Hunting Maturity - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Hunting Maturity

I was watching Meat Eater last evening and Steve Rinella had a great looking black bear in his sights.
He had been hunting over a week from his house I believe in SW Alaska and finally had a good size bear in a good spot to harvest.
He looked through the scope and then looked back to the camera and said he would rather look at this great bear then kill it today...
Back at his camp where he was sorting shrimp and crabs he had caught in the bay out front of his camp he commented on his decision to just watch that bear instead of killing it. He said he loves hunting bears and eating them as table fare.
He went on to say that at this time in his hunting career there now comes times where he prefers to watch game and is not so driven to kill everything he pursues.
I thought that statement was kind of profound in a way since I find myself kind of doing the same thing these days.
Now, let me premise this by saying that I only have done this on hunts on my own property and when I am by myself.
If I am on a guided hunt, if I am driving deer with friends or family (2nd season), or hunting with others on their property I do not give anything a pass...
You could say that I gave those deer a pass when in fact I kinda did the same thing Steve did in that episode.
Steve called it a kind of hunting maturity.
Has anyone else felt this when they have had game in their sights and let it walk instead of killing it?
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 12:35 PM
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I did it this yr. started with a buck tag and 3 doe tags, I harvested 2 doe early season, passed on a couple small bucks, late season watched lots of doe feed around me even tho I had 2 tags I could have used. My freezer is full so no need to harvest more.
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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This past Saturday we were "bumping" deer on a small parcel.
I played the part of "blocker" and I had a buck come running full speed past me at point blank range.
Instead of getting myself ready for a shot I simply watched him sprint by.
It was really cool to be that close to what I now can say was a really big bodied deer.
This happened in a clearing so I did not have any trees or scrubs to contend with.
As he sprinted past me, he actually turned his head to look right at me as he continued to run by me.
I could easily see all his leg muscles flexing as he ran by and the deep brown eyes...Almost like it was happening in slow motion...
Really cool to see....

On the other hand the "drivers" did not think so much of my encounter ....
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 01:19 PM
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I also did it this year and several years in the past ! This year I started out with 4 tags, buck tag, doe tag and 2 Dmap tags ! I ended the season the same way ! Not that I didn't have the opportunity to fill all the tags but I decided for one reason or another not to fill the tags ! I passed on several bucks this year and a couple nice ones to boot ! I kinda regret not harvesting the 10 point that I had at less than 20 yds and the only reason was the bigger 10 point that stood behind the bush at 20yds never giving me a shot. I also had several does with fawns and decided not to take the mature doe and let the little one on its own. But they were all my choices.

Blend in or go hungry !!
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 02:45 PM
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I'm at the point where I am just as happy to see which of my "pets" made it thru as I am killing one.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EIGHT POINT View Post
I was watching Meat Eater last evening and Steve Rinella had a great looking black bear in his sights.
He had been hunting over a week from his house I believe in SW Alaska and finally had a good size bear in a good spot to harvest.
He looked through the scope and then looked back to the camera and said he would rather look at this great bear then kill it today...
Back at his camp where he was sorting shrimp and crabs he had caught in the bay out front of his camp he commented on his decision to just watch that bear instead of killing it. He said he loves hunting bears and eating them as table fare.
He went on to say that at this time in his hunting career there now comes times where he prefers to watch game and is not so driven to kill everything he pursues.
I thought that statement was kind of profound in a way since I find myself kind of doing the same thing these days.
Now, let me premise this by saying that I only have done this on hunts on my own property and when I am by myself.
If I am on a guided hunt, if I am driving deer with friends or family (2nd season), or hunting with others on their property I do not give anything a pass...
You could say that I gave those deer a pass when in fact I kinda did the same thing Steve did in that episode.
Steve called it a kind of hunting maturity.
Has anyone else felt this when they have had game in their sights and let it walk instead of killing it?
Yes sir many times in the midwest on deer. This year in Kansas passed an 11 point that was 140-142. Got a picture from my friend out there that the neighbor shot it on the last day.
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 04:53 PM
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Has anyone else felt this when they have had game in their sights and let it walk instead of killing it?

Many times. I figure everybody has their own reasons why.
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Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

"When a pine needle falls in the forest, the eagle sees it, the deer hears it, and the bear smells it."
an old First Nations saying
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by EIGHT POINT View Post
As he sprinted past me, he actually turned his head to look right at me as he continued to run by me.
I could easily see all his leg muscles flexing as he ran by and the deep brown eyes...Almost like it was happening in slow motion...
Really cool to see....

On the other hand the "drivers" did not think so much of my encounter ....

Sometimes the best part of carrying your rifle into the woods is knowing when you just don't want to use it

and not having to.
Muzz, jimbridger, bohunr and 1 others like this.

Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

"When a pine needle falls in the forest, the eagle sees it, the deer hears it, and the bear smells it."
an old First Nations saying
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 05:11 PM
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I pass nice bucks up every year in archery season and sometimes kick myself after not seeing them again in gun season. That's always a problem every year being that you can only take 1 buck, but that's my choice so I can enjoy gun season hoping for that elusive buck. I enjoy seeing them as much as harvesting them, well almost. Now in Flintlock season I haven't even seen a doe, but a 10 pointer showed up on my camera last week 10 yards from my stand just after dusk, ughh.

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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 05:44 PM
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Comes and goes with me, depending on circumstances and how I feel at the moment.

After roughly sixty years spent afield and 40 deer taken, sometimes it's more enjoyable to watch 'em walk or run. Think the longest period of not taking a deer, since killing my first one in 1972, was four seasons. Could've, just never got around to it and the seasons were over. Only down side to seasons passing more quickly when you're up in years, is that they seem to roll around again more quickly, than when you were an impatient young pup.

What I enjoy more than anything now, is getting out in the fall woods and fields, rifle, shotgun or bow in hand and having a great time doing it.

Even watched game "get away" when I was younger, a time or two. Back when pheasants were "king" around here in the 60s and early 70s, once flushed a rooster in standing corn, early in the morning, with the still rising Sun behind me.

Sun lit that rascal up as it topped the corn stalks and the iridescent colors really stood out. So I just watched it fly.

A buddy's dad was off to my right, saw the bird and yelled at me to shoot it. Didn't, so he emptied his pump gun at it, to no avail and cussed his way out to the tend of the corn field. I heard about it for a long time. Worst part, I was carrying his prized Fox 20ga side by side at the time and he banished me from ever using it again. Didn't last long, carried it the following week.


Some folks' learnin' curves just look like circles...3A Camp/also hunt 4B
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