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I’m pretty sure a few of you guys are already here
I believe I’m getting there.
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/jan/03/former-deer-hunters-share-reasons-for-stopping/

Former deer hunters share reasons for stopping
Taking an animal’s life is an intensely personal action


The deer most people see during deer season are most likely lashed to vehicles, headed for butcher shops. The stories nonhunters hear are often those of successful hunters eager to recount the details of their hunt.

What most of us do not see evidence of, what we do not hear about, are the intensely private thoughts of deer hunters.

I have been talking to deer hunters, and sprinkled among the stories of big bucks and successful camps are the reflections of another kind of deer hunter.

The former deer hunter.

I was talking to a friend of mine, an avid hunter, the other day. I happened to ask him if he’d been out deer hunting.

“No,” he said. “For the first time in at least 40 years, I’m not hunting deer.”

I didn’t need an explanation for that, but he felt compelled to give me one. That’s how deeply ingrained deer hunting is in northern Minnesota’s culture.

He first wanted to assure me he had not become an anti-hunter. He mentioned that twice in fact.

This was his story: He had shot a beautiful big buck last fall, and when he had walked up to it after killing it—well, something didn’t feel right. He stammered a bit, trying to explain what he felt.

I have heard the same kind of story from other hunters through the years. I understood what he was feeling. For some hunters, there comes a time when killing another deer becomes unnecessary.

This is not to say this man won’t hunt deer again. He may. But for now, he’s not a deer hunter.

I talked to another serious hunter a few days ago. He has been out for other species much of the fall. But again last fall, he did not hunt deer. He used to hunt deer, walking about in the woods, tracking, sneaking, matching wits with the animals.

At some point, his group turned to hunting from stands rather than walking. In one of those early stand hunts, another hunter, on the ground, had pushed a nice buck in front of my friend. He couldn’t shoot it.
 

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I haven't been in over six years or so. Some is due to where I live, some due to my medical condition. I thought I was going at least once last year, had my stuff ready to pack into the car to ride to my son's house, but I just didn't go.


A few years ago I was going hunting. It was just a few days after my Dad passed away and we had a memorial for him at my sister's house in Pensacola.
I was standing just outside of my truck and I noticed a buck walking in a gully. I watched him for about five minutes, the area had been clear cut and he headed for a small cedar tree. He looked around and bedded down. The wind was blowing and I knew that he had no idea that I was watching him. I got down and started a slow stalk. I got close enough for a good clean shot and while lining up my sights I said "BANG".
That was the last time I've been hunting. I still go to the range when I feel up to it, and really enjoy going to the sheriff's range, even if it is open to the public just once a month.

I'm not anti hunting by any stretch of the imagination, nor am I anti gun. God forbid! I still love to shoot, but I have to be a bit more cautious than I was, since the cancer surgery and the green apple quick step that is a result of most of my large intestine scattered between two hospitals in Georgia. Handloading is a passion, as is boolit casting. It helps kill a lot of time when I am having a good day......
 

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Even though I always ate the game I hunted and killed, the most important part to me was the thrill of the hunt. Even the years I spent chasing bunnies with my beagles for the tasty rascals,the hunt was what it was all about. The older I get (76)the more life becomes precious.I haven't killed a deer in several years, and probably never will again. I can buy a better piece of meat cheaper than the cost of hunting deer.

I will not kill another animal, I won't eat Unless it's trying to kill me LOL! Two of my favorite game animals now is Grouse and Rabbit. I do buy a grouse stamp every year, and take a few. Rabbits are scares as hen's teeth in western Oregon so I don't hunt them anymore. I will always support hunting and encourage my kids and theirs to enjoy it as well.
 

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there it is. Its in the nature of man to kill to eat. Its a soft life, Mc Donalds and the liberals that have made it seem wrong. Like is allways said. If you eat beef, pork, poultry, or fish someone had to kill it. I guess I feel im responsible for my own. Just like having to put down my dog a couple years ago. Sure I could have went the easy route and dropped it off at the vet and picked up a box of ashes a week later. But he was my best friend and I didn't want a stranger as the last person he saw. He was my responsibility. Its the way its been since man first domesticated animals. We put down the sick and kill what is nessisary to eat. I chuckle at the touchy feely people that feel squeamish about killing a deer but have no problem buying a steak at the store. Sorry but it didn't come out of a garden or off a meat tree. A animal was killed like it or not. Now add to that we had a very harsh winter this year. Im sure MANY deer starved to death. You really think you did them a favor by not giving them a quick death and letting them face the cold and starving. This touch feely liberal world wants you to think that bambi is warm in santas house for the winter. Killing is just part of living. God gave us deer to eat not to decorate his sons birthday cards.
We're just not mad enough at the deer anymore according to my long standing Deer Camp host and retired SCDNR Wildlife Biologist.
 

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I encourage all young folks to hunt, kill, and consume.

That said, I've only killed four deer in my life, but the best part is that each time I was hunting with one of my brothers.
Plus, each time I had to just sit and admire them for a while.
Beautiful animals,
 

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there it is. Its in the nature of man to kill to eat. Its a soft life, Mc Donalds and the liberals that have made it seem wrong. Like is allways said. If you eat beef, pork, poultry, or fish someone had to kill it. I guess I feel im responsible for my own. Just like having to put down my dog a couple years ago. Sure I could have went the easy route and dropped it off at the vet and picked up a box of ashes a week later. But he was my best friend and I didn't want a stranger as the last person he saw. He was my responsibility. Its the way its been since man first domesticated animals. We put down the sick and kill what is nessisary to eat. I chuckle at the touchy feely people that feel squeamish about killing a deer but have no problem buying a steak at the store. Sorry but it didn't come out of a garden or off a meat tree. A animal was killed like it or not. Now add to that we had a very harsh winter this year. Im sure MANY deer starved to death. You really think you did them a favor by not giving them a quick death and letting them face the cold and starving. This touch feely liberal world wants you to think that bambi is warm in santas house for the winter. Killing is just part of living. God gave us deer to eat not to decorate his sons birthday cards.


We're not talking touchy,liberal feelings here LLoyd. Most on here have dropped the hammer on many game animals in their lifetime.Like you, some of us have had to kill (put down) their pets for various reasons.You do a lot of control hunts,which isn't really a hunt imo . Nothing wrong with that where it's needed.Some just loose the blood lust as we get older.Not touchy feely,liberal feelings,and we don't suffer from the Bambi syndrome.:tango_face_wink:
 

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I just switched over to Antelope. As I got older the plains were a lot easier to walk than those mountains
were. Besides, I think Antelope taste much better than Deer anyway.
 

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I believe it is an age/mellowing thing. have harvested many deer over the years, but I likely won't hunt them any more. Nothing against hunting..but now I am alone and would never consume a whole deer in a year (I'm not a big meat eater anyway).

I have a grandson who is a very successful hunter and doesn't waste game. I am now in possession of an "old timer's" "lifetime license", which is mailed to me each year. Of course, there are usually "antlerless deer" permits available..
We can sign over those permits, so I sign them over to my grandson...and he doesn't waste them..

Deer season is usually quite cold here, and it seems the cold seeps into this octogenarian frame much quicker than it used to.. I will likely hunt some small game such as woodchucks (groundhogs)...probably using either .22LR or .22 Mag..causing me to stalk..good exercise..
 

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I believe it is an age/mellowing thing. have harvested many deer over the years, but I likely won't hunt them any more. Nothing against hunting..but now I am alone and would never consume a whole deer in a year (I'm not a big meat eater anyway).

I have a grandson who is a very successful hunter and doesn't waste game. I am now in possession of an "old timer's" "lifetime license", which is mailed to me each year. Of course, there are usually "antlerless deer" permits available..
We can sign over those permits, so I sign them over to my grandson...and he doesn't waste them..

Deer season is usually quite cold here, and it seems the cold seeps into this octogenarian frame much quicker than it used to.. I will likely hunt some small game such as woodchucks (groundhogs)...probably using either .22LR or .22 Mag..causing me to stalk..good exercise..
Good post IG.
Groundhog hunting was a favorite of mine when I lived in Illinois, helped the farmers and occasionally ate a young one.
Little ones fry up just like rabbit. :)
 

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We had one of the hardest winters on record here in Iowa and I spent more money on shelled corn to feed the deer than I will save at the grocery store by eating venison over beef in 10 years. I hate to see anything suffer and by the middle of February the deer herd where I hunt was suffering. Deep snow and heavy ice made it impossible for them to get to soy beans and corn that the combines left in the fields. They were going into yards and eating the Abortive Arbor bushes. They were hurting bad especially the yearlings. It was just my turn to give back to the herd that has been feeding my family for 40 years. We hardly buy beef as where I am located I get a bow tag, a gun tag and usually 3 or 4 depredation tags to help keep the deer numbers in check. I have a farmer friend that lives next to a nature preserve and the deer decimate his crops. He gets 20-30 depredation tags annually and I can have as many as I want. I only take what we can eat and when my 4 kids were teenagers were at home 1 deer didn't last as long as some of the TV shows make you think they last. They grew up eating venison and still raid the freezer when they come home.

We made a trip to Des Moines towards the end of February and there were 36 dead deer either in the median or on the shoulder of Interstate 80 in that 53 mile stretch. That is 36 deer that went to waste that could have been consumed. I can't feel bad about putting 4 or 5 in my freezer each year. At the same time I am thankful for everyone that I kill. I pick the bones clean and we don't waste any.

I am at the point where the grandkids are starting to hunt so I let them fill tags as well but we stop when we get all that we can eat even if it means letting tags go unfilled.

The bottom line I have no remorse in cleanly harvesting deer for table fair! Probably never will as it's been a way of my way of life since I was a kid.
 

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Be 70 end of April and don"t think I will live long enough to not hunt ,at least I hope so . And tonite beaver is on the menu ,I trap too and need new mittens for next deer season/Ed
 

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Be 70 end of April and don"t think I will live long enough to not hunt ,at least I hope so . And tonite beaver is on the menu ,I trap too and need new mittens for next deer season/Ed
+1. I’ll be 63 in August and plan to hunt as long as I can. I do not enjoy the killing and butchering but I like to eat protein. I eat my own beef, chicken, & eggs. I kill deer, squirrel, rabbit, quail, dove, & the occasional turkey to provide variety to my diet. My deer enjoy good lives in a quiet secluded place with plenty of good water and browse I provide supplemental minerals and feed in bad winters. They are killed as ethically as I know how.
 

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+1. I’ll be 63 in August and plan to hunt as long as I can. I do not enjoy the killing and butchering but I like to eat protein. I eat my own beef, chicken, & eggs. I kill deer, squirrel, rabbit, quail, dove, & the occasional turkey to provide variety to my diet. My deer enjoy good lives in a quiet secluded place with plenty of good water and browse I provide supplemental minerals and feed in bad winters. They are killed as ethically as I know how.
I don't like the butchering either! A couple of years ago a local guy I call Dooney asked me if I wanted any deer as his group had several hunters that just wanted to hunt but didn't want the deer. I told him that it wouldn't go to waste. I came home from church on Sunday morning and their were 4 big does and a fork horn piled in front of the garage. I didn't get to watch the Vikings that afternoon and I missed my bed time by a few hours. They all had legal tags on them and that was my only stipulation. When the kids came home at Christmas they all brought coolers with them. A fella can learn to hate butchering deer in a hurry at that rate. I have since put a limit of two deer on what I will take and have found other folk who are willing to butcher an extra deer for their freezer.
 

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I still deer hunt and I'm really thankful to put a deer in the freezer. Just the wife and I now so one deer is enough, and even though most years I could legally take one or two more I don't. If I have one deer and still have a legal tag left I will usually "hunt" some more, but am not seriously looking to add to the freezer - the "hunt" then becomes more of just time in the woods exploring and enjoying being out there. But, occasionally I do take a second deer if the perfect opportunity arises.

One reason I think a lot of people have quit hunting is the loss of their hunting partner or group. For me at least a big part of the deer hunting experience was the once a year deer camp with friends. Members of our group have either died, been forced to quit due to medical or other family reasons, or just decided it was easier on the old bones just to sit inside where it's warm and dry or go south for the winter.

So I still look forward to deer season, but without quite the same level of excitement I used to.

And grouse are a lot easier to carry out of the woods!
 

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I have some real problems with some of the younger generations. Our state is finding less hunting licenses being purchased along with fewer showing up for hunter training sessions .
A local "help the more needy" Christian youthministry, which builds ramps, fixes windows, plumbing etc. for older or handicapped folks, is having problems getting the youth to participate, where 8-10 years ago there were plenty of young volunteers.

Sorry, but I blame the new technology for much of the problem in most instances. Just look about, see how many are walking around with their phone in their hand!

They can't seem to put it down long enough to simply put it in their pocket !

They can't leave it alone when dining out..they can't walk down the street without becoming engrossed in their little 2.5" X 4" screen.

It doesn't look good....
 

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David, I liked antelope meat when I was living in NM. Of course I liked elk and mule deer too. I even like height mountain black bear meat that has not been eating out of garbage cans. And I agree with you that usually mule deer is not as tasty as antelope meat.
 
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