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A post up in the general hunting forum got me thinking about
this so I figured I'd post it here instead of hi-jacking
that topic. That topic is about how hunting may only be for
the wealthy in the future and how big bucks and managing
the land is why so much land is now posted. It got me to
think about how things have changed since I was 12 years old

When I was 12 I belonged to two hunting clubs but mostly
deer hunted on one and small game hunted on the other. When
I first started hunting with the guys in the club we hunted
deer at all the guys in it hunted both buck and doe and at
that time there was a 3 day doe season after buck season. We
had some good days where several of us went home with doe
in only a couple hours of hunting. This was before AR/HR
and all the guys were happy just to get a buck back then.
Coyotes were relatively new to our area and bobcats were
unheard of. The mtn.lion rumor was around then and has yet
to be one actually seen or killed in Pa that was real lol.
Anyway, one of the guys shot a big 10 pointer and a couple
other big bucks were spotted and suddenly a couple of the
members wanted to make the rules 8 pointers or bigger only
and no doe hunting. This was during the first year of AR/HR
and they only wanted it to be a trophy hunting club not just
a hunting club. These same guys that used to small game hunt
turkey hunt and doe hunt were all now to good to hunt those
animals and only wanted to shoot big bucks and looked down
at those that didn't want to do that. A bunch of BS went on
over that and we left the club because we no longer liked
each other. When I first started hunting it seemed like all
hunters got along and were united by the fact that they
hunted, now it seems there is division and hatred between
all kinds of groups of hunters. The hunting shows, QDMA, and
AR's I think are to blame for the way many hunters are now
obsessed with trophy bucks and how to grow them. I never
heard anyone talk about a mature buck or try to age a deer
while it was still alive up until about 5 years ago. A nice
rack was enough, no one cared if it was 1,2,3 or 7 years old
if it had a nice rack it was a good buck. Guys didn't get
out a tape measure and score the buck's antlers. When you
got a deer you went home and cut it up yourself, now most
guys bring it to a deer processing shop and pay to have it
done. The first monday of buck season (rifle season) no
longer means anything to me, don't even care if I get out
during rifle season anymore. It used to be like christmas
morning and everyone I knew was excited about it. At the
end of the day we'd get home to a hot meal mom cooked and
the phone would be ringing off the hook with family&friends
asking how we did and sharing their stories. All those
traditions have died now and so have some of the people that
made those times special. We have bird dogs now and as much
as I like them and am amazed at their abilities there is
something I miss about being a boy and hearing the beagles
howling and running a bunny my way and the chase ending
with a blast from my 20 gauge shotgun.

Please understand that I have nothing against trophy hunters
QDMA or rifle hunters and that the "too good" attitude was
what I didn't like about the hunters I mentioned in this
post not the practice of only shooting big bucks or managing
land for that purpose. Hunting is a choice and we should all
hunt what and how we choose as long as it is legal/ethical.
Also feel free to add your own stories and opinions on how
hunting has changed in the last decade or so for you!
 

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Your post got me to thinking, this is my first year that im going to actually go out and hunt a deer, all legal beagel as they say. I hunted many many years ago, well about 20 with my uncle, we'd go out for everything, from rabbit to quail, up to deer. Or course at 7 the only thing I was shooting was a BB gun, but the memory's of those day's in the woods will always be with me. The going home and helping my mom cook up rabbit stew, or bake quail for dinner, knowing that I helped provide for my family. Now aday's I've been to poor or had to much going on in my life to really think much about hunting. I can tell before the season already starts that, it won't be the same as the good ole' days. I try to talk to people about hunting on a varity of topics and most times it turns out to be a one sentence topic. Or Some in my family tell me they'll even be surprised if I get a deer. Now im not out to get anything special, I'd be more then happy if all I got my first year out was a doe. Would I be excited if I got a monster buck, with the rack only in dreams. Of course, but i'd also be just as proud of a 100lbs doe. As long as I know that I put all I had into making it the best hunt I could. I think I've kind of gotten off subject. Just thought i'd add a little more to it. Sometimes I think people get carried away with what they hunt and forget to to really enjoy hunting for what it is.
 

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i hunt as much as possible and enjoy every minute of it. some people tell me im crazy and that it is a waste of time because the probablity of killing something isnt always that high. i tell them that i could care less if i get anything. it makes me mad when people just stand there by a pipeline or feild and expect something to apear and get mad and say there arent any deer left. i want to tell them so bad that walkin in the woods a little wont hurt ya will it. im not trying to talk bad about still hunters either im just saying that walking in the woods a ways and moving around from time to time helps alot.
the whole 20ft up a tree covered in scentblocker and checking the wind doesnt have a place in gun season for me.

just venting alittle bit.
 

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Very well thought out,very honest assesment.I too have come across some of the "holier than thou" bone hunters who carry tape measures everywhere.I shot a very large buck 2 seasons ago and on the drag out some guy comes up and starts telling me how nice the deer is,he then proceeds to take out a tape and start measuring the rack.I INSISTED HE STOP AS IT MEANT NOTHING TO ME.He then got like a little girl and walked away hissing something about "stupid meat hunters shooting young deer.".I just shrugged it off and took my deer home to butcher....MYSELF.
As far as the above post whining about hunters in elevated stands.WHO CARES WHAT YOU THINK?If you don't like it don't do it,GEEZ,if the guy is hunting legally leave him alone.This infighting among hunters is what will threatens our sport more than anything at this time.
<span style='font-size: 17pt'> <span style="color: #FF0000"> I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY,AND IT IS US!</span> </span>
 

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10der222 said:
Very well thought out,very honest assesment.I too have come across some of the "holier than thou" bone hunters who carry tape measures everywhere.I shot a very large buck 2 seasons ago and on the drag out some guy comes up and starts telling me how nice the deer is,he then proceeds to take out a tape and start measuring the rack.I INSISTED HE STOP AS IT MEANT NOTHING TO ME.He then got like a little girl and walked away hissing something about "stupid meat hunters shooting young deer.".I just shrugged it off and took my deer home to butcher....MYSELF.
As far as the above post whining about hunters in elevated stands.WHO CARES WHAT YOU THINK?If you don't like it don't do it,GEEZ,if the guy is hunting legally leave him alone.This infighting among hunters is what will threatens our sport more than anything at this time.
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY,AND IT IS US!
wasnt complaining about elivated stands just stating that hunting like you do in archery season during gun season and then complaining about not seeing many deer is kinda dumb.
 

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I love hunting PERIOD! I don't care how you hunt, what you hunt, or for what reason you hunt. For me it is all about sitting in a tree or stalking an unknowing prey. From the getting up early, the hard work scouting in the heat, The hunt, the kill, and the ice cold beer at camp after your done hunting for the day. I have a spot in a friends backyard in the city (Pittsburgh) where I can almost guarantee I could shoot a buck but instead I drive all the way to Meadville every weekend to sit in the big woods and just enjoy the wanders of nature. My friends make fun of me because they want to just shoot a buck and brag but I like the Hunt more then the kill. I actually get depressed a little when I get a buck early in the season because that means deer season is over (unless I decide to shoot a doe).......We all hunt for different reasons and in different ways and thats ok with me.
 

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Yes,I agree but they still have the right to do it.I can sit for a short time but I find that stalking is always challenging,sometimes rewarding and at times darn frustrating.But it is always fun for me.I was not trying to be nasty towards you I am simply sick of the infighting.The constant bickering between X-bows,compound bows and traditional bows,standhunters,stillhunters,meathunters and bonecollectors is very tiring and it serves to no POSITIVE The OUTCOME.The way I look at it if a guy/gal wants to sit in a tree all day and see no deer while I'm out tagging mine thats fine with me,BUT I agree I don;t need to hear the whining about seeing no deer.
Jim
 

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Let's get back to the original post. The meaning behind it is hunting has lost its roots (I think - don't want to put words or anything in corey22's mouth). No longer do we enjoy spending time with friends and family and enjoy tagging out on a buck regardless of size, but we have grown to desire and envy those larger racks. Yes, they are nice, but none of the bucks I have ever taken compare to the scrubby 7 point I harvested with my father. Going to camp is rare, and reading stories gives me hope, but then reality slaps me across the face. PA hunting has changed, and I'm not sure for the better.
 

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Hunting has changed. Our society and family groups have changed. I can see that as I am older than many here. When I started hunting and going to camp we always had so many people that our camp roster was full. In most cases all were related family members [25 people to a roster, don't know if that is still a requirement in PA]. Those were the days when 22 of the 25 rifles used were Model 94 Winchesters in 30-30. Nobody had a scope on their rifle.

It seems like today everyone is too busy to really hunt, our society is much more mobile. There are not those big groups getting together for a week to hunt. Even in the old days when you killed a deer you still stayed most of the week to work as a driver.

As society changes everything associated with it changes. I think it mainly began to change in my time and I regretted some of it. As a kid I was always going to live in Clinton County and hunt and fish. I've lived in three different countries and numerous states. And have greatly missed how it was back then.

I can't judge what is better. There are more and better conservation programs now. There is also less hunting habitat now then in the past so we have to manage better. Now people say there are not deer in the north central area but back then Clinton, Potter, and Lycoming were loaded with deer.

People are smarter now about our environment and game populations. As hunters we also need to be smarter than in the past and become involved in the various aspects affecting our sport. We don't want to lose the opportunity to teach our kids and grand kids what we have enjoyed so much.
 

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Excellent post.You are correct in saying.That society has changed.I too remember that if you got a deer early you stayed at camp to help the other guys try to get theirs.It was truly a group effort back then.
 

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Hunting is what you make of it and what you pass on.

My boy (he's 14) loves hitting the squirrel woods ,running the beagles for rabbits, dove hunting, deer hunting, turkey hunting, ghog huntin, you name it. He gives his Pappy an update via phone when we return from the hunt.

He loves just being with me in the woods and loves eating what we harvest. That is what I passed down.

But you are right in that those traits are becoming harder to find in todays hunters.
 
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