with accomplishments by looking down on others, they are often lacking in the things that actually matter.  

X2

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For each and every hunter........"Shoot What You Like! Like What You Shoot!". I've said this many times.

Never be caught up in what others do, or don't do. It will only take the fun out of it for you. The reasons why we are all out there, are as individual to us, as our fingerprints. No two reasons for hunting are exactly the same. We all have different goals and situations, that are unique to US!!! Do whatever makes YOU happy! In the time YOU have to enjoy the hunting season. It's YOUR time! Make it good time! Even if you don't see a deer. The time spent with others, or by ourselves in the woods, should always be cherished, regardless if we kill a deer or not. It's that time spent in nature, that makes us hunters. Not the size of the rack we drag out.

When I first started deer hunting, it was a time to celebrate if ANY deer was taken! Now days, there is too much media hype,and a certain amount of "pressure" to shoot huge racked bucks. Why though? Every deer, is an accomplishment to be proud of! I feel it's wrong to talk down on anyone else's accomplishment!!! From a doe fawn, to a booner, they are all accomplishments to be proud of. 

As we hunt more, sometimes our goals will change, and we may want more of a challenge. I get that. I try to challenge myself to shoot at least a two or three year old buck. But that's just what makes ME happy! I am just as happy for the hunter who shoots a button buck. And in no way do I feel superior to the hunter that put that nice tasty meat in his freezer! We are BOTH happy! But putting shame on what any other hunter kills, or doesn't kill, is to lack in a true hunter spirit. 

Just the opinion of an old and sometimes not so wise huner................

 

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Time,  and woodsmanship  are by far the most important if you want any game. 

There are several stages of a Hunter from , meat to technique, to trophy to wildlife management,  not everyone goes through all phases . 

Personally I tend to  associate with those that have reached the same phase.  Just more in common .  Though it's immense fun watching others go thru their own journey through trail and error to asking for advice , to wanting to do it all on their own. 

The only aspect I've never gotten is the hero worship of TV hunting celebrities. 

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1 hour ago, G-Man said:

Time,  and woodsmanship  are by far the most important if you want any game. 

There are several stages of a Hunter from , meat to technique, to trophy to wildlife management,  not everyone goes through all phases . 

Personally I tend to  associate with those that have reached the same phase.  Just more in common .  Though it's immense fun watching others go thru their own journey through trail and error to asking for advice , to wanting to do it all on their own. 

The only aspect I've never gotten is the hero worship of TV hunting celebrities. 

Totally agree with the phases or stages in a life of a hunter. Depending on the area I hunt I go through those stages.

One specific area I hunt is a farm where the farmer wants all deer gone. So that place is more like if its brown its down or I lose access to that farm. Of course this yr due to my injury I couldnt hunt it and lost access :(

My stomping grounds in 8N are more geared towards herd management. 

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1 hour ago, DoubleDose said:

This is in response to some recent posts regarding judging hunters skills/abilities, based on their harvest record.

Is it because you know the deer behavior/biology better, like they have antlers and not horns?

Deer antlers and body size are a factor of age, genetics, and food.

Is it because you happen to hunt where all 3 of these factors are optimal (antler restrictions, agriculture, doe management)? Some of us can only hunt crappy public access state land.

Is it because you hunt in a high deer density area? Some of us may go days to weeks without seeing a deer.

Is it because you hunt in a low hunting pressure area? Some of us will see multiple hunters every day we hunt.

Is it because you put in more time?  Some of us have work and family commitments that may limit our season to a few days.

Are you "hunting" open areas where shooting is in the 100s of yards or are you hunting thick areas where shooting can be measured in feet?

You cannot kill big deer where there aren't big deer and that deer management has nothing to do with an individual single hunter and their skill/ability.

I propose that If you are fortunate enough to hunt an area with optimal deer and hunting conditions, you can be an average to below average hunter and kill many trophy deer.

This is a PSA for any newbies to hunting.  

It's not up to me to judge, but I view for me, getting access and having ability to manage as part of hunting skillset in today's world. It's not all-encompassing nor the only way to "skin the cat," but if I (speaking to me) were stuck with crappy public state land, the #1 skill building I would focus on is improving access to better quality hunting ground. That might mean traveling further, or working for money to pay for a lease or land purchase, trading work for access, or spending time knocking on doors asking permission. Again, that is just as I view it for me, and know others may view different.

 

 

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I am not a better hunter that is for sure. I would have filled all my tags  all these yrs. 

I think I might be a better outdoors person compared to someone that does go outside except to get in a car

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The Benoit (sic?) family in Maine is recognized as being top level wilderness trophy white tail deer hunters. They put hundreds of hours a year in year round scouting, woods cruising, target practice and simply researching deer, which they hunt exclusively by tracking in snowy winter conditions. If you were to measure success by how quickly or how often you shoot big deer, they would fall flat on an average. On the level of woodsmanship and deer hunting knowledge...couldnt be measured. 

Myself, it would be  a horrible season to shoot a buck on opening day. I want to hunt all season long and get my deer on the last evening...which happened a surprising number of times. This year...no meat. passed on shots, then missed a difficult shot behind me. I stopped hunting saturday night before the sunday closing, without seeing much for days. Yesterday I checked my game camera. Gobs of deer all over my stand area sunday a.m. and pm! Thats the game!

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I think the ability to adjust, and learn as season progresses is one of my greatest assets. 

I know guys who can do all day sits, not me. I know guys who can track a single deer all day, not me. I know guys who can predict where a deer is going to be by where last seen, not me.I know guys who can still hunt their way to deer and kill them unknowingly everytime, not me.

I know guys who can hit 300 yards at a standing target, and I know guys who can jump shoot, and guys who can hit running targets. I know guys who can shoot a bow with pinpoint accuracy,  again not me.

I am an average shot, persistent pursuing,  get bored with long sits, and average woodsmanship at best hunter.

My weakest hunting skill is patience.  Not sitting long enough, and rushing a shot. My strongest asset would be my ability to learn from others experience, and my mistakes.

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Before you can say if someone is a better hunter, you have to define what makes someone a better hunter.

Is it someone that kills a lot of animals (I’m going to use deer when I say animals)?

Is it someone who kills a lot of trophy animals? (that’s subjective)

Is it someone with great woodman ship skills?

Is it someone who follows the rules?

Is it someone who hunts ethically? (and follows the rules)

Is it someone who’s a good shot?

Or is it a combination of all of the above?

Now I’ll self-analyzed to see if I meet this definition of a better hunter first some background. This will be my 50th year of hunting this fall I still have my hunter safety card from 1972. I hunt mostly privet land for deer hunting. I hunt with bow, crossbow, gun and muzzle loader.

Someone who’s kills lots of animals. I kill on average 2 deer a year the last time I didn’t kill a deer was 1990. I also take the whole month of November off since 2000. So, dose that make me a better hunter or do I just have more opportunity to get a shot. I think more opportunity.

Someone that kills lots of trophy animals. Like I said that’s subjective. I think every deer is a trophy. I don’t care about antler size on bucks. I have for about 12 years now gone by body size, if a buck looks like it goes about 200lb live weight I’ll shoot it. the up side of using weight they usually come with deceit antlers. I also have more time to hunt

Someone with great woodman ship skills. I think my woodman ship skills are good. I very rarely loose a deer after the shot. that doesn’t mean I haven’t lost a deer before it’s been a while. I’ve also helped find other people’s deer. I know the lay of the land I hunt like the back of my hand. there’s a reason for where every stand is placed.

Someone who follows the rules. I like to hunt to much I always follow the rules. I may not like some of the rules but I still follow them.

Someone who hunts ethically. I think I hunt ethically. I have my own rules I follow:1follow the reg’s. 2 have fun when hunting stops being fun it’s time to quit. 3 I won’t shoot a deer on the last day that I wouldn’t shoot on the first day. 4 I’m going to shake your hand no matter how big or how points your deer has. 5 it’s not about getting a deer I’m just glad I still can get out.

Someone who’s a good shot. I think I’m a very good shot. I shoot all year round with whatever I hunt with. With my bow and my crossbow all of September is shooting whatever head I’m hunting with. I treat my crossbow just like my bow max range for me is 40yds. My muzzleloader, 444 and shotgun are sighted in at 50yds and can still make 100yd shot my 6mm and 6.5 are sighted in at 100yds and I can still make a 200yd shot. where I hunt a 70yd shot is a long shot. I only take high percentage shots that doesn’t me I don’t miss just not very often.

Now what I think I rate as a hunter. I think I’m average or just above average hunter. I have also been blessed with more opportunity to hunt, I can for the most part can pick and choose the days I hunt.

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