As I review my buck photographs from this autumn this photo stands out.
This capture is typical of the view a deer hunter hopes to see. Very seldom does the hunter get a completely unobstructed view and usually the deer will not stand around for long. To be successful the hunter must stay alert and be ready to react quickly at a moments notice. The ethical hunter will be prepared to do the job safely, legally, and humanely.
A hunter must be efficient in the use of his/her weapon. Nothing will replace practice. Firing a weapon repeatedly from a bench rest; while excellent for sighting in a rifle is not practical practice. Practice must involve shooting from the various positions one can expect in the field. Often overlooked; learning ones limitations cannot be stressed too much. Shooting at living targets is no time to learn that one is not up to the task!
My goal is to deliver one well placed shot that kills the animal either instantly or within a few seconds. Many years ago while visiting with an old friend on deer stand he made a statement that all hunters should consider. Billie said “I shoot deer on my terms, not theirs”. By this he meant that he would not take a shot that he was not totally confident of.
As a conservation officer I witnessed many times “hunters” blasting away at deer they had little hope of ever hitting. Gut shots, blown off legs, blasted jaws, etc were frequently the results of their efforts. More often than not after firing they would not even take the time to search for wounded animals, content that none had dropped on the spot.
These actions by the uncaring have always left me sickened