Evolving as a hunter over time

ElkFever2

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Mar 4, 2019
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3,845
Location
Iowa
Stages of hunter development: shooting, limiting out, trophy, method, sportsman. I jump around - depends on a lot of different things. I used to take every shot I could at birds. Now I’ll pass on a lot of marginal shots, and skip on shooting over thick cover if I don’t have a dog to find it. The best part is just being afield.
 

clharr

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Feb 10, 2018
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444
I know what you’re talking about, but if anything I went the opposite way this year since having a new born kid at home. I used to purposely drag season out and be pickier than I should because I liked being out there. This year, I felt a little bummed and weird being away from the baby, and found myself trying to fill the tags and get back home quickly.

The kid has made me soft.
That’s been the last two seasons for me. My daughter was born October of last year and I killed my dream buck that November but it was one of the least enjoyable hunts I’ve ever had. All my trips have been a rush to fill a tag.

Watching the wife kill her second deer ever this year was great.

I hunted our extended doe/spike season this week. I had a blast Thursday morning after I decided I wasn’t going to shoot anything. I listened to the owls hooting, the coyotes howling, turkey’s gobbling and ducks flying. Watched several deer including one of the few doe I seen this season. I ended up killing a spike but told my wife it would have been more fun had I not shot anything.

I miss the days of sitting and watching the animals knowing I have time; I’m sure that will come back as the little one gets older.
 

MTLabrador

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Apr 16, 2020
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Montana
I’ve changed and gotten a lot pickier since I started hunting. I spend a lot of time hunting bears and I have no interest in shooting 90% of the bears I glass, I just enjoy watching bears. When it comes to elk I’m still just as hungry to shoot one, but I’ve gone from always taking the first legal elk I can find to passing up bulls until I find one I’m happy with.

Put a shotgun in my hands for pheasants and I go right back to being a 12 year old though.
 

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
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6,215
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Northern Illinois
I’ve changed and gotten a lot pickier since I started hunting. I spend a lot of time hunting bears and I have no interest in shooting 90% of the bears I glass, I just enjoy watching bears. When it comes to elk I’m still just as hungry to shoot one, but I’ve gone from always taking the first legal elk I can find to passing up bulls until I find one I’m happy with.

Put a shotgun in my hands for pheasants and I go right back to being a 12 year old though.
Thats the beauty of it imo. How each hunt brings out a different mindset.
 

Gellar

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Jan 31, 2014
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3,343
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The Driftless Area
I know what you’re talking about, but if anything I went the opposite way this year since having a new born kid at home. I used to purposely drag season out and be pickier than I should because I liked being out there. This year, I felt a little bummed and weird being away from the baby, and found myself trying to fill the tags and get back home quickly.

The kid has made me soft.
I’m the same when I’m out of state hunting or fishing. I feel guilty not being home helping.
 

Hammsolo

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May 16, 2020
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817
I know what you’re talking about, but if anything I went the opposite way this year since having a new born kid at home. I used to purposely drag season out and be pickier than I should because I liked being out there. This year, I felt a little bummed and weird being away from the baby, and found myself trying to fill the tags and get back home quickly.

The kid has made me soft.

Nope, I remarried a few years ago to an amazing woman. We’re focused on living life to the full and feeding our family in the best way we can. Free-range critter is the best.
 

madtom

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Feb 2, 2017
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Location
WY
Nope, I remarried a few years ago to an amazing woman. We’re focused on living life to the full and feeding our family in the best way we can. Free-range critter is the best.

To be clear, we value the meat too and I shot 3 pronghorn and an elk. I just did it really fast (~4 days total) compared to past years because I missed my son. It was the first fall I’ve felt like hunting wasn’t the most important thing going on. No idea what it’ll feel like next fall.
 

nick87

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Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
6,215
Location
Northern Illinois
To be clear, we value the meat too and I shot 3 pronghorn and an elk. I just did it really fast (~4 days total) compared to past years because I missed my son. It was the first fall I’ve felt like hunting wasn’t the most important thing going on. No idea what it’ll feel like next fall.
Doesn't get much easier at least it hasn't for me. Leaving next Friday for 1 week. Been looking forward to the trip all year now that it's here I have mixed feelings about going. Boys are 1 and 3.
 

hank4elk

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Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
5,970
Location
SW NM
Always enjoyed the eating. Meat hunter for the most part.
Someday a 30" mule deer. Within a quarter of an inch,twice.
Maybe that huge bull. Like the ones I passed on after that,that really huge one showed. A few times.

Did not have a tag nor hunt 3 years ago. Helped a bunch of folks.
Last fall I had 5 elk hunts here. Everyone saw elk and or had an opportunity.
I was sick during my deer hunt. I stopped my draw cow hunt 3 days in when my buddy showed up from WI to cow hunt. Lots of eyes. Lots of cows each morning on open ground.
I walked into a small group 2 mornings in a row on my hunt. Right there in front of my house. They went down to the big herd and they just walked away. 450 yards,nah.I passed on doable shots. Don't want to blow them out before Jeff gets here.
2 mornings with my best friend,hunting cows. 2 old guys putting the moves on too many eyes and so close. They just slowly move farther and their off the ranch. I could have filled my tag,easy.
3rd morning Jeff says,"There must be a hundred in this part of the valley". Probably 40 400 yards away. I got a plan,sneak down the road using the minute cover to that one juniper,we have a 200 yard shot. 2 old guys bent over in the open,on a road.LOL
We pulled it off. I drove to the elk and back, cow in the freezer by dinner.

Have not packed in or camped hunting since I got Rio. I have time,some meat in the freezer still. And a new season in a few months. Maybe I will help others again.
I will still hunt my tag alone. Just how I am. And maybe a 7x7 will be there when I have a tag,LOL He'll be 550 yards away and walking.
 

AlaskaHunter

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Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,303
Location
interior Alaska
Roosters were down this year in NW Montana and now retired,
I hunted every weekday morning and had a self-imposed limit of 1 bird or quit at noon.
It was fun, never saw another hunter and if I missed, well that just extended the morning hunt.
Also jump shooting mallards on spring creeks in January, a marginal shot at a longer flush
could spook a flock of greenheads just around the bend, so only taking close shots was the ticket.

As far as big game back home in Alaska, I'm a meat hunter and will shoot the first legal animal,
not flying in, that may take a week or more of hunting.
My hunting partner has an awesome trophy room, me..not so much.
DallSheep_Horns.JPG
 

Hammsolo

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Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
817
To be clear, we value the meat too and I shot 3 pronghorn and an elk. I just did it really fast (~4 days total) compared to past years because I missed my son. It was the first fall I’ve felt like hunting wasn’t the most important thing going on. No idea what it’ll feel like next fall.

I should have been more clear. I was a few beers in… kids don’t make you soft. They change us, actually make us tougher. Hunting gives me great joy and challenge at times, but nothing compared to raising kids. Who knows what it will feel like next fall? That can be exciting.
 

noharleyyet

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Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
31,877
Location
TEXAS
I should have been more clear. I was a few beers in… kids don’t make you soft. They change us, actually make us tougher. Hunting gives me great joy and challenge at times, but nothing compared to raising kids. Who knows what it will feel like next fall? That can be exciting.
My son has made a better hunter out of me in every aspect.
 

JustinsDad

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Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
390
Location
Oakview CA
I still like to harvest animals. I respect y’all that are in it to enjoy the outdoors and everything. When I’m hunting I am not there to hike, take pictures or backpack. I’m there to kill something and clean it, cook it and eat it. I have “evolved” in a way, though. I’m no longer concerned if I get the biggest buck or not. Nowadays I tend to take the first descent one I see no matter what I’m hunting. I don’t care if it’s trophy material or not. Smaller animals tend to be better eating that trophies anyway.
 

Ben Lamb

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Aug 6, 2010
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16,750
Location
Cedar, MI
Theodore Roosevelt once said something to the effect that as a hunter matures, the desire to put down the rifle & pick up the camera becomes quite strong.

I fired one shell last year. Plenty of opportunities on doodles & grouse, had plenty of opportunity on does & small bucks. I watched my dogs become much better hunters, learned new techniques for big game & got to experience a new hunting culture (MI grouse camp is ridiculously fun, as is the HT grouse-keteers).

It was one of the best seasons I've had in a while & helped stoke the passion yet again. Too often we think that the destination is the goal, and not the journey.

Which is why Fins show resonates with so many of us, I tend to believe.
 

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