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Thread: The Traditional Hunter...

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    Default The Traditional Hunter...

    In light of the other thread I thought I'd post this. Just what exactly is a Traditional Hunter? Whose tradition? How far back do we have to go? Spears and arrows with stone tips? For most of us our hunting tradition involves motorized vehicles, rifles, shotguns, rubber duck decoys, boats, etc. For me it does. However, my native american relatives generations ago ran the buffalos off the cliff. For some generations that became thier tradition. Then along came the fire stick. Now the fire stick has become my tradional way of hunting. For some future generations, traditional bow hunting will be with a compound bow with all the bells and whistles we have now that may then be "traditional". Today it's the recurve and hand made arrows. Some day it will be tradition to use range finders, supercubs, atv's, drop compensating scopes, etc.

    In a hundred years a father may say to his son...
    "back in the old days they used the Leica range finder out to 500 yds. Boy, those were the good old days. Now son, here's how we range that sheep at 1500 yards and put him down with one shot"

    My point is that Traditions are relative. They come and they go. This is both a good and bad thing depending. It's probably good that we don't run buffalo off the cliffs anymore.

    As hunters we need to accept each others chosen means of hunting (as long as it's legal) and not look down on someone because thier chosen means does not line up with our "traditional" point of vew.

    Tradition
    1 the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
    2 a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    The definition of "Traditional Hunting" also has a large regional/location component. Look at running hounds, some areas it is illegal and frowned on; other areas it is not only legal but as popular as "Free Pizza Night at the Bingo Hall".
    Personally I think traditions change more quickly than what we are thinking here. We use traditional ethics in how we hunt, I think we are confusing traditions with technology. Even the muzzle-loader and bow hunts are called Primitive - referring to the technology not the ethics.
    Mike
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    Gee, that post really cleared things up! :-)
    Mike
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    Thumbs up bingo

    well said Mike--Not alot of "tradition" has changed in the muzzeloaders or archery, but WOW the technology has. Free pizza (with something cold to drink,because that's traditional for us) and the lion chasers, now that's some good times right there...sorry not much bingo here

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    Wink Right on!!!!!!!!

    Snyd, you are me hero! Well put!

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    Jeesh Snyd, I hate to be the bad man as usual but really who cares!!!

    Guess I didnt follow the "other" thread to see why or where this thread came from.

    I AM a traditional bowhunter (longbows, selfbows, and on the occasions a recurve). I shoot bows made anywhere from recent times to designs used hundreds of years ago (primitive) Wood arrows, broadheads that were designed and still have a big following 50 or so years ago now if not longer!

    But you know, I try not to push my ideals on anyone, unless they ask or show some kind of interest. If you want to walk the path, I'll open the door for ya. You still have to walk through!

    If ya want to hunt with an Atlatl so be it!!! Again who really cares, it's your perogative.

    It's the person that makes the hunter, not the weapon he/she so choose's to use!!! So why in are we even having this conversation??? Are you interested in taking the challenge of becoming a hunter again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    Jeesh Snyd, I hate to be the bad man as usual but really who cares!!!

    Guess I didnt follow the "other" thread to see why or where this thread came from.

    I AM a traditional bowhunter (longbows, selfbows, and on the occasions a recurve). I shoot bows made anywhere from recent times to designs used hundreds of years ago (primitive) Wood arrows, broadheads that were designed and still have a big following 50 or so years ago now if not longer!

    But you know, I try not to push my ideals on anyone, unless they ask or show some kind of interest. If you want to walk the path, I'll open the door for ya. You still have to walk through!

    If ya want to hunt with an Atlatl so be it!!! Again who really cares, it's your perogative.

    It's the person that makes the hunter, not the weapon he/she so choose's to use!!! So why in are we even having this conversation??? Are you interested in taking the challenge of becoming a hunter again?
    Oh, I'm just yackin. It's winter and there's still not enough snow to go downhill skiing around here so I guess I have a little cabin fever. But I guess you care, you responded and made it a point to point out that you are a "tradional" bow hunter. That's cool. I have some friends who are also I guess. Make thier own arrows and such. But, why not just call yourself a hunter? I hunt with a rifle but I don't call myself a "traditional" rifle hunter even though rilfe hunting is traditional. What's the difference? I have another friend who casts his own musket balls and does the blackpowder thing. Again, another form of "traditional" hunting but he does't call himself a "traditional blackpowder" hunter. The other thread ( Modern hunter) reffered to an article by a guy from Traditional Bow Hunter Magazine. By the title they are obviously proud of thier claim and it got me thinking about sef-proclaimed "traditional hunters" and those who tend to look down thier noses at "non-traditional" hunters.

    Not sure what you mean by "taking the challenge of becoming a hunter again". Are you saying I should run some buffalo off a cliff or that I should hunt with a bow? How about a traditional blow gun with poisonous darts? Or maybe I should take the scope off my rifle or use my pistol instead. I think I'll go with the latter. Kind of want to shoot a moose with my pistol anyway. But, I'll use the "traditional" method, single action, open sites just like cowboys use to do. Not that I really care about being a "traditional" pistol hunter. It just sounds like it would be fun and challenging and besides, my pistol is a single action without a scope.

    Might get into bow hunting again someday (oh ya, chased around a few whitetails with a bow about 20 years ago) but for now I have different interests. Sure would like to go sking....
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    The word "tradition" is used alot in the hunting arena. The feds have really latched onto it in the subsistence regs. Customary and traditional!
    When the parks and refuges were formed in 1980, the feds allowed snogo's as a "traditional" transportation form. Not argo's and 4 wheelers tho. The folks in Anaktuvik Pass fought over that definition for years, with the parkies. I believe they finally won and are now allowed to use argos and 4 wheelers outside the village.
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  9. #9

    Default A Slight Twist on Tradition...

    I'll toss something out, not related to technology but to customs....

    I'm half native....lived on Elmendorf AFB (outskirts, towards Fort Rich) when I was little. When I shot my first ptarmigan and snowshoe rabbit (I was 6 at the time, I believe), my Mom (full Eskimo) invited all my aunts over to the house to cook and eat the wild game. They knitted me a hat and gloves, ate the rabbits and ptarmigan, and blessed me that I might grow up to be a good hunter and provide for my family. I used those gloves and hat for several years, chasing small and large game.

    I live outside now, but try to get back every Fall (will miss this Fall, doggone it) to hunt and get some meat for my Mom and sisters, who still live in Alaska. The "tradition" of providing for my family was instilled by those first dinners, and has stuck with me for 40 years.

    Thanks for listening, and great thread Snyd.

    Michael

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    is a stickbow hunter or flintlock ball-casting hunter still "traditional" if he flies in an uses binoculars?
    or does traditional only refer to the method of take?
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    Great memory, Md.
    Its amazing what we remember, and what remains important, isnt it?
    My dad was an inner city (Chicago) guy, and even there we were out shooting the pistols at New Years, the fourth, etc. Now it's illegal to even own a handgun in some places there.
    When we moved to a more rural area growing up, he was right there with the Mossberg shotgun at my 16th d-day.
    He wasnt at all a hunter at that point, but he knew me and he knew that I would be one and that I needed to be.


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    Default traditional

    The only reason there are rules and laws concerning traditional weapons is management.

    When you have special hunts for different weapon types, the local fish and game dept has to consider the expected success rate to mange properly. Take Washington State for example. When you buy an elk or deer tag, you have to decide if you are hunting with a modern firearm, a bow, or a muzzleloader. Seasons are set according to weapon. Archery and muzzleloader seasons are much more liberal because of a couple reasons. First, they are more challenging as far a successfully taking an animal, so less people are inclined to hunt with them. The reason they are more challenging is that they have limits on their effective range and how fast you can get off a second shot if needed.

    If you buy a modern firearms license, you are still allowed to hunt that season with a bow or a muzzleloader as you aren't increasing the chances of more animals being taken during that season, you are probably decreasing it. You may even use modern inline muzzleloaders that aren't allowed in the traditional blackpowder season. But of course if a modern firearm was allowed during the primative seasons, it would throw the harvest rate out of whack. So, Washington has set limits on what can be used during each different season.

    Blackpowder probably has the most rules concerning what is considered traditional or not. This is because of the boom in inline guns and scopes used in some states. Right off the bat, you can see how a scope can improve the harvest rate. Also, a big problem with muzzleloaders is getting reliable ignition, especially in a wet place like western Washington. To keep blackpowder hunters from getting too efficient, Washington requires that the cap cannot be sealed, it has to be exposed to the weather. This rules out most modern inline guns. They also have rules against modern copper jacketed bullets. Only roundballs and cast lead conicals are allowed. This effects accuracy.

    Now if all the new technilogical advances were allowed on muzzleloaders, the success rate would soar. So seasons would have to be limited either by area or by shortening the number of days allowed in the field. And if the success rate improved to where it was above modern firearm, then many more hunters would decide they might like to try blackpowder season. This would cause the seasons to be limited even more so there wasn't an over-harvest. There is a certain range of success that managers are comfortable with allowing. If improvements in weaponry make it easier to harvest, then seasons will be shortened or limited by area, or may even go to drawing only hunts. There's no way around that. And that's the reason they have limits on what is acceptable as far as weapons go.

    In some states, harvest levels aren't the concern, range of the weapon is. They are so crowded and hunting might be done closer to houses, so they don't want high powered rifles blasting away where a stray bullet can do damage, so they limit hunting to shotguns, or bows or muzzleloaders. The same is done in the Palmer-Wasilla management area. In these areas, all the modern gadgets are allowed.

    In archery, while compound bows make it easier to hold at full draw, there is still a limit to their effective range, so they are allowed as they don't affect the success rate much. They have their limits too, they are best used from a stand. A traditional longbow or recurve is lighter and hangs up less in the brush if you're still hunting. They are easier to pack around.

    Now if someone came up with a heat seeking arrow, that would probably be outlawed for hunting as it would affect success rates dramatically.

    The whole point of hunting with a primitive weapon is to make it more challenging. And the limitations can make you a much better hunter. Some people don't appreciate that and are looking for an advantage instead of looking to improve their skills. But the bottom line is, any advantage hunters gain as a whole will be limited by management decisions.

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    Laws allowing for hunting with only "traditional" or "primative" weapons are great I think. It opens up lots of opportunity that otherwise might not exist. River bottom areas in Montana for example near civilization which were open to shotgun or bow hunting for deer when I lived there. Or, for example, I have a friend who cannot own a firearm but he can hunt with a bow and hunt in bow only areas thus increasing his chances. Late bow or muzzleloader seasons allowing a "second chance" if you don't succeed in the general rifle season.

    At some point we will have to get away from terms like traditional or primative weapons because enough generations have gone by to where high powered scoped rifles are also traditional weapons. I think we are there now. I don't think we should even think in those terms. By labeling one weapon or hunter traditional based on his weapon implies that others aren't traditional hunters. Crossbows or dart guns are traditional weapons also but are outlawed as far as I know. Or the crossbow can be used instead of a rifle but not instead of a bow.

    It really has nothing to do with a weapon being primative or traditional. But rather how much the weapon improves one's chance at killing the game. Truth is, with very few exceptions no one hunts with primative weapons anymore. Maybe some longbow hunters. Sounds like TradBow might. I think hunters who use "traditional" or "primative" weapons take pride in the fact that it is generaly more difficult and takes more skill to be successful. Kind of like the feeling I get when humping it 50 miles for 12 days to get my ram versus shooting game off the road. But, it's probably "easier" and may take less skill to call in a Bull Moose in late september and shoot him with a bow than it is to stalk Antelope with a 30-30 with open sites. Which hunter has more skill? The bow hunter who grunts and waits or the guy who belly crawls a mile and gets in range with his 30-30 with open sites for an antelope or still hunts thick woods for a whitetail with a shotgun?

    Aren't we all "traditional" hunters even if we choose different weapons?? Hunting in itself is the tradition, not the weapons we use. With few exceptions it takes skill to be succesfull no matter what kind of weapon you use.

    I think I'll call myself a traditional high powered rifle hunter. Oh wait, I'm shooting a new 325wsm with a stainless barrel and synthetic stock. Maybe to be a tradional rifle hunter we need to shoot model 70 30-06's with open sites or a Weaver 4x scope.
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    Default okay, I can't resist chiming in

    This theme on traditional hunting and traditional weapons has so many pertinent analogies to me.

    I liken the way hunting is going these days (my perception only) to the same way society is going: Downhill.

    So I often think of why that may be; what part of our hunting (and other!) traditions have we lost, and how has that hurt hunting and hunters, if it has at all?

    Sigh...not much more than 100 years ago, the Han people near Eagle caught king salmon with dipnets, while paddling offshore from a slim birch bark canoe. They used "spotters" on the high bank to "see" the salmon, often their sons, or older men, who had learned the art of being able to see the wake of a migrating salmon on the silty surface of the Yukon as it swam underwater, upstream. They also gauged the depth of the fish from this wake, so they'd yell out directions from on shore, how far off shore the fish was, how deep, and at the right moment the canoeists would drop their paddle and at the command plunge their handmade dipnets down into the water (as deep as nine feet) and hopefully come up with a fish.

    I don't know a soul who still pratices this lost art, or has the skill to "see" salmon this way with such accuracy.

    So what was lost by moving to gill nets and wheels? Anything?

    In hunting, what I'm seeing rapidly come on among evermore hunters, is a supreme lack of knowledge about all kinds of things that used to be common among hunters, including flora and fauna of an area, wilderness skills, and any notion of hunting ethics. Not only that, but there is a big disconnect now between hunting and food, that hunting is really about food, and that THAT is a tradition of hunting too. What that does (again, just my own perception) is to cause a certain disrespect now among hunters for the animals they pursue and kill.

    Hunting IS the tradition, but as hunting moves away from its traditional roots more and more, it goes the same way society goes by doing the same.

    Just my .02, (PS, Perry, I hope you ain't gonna leave the "Merry Christmas" up all year <grin>.)
    Last edited by bushrat; 01-05-2007 at 15:49. Reason: added PS to Perry <grin>

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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    This theme on traditional hunting and traditional weapons has so many pertinent analogies to me.

    I liken the way hunting is going these days (my perception only) to the same way society is going: Downhill.

    So I often think of why that may be; what part of our hunting (and other!) traditions have we lost, and how has that hurt hunting and hunters, if it has at all?

    Sigh...not much more than 100 years ago, the Han people near Eagle caught king salmon with dipnets, while paddling offshore from a slim birch bark canoe. They used "spotters" on the high bank to "see" the salmon, often their sons, or older men, who had learned the art of being able to see the wake of a migrating salmon on the silty surface of the Yukon as it swam underwater, upstream. They also gauged the depth of the fish from this wake, so they'd yell out directions from on shore, how far off shore the fish was, how deep, and at the right moment the canoeists would drop their paddle and at the command plunge their handmade dipnets down into the water (as deep as nine feet) and hopefully come up with a fish.

    I don't know a soul who still pratices this lost art, or has the skill to "see" salmon this way with such accuracy.

    So what was lost by moving to gill nets and wheels? Anything?

    In hunting, what I'm seeing rapidly come on among evermore hunters, is a supreme lack of knowledge about all kinds of things that used to be common among hunters, including flora and fauna of an area, wilderness skills, and any notion of hunting ethics. Not only that, but there is a big disconnect now between hunting and food, that hunting is really about food, and that THAT is a tradition of hunting too. What that does (again, just my own perception) is to cause a certain disrespect now among hunters for the animals they pursue and kill.

    Hunting IS the tradition, but as hunting moves away from its traditional roots more and more, it goes the same way society goes by doing the same.

    Just my .02, (PS, Perry, I hope you ain't gonna leave the "Merry Christmas" up all year <grin>.)
    Ya, I know what you mean. Some of the "hunting arts of old" get lost or rejected in favor of bigger guns or the latest gadget. Our tradition of hunting has been engulfed by our "consumer driven gotta have it now" society. Heck if you have $50,000 you can climb Everest. Doesn't matter if you've ever been on a mountain or not.

    I grew up goose hunting with my grampa in western Montana and he would watch the Flathead valley from various vantage points and see when the honkers came in. Once he found them he had a way of being able to hunt the same flock day after day for a week or so. Find where they went to water for the evening. DO NOT shoot them as they come in. Surround the area in the am before daylight with a few guys and wait for them to leave on thier own accord. Shoot em as they left. Someone would get some shooting. Just depended on which direction they went. They would come back in the evening until somebody messed things up or they just moved on. He also taught me that if you shoot one goose in the am to hang out in the afternoon because the loner of the pair would come back looking for its mate, if you had shot one of the pair. Geese mate for life and this way you "take the pair" as Grampa would say. I shot my first honker with a 20 guage Ithaca he gave me when I was 10. Nowadays guys shoot 10 gauges and sky bust like crazy. Grampas patient way of hunting is probably not practiced to much that I know of. Now they have flying decoys... go figure. He had these old rubber duck decoys (duraducks) with no paint on them. He know how many and how to set them up to bring in the ducks. Now days they have computer generated graphic paint jobs.

    In some ways it's not as bad though Mark. I think game management as a whole is better. I know we have our issues but "in the old days" they just killed until they were gone. I'm told the moose around Ft. Yukon used to be pretty thick but the locals have pretty well cleard them out because if they got a hankerin to shoot one they just did.

    Oh, and Happy New Year Mark! I'll come up with a new sig!
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  16. #16

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    Snyd,

    it's obvious I didn't read that thread. I do have a subscription of the aforemenioned mag along with 2 complete sets of the mags from start to finish.


    Do I care what you consider traditional or why I am called a traditional bowhunter? Nope, kind of find it funny. But with the long and dark cold days I'll humor the conversation for nothing else better then a little education on both parts.

    I bet your buddy is pretty dang proud to be a muzzleloader toter and I bet if he shoots flint, or percussion, instead of inline he'll let you know of it right quick like! Hmmm Is there a passing of time happening before our eyes? Maybe you can write for a few magazines and start the beginning of yesteryears traditional muzzleloader hunters...... sounds kind of appealing to me.

    "Not sure what you mean by "taking the challenge of becoming a hunter again". "

    This may sound a little conceeded however you'll understand IF you take the challenge!!! And no compounds do not count, or xguns!

    I'm pretty dang proud to be a snotty tradbowhunter you worthless slime ! All things aside I do believe many of those writers writings, and some peoples actions get taken a little to far. I personally think you'd be humbly suprised, after joining the ranks, of what most of the traditional bowhunting community has to offer! People willing to take you, teach you, show you, and help make your life just that much better just for taking an interest in a like subject. This site in itself is unique in that aspect. Lots of great people! I'm sure you surf the web, get on other sites similar to this. I for one am on TOO many!!! After the stickbow community, this site's followers walk a very close second to what things are all about! Most other sites, and what we see or hear off afield do not even come close to the standards these two minorities hold themselves too. There are other groups I am sure however I am either not a part of them, or take no interest in them.


    Someday we both will be considered traditional HUNTERS regardless of our weapons of choice today, and that someday may be all to fast approaching........

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    Easy there TradBow. I'm not attacking anyone or calling you anything. I did not start this thread to get into some sort of debate between bow hunters and rifle hunters. We are both hunters who use different tactics to acheive the same ends. It's more about the state of mind of hunters or a trend that seems to be forming. Kind of like the African American, Asian American, Native American, Mexican American thing. Arent' we all just Americans? Why must we make categories that include or exclude as we put our noses in the air in the name of pride? Aren't we all hunters? I understand that you are proud of how you hunt, that's great. But, I don't need to "take the challenge" as you say. I have other desires in mind. I like to hunt with firearms, I don't bow hunt for my own reasons. I find that the way I hunt is both challenging and rewarding, same as you. I hope I have not come across as challenging or accusational to the bowhunting cummunity. Not my intent. I see us ALL as hunters who use different tactics. One is not better than the other. Just different, coming from different traditions. I hunt big game with rifles as did my father and his father and his father did. That tradition was passed on to me. We ALL need to respect each other in that sense.

    I've got a buddy who shoots recurve, makes arrows, etc. and next month we'll have more daylight and we'll be headed up the haul road for caribou. I'm going along for the adventure and as the videographer. Who knows, I may get bit the bow bug and start a new family tradition!

    Peace and go shoot something!!

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    Sorry Snyd, that wasnt supposed to sound as a jab, more a little fun if ya noticed the . Some peoples are gifted writers, in which I am not one of!

    When someone asks how I hunt, I tell them I am a bowhunter. I'm proud to be a traditional bowhunter, and proud to be labeled as such, but I dont walk around beating my chest for being one or for that matter even upfront tell people I shoot stickbows until they ask what kind of bow I shoot. But again, I really dont care what is or what isnt considered traditional or anything else for that matter. It is what it is, just pure fun and a challenge like no other.

    You're right, it's a tool, just like any other weapon, the weapon doesnt make the hunter!!! Does shooting a sheep every year with a 300 win mag, make me anything more then killing a sheep once every 3 to 5 years with a longbow and wood arrows at ranges measured in feet? I know the answer to that and I'm sure you do too. Heck no! I normally (these past couple of years seem to be an acception), kill enough meat for my wife and I to live quite easily on wild game and fish. But in all reality I hunt because I like the hunt, I dont hunt because I like the kill. Again something you'll understand if you make the change, over time.

    The challenge deal is a challenge to you personally, or anyone else to step up too. You'll understand when the time comes if you take the challenge, what I mean. No harm no foul either way with whatever weapon you so choose. I prefer to hunt with good company, more so then just someone who shoots a stick and string. Doesnt matter if they carry a small artilery piece or a throwing spear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    Sorry Snyd, that wasnt supposed to sound as a jab, more a little fun if ya noticed the . Some peoples are gifted writers, in which I am not one of!

    When someone asks how I hunt, I tell them I am a bowhunter. I'm proud to be a traditional bowhunter, and proud to be labeled as such, but I dont walk around beating my chest for being one or for that matter even upfront tell people I shoot stickbows until they ask what kind of bow I shoot. But again, I really dont care what is or what isnt considered traditional or anything else for that matter. It is what it is, just pure fun and a challenge like no other.

    You're right, it's a tool, just like any other weapon, the weapon doesnt make the hunter!!! Does shooting a sheep every year with a 300 win mag, make me anything more then killing a sheep once every 3 to 5 years with a longbow and wood arrows at ranges measured in feet? I know the answer to that and I'm sure you do too. Heck no! I normally (these past couple of years seem to be an acception), kill enough meat for my wife and I to live quite easily on wild game and fish. But in all reality I hunt because I like the hunt, I dont hunt because I like the kill. Again something you'll understand if you make the change, over time.

    The challenge deal is a challenge to you personally, or anyone else to step up too. You'll understand when the time comes if you take the challenge, what I mean. No harm no foul either way with whatever weapon you so choose. I prefer to hunt with good company, more so then just someone who shoots a stick and string. Doesnt matter if they carry a small artilery piece or a throwing spear.
    No worries. I hear ya, you should be proud of hunting the way you do. Sounds like you and I hunt for the same reasons. I'm not in it for the "kill" either. I try to cherish each moment up to the kill. In fact at the moment if the kill I always have a twinge of sadness/respect/humilty because I realize I have just taken a life. I give thanks and then rejoice. After that the "hunt" is over. But not the hunting trip.

    I think my next challenge is going to be handgun hunting with my Ruger SuperBlackHawk with open sights. Seems like a scope on a handgun just brings it back to more like rifle hunting.

    On another note. When I moved to Alaska 15 years ago I was glad to see the requirement of the bow certification. At least the guys that are bow hunting have to prove that they have some knowledge of what they are doing. Rather that just heading out to the woods and slinging arrows. In Montana there isn't (or at least wasn't) anything like that. I have seen and heard of some sad things regarding animals and arrows. Some guys had no business slinging arrows at game if you know what I mean. I knew a few of them.

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    Default recurve

    I've always been a rifle hunter (25) years. I just started flinging arrows with a fred bear recurve. It sure is alot of fun, and I will kill something next year with it. It's funny even with two teenagers shooting compounds next to me out back, they sure like to RIB me about that ol' recurve. I just look at them and simply tell them that I don't need any training wheels HA HA

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