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Every once in awhile I'll put a quote I come across into my hunting journals. This one is pretty old and is from Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine back in the 80's. I didn't make note of the author, but I guess I thought enough of the quote at the time to write it down. Thought it might make for some interesting conversation...


"Unfortunately too much emphasis is put on the trophy set of antlers, and this can lead to hunters losing sight of sportsmanship. I have known of champion trophy heads which were shot by unethical means such as spotlighting or hounding with dogs. The head adorns the wall of a home simply to satisfy human ego. Antlers should not be a simple status symbol. They should serve as a reminder of days spent hunting, whether it be that particular buck or the whole host of hunting memories."
 

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In my opinion, too many hunters celebrate the hunter or themselves with regards to large antlers rather then celebrating the beauty of the animal that held them.
 

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i tell folks it's a game. whats the sense in winning if you don't follow the rules?

but i know that it falls on deaf ears many times.
 

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Awesome quote and very true. Being a younger hunter I can say from experience that it is really hard to avoid getting caught in the bone frenzy that blasts us at every turn of the page or channel.
 

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That's why the emphasis should be put on the age of the deer and not just the antler size. If you are a seasoned hunter then you should know that the older the deer, the harder it is to beat it at the game. For me, the older the deer, the happier I am with the harvest. 1 1/2 yr. olds are much easier to fool into a shot.
 

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Peppy said:
In my opinion, too many hunters celebrate the hunter or themselves with regards to large antlers rather then celebrating the beauty of the animal that held them.
+1
 

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dubl-lungr-john said:
That's why the emphasis should be put on the age of the deer and not just the antler size. If you are a seasoned hunter then you should know that the older the deer, the harder it is to beat it at the game. For me, the older the deer, the happier I am with the harvest. 1 1/2 yr. olds are much easier to fool into a shot.
Exactly. That's why my goal every year is to kill bucks 2 1/2 or older. And if it happens to have a really nice rack, that's an added bonus.
 

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eyefromthesky said:
"Unfortunately too much emphasis is put on the trophy set of antlers, and this can lead to hunters losing sight of sportsmanship. I have known of champion trophy heads which were shot by unethical means such as spotlighting or hounding with dogs. The head adorns the wall of a home simply to satisfy human ego. Antlers should not be a simple status symbol. They should serve as a reminder of days spent hunting, whether it be that particular buck or the whole host of hunting memories."
Great Quote
 

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Humans have a way of enjoying something and then destroying it with overkill. They'll plan the havesting of the great buck, and then pack on forty overweight pounds in the preparation.
 

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Peppy said:
In my opinion, too many hunters celebrate the hunter or themselves with regards to large antlers rather then celebrating the beauty of the animal that held them.

Well said.
 

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It's a great quote we all should remember, and at the same time, it's a little disappointing that 20 years later it's probably even worse with all the videos and TV shows.

I had gotten caught up in that. No doubt it's a bigger thrill to shoot a big buck than a small buck or a doe, all things being equal. But then I started to find unnecessary (self-induced) frustration with hunting, because often for us Average Joes, all things are usually not equal.

I learned to hunt to my own standards, and to set those standards based upon what I see in real time, not what TV shows think, not what my friends think, or what anyone else thinks. I learned that so long as the hunt is legal and ethical, be happy for myself and others, no matter how much our own personal standards may differ or agree. Life is too short to turn hunting into a competition or some kind of benchmark for what kind of man you are.

Big or small, buck or doe, so long as it's legal and ethical, well then, that's awesome.
 

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While i agree with the quote and peppy's take it on...there is not one single cell in my body that wishes the last 10 years in PA did not happen. The change in rules has made me alot more "into" this sport, into the deer we hunt and what lies beyond that first year for them, and also into what my part as hunter really is.

I was raised on 3" spikes, but i am very proud and glad to say I will never ever shoot another or miss shooting another one because yes it is not about the antlers, but it is also not about having to kill on opening day. With the effort i put in, I want it to be worthy of an old deer that has put some effort into this part as well.

Without the changes in this state in the last decade I am not sure i could say that as a 43 year old PA hunter at it for 31 years.
 

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The problem here is that the quote talks about the taking of large antlered deer by illegal means. People who do that are truly sick and all about ego and bragging.

However, what is done by a large number of guys on this site is they say ANYONE who wants to shoot a larger buck are as bad as the guys the quote is talking about. They aren't sportmans, love antler porn, have ruined hunting, blah, blah, blah...
 

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I see it as the hunters who get too caught up in the "bone" craze" and loose sight of the sportsmanship that goes into hunting. No Hoyt man, I don't see it as only taking large antlered deer by illegal means, but the quote is suggesting that large antlers CAN be enough to push someone into doing something unethical, unsportsman like, or illegal in order to fill that pride of having killed a big buck.

If an individual does everything legal and ethical and shows good sportsmanship, and only targets big bucks, honestly to each his own. But IMO the quote is saying there's more to a "hunt" than having the need to shoot "big bucks".
 

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Antler mania has taken away from the sport as a whole. It's caused more Posted signs to go up and more people hunt alone because they don't want anyone to know where there honey hole is. My taxidermist just told me two weeks ago about a friend of his that shot a 160 class buck. He doesn't want anybody to know who he is or where he shot it so no one will be trying to move in on his spot. So it has to be kept hush-hush. I remember when I shot my first upstate buck as a teen. It was a 9" spike buck and we were driving and when we got it out to the parking lot everybody gathered round and cracked a beer open and celebrated. It was like a team victory and all that over a spike buck! That sure seems more like what hunting is all about than the guy who shot the 160" and doesn't want anyone to find out.
 
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