a different experience?
How does the experience of small game hunting compare to hunting larger animals? In my efforts to understand 'How it feels to hunt' for my PhD research I have been on many big game hunts. That phase has almost closed for this year and I greatly appreciate the many hunters who have welcomed me along or spoken to me so far.
I would now like to go along as an observer on small game hunts to learn about that activity firsthand and from the hunters themselves.
My study is for a PhD in Social Anthropology from Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and my particular interest is in emotions and use of our senses while hunting. I am based in Anchorage, though am happy to travel, and can be contacted by PM or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Interesting research topic!
Small game hunting, specifically upland hunting for the many species of gamebirds, evokes many different emotions. Things like the friendship and companionship of a fine bird dog or four, training that dog, watching the dog seek out and find and point and retrieve birds, the wonderfully made game gun, a joy to carry and to look at and to shoot, the beauty and the mystery surrounding the birds and all the other wildlife observed during a full day's hunt, the land with all its smells and sites and textures, the elements of weather and other natural phenomena...there are many emotions involved with small game hunting in my humble opinion. And it's a matter of being on the move, not sitting still for hours each day with a pair of binoculars nearly attached to your face, and lots of opportunities for shooting, and success or failure.
Big game hunting is great, but it's more of an ordeal, has a short season, and usually only one shot followed by lots of tough work. Small game season is long ( August 10 to April 30 in many areas) and provides lots of opportunties for shooting and success.
Just a few points to consider.
Just more of it.
Spent 3 weeks 3 septembers ago looking for a griz on the haul road. Never found one and spent so much time working on finding a Griz that I didn't bring home caribou either. Spent a few hours chasing mottled white and brown birds with funny voices that are really tasty and way too much fun to hunt with bow and arrow.
Disappointed in not finding a bear -- you bet
irritated that I spent too much time on the bear and didn't have a 'bou to eat for the winter --- yup
the whole trip was a success because I got to watch my Dad stand and stare at the N lights and say "WOW" over and over. He reminded me of a 5 year old boy staring into the sky the way he was. Almost got to watch him shoot the bull I spent 4 hours stalking, and we worked our tails off for the dozen birds we shot. we won't talk about how many $20 arrows got broken -- it was a small price to pay for that kind of fun.
Hope to get to do the same thing with my Grandson in a few years. Can't wait to shoot the BB gun in the hallway with him like I did with his Mommy more than a few years ago.
You want to see some real emotion? Watch a Dad or a Grandpa pick out a few choice stuffed animals and go on safari with him and a kid through the house. Now that's huntin !!!! Just don't tell Mom or Grandma
I'd offer to let you come along this fall/winter.... but that is about the only time the Daughter & I have just the two of us, so I think I'll be selfish and keep this to myself for now.
its funny that this topic would come up. I have not done much small game hunting for many years. my hunting time was almost exclusively for moose and deer. which as mentioned is lots of sitting and searching with a single shot followed by LOTS of hard work and its all done.
Originally Posted by Jim McCann
this year for the first time in decades I went rabbit hunting with some freinds. I was hooked right away!!! there is still the "thrill of the hunt" but instead of being drawn out over 1-3 days and maybe you get one and maybe you don't, it happens several times over a hunting day. I would spot one bunny and take a long range shot with my 22 rifle and then walk very slowly towards where I shot it and look around for the 3 or 4 bunnies that were almost always in the same area, and chase them down for a shot. to be honest I was suprised how mych I enjoyed it.
the second and probably most important thing for me was that it was something I could include my 8 year old daughter in. she was very interested in the whole experience even including the cleaning process. this gave her and I great opportunity to bond on a level we had not bonded before. do not misunderstand, me and my daughter are very close but this was a whole new dimention added to me teaching her. gun saftey and shooting was one thing, but when you actually take that child and the weapon in the woods and walk around and acutally USE the weapon for something other than knocking downs cans it teaches a compleatly different respect for weapons and their value. this is of course is my humble opinion and I am sure that there will be those out there who disagree with me.
the final and very important step (to me anyway) is the teaching of the concept of "don't kill it unless you plan to eat it" to my daughter. now of course there are exceptions to this rule and we discussed those as well but the very opportunity to get her asking these questions at the age of 8 years old has a great deal of value to me as a parent. We very much enjoyed our rabbit dinner a day or two later and have several more meals in the freezer.