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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Northern Berks County, PA
Re: AR Has Really Changed Attitudes
Being more aware of age structure, being more educated as hunters, and being more willing to selectively harvest deer based on certain criteria are, I agree, good things.
Ridiculing hunters is never good. Period. If a guy kills a legal game animal and is happy with his take, there is nothing for another hunter to say but "congratulations." Just my opinion....but the divisiveness is not a good byproduct of the law. I am a fan of AR, as I think the number of antlered deer I see is exponentially higher than it was prior to AR, but I am very disappointed when I see hunters ridiculing each other for what amounts to personal standards.
My dad, for example, isn't real concerned with antler size, but he does like to take a buck each year, so he really is only looking for "legal". I have passed smaller, but legal, bucks, in hopes of seeing a bigger one. Sometimes that works out, and sometimes it doesn't, but the point is- my dad's personal standards for what he shoots are his, and it's not my place to impose mine over his. It's his tag, he can use it as he sees fit. Same in my case. He doesn't tell me what to shoot anymore than I tell him what to shoot.
End result- we both hunt, enjoy our seasons, and make our own decisions on what will get us to punch our one buck tag.
I met a young bowhunter last year on public land. He was 18 or 19 years old, and he'd killed a "9" point. I use quotes, because to get to 9, you had to count some "bumps" that were nowhere near an inch long, but he saw it as a 9pt, so who am I to argue, lol. I helped him drag it out (he was on property bordering where I was hunting, and his friends coming to help made such a ruckus that my hunt was over before it started), helped him load it in his truck, congratulated him, and gave him my cell number and told him that since he was hunting near the edge of the place I control access to, if he ever had a deer go across the line, to call me first, but that we'd never keep him from going after a deer he hit...so long as he called before going on the property. Shook his (bloody) hand, and headed off for home.
That young buck would have been an eye opener this year, and next year, would have been a jaw dropper. But....that kid will never, ever forget that deer, I'm convinced. And a young hunter being hooked is never a bad thing. Ever.