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Grizzly mistakenly killed by Pennsylvania man in Montana

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Grizzly mistakenly killed by Pennsylvania man in Montana

Old 06-18-2018, 02:29 AM
Join Date: Jun 2018
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Last edited by Bocajnala; 06-18-2018 at 02:36 AM. Reason: spammer
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:33 AM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,221

Too bad. It is the obligation of the hunter to know his animal.

I will tell a story that makes me look stupid. It does not involve me shooting the wrong species, so that at least is not bad news. On my very first elk hunt I saw some animals moving in a pack. I thought they could be cow elk or mule deer. I was not sure which they were. In my preparations I had not taken any time to explicitly study what a cow elk looked like. I do not live in Colorado. I had not seen live elk before. It never occurred to me that it would be a question what an elk looks like: an elk has very large distinctive antlers, right? Sure, the bull does, but what exactly does the cow look like? I hadn't studied it. Size could be an easy way to distinguish, but without any scale against which to judge this was not useful to me. I resolved my uncertainty by not shooting. I have since learned they were cow elk, which is what I was licensed to hunt.

Sure, I feel pretty stupid not having been able to immediately identify them as cow elk. I no longer can make this error as I have seen cow elk and bull elk in the flesh on numerous occasions and have shot both -- not on the same hunting trip. They are indeed easily distinguished, but not for me without having thought to really study the difference. I know it sounds hard to believe. I had read plenty of books on hunting elk, but probably I never looked at the cows much but rather looked at the bulls in the pictures.

It is something that ought to be emphasized to new hunters, to spend time learning what their prey looks like and possibly learning to distinguish them from other animals that might be present in the same hunting territory.

Another thing new hunters ought to learn is the regulations in fine detail. The first elk I shot was a bull elk. What I remembered from the regulations was that a legal bull had to have four points. Well, I saw four points and I shot. I took the bull, but then I found the far side antler had only THREE points! O no! I had shot an illegal bull, I feared! I field dressed the bull and went back to camp. The first thing I did was reread the regulations. They said four points on EITHER antler, so I was OK. Additionally, if the brow tines were over a certain length -- I think 5 inches -- this too was a qualifying criteria, and my bull had sufficiently long brow tines. My point is that it was bad form that I did not know the regulations with certainty and had not thought through the scenario fully enough (that is that if I really thought both antlers had to be four points or more that I didn't explicitly verify the off-side antler ALSO had four points). I was not wilfully being a lazy or inexact hunter, but notwithstanding I should have studied the regulations more carefully, and did so thereafter.

Last edited by Alsatian; 06-19-2018 at 11:41 AM.
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