Just a tip about hunters....

Nif_NortheasternPA(z5 NEPA)April 11, 2006

I am posting this cautiously, but it is widely agreed that in my area of the world, there are way too many deer and they are harming the forests with overbrowsing. So this post is for those with property who are concerned.

I saw the thread about hunters and it is so sad how many people are willing to go into the woods with a gun without doing the research on the ecosystem, or even have any idea about the animal they are hunting!!

Anyway, someone posted that if they could give the hunters a test, then they would allow them to hunt, due to overbrowsing perhaps, and so here is my tip:

Rifle hunters (deer) are mostly clueless, they are the ones who almost shoot horses and such. There are some who are repectable, as the famous Duck hunters are, and who are educated about the natural world. But for the most part... no.

The Archery hunters (hunters that hunt deer with the bow and arrow) are generally very in tune with the animals they hunt, as you have to get VERY close to the animal.

They have to observe the area for months and years, and when the season come, they have to to sit - VERY quietly - in a tree for hours. And do that for many days, watching many a deer 'snort them out' and bound away. It can take a loooong time in the woods.

A person just does not do that if they don't have a real passion for the forests and for completely wild setting.

Maybe I just know very nice ones, but most archery hunters I know actually say a big reason they do it is for that time in the woods, they see all kinds of other animals, and I have heard them excitedly report about seeing different birds, and especially a bobcat or something unusual.

In my experience, riflemen just jump out of thier trucks, clop loudly through the woods, and bow away a deer that is a quarter to 1/2 mile away!

Sadly, with no native preditors left for the deer, I have to even be happy for the rifleman, without them, the other animals would be in big trouble.

So if you want an experienced hunter in your woods, look for an archery hunter. No real need for a test!

Although, if the crossbow becomes legal for everyone, things could change - those things are like rifles - and that is another story!!

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Bring back the cats has always been my solution...I don;t hunt, as I don;t kill anything, but fully support anyone who is educated and resprctful about the ecosystem. My love of nature was given to me by my 7th grade science teacher, now deceased. He was an avid hunter and an ardent conservationist. You're right, it's duck hunters that singlehandelly protected much of our remaining wetlands, including the Ivory Billed WP's areas.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 11:54PM
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Nif_NortheasternPA(z5 NEPA)

I have trouble killing a fly, and I just started bluebirding, so if and when a HOSP show up, it will be my husbnd that will do the job.

(Oddly enough, he is very hesitant about it!)

Thanks for the positive post, I was very nervous posting that but I really thought it would be helpful for some to have some insight on archery hunters.

I didn't know the duck hunters helped the Ivory Billed also!!!


    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 9:37AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

About the HOSPS,
One thing you can do is wait until they lay their eggs, and they're not hatched yet, and throw out the eggs. They will keep coming back and coming back to lay the eggs, but once the eggs are gone, they are less likely to return. Sometimes eggs are easier to throw out than babies. But if you want bluebirds, that's what you have to do. :(
P.S. don't throw the eggs under the bluebirdhouse because predators will eat them, and come back there for more.....and next time it might be for the bluebird babies.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 11:07AM
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As a hunter, I would like to say something here.
I hunt. So does my husband. I hunt ducks, geese, pheasants, deer (with a rifle) and moose (also with a rifle). While there are some big game hunters who just drive down the back roads and shoot the first animal they see, if you talked to most hunters they would explain to you that (for most of them) hunting isn't about killing the biggest buck (thought I've been told there is a certain thrill in knowing you've outwitted a wise old deer). Once a hunter shoots an animal, the season is over for them and the work begins.

I have been hunting deer for three year, but only took my first animal this past season. I hunt with a rifle, because I know that I can make a clean killing shot with one, where with a bow I might wound an animal. Most big game hunters, whether with a bow or with a rifle, hunt for the thrill of the things you see while you are out there. I have sat, while several deer came within ten feet of me, and looked right into my eyes. My husband, two years ago, saw a buck and doe leaping around a small clearing, playing like dogs. Another time he had a family of foxes come under his tree stand and kill a mouse (he hunts both bow and rifle), and still another time he had a doe and a very late, very young fawn pass within a few feet of him.

It doesn't matter whether a person hunts with a bow or with a rifle, for deer or for birds, it's the mentality of the hunter that makes the difference. (I know of one inexperienced bow hunter who severely injured a deer, and it suffered, when the same man with a rifle would have cleanly killed it.) I love wildlife, and I love being out in the wilderness. That's why I hunt. (It's also how we keep meat in the freezer.) I have no respect for poachers, or for those who kill an animal for its horns and discard the rest. But most hunters are not like that. Most hunters care about the natural resource they are using, and want to make sure it is preserved for future generations as well. If you get talking with hunters, you may find that a lot of the hunters, including those who hunt with rifles, are the same ones who are avid duck hunters, and involved in the conservation efforts that you appreciate.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 4:12PM
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Oh and just one other thing. I'm not trying to be arguementative here, so I hope I don't offend anyone, but very few people are a good enough shot to take a deer at a 1/4 to 1/2 mile. (440-880 yards) Those who can make that sort of a shot are usually very well practiced at shooting, as you have to know how much your bullet will drop (which changes with every gun, ammount of powder in the load and the weight and style of the bullet), and therefore how high to aim above the animal, as well as factoring in wind, animal movement, etc.) If you watch hunting shows you will find that most are calling a 200-300 yard shot a very good, difficult shot. (On an average scope, a deer's body will be almost entirely blocked out by the crosshairs at 300 yards, and any movement in the gun will result in a miss (or far worse, a wounded animal). Hubby is quite a marksman and has taken a few deer in the 450-575 yard range (575 two years ago, with a deer on the run) but this is *extremely* difficult. On top of that whitetail are extremely flighty, especially after a day or two into rifle season, and a noisy/careless hunter will scare away far more deer than he will ever see. (Mule deer tend to be more curious and can be stopped easier - though both mulies and whitetails can be oblivious to hunters when fully into the rut - breeding mode.)

For those who want to stop stupid/careless hunters from entering their land, but still want to leave it open to some reduction of the deer population, consider posting "No Tresspassing" signs. (In Alberta, if you post a "no Hunting" sign, then *no one* can hunt that area, including landowners.) That way you can 'interview' potential hunters, and keep out the ones you feel may be reckless. Make up a contract, that is only good for one year (so you can not issue it the following year if you have problems) and has a clause that ensures you cannot be held liable for anything that happens to the hunter while on your property. It should also include the legal land description of what sections of property the hunter has permission to be on. The hunter needs to disclose what vehicle/liscence plate he/she will be bringing to the property and need to carry the written permission on them at all times while on the property. Any vehicle found there without permission can be reported to local authorities and they can come in to grab anyone who is tresspassing. (We have this sort of contract at a couple of the places we hunt.) I would suggest that noone confront an armed hunter about tresspassing, because unfortunately there *are* nuts out there. Generally the type of people who will take the time to come ask for permission are the ones who will be OK on your land. But this also allows the land owner to regulate how many people are allowed to hunt there, and ultimately, how many animals can be harvested.

Oh, on crossbows - they are legal here (in Alberta) but they fall in the same season as rifle, while regular compound bows are allowed a few weeks earlier before the animals get flighty. The biggest difference is that on a crossbow you don't have to pull back the string to shoot, it's ready to go and you 'just' have to pull the trigger. It makes it a lot easier on the hunters arms (because sometimes those deer will wait until you've pulled back, and then they stare at you for 10 minutes, while you sweat and can't move, and your heart feels like it will explode or jump right out of your chest, and your arms get so tired that they feel like they'll fall off... ;-)

Basic gun safety states that you never point your gun at something you aren't prepared to shoot. A good hunter should carry a pair of binocculars for IDing animals, before he/she ever trains her gun on them (especially when traveling through bush.) I have heard of horses or cattle (or even people) being mistakenly shot and it always amazes me at how stupid/trigger happy some people can be. If everyone practiced proper gun safety, people should be able to run around in tan clothes with antlers strapped to their heads and never have to worry about getting shot, because a deer body and a human body look nothing alike...however... (I don't reccomend this... ;-)

I would encourage everyone, if you ever get the opportunity, borrow some cammo (and some blaze orange), go out with an experienced hunter, and just sit (really quietly) in the bush or on the edge of a field during hunting season. You may get to experience the real reason so many people hunt. I'm going to be getting a good camera in the next year, and then I will likely go out during hunting season to shoot them that way (will still harvest one for the freezer too). The deer I took this past season came within 10 feet of me, four times in one afternoon, before a proper shot presented itself to me. I could have gotten some amazing photos if I'd had a camera, because he, and the 2 does and 3 fawns traveling with him, had no idea I was even there.

Hunting, in a lot of ways, is like fly-fishing (which I also do). It's not really about getting the animal (a lot of people practice strictly catch and release). It's about getting so in tune with your surroundings that you become a part of it. In deer hunting it's disapearing into the trees/grass so that a deer can pass you without knowing you're there. In fly-fishing it's learning what the fish are feeding on and then being able to replicate the pattern and movements in such a way that the fish think you (your fly) is the same as the real thing. Both require patience, and a quiet spirit, and take place where there is great beauty and tranquility. This is the true alure of these outdoor sports, far more than the carnal desire to express dominance.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 12:37AM
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Wow...sorry...I got kind of long winded there...I didn't mean to hijack the thread. I just really enjoy hunting and fishing, and I think a lot of people misunderstand why most people do it. (It doesn't help that there are a few bad apples out there who make things more difficult for the rest of us.)
Seriously though, if you get a chance go out and give it a try. You don't have to take a gun or shoot anything, that part of it's not for everyone. Just go out and get to know 'mother nature' on a more intimate level. I find it's more relaxing than a day at the spa.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 12:44AM
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I "hunt" with a camera. I knew very many responsible hunters when I was growing up. They were ardent conservationists. My hope is that legacy continues.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 8:31AM
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putzer(z4 WI)

I really feel that the original poster has maybe watched too much t.v. and bought into the whole 'hunters are rednecks' stereotype. I grew up with hunting and have never seen a hunter swilling beer in the pickup truck while shining deer and shooting wildly out the window at them. I have also never known any hunter who has accidently shot any other type of animal than the one they were hunting for. I do understand the point that hunting with a bow takes more patience and skill than with a rifle (which is debatable), but that does not mean that one is ignorant and the other is not.
I was taught that hunting was very necessary and the responsible thing to do in order to prevent overpopulation and that managing deer populations is the most humane thing to do to prevent starvation, disease, and accidents on the road due to deer. It was never looked upon as being a time to be anything but serious, careful, and responsible-both to fellow hunters and to the animal you are hunting. Sadly, there are trophy hunters and irresponsible hunters who do not track their injured deer, but they are fewer than the ones who have ethics in the woods. I am sorry if I seem argumentative, but just wanted to add my thoughts.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 12:34AM
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WOW! The world will never change. After reading this thread I can only think that some people have a narrow view of Mother Nature and how humans interact with her.

In my 45 years of hunting, I've seen and experienced both the good and bad ideas, habits, that people and hunters do and express when it comes to hunting or the management of nature. Just about every topic in this thread can be made argumentative, including my comments.

I'm a bow and gun hunter. I also hunt for the mysteries of Mother Natures reasons and mythology. It seems that hunters are driven by an ancient gene that is misunderstood by todayÂs standards, while others are driven by preservation of all things. Bringing about (argumentatively) what is best for Mother Nature.

There are good hunters and bad hunters. In my opinion there are more bad hunters than good. The reasons? Lack of, or limited, education of the prey, habits, habitat, balance in nature, and the weapon used to hunt with. I've seen bow and gun hunters make bad shots that left the prey suffer, not bothering to track it down or make a half hearted attempt to track it. Hunters that shoot just for the thrill of killing, not keeping the meat, or just keeping the horns. Hunters who poach, and/or, drive down the road, drinking or sober, taking game for profit, thrill, trophy, and/or, meat on the table. Hunters that is destructive to property, trespass, litter, disrespectful. On the other hand, I've seen very good and good hunters that make every effort to be proficient, abiding the laws set down, respecting property, people. Getting the education thatÂs needed, to be a good marksman. Educate themselves about the game they hunting, their niche in nature.

I haven't met a hunter to this date that hasn't made a bad shot or couldn't find the game they are sure they hit. I feel that the type of weapon you use is moot. I have met countless hunters and non-hunters that are one sided about the balance of nature and inhabitants.

I think we ALL need more education in these matters, some more than others.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 10:26AM
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I have never hunted but I am not a vegitarian either so I'm not going to be very critical of hunting.
FYI, "A Sand County Almanac", which is like holy writ to environmentalists, actually has a lot of discussion about hunting. It stands to reason that if you want to have places to hunt and animals to hunt you will want these things preserved. Not every hunter is that wise but many are.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 2:52PM
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