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What is a successful hunter?

Your age, experience, and the actions of hunters around you help formulate your ideas of what a good hunter is. Not all hunters p [no swearing please] through each of the following 5 stages nor does everyone p [no swearing please] through the stages in the order cited.

1) SHOOTER stage: This hunter thinks of "good hunting" as meaning "much shooting". This hunter talks a lot of the chances he/she had to "kill a deer". Missing game is not as important as pulling the trigger.These may be very dangerous hunters.----

2) LIMITING OUT stage: These hunters still talk much about enjoying shooting. More important to them is the number of game animals killed. Getting their LIMIT is their primary concern. They may even want to "limit out" more than safe behavior allows. ----

3) TROPHY stage: These hunters try to kill only certain game. The look for "that special deer" and may travel far to find their trophy. Getting a lot of shooting is now less important. ----

4) METHOD stage: In this stage, hunting has become very important to the hunter. He/She still want to take game and perhaps even to limit out, but more important to them is how it is done. They study the habits of their game. The choose special equipment which may be primitive, such as bow and arrow or black powder. equipment use and the best hunting skills mark this stage. ----

5) SPORTSMAN stage: After many years of hunting, these are the hunters who enjoy being with like-minded friends in the outdoors more than taking game. They enjoy the total hunting experience. They are the role models we should all aspire to. ---

NOTE: ---- In stages 1,2 and 3 the word "kill" is used. But in stages 4 and 5 the word "take" is used instead of "kill".

"We" in the Sport Hunting arena need to be aware that anti-gunners - and those who are just as adament against hunting as we are for it - refer to hunting as "killing" which to them means leaving game where it drops (we are viewed as butchers). "Taking" on the other hand, means a clean kill and the removal from the field to our homes for consumption, or, a clean kill and removal from the field for improved conservation/game management.

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I found this surfing different sites last night and I thought you all might enjoy it. [cool] Other things like this soon to follow. :)
 

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Very thought provoking. I can relate with every stage. Even though I have only been hunting 10 years, I think I have gone through those stages.
 

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It's kind of funny you write that up. I was just talking with someone about a similar topic the other day. I've noticed with young hunters that they think a successful hunt is when you shoot alot. I suppose I was that way once too... so I'm as tolerant as I can be.

But a few weeks ago, I witnessed a hunter shoot directly over a friends dog at a bird no more than 4 feet of the ground just in front of the dog... if the dog had jumped, he would have killed it. I let loose on him with a pretty nasty verbal thrashing. He apologized thoroughly to me and the owner of the dogs. He was my wingman the rest of the day and I told him when to shoot... actually I didn't shoot the rest of the day, he shot for me. I suppose I've reached the last stage, huh.
 

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Through many years guiding and dog handling at different shooting preserves in South Jersey I have witnessed dogs being shot, hunter being shot and people not hunters, who think it's a day playing golf squeeze off rounds at the ground or worse places. You can tell by the look if they are good sportsman or not. I've taken guns away from clients in the field and told them to meet me at the club house. I wish at time I had shock collars on clients instead of the german shorthairs. Hey, if you miss there are 15,000 more pheasants in the pen. It not worth the accidents.

Till our trails cross,

Ryan
 

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I agree Ryan... I'm always leary about taking out new people over my dogs. I always joke around that if someone shoots one of them, they better shoot me next or they've had it.:p
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think thats why I like hunting without a dog. I would flip out if someone shot my dog! I do all my own doggen when rabbit hunting. I have hunted with other peoples dogs and I can see how much they enjoy the dogs working but it's just not my thing...
 

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Those stages are in the beginning chapters of the hunter ed classes. Both in the book and on the video if my memory serves me correct.
 

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Those stages are in the beginning chapters of the hunter ed classes. Both in the book and on the video if my memory serves me correct.
Yes they are..... I think I would be in stage (6) Woodsmen, I can go out and NOT get anything, or see anything and still be able to sit around with other hunters talking about "JUST BEING IN THE WOODS". I lean more to the nature of things, being at Peace with nature, enjoying life.

Life is Short, Soak it UP.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Those stages are in the beginning chapters of the hunter ed classes.
I'm pretty sure thats where I got this from..It was awhile ago but I believe thats it! Except I think I got it from the North Carolina Hunter's Ed book not the NJ one. I'm sure they have a lot of the same thing's in them.... I was reading a report on a NC deer study and I came across this and thought it would make for a good post![up]
 

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I think Im a healthy balance of 3, 4 & 5.

I do want to kill only certain animals, and I want to do it with slightly tougher methods, but I also just enjoy being out in the woods, and its best shared with good friends.

[up]
 

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I think I have hit the sportsman stage for sure. I burned myself out on the method stage, focusing on traditional bowhunting and flyfishing for years, since I was 17 I concentrated mostly on those sports. Tying flies and shooting wood shafts. I now choose my equipment to make for less headaches and less prep time so I can just get out and enjoy being out. Back before stick bow shooting and flyfishing I filled every doe tag with my Oneida eagle and my shot gun until I needed something more out of it. Looking back these stages really do seem to come full circle.
 

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I think I would be in stage (6) Woodsmen, I can go out and NOT get anything, or see anything and still be able to sit around with other hunters talking about "JUST BEING IN THE WOODS". I lean more to the nature of things, being at Peace with nature, enjoying life.
I would have to agree with Mystic, I'm in this stage too (it's a good thing too considering how infrequently I actually do harvest a deer)
 

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Thanks JJ.

I think I'm in stage 6...

... that's when you spend a good deal of time on newjersersey.com pestering other hunters;)

Ant
 

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I think a successful hunter is someone who can sit back at the end of his years or day and realize that it's not about who the winner or loser was or keeping score, someone who truly enjoyed the outdoors for what it is and with repect. I think in the end the memories are what counts, good or bad.
 

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Dreamers, all dreamers why do we go and why do we not go ever figure that one out. What's our drive or lack of drive?[cool] Don't you just love me[hihi]

Some say I drink and some say I do drugs and some say he's pertner reached the pont of no retun.

What say yeath men? Any man that goeth on adventure has to come out with a broadened awkening of the outdoors but the real question I'd like to know is what price did it cost us each and are we willing to face what we have to show for it what it really cost us possibly by the extent of our pursuit of our real desire.[hihi][hihi]

Also being able to except the agony of defeat for life that it stays with you all the record books that got away. Fish & Game or what ever it might have been. I have things you'd never beleive I'll carry for ever and what if I did this or that and I'm sure just if I did just one thing differantly I might have changed the outcome. I just feel blessed to have been part of those opportunitys to have been taken along on those trips.

You all take about stages which is part of maturity. Some will never reach certain parts or get there much slower because they haven't been exposed to certain levells of experiance handling Big game animals or Fish so some of us are really fortunite that way.

My father had another saying after each trip when we sat down at the table and my mother asked him well what do you boys have to say for your selves? He'd say we made it home safe and then it was a good day the rest was history for the books. I never forgot that because that's what our days were about the good with the bad taking it as men.[hihi]
 
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