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What means more?


Buckmaster7600

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That's a great question, and it changes as a person's experiences change. 

Initially all I cared about was killing a deer, and it didn't matter how.  After killing a few deer I became more interested in HOW I killed a deer, and that was followed by only wanting to kill mature bucks.

Now, almost 50 years later, it's all about enjoying the experience and sharing those experiences with others.  

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i'm i guess the opposite. I've tracked deer and shot them in their beds. I've shot them in food plots. Shot them over a legal corn piles. I've taken them in flatlands of NW Oklahoma, to switchback mountains of KY, to NY dacks, and NY farm land (even out of a wagon). I've shot them behind backyards and corporate bldgs here in Albany NY not far from the office. I've shot them with anything and everything except a handgun or a crossbow.

If you told me I had to hunt them in one location and one way the rest of my life, it'd glady except until my time here is up but to me it'd be a little boring and less fulfilling.

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Both.  I always want a doe to restock the freezer and not super picky how I get it within reason. 

But I also am the guy that just isn't interested in any guided hunts as I wouldn't feel like I earned it.   I want to mostly get a buck off the land I hunt as I work all year on it and like the chess game to figure it out.   I also try to do a Dacks still hunt once a year and would be good with most any buck there, although I passed a spike 2 years ago. A 12 point buck at one of these guided places over a feed pile would never interest me, but a 5 point or better off our hunting land I am always happy with.  And I am also fine with eating my buck tag if I don't get a shot at something that I really like or one I am trying for.  Last year I was only going to settle for one of the three I was chasing and filled the freezer with a couple of does so I had meat.  Put those same three deer on an outfitters place and all I did was pull the trigger ... Im not interested.  

Edited by Robhuntandfish

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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Not sure I understand the original post.  Each fall when we all take to the woods,  we do it "my way". We choose to hunt on our terms.  My goal each year is to harvest 3 or 4 deer for the freezer.  My way is to hit that goal any legal way that I can. Your way might mean tracking mature bucks in the 'daks. @Wolc123's way might be any legal fawn with testicles..

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I can only eat so much store-bought chicken, so I’m happy if I can kill 2-4 deer a year.  That gives us plenty of red meat.  The actual kills are much more important to me than than the method.  I hunt deer for meat and not for sport.  I have killed them with weapons from a 1-1/4” long bladed keychain knife, all the way up to a scoped 30/06.  
 

They all taste same.  I do appreciate the less meat damage of the archery tackle (just crossbow for me since 2014).  
 

As far as the method goes, my main concern is that it be as comfortable and relaxing for me as possible.     I put in plenty of physical and mental effort during the week at work, so that’s not what I want to do while I am hunting, mostly on the weekends.  
 

Next, I want to kill those deer as cleanly as possible, using the most lethal, legal weapon that I can.  Ideally, those kills happen close to where I can get a tractor, field car or atv, or at least uphill from the manual drag-to site.  

I can’t think of any, that I have killed the last 4-5 years, that didn’t meet all of those criteria.  I tracked down and killed a few, and did some ball-busting drags, when I was young.  The best thing about those days, is that they are’s  over. 
 

 

Edited by Wolc123
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12 hours ago, Bolt Action said:

Not sure I understand the original post.  Each fall when we all take to the woods,  we do it "my way". We choose to hunt on our terms.  My goal each year is to harvest 3 or 4 deer for the freezer.  My way is to hit that goal any legal way that I can. Your way might mean tracking mature bucks in the 'daks. @Wolc123's way might be any legal fawn with testicles..

I take the entire deer season off from work so I’m in the woods nearly every day of season. But I probably actually “hunt” 5 of them. I let a lot of bucks go when there’s not snow often times bigger bucks than I end up killing because it’s not the way I want to kill them. If I’m shooting a does around home I don’t consider it hunting, or enjoyable but it’s something I understand that has to be done. 
 

I might eat 5 venison meals a year it’s just not my thing I donate most all of my meat to friends and family. I guess that’s why the hunt to me is means so much more to me that what I’m killing. 

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Definitely the hunt for me. Not the deer. This will be my 50th deer season. I've been luck and killed some nice deer over the years. But I now routinely pass up deer I would have joyfully taken years ago. And if I never kill another one, I'm OK with that. I’ve mentored enough hunters to always have meat if I want it. No problem there. My time in the deer woods now is 95% from the ground. On the deers level, and getting close to them is what satisfies me most now. It's pressure free quiet time for me. It's when I feel most alive and true to myself. Hunting is a part of my DNA. Something that is very basic, but very fulfilling to my core. Killing a deer is almost anticlimactic to me now. 

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not this way with everyone but i think with some there's a natural progression with overlapping transitions between each stage in a hunters lifetime. for me it was first filling a tag and learn what i could, then it was gain experience and fill tags as much as you could, then honing skills to go after specific deer big bucks or otherwise, and then it was sacrifice my own time to get others a deer and/or improve deer hunting where i hunt. I feel like I've gone through all of them getting burnt out on each and now i've got some mix of all of them (mostly the later ones) depending on where i am.

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I've always said for me, it's more about the guns than the deer. I want to enjoy what I hunt with. Which is why I've used/use everything from handguns, to buffalo rifles, military surplus, 120 year old guns, flintlocks during the regular gun season... whatever.  

During the best years, deer numbers wise, I passed on a lot of deer far more than I ever shot at. Just didn't feel like shooting them. Used to drive my hunting companion crazy. Even now that mentality is still with me, where I sort of have to talk myself into shooting. "Well, it's been a few years since you got one, you really should..."

I used to hunt shotgun zone only, which in part got me into handgun hunting. But all those years I watched deer regularly out of range. I always dreamed of shooting one "far" away. (really not that far at all)  When we switched to rifle, all my wide open spaces were gone. All the deer I shot with a rifle, I could have taken with an iron sighted pistol. :whatever:

This last year I final had a chance to "hunt" a wide open space. And a very accurate, heavy rifle I'd been shooting all year long.   First full day of hunting, I was exactly where I planned to be, with that exact rifle, and some doe came out exactly where I wanted.  And it was too easy. "This isn't hunting. There's no challenge in this. No skill in this." It didn't feel right.  So I didn't shoot. Which could have done a hundred times over, as I just watched them feed for about an hour and a half. 

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Of course later I thought "Hey stupid, remember how meat prices are crazy? And that's why you were supposed to shoot one?  Doh!   A couple days later the same situation presented itself and I didn't talk myself out of it.  I did however shoot a sapling limb and not the deer. 

Edited by cas
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Great question as it's different than the "why do you hunt" question. So i'm going to throw away the, I really just enjoy being in the woods part of this and focus on the actual taking of deer.

For me at age 39, 23 years into deer hunting and ~15 years into bow hunting it's how. I do not and would not shy away from taking a nice buck with a gun, but once archery season is done there is almost a sense of letdown for me. I'm now mostly meat hunting a doe (have done this the last 3 or 4 years at least). And while I'm still hoping for a nice shoulder mount there is a part of me that knows and feels like it wont be nearly as special as if I arrowed him.

To add to this, I love working the land. The habitat management, cutting trails, placing stands, clearing runs etc. I enjoy that more than hunting to some degree, so a deer that I felt was hard earned means more than if a buddy invited me to hunt his place and I killed a nice buck there. 

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

Luke 6:31 and Matthew 7:12

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