Appreciation of Nature

Discussion in 'Traditional Muzzleloader Hunting' started by DJH, Nov 9, 2018.

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  1. Nov 9, 2018 #1

    DJH

    DJH

    DJH

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    Let me begin by saying that I eat wild meat. Quite a bit actually. My family and I usually go through about five deer a year and could probably eat more. Squirrel is one of my favorite meats and I eat them often. However, I find myself more reluctant to pull the trigger these days.

    Skychief's recent post about the bobcat and the squirrel kind of got me to thinking. There is so much to admire and enjoy in nature. Just the other day, while nestled up to a fence line, I had a doe and her two yearlings approach. One of the yearlings came within about 6 feet of me. I really thought that I might be able to reach out and touch the animal. The doe was mature and the yearlings old enough to survive, but that morning I was satisfied just enjoying the show. I simply didn't want to break up the family that day. The next day I had a small buck approach, and again, I decided to allow him to walk in hopes of meeting up with him another day.

    I find at this point in my life, approaching 50, that I get more joy out of watching than killing. And while I do need to kill a few animals to help provide meat for the family, I find the experience bittersweet. The irony is that I feel more connected to nature now than I ever have. There is something about sitting in the woods and experiencing the sights, sounds and smells that just relaxes and restores me. It causes me to say a silent prayer to my maker thanking him for the miracles of his creation.

    Anyway, sorry to ramble on. I just wondered if anybody else feels this way. While I often have a gun in hand, the trigger doesn't get pulled as often.

    Jeff H
     
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  2. Nov 9, 2018 #2

    BrownBear

    BrownBear

    BrownBear

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    Yup. Wait til you pass 60 and the kids are all gone. We used to need a minimum of 8 deer a year along with piles of duck, ptarmigan and rabbits. Now that the kids are gone we barely get through a deer a year while eating only a handful of the others.

    Something else at work, too: As you get older you eat less in general, but less red meat too. I enjoy woods time more than ever, but tend to put off the shot when I know it will end my season. Sooooo, a whole lot of passing and very little shooting.
     
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  3. Nov 9, 2018 #3

    Stumpkiller

    Stumpkiller

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    Same here. 35 years ago I was fiercely aggressive in hunting. Now . . . not so much.

    I bowhunt just because I love to be out in the fall woods and the temperatures are mild. But any more if it is windy or rainy I'll stay home and cozy.

    For a dozen years we raised sheep and turkeys - that REALLY takes the edge off needing wild meat - but I still went out. And took the annual deer if an undeniable shot presented itself. Now we're down to a dozen chickens and I'm planning on a table deer. But I'm taking my time. Enjoyed watching five turkeys pass my stand coming and going about their business last week. Took "coup" on a bearded tom (with a bow) but did not release (no turkey permit mainly). It was just a nice few hours of watching the day wind down.

    Grouse hunting even more so. I carry a 16 bore flintlock fowler and may go several hunting days without firing a shot. But it is still a good excuse for a walk in the woods.
     
  4. Nov 9, 2018 #4

    Juice Jaws

    Juice Jaws

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    I have notice the older I get my blood-lust to hunt and kill has slow way down. Still enjoy dove hunting, as a matter of fact heading out tomorrow morning to hunt the spilt dove season . But big game, do most of my hunting at Savemart.
     
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  5. Nov 9, 2018 #5

    Eterry

    Eterry

    Eterry

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    We rarely buy red meat, i do most the cooking and sub deer for beef, with no complaints.
    I tell anyone who will listen...it's not about the kill, it's the time spent in the woods that matters most. I guess I'm not as mad at them as I used to be.

    Take solice in this... last year state troopers worked 365 deer vs auto crashes in our county alone, with one human fatality. So harvesting a deer lessens the chance of a possible deadly crash.
     
  6. Nov 9, 2018 #6

    Baxter

    Baxter

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    I think that you are, as I call it "mellowing with age". I am 75, had meat-hunted off and on until I was a bit older than 50. I was in a tree-stand on season opener and had a very nice buck walk up and stand directly below me. I had a Marlin 1895 in my hands and thought to myself " If I shoot this buck, it will just be murder", no "fair chase" in it. I quit shooting porcupines out of Red Pines too, despite my wife's concern for "girdling". I don't judge others and I don't believe that those who hunted with me thought more than "he's tired of hunting". My family doesn't need the meat, we eat little of it anyhow. Now, I have to convince my shy Wire-haired German Pointer how to usher the 4 to 9 does, yearlings and fawns out of my yard - and, no, we do not feed them, but my wife has large and delicious Hosta gardens.
     
  7. Nov 9, 2018 #7

    Vomir le Chien

    Vomir le Chien

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    At 71 + killing is the last/least thing I am interested in,I do like to out smart them and get close just to see if I still can.And walk in the woods and really see everything,amazing what a Grand Child can teach you. Go slow and do not just look but see. I put out the game cameras and scout every year and then set and drink coffee cause it's to cold to go out,, did I mention I am 71 + HA HA I take my rifle along for a woodswalk !!!
     
  8. Nov 9, 2018 #8

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

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    I am feeling it too.
    Dropped out of driven game shooting years ago.
    I shoot pest for others but it is losing it's sparkle!
    I like taking photographs while out and about.
    In fact if any are interested my handle on Instagram is softfrizzen.
    Any meat is small game now and goes to those who appreciates it and of course I like to cook myself.
    But yes, I seem to pass on the shot now and then.

    B.
     
  9. Nov 9, 2018 #9

    Spence10

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    I've collected more pleasant memories of the creatures I ran across in my hunting and trekking than I can count. I've been doing a little trek/hunt on my birthday for quite a few years. Here's an entry from my log on that trek in 2008 which is typical.

    "Sneaking quietly along by the feeder stream I heard the unmistakable scrabble of squirrel toenails on bark very close by. It was a large fox squirrel, one of the most beautiful orange ones I’ve ever seen, 2 feet above the ground and climbing up the side of a tree not 10 feet away. The sun was behind him shining through his hair and he had a bright orange halo all around him. He was casual to a fault, ran up the tree only about 10 feet and sat down on a flat stub of a limb pointing straight at me, not more than 12 feet from my gun barrel, on my side of the tree and in plain view. At the first sound I had shouldered the smoothbore and come to full cock, but he was far too close to shoot. I decided to wait until he climbed up the tree. He wasn’t playing that game. He began grooming himself as calmly as ever you please. He worked over the entire length of his tail, scratched or nibbled every hair on his body over the next 5 minutes, working rapidly and intently. I lowered my gun and stared, bemused. After a while I made a kissing sound. He stopped grooming, looked at me intently and resumed his primping. Fox squirrels just have a different attitude. I just watched, mesmerized by the beauty and behavior of the little creature. What an invention is the squirrel. After many minutes I started talking to him aloud, asking what he thought he was about, and such. He finally seemed to pay me some attention, stopped grooming, ran part-way down the tree and stopped for another look at me, then bounced to the ground and made his way casually 50 yards up the stream, hopped onto a tree and disappeared. I had long since decided not to shoot him. I have a real soft spot for fox squirrels, I have never had so much pleasure from a squirrel I didn’t kill."

    Spence
     
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  10. Nov 9, 2018 #10

    bore_butter

    bore_butter

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    back in the early 80's i was deer hunting atop of a very large hill. it had been raining for a week and everything in the woods was at a soak.

    i use a self climbing tree stand and was a good ways up a 2ft. diameter tree.

    when the morn light was just allowing images to be seen, the tree in front of mine just fell to the forest floor and shattered in hundreds of pieces.

    since the tree i was in was the same diameter and type i decided to get out of dodge and got down as quickly as i could and ran for cover from the rain under a very large pine tree . the tree was so dense that no rain hit me so i just stood there motionless .

    the bottom limbs on the pine were at least 8in. diameter. all of a sudden a large red tail hawk flew in and lit no further than 3 ft. from where i was. i watched it preen it flight feathers for at least a full minute. then it just took flight again into the rain.

    i don't see how the hawk didn't hear my heart beat.

    i will never forget that one!
     
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  11. Nov 9, 2018 #11

    Spence10

    Spence10

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    Ha! That reminds me of a really close encounter I had years ago. Shortly after I started trying predator calling I was sitting up in a large tree calling, hoping to get a picture of a fox. Instead of a fox, a great horned owl came, and it landed right next to me on a limb that made its head just about level with mine. I e-v-e-r s-o s-l-o-w-l-y turned my head to look at it. It sat there for a couple of minutes, swiveling its head in that peculiar way they have, finally got suspicious and left. When it stretched its wings for that first flap, its right wing hit me across the face.

    Spence
     
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  12. Nov 9, 2018 #12

    Flintlock58

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    I have always enjoyed watching nature and the kill is bittersweet as others say, but I like to eat wild, organic , grass raised meat in small quantities for health. I dont like the taste of antler, so dont kill big bucks very often. I do enjoy hunting with flinters and BPCRifles, also handload some brass 12 ga for waterfowl, etc. I think for most all of us here it has always been more to it than the kill.
     
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  13. Nov 9, 2018 #13

    Britsmoothy

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    Reminds me of when I was stalking roedeer in a Scottish forest.
    I had a felt hat on with some bright feathers on it's side.
    Next thing I knows is a sparrow hawk has landed on my head, I freeze. The bird inches his way around my hat and plucks my feathers from my hat the feathers dropping past my face! She flies off non the wiser of me not being a fence post!
    Then there was the time an otter was.....this could go on and on. :)
     
  14. Nov 9, 2018 #14

    John Frederick

    John Frederick

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    I bowhunt all fall in 4 or 5 different locations in the same property. I thoroughly enjoy squirrel hunting after the deer season, but I find I can't shoot squirrels (rifle) from areas I bowhunted since they've long since become my close friends.
     
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  15. Nov 10, 2018 #15

    hanshi

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    For the past few years I haven't hunted much at all and will sit out this season. I once had a fox run across my legs while deer hunting and will never forget how fast he went airborne and switched directions. And there were so many other hilarious and/or heart pounding times that made memories I'll never forget. And the black bear that came up facing my partner and I just to say howdy.

    I've let a lot of deer walk but still got the nervous "buck fever" shakes each time. At 72 and with physical problems, I'm already seriously limited in my outdoors activities; don't know how much longer I'll bother to get up early and go out actually looking to score on game. I don't eat farmed meat at all and for years have donated the deer I kill. But I'll still get out with my flintlock some just for the forest experience.
     
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