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Natural Hunting Skill vs Trail Cams

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Natural Hunting Skill vs Trail Cams

Old 10-07-2014, 07:17 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by rockport
I think if there is a problem its like usual.....money.

Way to much simply paying somebody to put you in a stand where the deer are.

Just seems to me that is a much bigger cause for decline of actual skill.
That's the point we're trying to make. Money, and gadgets are replacing hunting skills.

Personally, I don't care how someone hunts. I just hate to see someone take the easy way when putting more effort into it can be more rewarding.
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:33 AM
  #32  
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Great article in Outdoor Life magazine.
Woodsmanship Basics: 10 Things Technology Won't Do For You

The argument between“tech” and “savvy” in the woodsmanship department seems to be come up more and more every year. It inevitably turns into an “old dog/young dog” argument and for the most part, I feel each side has some good points to be made.

Now I would agree that a lot of young guys depend on a GPS way too much, but I know just as many “old hand” 40 or 50 year olds who can’t navigate worth a damn either. Blood trailing seems to be another skill that isn’t being learned or taught as much as it should, but it’s hard to learn how to blood trail if you hardly ever shoot anything, so we can’t really blame that one on the younger generation either.

So after spending three days in a blind with a long time friend who happens to be 64 years old, we came up with list of skills that are essential to the backcountry hunter, young and old.


1) Navigation (general and advanced): This is with a map and compass, folks, not a GPS.

2) Fire Starting: It amazes me how many hunters can’t start a fire with a flint and steel anymore. What you going to do when the waterproof matches are toast and the lighter is crushed?

3) Blood Trailing: This is art in motion, with the right guy on point, but with the wrong guy on point, it can be a circus with no trucks. Find someone who blood trails well and learn from them.

4) Field Dressing and Caping: Whether you use the gutless method and or gut and quarter, this is something that can be either a joy to watch or a comedy routine. There are plenty of good instructional video out there, including this one on how to debone an elk.

5) Field Expedient Shelters: This one can save your life, but if you ask a 20 year old to describe what a lean to is, he’ll probably quote a rap song or something. Maybe that’s too harsh, then again …

6) Basic First Aid: Something you should know weather you hunt or not, but this one seems to be the last thing many people think of before heading into the woods.

7) Survival Kit Knowledge: Simple enough, but I bet you find more I-pods and cell phones in hunters packs than flint and steel’s.

8) Bore Sighting and Broadhead Tuning: This is another foreign language to a lot of beginners, but both are as important as anything else on this list. If all you shoot is field points, that first broadhead shot is going to be a surprise.

9) Plant and Tree Identification: Not always lifesavers, but this type of knowledge is a huge part of hunting and makes for a richer experience.

10) Animal Anatomy: In the last two weeks, as an experiment, I have asked several hunters what side of the elk the liver is located. They had a 50/50 shot at getting it right and several guys (of all ages) still got it wrong.

Many more skills are needed to be a complete woodsman, but the list above is the skills that seem to be lost more than any, at least as I see it, with the hunters I meet. This has less to do with a hunter’s age, I think, and more to do with the times we live in. I was raised in an area that demanded you know how to do everything on that list. If you didn’t you went hungry. Not everyone, I realize, is lucky enough to have a rough childhood.

What do you guys think? Has the modern emphasis on tech and gear taken away from the art and skill of backcountry woodsmanship?

Either way, if you find a new hunter that is in need of some knowledge, SPREAD THE WEALTH. The hunting community will be a better place for it!
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:43 AM
  #33  
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Another good article. The Art of Hunting Deer the Old-Fashioned Way
Thomas Aquinas Daly, wielding a slender stick as straight as a conductor’s baton, pointed out a bright droplet of blood splashed across a yellow maple leaf. “She went off the trail again,” he muttered, hunched over and resting his palms on his knees. “No wonder we didn’t find blood where we’ve been looking.”




Doug Benz for The New York Times

Daly hunts with his wooden bow on the 240-acre farm he shares with his wife, Chris.


The New York Times

Daly hunts on his 240-acre farm in western New York.

We were tracking a whitetail doe that I had hit with an arrow on Daly’s property near this western New York community on opening day of bow hunting season. Tracking is an ancient art, if not a very happy one; the conscientious hunter prides himself on his ability to make a clean and swift kill. But things sometimes go wrong, and there I was, growing more anxious and desperate to find the deer by the minute.

My host pinched another snippet of toilet paper off the wad in his hand and carefully placed it on the bloody leaf. He straightened up and looked back over the long, meandering paper trail we had created. He flicked his baton this way and that, toward our markers, as if it would help him puzzle out the condition and intent of the deer from the blood trail. He quietly said, “This is what I love doing most. For me, it isn’t so much about the actual hunting as much as the woodsmanship and skills that come into play at every stage of a hunt.” Read the whole article.

Last edited by kswild; 10-07-2014 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:08 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Muley Hunter
That's the point we're trying to make. Money, and gadgets are replacing hunting skills.

Personally, I don't care how someone hunts. I just hate to see someone take the easy way when putting more effort into it can be more rewarding.

I just don't see that a trail camera makes one use less effort.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:25 AM
  #35  
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I've used game cameras for the last 3 years with mixed emotions. I could do easily without them, they do let you know exactly what is/was in the area. Seeing a good one on camera might bump up the incentive to hunt a little harder on a bad day or let you know for sure if it is an animal to shoot or not.
Cameras are not good or bad, just another tool! If you really get down to it, not too many people hunt in loin-cloths, with flint arrows anymore!
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:30 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Nomercy448
Regarding the use of game cameras:

Cameras don't lure trophy deer to the gun or the bow, they simply capture an image when SOMETHING triggers their sensors. If you don't have any fieldsmanship skills and don't do any scouting, you won't know where to hang the camera in the first place. While I do agree there are ways to use the camera to gain 'intel' that wouldn't be available by conventional scouting techniques, it's not really that powerful of an enabling technology. These things have sensor ranges of ~45-80ft usually, so if you don't place cameras somewhere that you know to have deer sign and activity, you won't see any deer. All it really does is give you a look at 1) what is passing through, 2) at what time, and 3) with what consistency. Other than confirming to a hunter that deer are passing through regularly, cameras really don't reduce any scouting load, or make it easier to find them. You still have to find the deer, the camera just lets you know how often/how regularly they are there.

Fieldsmanship and "hunting savvy" really aren't that hard, so when I see threads like this, my mind ultimately just sees them as an attempt to pretend that somebody is a mystical great hunter because they notice deer schit or rubbed branches, then sat down and waited. It's not like we're flying over with FLIR equipped drones and taking high resolution photos using "rack recognition software" to locate animals, or using comprehensive video surveillance or GPS locating technologies to track their movements, then just pointing a bow or rifle and clicking an easy button. Heck, there are many tried and true traditional hunting methods that require a LOT less "hunting savvy" that increase your hunting successes a lot more than using a trail camera, but folks seldom complain about those. It's really not that difficult to go out and successfully harvest deer - I'm no master hunter, but I've been successful at bringing in a few respectable trophies, and have been successful at filling my freezer and filling my belly on many years, with as little as a used rifle or a 50yr old heirloom recurve bow and walmart arrows. If I can be successful, then it obviously isn't THAT HARD.

More than anything, I love getting my trail camera images just out of an interest for the natural world. Even though my lifestyle and job has always afforded me a lot of freedom to enjoy the outdoors, it's just not possible to be everywhere at once. I'm the type that takes the time to marvel at the world around me whenever I'm in nature, so I appreciate that trail cameras can capture moments that I simply wasn't there to witness. I have photo series of a pair of 160"+ bucks fighting for over 30minutes straight, photo series of coons wrestling under a feeder, of a young buck "fighting" a skunk, of coyotes stalking a doe with a fawn, of a pheasant "roosting" temporarily in the antlers of a buck... And the list goes on... I'll run feeders or food plots and run cameras on spots in many years that I have no intention of hunting, just to capture the wildlife photos. Really marvelous stuff (to me at least) happens in nature, and the cameras are extra sets of eyes (and a photographic record to boot!!) to help me see even more of it.

I suppose one specific purpose I use my camera photos for is herd management. I have 500 acres of my own, but my family has ~17,000 acres of crop and pasture ground, much of which I manage these days, but upon which several of my family also hunts. That acreage envelopes a lot of deer, and over the last 20-30yrs, we've had certain 'conditions' like over hunting or funky genetics pop up in one spot or another, and having the cameras lets us keep a closer eye on the natural deer herds to help promote healthy populations of good quality animals. For example, we've had years where certain area only has younger bucks and low doe populations, but good food availability (bachelor pads), my family and I will "let them walk" and not hunt that area but will plant food plots to encourage doe migration to the area, and to let the bucks grow. Another area had a bit of a stagnating gene pool, good problem to have - great big bodies even at young ages, but really imbalanced racks. So we made an effort to knock out a few of the larger bucks in one season, which successfully left room for a few different bucks to come in the next seasons - WHICH WE LET WALK - to help diversify that gene pool. Granted, that required a lot of 'policing' to prevent uninvited hunters from screwing up our plan, but it worked.

I don't necessarily have an ethical stance in favor or against cameras or feeders or foodplots, or rifles or crossbows or box blinds or dogs or hunting apps or scent blocker or camo etc etc, - I've hunted very successfully when all I could afford was a box of ammo every other year to hunt with and my tags, and I've not found it legitimately EASIER to hunt because I own trail cameras, nor many of the other items available to me now that I'm able to enjoy the disposable income to afford some of them. For what it's worth, I'm not even convinced that FEEDERS really improve a hunters odds significantly (outside of farms) unless the overall food supply in the area is really lacking, as I've noticed that deer respond VERY differently to feeders even simply by moving them 20yrds in one direction or another. I also don't feel the need to take a stance on many of these issues, because I don't feel compelled to criticize others for how they hunt.
I just like seeing the game pics. Ive had a few nice buck pics on my game cameras but they were at night. I never saw them in daylight. I wouldnt even have know they were around if it wasnt for game cameras. A couple of them got killed last year miles away from my cameras...

The problem I see is everyone wants to complain of what you use to kill deer/game...oh boo hoo you are using a crossbow thats cheating/unethical...oh boo hoo a compound bow isnt hunting, oh boo hoo a 308 is too big for deer, using game cameras is cheating...blah blah blah...theres always going to be someone there to dispute pro or con of hunting/techniques/gadgets/skills etc...If someone wants to have 20 game cameras on their property...so what? if they want to hunt with a recurve bow only good for them...hunting means less dependency on store bought beef IMO while I like a good steak or beef roast. I know wild game is much better for me and cheaper...thats why I hunt. If you really want traditional hunting get a spear or atlatl, make your own bow and arrows...then see if you get anything...

bottom line is if you like game cameras good if you dont good for you...someone is always going to come in and complain you arent a hunter because they dont hunt like you.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:46 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by rockport
I just don't see that a trail camera makes one use less effort.
Less scouting. Maybe not a big deal in some states without a lot of public hunting land. Colorado has millions of areas of public land to hunt. Trail cameras would make it much easier to eliminate some of the land.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:50 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Wilcam47
I just like seeing the game pics. Ive had a few nice buck pics on my game cameras but they were at night. I never saw them in daylight. I wouldnt even have know they were around if it wasnt for game cameras. A couple of them got killed last year miles away from my cameras...

The problem I see is everyone wants to complain of what you use to kill deer/game...oh boo hoo you are using a crossbow thats cheating/unethical...oh boo hoo a compound bow isnt hunting, oh boo hoo a 308 is too big for deer, using game cameras is cheating...blah blah blah...theres always going to be someone there to dispute pro or con of hunting/techniques/gadgets/skills etc...If someone wants to have 20 game cameras on their property...so what? if they want to hunt with a recurve bow only good for them...hunting means less dependency on store bought beef IMO while I like a good steak or beef roast. I know wild game is much better for me and cheaper...thats why I hunt. If you really want traditional hunting get a spear or atlatl, make your own bow and arrows...then see if you get anything...

bottom line is if you like game cameras good if you dont good for you...someone is always going to come in and complain you arent a hunter because they dont hunt like you.
Complain? Hardly, just pointing out some observations. I do see only one side of this get all touchy about their hunting style, and start to insult. Kind of a boo hoo eh? I could care less if you wear a trail cam on your azz so you don't have to turn around. I will point out that you have a trail cam on your azz though.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:56 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Muley Hunter
Complain? Hardly, just pointing out some observations. I do see only one side of this get all touchy about their hunting style, and start to insult. Kind of a boo hoo eh? I could care less if you wear a trail cam on your azz so you don't have to turn around. I will point out that you have a trail cam on your azz though.
I had to laugh at that!
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:07 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Muley Hunter
Less scouting. Maybe not a big deal in some states without a lot of public hunting land. Colorado has millions of areas of public land to hunt. Trail cameras would make it much easier to eliminate some of the land.
Can a person not know what they are doing. Put in lots of work(although I think a lot of times less is more) AND use trail cameras?

It seems to me that blaming cameras for lazy/unskilled hunting is a lot like blaming guns for murder, pencils for misspelled words etc.

Last edited by rockport; 10-07-2014 at 09:34 AM.
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