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Thread: Losing the will to kill.

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    Default Losing the will to kill.

    I don't know if this is just a part of getting older or just a phase in my life at this time but I just don't get that excited about myself being the one to kill an animal. Don't get me wrong I'm not becoming anti hunter by any means but I just don"t feel like I have to be the one to do the shooting. Part of it might be the many years of guiding other hunters through the years not doing a lot of hunting for myself but since then I have enjoyed teaching my son how to hunt and fish and enjoy the outdoors in general. I find when my son can"t go with me I seem to always look for another relative or close friend to go with me. I still love getting the gear, food and tents together, planning the trip , going over maps and packing the horses into a hunting area, and always take my rifle but I always end up helping someone else get an animal. As I write this thread I've been getting together a new string of horses and new pack gear and a new spike tent in making plans for a long trip to AK in the next couple years to take my nephew for a month long bou and moose hunt. Has anyone else ever lost the will to kill or is it just me? Ron.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Not the will but the need is long gone. I still enjoy getting real close to critters like almost reach out and touch.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    The hunt is always more exciting than the kill imho. If people just want to kill something they can go to a game ranch.

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    As long as somebody gets me some meat that's just fine. And if I get to help a youngster along that's better.

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    You're not alone. My Father was a dedicated hunter/fisherman most of his life. I took leave while serving Uncle Sam and we went hunting in the Bitterroots of Montana for a month. He was lucky and I was not. It was a great trip. Within a couple of seasons he'd drawn a very hard to draw elk tag and killed a very nice bull. That was the end of his hunting. He'd bought a new rifle to hunt with, but never fired it; his desire for hunting just ended. He never went into detail of why.

    He still fished all the time, but I don't think he ever killed any more fish. We'd go fishing whenever I was home for a visit, even in the middle of winter if there was a break in the weather. I don't remember us ever keeping a fish after he stopped hunting, esp. not after my Mother passed away. We'd fish all day and then stop off and get a burger on the way home. Our last trip together before he passed away was into the back country just north of Yellowstone. We caught a lot of fish, but didn't kill any of them.

    I still enjoy putting wild food on the table.

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    I'm a relatively new hunter, but I've gotten that way with fishing. I really enjoy watching new peoples excitement at hooking up. I still like to fish and I still love eating fish, but given the choice at this point I'd rather someone new or young catch one first.


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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanksmare View Post
    I don't know if this is just a part of getting older or just a phase in my life at this time but I just don't get that excited about myself being the one to kill an animal. Don't get me wrong I'm not becoming anti hunter by any means but I just don"t feel like I have to be the one to do the shooting. Part of it might be the many years of guiding other hunters through the years not doing a lot of hunting for myself but since then I have enjoyed teaching my son how to hunt and fish and enjoy the outdoors in general. I find when my son can"t go with me I seem to always look for another relative or close friend to go with me. I still love getting the gear, food and tents together, planning the trip , going over maps and packing the horses into a hunting area, and always take my rifle but I always end up helping someone else get an animal. As I write this thread I've been getting together a new string of horses and new pack gear and a new spike tent in making plans for a long trip to AK in the next couple years to take my nephew for a month long bou and moose hunt. Has anyone else ever lost the will to kill or is it just me? Ron.

    i totally understand where you are coming from. i made no effort to get a spring bear this year and it would not be a difficult hunt. i had multiple 50+ inch moose walk past me last year right next to water and didnt pull the trigger. last few years i lived in MT passed up plenty of bull elk but had more fun taking other people to do the shooting. its wierd but i've gone hunting plenty without the intentions of actually hunting. i feel im heading in your direction. might take up wildlife photography

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    It has never been about the killing for me. People for whom it is (about the killing) make me worried.
    For me killing is the logical extension of fishing or hunting. If those two activities, in their varied forms, did not have the possibility of putting food on the table, I would take up photography... or knitting. I cannot separate hunting and fishing from killing. Just can't. Yet I enjoy the actual hunting and fishing activity as much as the taking of the animal (which has spiritual significance to me).

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    It has never been about the killing for me. People for whom it is (about the killing) make me worried.
    This reminded me of an exchange I had with an acquaintance a few years back. I had worked with this man when he was a teenager, and years later he reached out to me to see if I would take him hunting/teach him how to hunt. I've been privileged to do the same for many friends over the years, so at first I was very willing to do so. As we talked more about it, though, it became clear that it wasn't going to work. At one point he told me in an email that he didn't care what we hunted - he just wanted to kill something. He figured I could keep the meat of whatever we shot along with the antlers/fur/etc - he specifically said that he didn't care about any of that, but simply wanted to kill. I was shocked at first and asked him clarifying questions about his motivations for wanting to hunt, but it really was that simple for him - just a desire to kill with no concern for the process or the results of the harvest. Needless to say, that was the end of my willingness to help. That is so far away from my reasons for hunting that it was hard for me to comprehend.

    I do still enjoy being the trigger man from time to time, but the vast majority of the time I would rather someone else have that experience.

  10. #10

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    We're all going through the various stages of life as a hunter/fisherman. I don't recall all the various stages, but they run a little something like this:

    1) The shoot-one or catch one stage, where our main interest is to prove we can basically get the job done.


    2) The limiting-out stage, where the goal is to catch the limit, fill all tags, and prove our harvest(ing) skills.


    3) The trophy stage, where we now want the big animal or big fish. The little stuff isn't very satisfying.


    4) The method stage, where how we do it is just as important as getting it done. We look for ways to challenge our abilities and ethics.


    5) The sportsman stage, where we become students and teachers of our sport. We enjoy the experience in totality, more-so than a kill.

    Not everyone progresses at the same rate. Some may be in 2 or even 3 stages at one time. Some will skip a stage and move on to the next. Some will never see all 5 stages, or the final stage. The bottom line is that we're all unique and we experience our adventures and lifestyles in different ways and times.

    I'm a 3/4/5 guy right now. Emphasis could be on any stage on a given day. My hardcore drive to hunt incessantly has left me, and I walk a calmer path now. I hunt when I want, and I hunt as hard (or not) as I want. I kill if I please, and most of the time I don't please. I enjoy counting coup on a fine animal up close...the shot is mine...and I refuse it. I'll kill when it's my time again. I get a lot of joy from seeing others succeed, and I enjoy the philosophical side of hunting these days. I can sit on a bluff and enjoy the miles of wilderness in my vision with no desire to change things. Just as quickly I can spot a huge palm or antler and be bailing off to hurriedly get across the river...heart pounding and mind racing. I'm a bit like the river...calm and serene at times but rushing and full of excitement a few moments later. That's what hunting does for me. Like a river, I just go where it takes me.

  11. #11
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    I guess I must be the odd guy out, because I've never been through these stages. I'm in my late 50s and have been hunting since my 20s. It's always been about meat and experience for me. Never trophies and not much about the challenge. As I've said before, guess I lived too many years around Eskimos, but no, that's not me at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBEE View Post
    The hunt is always more exciting than the kill imho. If people just want to kill something they can go to a game ranch.
    I've already progressed to that, being only 26. There are two goals that are seriously important to me right now: First is helping my wife's friend get to pull the trigger on a caribou. She's come on 3 hunts with us and done all the hard work, but never been there when an animal came within range. The other priority is simply finding a legal bull moose (been 3 years without one). The shot/kill itself is pretty small in my mind. It's the process leading to the success of finding one that I CAN shoot and bring home to my wife that I'm dying for.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Quote Originally Posted by K Dill View Post
    We're all going through the various stages of life as a hunter/fisherman. I don't recall all the various stages, but they run a little something like this:
    I've always found those stages interesting to study both in terms of my behavior and others'. I know exactly which stage(s) I was in at each point in my life. Also I think knowledge of these stages gives you better understanding of other members' posts on here; oftentimes you can tell from a guy's post which stage(s) he's in.

    These stages are part of the core teachings of Hunter Education; you reproduced them well. I've always thought that they neglected in their description of stage 5 (sportsman, a.k.a. "old guy" stage) to describe what fun it is to watch younger hunters in our party get buck fever and allow 99% of their knowledge and training to go out the window when they "see horns". ;-) And then in a later year to see the same hunter cool as a cucumber in the face of a trophy animal; there's nothing like it.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I don't need to kill, but a hunt that ends in a warm gut pile is always a fantastic feeling. No matter who threw the lead.
    Although I could live without ever shooting another sheep or moose or caribou. I hope I never tire of laying out deer and bears.
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    I personally don't enjoy killing. I hunt for food. That's it. I hunt whatever provides meat for my family. Right now that is basically moose and maybe a bear. If I move then my target will change.

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    I just enjoy going hunting and all the aspects of it such as the planning, logistics, camping, fishing, throwing in a bonus critter every once in a while, especially eating what ever it is I killed. But if I don't kill something I'm not mad about it, as long as I have a good trip I'm happy. I drew a Kodiak bear tag this year and could care less if I actually kill a bear. I'm just excited to go back to Kodiak again and spend some time there. Granted I will try my hardest to be successful, but if the trip is good I'll be satisfied.

    My dad has hit the stage where he has no desire to hunt anymore. He was the guy waking me and my brothers up early every Saturday and Sunday morning, pushing us out of bed to get out and hunt. Now that we've all grown and left the house he just isn't as in to it as he used to be. I think we were the reason he was excited to go back in those days. That and his favorite duck dog died about 10 years ago, I think he didn't find duck hunting as enjoyable without that dog around. He just couldn't take losing another hunting dog (I totally understand this, it's pretty rough) so he never got another one. I asked him why he didn't go anymore, he just said that as he got older he appreciated life more. These days his passion is Harleys, all he does is ride all over the place on his bike, and if that makes him happy that's all that matters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    I don't need to kill, but a hunt that ends in a warm gut pile is always a fantastic feeling. No matter who threw the lead.
    Although I could live without ever shooting another sheep or moose or caribou. I hope I never tire of laying out deer and bears.

    i think the only species i couldnt live without shooting another one of would be mule deer if i had to just choose one.

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    I passed these stages a few years ago but with the meat prices soaring this year I'm going to have to find some way to put the meat on the table for next winter.

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    Im always inventing ways to catch animals, plotting to do so and working hard at making equipments and getting there with em to make holes in them or crush an animal to death......... Its never a problem to step aside and let others do so, but when its my turn, Im happy all over.

    My kids and wife are happy, everyone is happy and we get to eat and make stuffs as well as $$ so I dont think that awsome feeling will fade....least I hope not....
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    My kids and wife are happy, everyone is happy and we get to eat and make stuffs as well as $$ so I dont think that awsome feeling will fade....least I hope not....
    Yep you're coming up all aces there, nice. Of course you've got a bit more motive to hunt successfully than most of us on here: Hunger.

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