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Strange Day for Me in the Woods.

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PastorB

40 Cal
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
315
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Went out hunting this afternoon here in NW Missouri. Our regular Firearm Deer Season is currently open, and I elected to take my Pedersoli Frontier Rifle in .54. Hunting a remote piece of public ground where only muzzleloaders are allowed. Walked way back in the woods and found a spot that looked promising, and sat on a handy fallen log that was up against a tree. Beautiful day, and as far as I could tell, I was the only hunter around. Half an hour after sitting, two does came ambling by, and I watched them wander off after several minutes. An hour later as I was looking off down the holler, I saw a large, majestic 10 point buck headed my way. I first saw him about 130 yards out, and my heart started pounding as he came ever closer. I watched him for several minutes, and he eventually came within 20 yards. He was a large mature buck, with a wide spread and high antlers, a rarity on public land. As I watched him and positioned myself for the can't miss shot, something strange happened. I have been a lifelong hunter, taking many deer over the decades, but today was different. As I watched him eat acorns, totally unaware of my presence, I was overcome by a desire to not kill him. I went out today with every intention of killing a nice buck if the opportunity came. However, as I sat there watching him, I was actually saddened by the thought of him being dead, especially as he was just enjoying the day eating his lunch. I lowered the hammer on my rifle, and just watched him for several more minutes, until he finally meandered out of sight.

Don't know what happened, but I do know I have killed my last animal. Not turning woke or going vegan, nor am I being critical of those who do hunt, but all my desire to ever shoot another critter died today. I shot my rifle into a stump and cleaned it this evening. I will be out in the woods again tomorrow, rifle in hand, but it will not be loaded. Hopefully I will see my new "friend" again. Getting old does weird things to a fella.
 
Don't know what happened, but I do know I have killed my last animal. Not turning woke or going vegan, nor am I being critical of those who do hunt, but all my desire to ever shoot another critter died today. I shot my rifle into a stump and cleaned it this evening. I will be out in the woods again tomorrow, rifle in hand, but it will not be loaded. Hopefully I will see my new "friend" again. Getting old does weird things to a fella.
Same thing happened to me last year. I will continue to go on hunts with my friends doing the harvesting, but I'm done. Don't know why, it's just not in my heart anymore. Nothing to be ashamed of.
 
At 72 I haven't killed a deer in a few years now. When I was younger it was like I had something to prove and I also had a growing family that needed feeding.
I've killed too many deer to get a rush from it anymore and the kids are grown.
The last time I shot one it was more like shopping than hunting, up came the rifle down went the deer.
I sat there thinking the fun was gone from this, so I haven't shot deer from that point until now.
I still go out now and then and take a rifle with me but haven't taken a shot, I just watch them and smile.
 
Im there with you not needing to kill anymore. I'm just as happy shooting a blank gun over my dogs. Once I build my trade gun, I want to shoot a grouse over a point and then my hunting will be complete.

When it comes to deer, no interest in shooting one, but I enjoy walking and pushing deer to other hunters
 
At 75 years old with 65 years of hunting behind me, I continue to carry a gun while hunting, but bagging any game is a non-issue. Of course, I've had many happy experiences over the years, but in general, I am most content when I am simply alone out in the woods.
So far this season I have watched several does meandering around me. They are legal game, but I chose not to shoot. I haven't seen a buck yet, but when I do, then I'll make the decision whether to shoot or not.
I enjoy watching the birds (I can identify most species), animals of all kinds, and even a beetle crawling along a branch. I've had a wren land on the brim of my hat, and a mouse run across my foot. Both made me laugh. Just observing nature.
 
Nothing wrong with that, plenty of ways to enjoy the shooting sports that don't end with a stopped heart. I'm not there yet but will say after 45 years of hunting, the kill is about the least important part for me. I enjoy the chase but more importantly I guess, I like the bologna and pepper sticks so I'll still try to take one but isn't the same for me as it once was.
 
Went out hunting this afternoon here in NW Missouri. Our regular Firearm Deer Season is currently open, and I elected to take my Pedersoli Frontier Rifle in .54. Hunting a remote piece of public ground where only muzzleloaders are allowed. Walked way back in the woods and found a spot that looked promising, and sat on a handy fallen log that was up against a tree. Beautiful day, and as far as I could tell, I was the only hunter around. Half an hour after sitting, two does came ambling by, and I watched them wander off after several minutes. An hour later as I was looking off down the holler, I saw a large, majestic 10 point buck headed my way. I first saw him about 130 yards out, and my heart started pounding as he came ever closer. I watched him for several minutes, and he eventually came within 20 yards. He was a large mature buck, with a wide spread and high antlers, a rarity on public land. As I watched him and positioned myself for the can't miss shot, something strange happened. I have been a lifelong hunter, taking many deer over the decades, but today was different. As I watched him eat acorns, totally unaware of my presence, I was overcome by a desire to not kill him. I went out today with every intention of killing a nice buck if the opportunity came. However, as I sat there watching him, I was actually saddened by the thought of him being dead, especially as he was just enjoying the day eating his lunch. I lowered the hammer on my rifle, and just watched him for several more minutes, until he finally meandered out of sight.

Don't know what happened, but I do know I have killed my last animal. Not turning woke or going vegan, nor am I being critical of those who do hunt, but all my desire to ever shoot another critter died today. I shot my rifle into a stump and cleaned it this evening. I will be out in the woods again tomorrow, rifle in hand, but it will not be loaded. Hopefully I will see my new "friend" again. Getting old does weird things to a fella.
My step-grandfather was known for regularly taking a week to hunt near where he grew up (currently a ghost town -- Molson -- on the dry east side of Washington). Stepmother says she only remembers him taking a deer once.

I typically hunt my own farm in Michigan now, where I've always managed to take a deer if I hunted. Got a colon cancer diagnosis last year, which means eating more red meat is not a good idea. The thought of giving up hunting was too much to bear though, so I'm still heading out. Not sure yet if I'm on my step grandfather's program yet or if I'll just be giving the meat away, but I do know that I'll still be enjoying the woods with a gun in hand.
 
Went out hunting this afternoon here in NW Missouri. Our regular Firearm Deer Season is currently open, and I elected to take my Pedersoli Frontier Rifle in .54. Hunting a remote piece of public ground where only muzzleloaders are allowed. Walked way back in the woods and found a spot that looked promising, and sat on a handy fallen log that was up against a tree. Beautiful day, and as far as I could tell, I was the only hunter around. Half an hour after sitting, two does came ambling by, and I watched them wander off after several minutes. An hour later as I was looking off down the holler, I saw a large, majestic 10 point buck headed my way. I first saw him about 130 yards out, and my heart started pounding as he came ever closer. I watched him for several minutes, and he eventually came within 20 yards. He was a large mature buck, with a wide spread and high antlers, a rarity on public land. As I watched him and positioned myself for the can't miss shot, something strange happened. I have been a lifelong hunter, taking many deer over the decades, but today was different. As I watched him eat acorns, totally unaware of my presence, I was overcome by a desire to not kill him. I went out today with every intention of killing a nice buck if the opportunity came. However, as I sat there watching him, I was actually saddened by the thought of him being dead, especially as he was just enjoying the day eating his lunch. I lowered the hammer on my rifle, and just watched him for several more minutes, until he finally meandered out of sight.

Don't know what happened, but I do know I have killed my last animal. Not turning woke or going vegan, nor am I being critical of those who do hunt, but all my desire to ever shoot another critter died today. I shot my rifle into a stump and cleaned it this evening. I will be out in the woods again tomorrow, rifle in hand, but it will not be loaded. Hopefully I will see my new "friend" again. Getting old does weird things to a fella.
I totally get it. As I'm getting older my outlook on all life has changed from my younger years. I still hunt but I honestly think its because of my son and the shared interest. I do love venison and found that should I quit hunting I can always get on a list at the local processing guy to buy a deer that some so called hunter doesn't pay for. All I pay is processing fee. Enjoy the great outdoors my friend
 
Went out hunting this afternoon here in NW Missouri. Our regular Firearm Deer Season is currently open, and I elected to take my Pedersoli Frontier Rifle in .54. Hunting a remote piece of public ground where only muzzleloaders are allowed. Walked way back in the woods and found a spot that looked promising, and sat on a handy fallen log that was up against a tree. Beautiful day, and as far as I could tell, I was the only hunter around. Half an hour after sitting, two does came ambling by, and I watched them wander off after several minutes. An hour later as I was looking off down the holler, I saw a large, majestic 10 point buck headed my way. I first saw him about 130 yards out, and my heart started pounding as he came ever closer. I watched him for several minutes, and he eventually came within 20 yards. He was a large mature buck, with a wide spread and high antlers, a rarity on public land. As I watched him and positioned myself for the can't miss shot, something strange happened. I have been a lifelong hunter, taking many deer over the decades, but today was different. As I watched him eat acorns, totally unaware of my presence, I was overcome by a desire to not kill him. I went out today with every intention of killing a nice buck if the opportunity came. However, as I sat there watching him, I was actually saddened by the thought of him being dead, especially as he was just enjoying the day eating his lunch. I lowered the hammer on my rifle, and just watched him for several more minutes, until he finally meandered out of sight.

Don't know what happened, but I do know I have killed my last animal. Not turning woke or going vegan, nor am I being critical of those who do hunt, but all my desire to ever shoot another critter died today. I shot my rifle into a stump and cleaned it this evening. I will be out in the woods again tomorrow, rifle in hand, but it will not be loaded. Hopefully I will see my new "friend" again. Getting old does weird things to a fella.

Same thing here, been done killing critters for about five years now. Nothing against it, just that I am done. I call it Blood Lust, From tweety birds with my Daisy BB gun when I was 8 to all the squirrels, rabbits, ducks, doves, coyote's, deer, etc my blood lust has finally die away. Like you now I enjoy watching them.
 
At 75 years old with 65 years of hunting behind me, I continue to carry a gun while hunting, but bagging any game is a non-issue. Of course, I've had many happy experiences over the years, but in general, I am most content when I am simply alone out in the woods.
So far this season I have watched several does meandering around me. They are legal game, but I chose not to shoot. I haven't seen a buck yet, but when I do, then I'll make the decision whether to shoot or not.
I enjoy watching the birds (I can identify most species), animals of all kinds, and even a beetle crawling along a branch. I've had a wren land on the brim of my hat, and a mouse run across my foot. Both made me laugh. Just observing nature.

We same about the same.
 
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