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Hot Topic (More than 30 Replies) Anyone come close to giving hunting up? (Read 4046 times)
flyingpillock
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Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
May 21st, 2018 at 11:32pm
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Hi All

Bit of a random one, now Iíve been mad keen on hunting and guns since I was a kid, like probably most on here. Head always in hunting books and mags, couldnít wait to get my FA lic, first gun etc. In my 20s weekends would be spent bashing north island much trying to bag my first deer instead of pubs and clubs. Bit of a break from it when I was in the UK but you would still find me strolling around the countryside just to spot deer, that place is absolutely filthy with them. When I came back to NZ I got into it even more and started having a little more success, Iím pretty average tbh but absolutely love getting out there looking for them.
Anyway, fortunately for me, and the beasties, most of my animals taken have been very quick, if not in fact instant kills.
Got my first chammy earlier this year, unfortunately despite the ridiculously close range I ended up spraying lead around like a 12 yr old Isil recruit, had the poor bloody thing staring at me from 20m after Iíd hit it a couple of times and before I finally ended things with the third.
Anyway long story short, quite conflicted about it all since, I was elated to have got it, was a great conclusion to a great week on the west coast but has really got me thinking. I love the hunt, anticipation, the outdoors and the places I end up with hunting yet I abhor the killing. Iíve had a hound again for the last two years and apart from loving that dopey thing to bits it really has highlighted how much emotion and joy of life animals can display.
Anyway without trying to sound too tree huggery just wondered if other folk have gone through the same thing, I mean hunting is my main passion and has been for 30 odd years and I literally donít know what I could find to replace it, but equally think in an ideal world everyone would be a green food only eater...
Any examples of people swapping gun for camera or just throwing on a pack and leaving the gun at home?

  
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sar
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #1 - May 22nd, 2018 at 7:48am
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Yep I've hunted all my life,started following my Dad when I was 5.  Apart from deer stalking I was a mad keen pig hunter for the last 40 years.Finally gave my dogs up 2 years ago.I pig hunted 3 times a week.I now have grandsons who are keen hunters,i see heaps of deer and shoot bugger-all.I have been a keen photographer and now video as much as I can.I now get hunters calling in to show me their big stag or boar that they have got...I know exactly what you are saying .I hunted for years with an old maori kaumatua and he taught me to respect those nui tia...big deer...nui Tane poaka...big boar.They don't get old by being stupid.I also get enjoyment from a trailcam.
  
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sar
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #2 - May 22nd, 2018 at 7:51am
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Cantyguy
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #3 - May 22nd, 2018 at 7:53am
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Leave the rifle behind and carry a camera. I frequently do this and it is very rewarding, especially if you invest in good camera gear. You use the same skill set and the reward comes in sitting there and observing the animals and 'shooting' them as many times as you like. I do actually use my rifle 2-3 times a year purely to fill the freezer and during the roar. I certainly don't regret just taking photo's.
  

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sar
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #4 - May 22nd, 2018 at 7:55am
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sar
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #5 - May 22nd, 2018 at 7:57am
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sorry mucked up the trailcam link but hopefully got it now,the hind was the only deer that came to the wallow over a month,she obviously could smell human scent on the camera case.
  
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J
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #6 - May 22nd, 2018 at 8:53am
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I know a number of blokes who hunt with a camera instead of a rifle. One of them told me he woke up one day and just knew he had done enough killing. Heís now a very accomplished wildlife photographer with a number of awards to his name.

I think most hunters get more selective about what they will or wonít shoot as they age and gain experience. That results in fewer of the animals they see being engaged to avoid orphaning calves etc, wounding animals and risk losing them, and letting stags go because theyíre not yet good enough or are too good to shoot. This has certainly been the case for me. I suppose stopping shooting altogether is the ultimate expression of this. Thereís joy to be had in just watching any of the animals we hunt, and I perfectly understand shooting them with a camera and letting them get on with their lives.

Perhaps itís linked to our own realisation of impending mortality?
  
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #7 - May 22nd, 2018 at 9:15am
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Yep, I can see where you are coming from. One of the reasons why I took up fly fishing was the fact that you could experience the NZ outdoors, the hunt and the catching of a trout without having to kill every time.
You can do the same with photography as mentioned earlier, by cantyguy and sar.
I've found that after years of animal control, hunting has taken a back seat to trout fishing and my desire to hunt has diminished.

  

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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #8 - May 22nd, 2018 at 9:37am
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At 58 I'm certainly far happier just taking the rifle for a walk.
Not big on photography. I prefer to enjoy the moment rather than perpetuate it.
Big on fishing, though even that has changed.  Basically I hunt fish and, If I can't see it and plot it's demise, I don't fish, unless I'm at sea.
When the freezer is a little bare I have a couple of spots to go shopping.
But now it's the fresh water and scenery that inspires my hunting trips, not the animal count.
Love it still and looking forward to the next 30 years of hard graft on the hills, in the bush and on the kayak.
It's all a great reason to stay fit and strong and is what powers up my frequent workouts during the week.
It's easier to enjoy it all if your not so physically challenged that you're just to buggered to really soak it all in and prosper from it.
  
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #9 - May 22nd, 2018 at 10:39am
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I have had similar experiences and have found they linger in your mind.
Fortunately - not too many.
I have tried the camera, but it has never worked for me - a modern camera might, but not the manual cameras of old.

My solution was to continue hunting with a rifle - the difference being on the last seven or eight deer I chose not to pull the trigger.

Hard to explain to people sometimes, mostly I don't bother but I've been a hunter since I was legally allowed to own a rifle. The outdoors still holds for me now what it did then and I enjoy the stalk, the excitement and satisfaction of placing myself in position for the shot.

That is not to say I won't shoot next time - I won't know until the opportunity presents itself.

J wrote on May 22nd, 2018 at 8:53am:
Perhaps itís linked to our own realisation of impending mortality?


I've often wondered that - or do you just become saturated with killing ?

Strangely enough I've shot very few pigs. I've certainly seen plenty and have had some remarkably funny close encounters.
I like pigs, I like their sense of humour - so I mostly observed, then went on my way.


  
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #10 - May 22nd, 2018 at 10:53am
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Thanks for the replies so far folks. Maybe it is an aging thing in that you do† tend to start† valuing† all life, Iím a rescue the moth swimming in the shower rather than send it on one hell of water slide ride down the plug hole kinda guy. Have tried to rationalise meat from the bush is still more ethical and means Iíve left a few more lambs to frolick in paddocks rather than await me in countdown but yeah still torn. There are just so many aspects of hunting that are rewarding, while I am still a meat eater, I find the whole obtaining, lugging out and cooking of an animal you put so much effort into† finding in the first place so satisfying.
I should try the camera hunting thing but have been lucky enough to go on safari in Kruger National Park and while it was awesome take some great candid shots of some fantastic animals, a large part of me still wanted to turn them into Biltong† Cool Cool

And SF90, funny you say that, I have thought maybe that was the solution, go hunting as normal but just donít take the shot. I donít know if itís weird but I like all the gear and equipment you need, I like the feeling of shouldering the rifle as you head out on your first walk. Iíve had encounters with animals where I guess it was either an over developed sense of fair play or just an enjoyment of the encounter that kept my finger off the trigger.
One memory that is as vivid or rewarding as any successful hunt was walking around the corner on a track and being faced with the rear 7/8ths of a red with its head hidden by a thin bush as it browsed the bank, it was so close I could have spat on it. I just stood and watched, waiting for it to reverse for a head shot, when it finally did, I guess I felt a connection to it by that stage and just let it skedaddle, even now brings a smile to my face

  
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #11 - May 22nd, 2018 at 11:35am
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My perspective maybe slightly different to some, I started hanging on to my uncles trouser legs at a very young age as I toddled around farm land and he shot rabbits.
I grew up with the sole thought that killing was for a specific reason and it was food.

At the age of 12 venison became the main target species, my uncle thought i was now old enough and capable enough with his rifles to kill cleanly at a distance that he selected.

My† birthday couldn't come quick enough to own my own firearm, I was hooked on hunting.

I have always, and still today, only kill for food.† I never was attracted to hunting Stags in the rut until my eldest son became rather keen on it, but he learnt at a very young age that the meat must be utilized.

Hunting is an enjoyable way to experience our great outdoors, learn to be self reliant and a resource to gather food.

"NEVER" have I looked at killing animals as a sport, yes I killed deer for money, the meat wasn't wasted, I culled goats for money and the wastage did bother me, but the benefits to our environment outweighed the killing.†

Today I still only kill for the table, 90% of the deer I target are yearlings and their gender don't matter.
  
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #12 - May 22nd, 2018 at 12:04pm
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Been there, done that, starts to influence your thinking/actions on the hill, when you've clocked up a few roars. I mainly watch animals now, have done for many years, totally changes your shooting outlook when you are watching animals go about their daily life, on your own land.
We enjoy hunting, for deer that the Little Brown Shadow can video, or photograph, not to use the rifle. Remember the AA is against you continuing hunting ,in your later years... Age & Arthritis  Grin. So get out there and do as much as you can, while you still are able.  Wink
  

Get as close as you can, then get a bit closer.
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #13 - May 22nd, 2018 at 1:04pm
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Best buzz is filling others freezers..I too no longer rate killing a big stag as the pinacle of hunting...I think it only natural as you get older and start racking up the numbers to adapt to your motivation to hunt...my motivation is getting out and away from everyday life and come back with some meat for friends and family...that has changed from wanting to prove myself in early years as the great white hunter bringing home the racks...
  
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Re: Anyone come close to giving hunting up?
Reply #14 - May 22nd, 2018 at 2:29pm
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I am now at the stage where I don't care if I don't get a deer. Seeing them is satisfying enough, not to mention getting in the scrub and walking a few km's. If the freezer is empty then I will pull the trigger. I've probably only shot on average 2-3 a year for the last 5 years (mainly fallow on farms edge because they taste better), but prior to that shot quite a few more each year - mainly reds. I think it comes down to hunting for necessity, maybe partly about killing enough to quench the urge, but also getting a bit more selective and only really wanting to carry out weight when it's warranted. Call it experience I suppose??

During the roar this year I didn't even take a rifle out on a 10-day trip to southern fiordland. I just tagged along behind my hunting buddy doing the roaring and acting as an extra pair of eyes and ears. It's amazing what you notice when you are 20 metres behind away from their noise. It's just great getting out in the scrub and enjoying the experience with a mate I've hunted with for a few years now.
  
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