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The survey in the Survey forum asking what stage of hunting we are in combined with my wife's Christmas gift to me, has led me to realize that I am firmly in the Sportsman stage.

The gift from her is a German hunting horn (Jagdhorn). Not that I will ever learn to play it well enough, but I will use it to learn more about their hunting traditions.

Signale eines Jagdtages

Part of the test in the German hunting course required knowing a few specific horn signals, so I guess it's not only about tradition. On drive hunts, for example, horns are used to signal the start and end of the drive, as well as when to unload your weapon.

Before I came here I was still in the Method's stage, mostly due to bowhunting being my preference for big game, but starting to lean into the Sportsman stage some due to introducing and teaching my older kids about hunting, as well as being a Bowhunter Ed instructor. But cominng here where, bows, muzzleloaders, and pistols are not lawful weapons for big game hunting, has made me realize that the method or weapon is not near as important as the hunt itself.
My quest for knowledge about the German hunting ways and traditions helps to emphasize the Sportsman stage even more to me. So much so that my German wife doesn't even understand why learning this stuff is so important to me.

It's simple to me, being a hunter and a Sportsman is just who I am.
 
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