Hunting a Sport or Activity
Hunters are torn by bucks that are beautiful yet young, but by Eastern NC standards, bucks for the taking. To help you understand, bucks which are between 1 ½ to 4 years old, if left to mature would make quite a trophy in a few years. There lies the problem…
I am gradually learning the techniques, purpose and art of hunting. All three seem to lack in responsible deer and hunter management. It’s not that deer management training is unavailable, it is not implemented or enforced. There are no restrictions for hunters to abide by, therefore each year bucks are hunted no matter the age.
Size Does Matter
Size Should Matter
“Size does matter” it is stated on T-shirts. When I talk with hunters they all have the desire to hunt in Texas, the Midwest and Canada for the big trophy. The deer are for the most part managed and protected which enables ones success. The purpose is to hunt the most mature buck, not go out for target practice killing the first deer that comes to view.
How Mature Are You?
On the other hand, I have learned one can pay well over $10,000.00 to hunt in a confined 3 -5 acre area, guaranteeing the success of a huge trophy. These hunts are available in Wildlife managed areas but obviously no rights to the animals exist to elude the hunter, making them easy prey. Did I say hunt? Excuse me, massacre would be more appropriate. That's something to hang your hat on!
In the North Carolina Safety Hunter Course you are taught the stages of a hunter. In brief the five stages of hunter development are:
1. SHOOTING STAGE
The priority is getting off a shot, rather than patiently waiting for a good shot. This eagerness to shoot can lead to bad decisions that endanger other.
2. LIMITING-OUT STAGE
Success is determined by bagging the limit. In extreme cases, this need ot limit out also can cause hunters to take unsafe shots.
3. TROPHY STAGE
The hunter is selective and judges success by quality rather than quantity. Typically, the focus is on big game. Anything that doesn't measure up to the desired trophy is ignored.
4. METHOD STAGE
The process of hunting becomes the focus. A hunter may still want to limit out but places a higher priority on how it's accomplished.
5. SPORTSMAN STAGE
Success is measured by the total experience - the appreciation of the out-of-doors and the animal being hunted, the process of the hunt, and companionship of other hunters.
The North Carolina Wildlife Commission is missing the boat and in my opinion with their lack of wildlife management not being taught, contributing to the lack of quality in the deer population. Hunting is not just firearm safety. It is a sport. Like any sport, takes a dedication to understand and appreciate the achievements it can render. In sports, you learn your competition, your limitations, rules, and rights of passage with maturity. www.ncwildlife.org
There are a lot of hunters that would probably deport me from living in North Carolina for saying this, but “Wildlife Management and Conservation” should not just be a topic in the Hunter Safety Course. It should be mandatory in a separate venue to earn the right to be called a hunter.
There Is Accountability
I recently met an Ambassador for the “QDMA “ Quality Deer Management Association. A true sportsman! A lot can be learned from this organization. If private, non profit and govenment would join forces to improve the education process for all and would be hunters, in years to come hunting for North Carolina residents could be more than a weekend shooting spree to kill the first buck they see. QDMA can be reached at www.QDMA.com
I am learning a great deal from others. I have a respect now for the true hunters. They understand the laws of nature, are able to apply them, and are successful even without bringing home a huge trophy on every outing. They have defined hunting as a sport, not a casual participant in an activity.
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