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How sad hunting is becoming...

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How sad hunting is becoming...

Old 01-11-2009, 07:28 PM
  #11  
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Default RE: How sad hunting is becoming...

What makes hunting sad is the lack of interest in the sport. License sales are down. In NYS the average age of a deer hunter is 46yrs old, least thats what the DEC said at the last public meeting I attended. Modern times have changed the interests. Kids spend too much time sitting on the couch playing their X-Boxes, and alot of after school activities. Our youth are not getting as involved.
I believe another reason is the lack of deer. When I first got into hunting it was nothing to see 20-30 deer in the woods. Groups of 6-8 deer at a time. Now seeing a group of 3-4 is alot. Hunters want to see alot of deeror big bucks in the woods, and spend as few hrs as possible to do it. The price of licenses, and equipment needed can put a heck of a dent in ones pocket, and with this economy thats tough. In my family we had to purchase 4 super sportsman licenses. Mine, the wifes, and 2 boys. That was about $275!!
Land access could also be another. But NYS has alot of public land that can be utilized. I hunt alot of public land myself, and have noticed a decrease in hunters on opening day of gun season in the past 3yrs in the area I hunt.But I don't know how other states compare for access.

But right now I think the most important thing is to keep the interest in hunting amongst our youth. If we don't it'll be a dieing sport.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:33 AM
  #12  
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Default RE: How sad hunting is becoming...

- Decreasing hunter numbers
- Archery Vs. Cross bow Vs. Rifle
- Group Vs. Lone hunters
- AR's Vs. No restrictions
- Trophy Hunters Vs. Everyone
- Seeing 20 deer Vs. seeing 2-3
- Private Vs. Public land

All of the points mentioned by previous posters are valid. I believe one of the reasons is because hunting in any form is so personal. Each of us have our own definition as to what hunting is. Whenever you have different definitions of something you will have this. It just means we are all playing by a slightly different set of rules or standards. Not a great thing but, it is what it is at this point.

I have felt for a long time now that the decline of hunter numbers is tied very closely to the decline of the middle class of America. As the middle class goes, so does hunting. Lets face it, how many board meetings are topics of hunting and fishing coming up (unless its your industry)? I have worked at the same place since 2000 and I can count on my hands how many people have hunted that I a have ran into. Sure I get lots of, when I was 13 I hunted twice.... That is not an active hunter nor do folks like that encourage hunting for our sport.

I don't think there is magic bullet (bad pun intended) to correct our lower hunter numbers. I see and hear a lot of excuses though. Ex. Lack of hunting land, lack of deer etc. I feel these are growing problems however, are blown out of proportion. Because you had a farm to hunt last year and no longer can hunt it this year does not mean you stop hunting. Most states offer plenty of land to hunt publicly and each year are doing more and more. Public land is SAFE. So the excuse of needing a safe place to hunt is not valid. As long as you get used to seeing other hunters now and again, public land offers great opportunity.

This post will be too long if I go into all my opinions so I will just hit one more.

Bow hunters against all other hunters. I believe an archery hunter feels so passionate about his or her sport that this can be taken the wrong way by other sportsman. Archery hunters know that deer are easier to hunt when less pressured (Hence not liking other people in the woods when they are) and want to hunt deer in a less stress environment. Attempting to pattern animals is tough to do. Even harder when other hunters are in the woods. I know I feel strongly about this as my odds go down in archery when the public hands start seeing small game, turkey, doe season, duck season, etc hunters in the area as well. To me, it is not that the hunt is ruined, just the feeling of being alone is gone. That crack of a branch should be a deer but, it is another hunter.. darn! The point here for me is, most archery hunters don't dislike other hunters or other types of hunting, we are just extra sensitive to loads of people in the woods interrupting an already hard hunting situation. To me, it boils down to just that.

The debate of cross bows Vs. other bow hunting. Yes, I feel like a Xbow is not as hard to use than a other types of bows. I don't have a lot of experience with them but, an Xbow is point and shoot. Traditional and compound bows are not. I'm not saying Xbows should not be legal, not saying folks who hunt with them are less skilled or lazy. They are just not my bag of tea. I enjoy the challenge of a compound. Someone else may enjoy the challenge of the Xbow. Also, unless I see real evidence, I don't buy into the fact that lots of deer will be injured etc. I believe that most hunters are ethical. That being said, most hunters will ensure their Xbow skills match what is needed in the field to take game and not wound animals.

I do feel hunters need to band together. We need to act a one community and help in educating our youth. Hunting is no longer about having to put food on the table. Hunting is not about the right to bear arms. I do not believe hunting is all about population control either (I do believe it plays a part in some areas more than others). Hunting for most is about the enjoyment of hunting itself. Learning about the woods, nature, conservation, and changes in the environment, experience with parents, family, friends, strategic thinking, dedication, passion, and above all things Integrity.

We are loosing the battle in hunter numbers. Unless you have experienced hunting personally, you can not understand it and it is hard to talk openly about it. We can not expect a teacher who has never hunted to encourage hunting or fishing. Kids not being interested in hunting and fishing activities I believe are a direct result of their own family members. Not video games or other sports. Growing up, I was involved in almost all sports at a very young age and into college. At the same time I was hunting and fishing. I spent days in front of the TV playing video games. Heck.. we even had duck hunt! My friends did not hunt nor understood it. The entire time my family helped me understand that there was more to hunting and fishing than killing. It was about everything else. The kill was the last and smallest piece of the entire experience.

I realized this post is a bit long. Just my passion pouring through on a Monday morning. I love hunting, fishing, and share it with as many people as I can everyday. This not always easy.

I'll ask every hunter on this board. How many people have you introduced hunting to this year that have never hunted before? We should all try to introduce someone into the sport once a year. Even if they will never hunt but, it will give them awareness of what we do and how much we care. They will likely talk about it to other people in a positive light.. We will start reversing the trend! I truly believe this.

I introduced a family friend to the sport last year and now he is a hunting buddy for life. He also is over 30 plus years of age and never stepped into the woods before last year. So excited to see him learning etc.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:48 PM
  #13  
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Default RE: How sad hunting is becoming...

It is nice to see that this topic has brought out somewell written and thoughtfulposts! There really are some nice guys left
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:05 PM
  #14  
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Default RE: How sad hunting is becoming...

It is always interesting for me to read the threads from folks out in the northeast where deer hunting is more of a longterm established tradition. Even though Illinois (where I grew up and still own land) is now viewed as big buck paradise, it has only emerged as such over the last twenty years. In that time, I have already seen the sport start to become divided up into separate cliques. I've already lost track of how many lectures I have heard from bow hunters (out there with state of the art compounds) that theirs is the only true way to shoot deer. Of course, they line up at Gander Mountain just like everybody else to buy every kind of scent masker, attractant, and call that is available. At the same time, I see folks out there with firearms who throw a fit if a small game hunter comes thru the same general area, even if they have just as much right to be there as the deer hunter. You now literally get fistfights over who gets to put their stand where, even when neither person owns the land and they both have permission to be there. I have cousins who own large tracts of land who have threatened to post their land to all deer hunting because they are just sick and tired of having to deal with all the fighting and arguing amongs the people they let deer hunt the ground. They never had that type of problems with small game hunters or even deer hunters back in the day when it was less trophy and competition oriented. Right or wrong, deer hunters, in terms of particular styles or in general, are increasingly viewed as acting like a bunch of spoiled brats that can't get along. And that is sad.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:35 PM
  #15  
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Default RE: How sad hunting is becoming...

Thanks to everyone who has posted comments so far, there have been many good points brought up. After discussing this topic w/ my coworker and then really thinking about it I just figured that I couldn't be the only one with these views. I really though this post would bring more comment from different groups of hunters, but I'm guessing with what I first stated and what others have added these points I guess you would say makes some kind of sense to everyone whether you agree with them 100% or only a little. Again just keep hunting FUN!
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:31 PM
  #16  
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Default RE: How sad hunting is becoming...

hunters like me hunt BUCK only.

i will not shoot a small buck.

now do to lack of doe, NEVER SHOOT A DOE.

reason is older buck is CHALLENGE.

HUNTING DOE IS NOT AND SMALL BUCKS IS NOT.

if you had hunting like i saw, you would know what i mean.

i have to have it hard and getting doe or fawn or small buck is not in me.

like going to school,if you told anyone you shot a doe, you were given dirty look.

we all did it but never told anyone we did.

today, you have hunters that take picture of doe or fawn.

they are proud.

usually these are hunters that never were much of hunter anyhow.

they mostly were after one thing, MEAT...........

so, thats difference, when you look on my wall, its horns ,it past and great memories, no doe head up there or small buck .

its just not a CHALLENGE of hunt for people like me to kill a doe or fawn or small buck and my freezer is EMPTY.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:42 PM
  #17  
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Default RE: How sad hunting is becoming...

ORIGINAL: WestVirginiaBrent

"Trophy Hunting" is such a interpretable concept/term. To me it means someone that pays an outfitter to sit them in a shed over a pile of corn where they know a big one is and then they shoot it, cape it out for a mountand donate the rest of the meat to Hunters for the Homeless.

While I love a lot of hunting shows, I just roll my eyes that a lot of the published writers in the magazine are nothing more than point and shoot guided"hunters" with money and time on their hands.

I don't shoot little bucks any more, but I am far from a trophy hunter. I want 2.5+ year old deer, regardless of what their rack looks like. My largest to date is a 110" 10 pointer that I got this year, a trophy of a lifetime for where I hunt.

To me deer hunting involves everything that goes with shooting a deer, the drag, the butchering, the camraderie, the ribbing,the smoking/cooking, etc... I want to do it all because that is what it's about to me. I am amazed at the number of hunters that not only haven't ever processed their deer but don't even know how to do it. There is more to hunting than sitting in a tree, shooting it, then dropping it off at the local butcher shop. The work and pain in the ass factor is all part of the journey and ends up being a fond memory later or. Skinning a frozen deer with frozen hands in frozen conditions makes that meat that much tastier and rewarding.

As to why I don't shoot little ones, I am just not into it anymore. Call it elitism or just plain not rewarding to me anymore but I just feel like any one can do it where I hunt. If I needed some meat for jerky I would tag a doe in the final day or something. I hunt WV browse deer, on the ground, and our land is still unmanaged at the moment although I am not against food plots, I just haven't been able to do it.

As long as a hunter is happy with how they are doing it then they should keep on keeping on, to each his own. As for me, I'll put in all the work until I am unable to do it and hopefully I pass that ethic to my children. I never give a guy a hard time for shooting a little one and I wish I could say I don't feel some resentment from a few hunting friends for me holding out and bagging the larger bucks our area supports.
VERY GOOD POST.

you said its not rewarding, i use same thing but i say its not CHALLENGING.


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Old 01-15-2009, 12:19 AM
  #18  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: How sad hunting is becoming...

hunting should be fun hope people remember that
if it is not fun then why do it
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:28 AM
  #19  
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Default RE: How sad hunting is becoming...

Honestly how bad has it become, when state employees lives are threatened,they wear bullet proof vests really.
It deer hunting for god sake,its a time with family and friends in the great outdoors.People act as if the P.G.C. has come into their homes and taken something that belongs to them.
Am I happy with the direction things are going ,of course not ,but thats no reason to make up conspiracy theories about government agency's trying to ruin your lives. There are still enough deer out there that any one that wants to kill one and puts the time and effort required, will kill one.
If you want more deer than quit shooting your doe and convince your friends and neighbors to do the same,get a chain saw out and start cutting your maple down so the oaks and Cherry's can grow,plant pear trees they don't require the yearly work that apples do.Make brush piles out of the tops.
You and only you can make a difference,you can sit and complain or you can make your hunting better ,the choice is yours, and it can be fun.
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:28 AM
  #20  
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Default RE: How sad hunting is becoming...

I agree with a lot of what has been written. I have shot a ton of young, small buck and have great memories doing it. I think every hunter should shoot what makes it "Fun" for them. I came to a point where shooting the first buck that walked up to me was not fun for me anymore. There were many years I'd be dragging my buck out by 8:00am on the first day. I much more enjoy being out in the woods, seeing multiple young buck and waiting for a more mature animal. I shoot doe. The number of tags I fill is based on how many deer in general our group is seeing. If numbers are down, I shoot less. If numbers are up I fill all my tags. There have been many times where I pass a deer and it walks over the hill and gets shot. I have no problem with that. I also archery hunt and can't stand how most archery hunters act in general. There are guys that are humble but there are many more who act elitist. I stopped visiting the bowhunter forum here because of this attitude. Anyway, I agree that hunting should be "FUN"!!
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