Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Deer Hunting; Making the Shot

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


Tina Leigh said...

And usually the idiots that dont take a clean shot are the ones that will shoot YOU & swear "I seen a white tail flag"! My husband use to bow really bothered me because it was "ify". Its hard to bow hunt & to easy to get excited & miss or mess up a good deer.

Coy Hill said...

I agree on all points.

I tried bowhunting in the late '70's. I practiced until I had bacame very proficient shooting acurately but even with that the I found the injury rate too high. I worked in an archery shop for a few years in the mid 80's; listening to the hunters stories I doubt if the recovery rate of hit deer was even 50%.

Anonymous said...

I always say a prayer when the killing stops. At last peace for wildlife.

Meggie said...

I think all hunters should be requred to take a course in ethics as well as hunting/firearms. Well said, Salty.

Willard said...

I have also heard many hunting stories. The persons like Billie and you are few and far between.

I well recall overhearing a conversation among a group of seasoned hunters about a muzzle loader elk hunt in Colorado. I don't remember if they killed antything or not, but I do recall that they "put lead" in several bulls which they did not recover.

This is the dirty little secret that is usually not told in the hunting videos and seldom in the pages of a magazine. Instead many stories are whitewashed to removed the unpleasantness. One thing is certain no one ever admits this on camera-at least to a news organization.

You should tell about that Game News article that amazed both of us sometime! That is one of the rare exceptions where it made it into print!

photowannabe said...

I have to admit I'm not fond of hunting and don't want to do it myself. What stuck out in your post was the thoughts about ethical hunters and hunting. Ethics seems to be a dirty word in our society.
Maybe Meggie is right, a course in ethics should be required to get a license.
Thoughtful and interesting post.

julianlenkoff said...

very interesting blog
and nice photos