Hunting vs. Fishing [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Hunting vs. Fishing


striblue
12-30-2010, 09:41 AM
In these winter months I was looking at doing an African safari before I die....combining it with some fishing....But the thoughts of hunting gave me some pause. In my youth I hunted (10, 11,12) with my gradfather in Southern Quebec for Deer and other smaller game... learned to shoot mid rang rifles and often went out alone. As the years went by I gravitated to fishing which was my fathers passion and which I inherited. As I get older I think that the excitement of an African safari for plains animal or the big Five (elephant, Buffalo, leapard, lion, rino) is something that I wondered if I should do before death....Buy a nice high powered double nitro express rifle and do it....But.... I realize that I simple can not shoot one of these animals and think back on my youth and have some regrets about shooting bambi. Second of all I also wonder if it an ego thing....having read about the great african hunters (along with the great fishermen) and say.."Man, that's what a real man should do".....Like the people that crimb Mt. Everest.....ALL ego driven especially having read John Krachower (spelling wrong) account of the Everest fiasco and the abandoment of climbers in need of help....pure self centeredness, etc. I also thought of just doing a photo safari...and fish along the way....so not just a fishing trip . Then I also saw the cost of these hunting excusions...the per diem was high but possible and then I saw the individual costs of say one elephant kill...$40,000...and the price drops down somewhat for the others. Then I read.
" Hunt “Leo” with a minimum of the .375 caliber, as is the lawful minimum in most African countries. One-shot kills with the .375 cannot always be guaranteed so you may consider a larger caliber if you shoot it well. First shot placement is all-important as the follow-up on a wounded cat can be extremely exciting if not downright dangerous. A poorly shot Lion will lie in wait and is capable of great speed in a charge. When he charges, he will target just one of the party of hunters and will be intent on killing him."
Ya....That's the ticket....great for stories around cocktail hour...."did you know Morin was charged by a LION! and killed it with one shot before it got him....man...my wife and her friends think he is the most interesting man in the world and he drinks Bud"...."ya...look at that air of sophistication Too."
When I watch Craig Bodington on the Outdoor channel all high fiving each other ( I also cringe when I see fishermen on TV high fiving each other-for the TV) on shooting an elephant I am think "how can they miss"...I then realize that it is the stalking and hunting...not the final shot...as it is with all hunting. I make no judgements and this is my personal feeling. I suppose if I can get Flydoc I might do some bird hunting but only what I would intend to eat. I wonder how many of you fly guys feel about hunting...I know some of you hunt and others don't even have a gun permit... and could care less... I know Warren does Bow Hunting in Maine. What are your individual "feelings" on this and understand I have no put down to hunters and this is not intended as such. Just wanted to see how you differentiate Fishing Versus Hunting....do some feel as I do, do some equate it the same as fishing...do some hunt more than fish? etc. Also, I don't beleive all hunting is a Macho search...it was more looking at the African hunting but what about Black bear, Moose, etc....what is it that drives hunting versus fishing...is there any? ( I like shooting my side by side shotguns and will probably stick with Clays,trap and Skeet- besides it is easy to do and not a great expense and I can go several days a week if I choose.)

juro
12-30-2010, 09:54 AM
I would enjoy catch and release hunting :)

Side note - West Africa has some of the most untapped giant tarpon fishing in the world...

JonC
12-30-2010, 10:07 AM
Vance Bourjaily to his hunting partner Kurt Vonnegut, 'The bigger the game, the more corrupted the soul of the hunter.'
Take a camera, much less messy and no apologies to yourself for doing something pointless and wasteful. I'm with Juro.
Jon

striblue
12-30-2010, 10:08 AM
Ok Juro...that's the way....with darts...But some of us do keep a fish now and then...even you....I can not help as I equate the African stuff with the thread last year about the guy (single, living at home with mom, age 45, and an investment banker) who yaked for Blue fin...has to be the most laughable thing I read...if it were not for the dangers he posed to himself and...never considered during the interview by the way...the dangers he posed to Coast Guard rescurers,etc. :roll: Jon that is my sentiments also...but I also would like to hear form those who have thoughtful opinions from the otherside...there is this arguement about wildlife management and I hear this from Hunters as well... I suppose the ScFI writer and his partner were referring to themselves...interesting.

alan caolo
12-30-2010, 11:12 AM
John / Juro, I, too, am enamoured with hunting, but not killing - if that makes sense. Having watched a lot of hunting on Versus-net over the last several weeks, my curiousity / interest is piqued. I think most fishermen have a "hunter's heart", especially flats anglers, as it is more "hunting" than "fishing", in my view. I suppose if I needed to kill for subsistance I could pull the trigger, so-to-speak, but otherwise I'm not inclined to kill. I have, however, been hunting this week during our company sponsored holiday shut-down. In the Ninigret Refuge of all places. There are lots of whitetail there. While hiking the parkearly this week, the recent snow allowed me to get a read on their daily movements and I got it in my head to stalk these creatures I've come to understand as "difficult game" based on what I've gleaned from watching Versus. Soooo, armed with camera alone, I've been hunting them. It's tough. Two days ago I got very close to two does, but they spooked before I could get the shot off. They were about 30 feet away and I think the winded me - there was a swirling chaotic breeze that day. Maybe today - I'll post the pic if I get a shot. Juro, this is actually very cool - you can hunt big game (and it's tough to get really close to them) and consumate the encounter without the kill. Granted, I'm doing this in a refuge where the deer are much tamer than in regularly-hunted open-spaces, but it's still challenging and a tremendous learning experience.

John, have you read Colonol Jim Corbett's collection of short books on tiger hunting in India during the early 20th century? Essentially a collective memoir, it's a fascinating read. Jim was British officer living in the then empire-held India and was summoned by country officials as necessary to rid various regions of pesky nuisances - man-eating tigers and leopards. When these animals "became" dangerous (and Corbett details the why and how of that dietary transformation - (very few cats are actually dangerous to man in the wild), Corbett was employed to slay them . . . which he did - alone and on foot. Talk about balls!! Corbett's collection taught me an incredible amount about hunting, particularly hunting prey that's hunting you back. You'll gain keen insight of a top-of-the-foodchain predator's mind and m-o . . . fascinating stuff. Over decades, Jim took care of many big cats, some of which nearly took care of Jim. In a chapter from one volume devoted to his pursuit of the dreaded leopard of Rudrapryag, he describes and defines "real terror" in a manner you won't soon forget . . . his work is an intense read. I wish you all the best on your safari - hope it all comes together for you. If you haven't already, I would highly suggest reading Corbett if you plan on pursuing any dangerous game.

ac

FLGator
12-30-2010, 11:37 AM
As an avid and passionate hunter I can honestly tell you that a majority of the hunting shows on television turn my stomach.

I personally would find much more satisfaction grabbing my bow and pursuing a chosen critter on my terms in a 100% fair chase environment vs. the thought of being led by the hand by an 'outfitter' chasing any animal on a game preserve. Yes, there are fair chase safaris in true African wilderness where a professional will guide you in pursuit of game and that may be a marvelous adventure especially if one were to pick up a stick bow and chase cape buffalo.

The emotion you experienced when killing 'bambi' is totally normal when killing any wild game animal or game fish or fowl. I experience it everytime. I also treat my game animals/fish with the upmost respect in preparing them to feed my family and friends and give thanks for what they've given.

Think about the 'why' of your trip before you make any plans.

petevicar
12-30-2010, 12:11 PM
West Africa has some of the most untapped giant tarpon fishing in the world...
It also is probably the most dangerous place in the world to visit.

striblue
12-30-2010, 12:12 PM
Alan..glad to see you still around. I have not read that book but am always on the look out for great non-fiction. Hope to see you in the spring and maybe we can fish monomoy.....if conditions improve on those flats next year. Good to hear from you. PS. I even have some pith helmets I would love to wear . Maybe at the Squire (providing my sons and his friends are there as security)...not sure I would show up at the range with them. I did buy some Courtney boots, made in South Africa...not for a safari but because they were nice boots anyway with multiple animal hide uppers.

juro
12-30-2010, 12:21 PM
Alan -

I've read Corbett's writing in a college English (rhetoric) class, he was an excellent writer as well or maybe the subject was riveting in and of itself and he could have been an average writer but I'd credit him with infinite skills because like you say, he had BALLS :) One account talks of a tiger tearing a tree to shreds after he had blown the tiger's brains out of the back of it's head and it could no longer see nor think so assumed the nearest thing was it's enemy, a tree, and proceeded to shred it until it's death stopped it.

I couldn't agree more with you - flats fishing is 95% hunting and 5% fishing at times and when it's not I don't think we don't enjoy it as much :)

The correlation between your stalking of deer and fishing is clear, we find a welcome challenge in understanding and deciphering the mysteries; and satisfaction in the mastery of them.

John / Juro, I, too, am enamoured with hunting, but not killing - if that makes sense. Having watched a lot of hunting on Versus-net over the last several weeks, my curiousity / interest is piqued. I think most fishermen have a "hunter's heart", especially flats anglers, as it is more "hunting" than "fishing", in my view. I suppose if I needed to kill for subsistance I could pull the trigger, so-to-speak, but otherwise I'm not inclined to kill. I have, however, been hunting this week during our company sponsored holiday shut-down. In the Ninigret Refuge of all places. There are lots of whitetail there. While hiking the parkearly this week, the recent snow allowed me to get a read on their daily movements and I got it in my head to stalk these creatures I've come to understand as "difficult game" based on what I've gleaned from watching Versus. Soooo, armed with camera alone, I've been hunting them. It's tough. Two days ago I got very close to two does, but they spooked before I could get the shot off. They were about 30 feet away and I think the winded me - there was a swirling chaotic breeze that day. Maybe today - I'll post the pic if I get a shot. Juro, this is actually very cool - you can hunt big game (and it's tough to get really close to them) and consumate the encounter without the kill. Granted, I'm doing this in a refuge where the deer are much tamer than in regularly-hunted open-spaces, but it's still challenging and a tremendous learning experience.

John, have you read Colonol Jim Corbett's collection of short books on tiger hunting in India during the early 20th century? Essentially a collective memoir, it's a fascinating read. Jim was British officer living in the then empire-held India and was summoned by country officials as necessary to rid various regions of pesky nuisances - man-eating tigers and leopards. When these animals "became" dangerous (and Corbett details the why and how of that dietary transformation - (very few cats are actually dangerous to man in the wild), Corbett was employed to slay them . . . which he did - alone and on foot. Talk about balls!! Corbett's collection taught me an incredible amount about hunting, particularly hunting prey that's hunting you back. You'll gain keen insight of a top-of-the-foodchain predator's mind and m-o . . . fascinating stuff. Over decades, Jim took care of many big cats, some of which nearly took care of Jim. In a chapter from one volume devoted to his pursuit of the dreaded leopard of Rudrapryag, he describes and defines "real terror" in a manner you won't soon forget . . . his work is an intense read. I wish you all the best on your safari - hope it all comes together for you. If you haven't already, I would highly suggest reading Corbett if you plan on pursuing any dangerous game.

ac

juro
12-30-2010, 12:24 PM
It also is probably the most dangerous place in the world to visit.

What's a few saltwater crocodiles, restless natives, and poisonous flora and fauna? :lildevl:

bonefishmon
12-30-2010, 12:44 PM
I would enjoy catch and release hunting :)

Side note - West Africa has some of the most untapped giant tarpon fishing in the world...


A good friend of mine had a layover in France and while waiting for his next flight decided to head for the Mens Room. Who shows up next to him other than Billy Pate! Mike asked him where he was going? His reply was "A new, world record Tarpon somewhere in Africa." But............I think Pete hit the nail on the head. You may need to carry a sidearm to protect yourself from someone hunting you.

Phil

juro
12-30-2010, 01:20 PM
Take a look at google earth. The only scary thing about hunting a world record tarpon in west africa are the humans. The rest is gorgeous :)

alan caolo
12-30-2010, 01:22 PM
John, I whole-heartedly agree with your assessments of mis-guided ego-centric hunting behaviors we are commonly adoured with via the media - particularly assocoated with 'dangerous game" (the high-fives, etc. you alluded to). As noted, I have no issue with hunting, provided it's within the bounds of the law, respects the resource (in every way), and it is without arrogance. I mean, a high-five, head-butt or any other celebration of success after scoring an overtime game winning goal, touchdown, three-pointer, etc is one thing . . . and i don't criticize adrenaline-laden athletes one iota. But when you harvest a magnificent beast (and that can be as small as a grouse), I believe that dishonoring the Earth with a display of arrogance is uncalled for, unfit, and unbecoming of a true sportsman. And I can relate to the adrenaline addiction that hunters experience - flats anglers experience that, too. Honestly, the rush one must get while immersed in thick eye-high brush, closely surrounded by a herd of unseen, snorting cape buffalo . . . until your shot prevails and you blast it close-range . . . and it perhaps charges . . . must be overwhelming. Frankly, I'll pass on that one (too many underwear changes required to make through to the kill : ) But, if the safari thing tickles you again, and you go, I wish you the very best of life's experiences (and based on what you've written, I sense you'd be awed and humbled, rather than brash and arrogant.

Pete, damn right on the West Horn . . . I'd fear human-related dangers there more than anaything else.

Juro, yeah - agreed on all . . . I swear it's like a drug or gambling, and you get hooked on it. After I post here, I'm gathering my stuff and rushing tho the park for another try. My dad, who was a great hunter till he gave up the "kill thing", gave me some excellent ideas to complete the hunt (he slayed a Maine buck or two every year while I was growing up in MA). Hope you're well . . .

ac

FrenchCreek
12-30-2010, 02:12 PM
Hi John, interesting ramblings, maybe it's our age!
I am an avid outdoorsman, as once was said about a friend, "It is not what he does (fish & hunt,camping in the wilderness etc) it is what he is!". So in that respect, both sports are a manner in which I get to spend time with buddies who share the same or similar passion about the out of doors experiences. I've hunted & fished since I was 5 or so and still enjoy the sport(s) although I've cut back on the hunting over the past 2-3 years, mostly because many of my buddies have moved away. For me, either in fishing or hunting, the camaraderie is the key attraction. The catch is the outcome but it is not the ultimate purpose. I have no illusions about "man over nature" and firmly believe that we are provided with a privilege, not an entitlement when fishing or hunting. I always keep the venison (Deer, Antelope, upland game) to get some great meals, certainly not for subsistence. But I still remember the first deer I harvested and the vast majority of all the other ones since and all the circumstances and buddies who shared in the experience. It is almost the same with fishing, e.g. I still clearly remember the first time I was at the CAC after a day's fishing on the Cape and my unfortunatly too few days there since then. Dangerous outings and ego aside, the biggest thrill I get is from learning as much as I can about the quarry I'm pursuing, the habitat, etc. and figuring out a way where MAN can match up to the GAME being pursued, catching that one fish after finally figuring out where he lays and what he eats and how he sips the fly, is as much of "Man, that's what a real man should do"..... as anything I can figure out.
As far as a safari goes, 5 of my buddies have been to Africa, on one or two week trips, and one is planning his seventh one month long trip, still chasing the record Water Buffalo he wants. I've declined all of their requests to go mostly because I have no interest in "trophy" hunting, a personal preference and being the camera man on this type of hunt can be as dangerous as if I carried a .375 H&H so I may as well bring one along. He shot a huge Water buffalo a few years ago, with a killing shot and that puppy still charged him for 200 yards before dropping 25 feet in front of him!:eek: Many of the guys have been disapointed about their hunt, the guides simply will not take a chance with "novice" shooters and they will dispatch the game with a second shot before you can reload. So much for TV shows, the real experience is quite different. So do your research extensively if you want to do an Africa hunt for extreme game.
Also, if you are not familiar or comfortable with firing at least a .375H&H, or bigger caliber, plan on firing at leats 200 rounds at a gun range in the month before you go and plan on getting shoulder replacement surgery at the end!:chuckle: .
Now to your last point: Just wanted to see how you differentiate Fishing Versus Hunting....do some feel as I do, do some equate it the same as fishing... I do, and other do not, all that makes us is different, not opposed or right & wrong. And there is catch & release in hunting as well, passing up on many easy shots is the same to me as pulling the fly away from a fish or avoiding a foul hook, but even though I am a qualified marksman, I've had misses and poor shots where I've had to track the game, somewhat akin to having a fish swallow the fly too deep and having to be dispatched.

striblue
12-30-2010, 03:22 PM
Pete, It is probably my age... I feel young but grumpier... This is good , we get some guys writing who we have not seen for a while, Alan and you. Good post by both Alan and you...and clearly a good description of the feelings here. My intend, I say, once more is to make NO judgements...I wish I could pull that trigger and if push came to shove, in the situation I probably would. Not in a dangerous situation...that goes without saying but not sure I would go out of my way to hunt...say deer....On these shows when I see an elephant go down... it is such a magnificent animal. I have mixed feelings...I suppose I like shooting but not a real hunter as I may have been younger with the old guys , now long gone. My grandfather was a farmer and The guns were everywhere, It was just a way of life...no debating the merits...it was just done.... and the meat was eaten.... But I still see the Deer eyes, moist,wide open, recent death....I find I don't feel that way with fish...I don't know why. Anyway... the 375 Holland and Holland is a big Bullet, and you had better not be down prone in shooting otherwise you would break your collarbone. Do you have the H and H rifle...that is a big ticket as they start around 50 grand.... the Blasers and Dakotas are in the 20 grand range...not just the double rifles but the bolt actions also...although you can get a Dakota for maybe 6 grand. The 375 H and H or Rigby is the minimum to use on Big Game. Hope to see both you and Alan where the dangers are only an misjudgement of the tides on the flats.... and a hooked finger. I suppose if I asked my hunting guide in Africa that I want to do some fishing he would probably say..."you had better not go near that water with only a flyrod"... and a 45 might not be big enough to stop some unwanted guest. I would need the 44 Magnum or 50 caliber. It also seems on TV that the guys who are the hunters are some big corporate types and they are shaking hands all over the place and back slaps.... and "wow" what a shot....a head shot to a standing elephant... then the guide shoots one and tell the hunter to make another shot. I am sure elephant hunting is dangerous....but it is the approach...I guess the "hunt" is the key.

9wt
12-30-2010, 03:45 PM
I devoured Jim Corbett's books as a preteen and when I got an air rifle (for target shooting at school) I used to sit at an upstairs window at home and shoot the rats that occasionally showed up in the back yard - all the time imagining I was Jim Corbett in his "machan", waiting for the "Temple Tiger". I recently re-read all the Corbett books (50 years later!) and they still hold up as wonderfully written books from another time. Incidentally, Corbett was a keen conservationist and following Independence the Indian government set up a national park in the area Corbett hunted and named it for him.
As for hunting versus fishing, I used to hunt in the UK before I moved to Canada 35 years ago - mostly birds and small game with an occasional deer. I can't imagine shooting something I didn't intend to eat, however, even though I now rarely kill the fish I catch. One very disturbing aspect about present day African hunts is the "canned hunt" industry. I recently watched a TV documentary on this and the description of how lions are raised in captivity before being tranquilized and taken out into the bush so the "sport" can be led to them as they wake up was pretty disillusioning. Apparently the client is usually not even aware that the animal they are killing is essentially domesticated.
Fishing is really just hunting fish and I am sure that is why most of us enjoy stalking individual fish rather than sitting on the bank soaking dough balls. It increases the sense of mastery, which is boosted when you can say you chose the fly (and best of all, tied it) that fooled your prey.

Either way, both fishers and hunters tend to support conservation for very practical, if selfish, reasons and this must mean that they both have value.

Michael.

striblue
12-30-2010, 04:22 PM
Here is a news story about the great hunter, Frederick Courtney Selous, who has a park named afer him in South Africa...Teddy Roosevelt and Cecil Rhodes were pals.
There is no fish story, except maybe Moby Dick (which is not a fish), that matches this one.

"Selous and his hunting companions were attacked by three lions whilst in a blind. Using an oxen as bait, they erected a small hut of poles and grass about ten yards from the carcass. The hunters were scarcely inside when the first lion approached the hut in suspicion. It was only three yards away when Selous fired, killing the beast amidst terrific roars. Selous had barely time to reload before the second came to the hut and was also shot. A third lion came to tear away the grass of the hut, and Selous immediatley fired at where he though their attacker stood. In less than five minutes Selous had shot and killed three lions." Chronicle Reporter, October 1891.

The report continued ..."Months later when Selous was telling about this story at an obscure bar In Chatham Cape Cod, USA (named after the Chatham of England) a mustashed 60 yearold man, who was a fly fisherman, told him he was a wus.( a slang American expression denoting fear) ... and what was he going to do about it?... Selous took one look at the man and decided that he had better leave the bar... the story continued from witness who said that he had actually ran from the bar, and was heard yelling to the man to not slap him....The man was known to be ornery... and was still unidentified but known."

flydoc
12-30-2010, 04:35 PM
Since John mentioned me in his original post for this thread, I figured I'd better throw my 4 cents (that's 2 cents after adjusting for devaluation in comparison to the Euro) in on this topic. While I personally am not a practitioner of "trophy" hunting, in some areas of the world (Africa) it actually serves a purpose- in addition to being a big part of the economy in some countries, the meat and other byproducts are used to feed and supply the nearby communities. It also helps in managing populations of animals for whom "natural" predators either no longer exist or have become too scarce to keep the prey populations under control. It's the ILLEGAL hunters (poachers) who are the bigger problem- they will kill an animal for just one body part (elephant tusks), and leave the rest of the carcass to rot- with no benefit to the local villagers or guides (who hire local villagers to assist them with guiding and tracking).
As for North America, I prefer to hunt only those critters I intend to eat OR have every intention of donating the meat to the locals (to local food bank through the Hunters for the Hungry program, or to the local native tribe if hunting on Native American tribal lands). I do plan someday to go bow-hunting for bull moose up in Alaska or the Yukon, and will be donating that venison to the locals. As long as you are making CLEAN, ETHICAL kill shots (not taking shots with low probability of a quick, humane kill) and not allowing the meat to go to waste, it's all good in my book.
As for fishing, I'm mostly catch and release- I only keep fish that I intend to eat-I actually prefer the taste of bluefish over striped bass, and few things beat a freshly-caught and pan-fried trout.
Flydoc
Jim Shepherd, M.D.

millerbrown
12-30-2010, 05:04 PM
There is nothing wrong with hunting but we have to define what hunting is. I spent years chasing whitetails with bows and rifles before I gave up that endeavor to devote my time to the pleasure of chasing trout and stipers and other species full time. To "really hunt" meant long hours of preparation: scouting, sending thousands of arrows to targets and the willingness to be out before dawn in the wet November woods or the snowy December woods to have any chance of being successful. I gave that up BUT totally love and miss the chase.

The people that I have known who have "gone on a safari" to Africa for a chance at the big 5 are not, in an New England sense, real hunters. None have scouted the deer yards. None have been in tree stands at 4am or have braved the weather to any extent to make "that shot". Instead, the species is predetermined, the shot is made under very safe conditions and then the photos are taken. Anyone with a steady hand and the money can do this. Is this hunting?....hmm

"Hunting" for big game in Africa ended decades ago. It's now an arranged "adventure" that does not go beyond photos or wall mounts.

I'll take a twig snapping in the deer woods at 5am or a trout rising at 9pm over all of that.

Millerbrown

PopnesetBay
12-30-2010, 06:42 PM
Do I do both? Yes but to what degree ? I have a very good friend who this year satisfied a life long dream and went to South Africa for a month long, mostly successful, hunt. I have no desire to do that but neither do I have a life long desire to go 'Blue Water' fishing for giant tuna. Do I hunt Whitetail's here in NY, yup and I fish for Stripers on Cape Cod. I think both endeavors can be broken into segments, International Trophey Hunting vs International Blue Water Fishing, Domestic/International Big Game vs Domestic/International Species specific fishing, Deer-Turkey-Antelope hunting vs Striper-Bluefish-Salmon fishing, Small game hunting vs River/Stream/Pond fishing for Trout/SMB/LMB etc, etc etc. Not every fisherman likes ALL types of fishing and the same applies to hunters. I will admit that I get more enjoyment out of busting a string of clay pigeons than and afternoon of casting practice but I get greater satisfaction from presenting the fly where and how I wanted than rolling over a cottontail. In short, what gives you the most satisfaction is how you perceive it, not what others think about it. I am OFF the 'soap box'.

JonC
12-30-2010, 06:53 PM
I'm no hunter but I know several obsessed hunters, none of them would have any fascination with shooting an animal gratuitously. Like it has always been said , it's the chase that matters, not the kill. Same with fishing, anyone who can cast 50 ft and can afford a guide to tell him where and when can hook a fish, the question is, who caught it? John, you're talking about a game played by wealthy dilettantes with nothing better to do with their money, not real hunters on real adventures like the guys who did it pre WWII. Sorry but the time has passed, go catch a Taimen in Mongolia, that would be an adventure with a little more originality, and, you could release it.
Jon

striblue
12-30-2010, 08:05 PM
Yes...I am also just speaking about hunting in general...The African thing is what started my thinking about it. If I really wanted to hunt I could go with the guys at the Plymouth Rod and Gun and hunt down the street from me in Miles Standish Park...which they were doing a couple weeks ago...for Deer. The issue arose as I thought about Hunting...then ...fishing. Why is it that I feel so different about it. I love the hunt on the flats for fish. Would I like the "hunt"...in the same way actually game hunting. As a kid I did it because my elders did it...I was with men as a boy and I liked it...You see. The hunt is the same... the looking , the stalking... pulling the trigger-making the cast....the release... It was always that... then that Tug at the end of the line... the tug was almost better than the actual catch.... releasing was easy...the game was over for me. I like to see the fish swim away, but it was over. So for me, I am trying to reconcile the "hunt" in both situations...all agree it is the same...but maybe there is release in Hunting in other ways as another poster said. I love the outdoors too. Is it that mamals to me are closer to me than fish...that is not a fair statement I suppose. It is just I find it interesting that one can feel so different about two thing usually referred to together..... Hunt and fish, hunt and fish. Great opinions expressed by all.

juro
12-30-2010, 08:56 PM
LMAO!! This is priceless :)

Here is a news story about the great hunter, Frederick Courtney Selous, who has a park named afer him in South Africa...Teddy Roosevelt and Cecil Rhodes were pals.
There is no fish story, except maybe Moby Dick (which is not a fish), that matches this one.

"Selous and his hunting companions were attacked by three lions whilst in a blind. Using an oxen as bait, they erected a small hut of poles and grass about ten yards from the carcass. The hunters were scarcely inside when the first lion approached the hut in suspicion. It was only three yards away when Selous fired, killing the beast amidst terrific roars. Selous had barely time to reload before the second came to the hut and was also shot. A third lion came to tear away the grass of the hut, and Selous immediatley fired at where he though their attacker stood. In less than five minutes Selous had shot and killed three lions." Chronicle Reporter, October 1891.

The report continued ..."Months later when Selous was telling about this story at an obscure bar In Chatham Cape Cod, USA (named after the Chatham of England) a mustashed 60 yearold man, who was a fly fisherman, told him he was a wus.( a slang American expression denoting fear) ... and what was he going to do about it?... Selous took one look at the man and decided that he had better leave the bar... the story continued from witness who said that he had actually ran from the bar, and was heard yelling to the man to not slap him....The man was known to be ornery... and was still unidentified but known."

alan caolo
12-30-2010, 11:39 PM
This is a good thread - all the way around.

ac

striblue
12-31-2010, 10:23 AM
I was watching "Tracks Across Africa" last night and a leapard Hunt. Where the wealthy American "hunter" was behind a blind with his guide and 2 or three native porters. They waited hours and spotted the bueatiful cat across a narrow river on a bank. The shot was fired...the guide then fired...and the Hunter turned to the camera showing both hands shaking.:whoa: :roll:. That about confirms the real hunters from the wannabee to me as stated by others herein. Not to say that shakingis not normal with any rush...it is just I can not remember as a boy shaking after a shot...I felt some rush before...but never after.

teflon_jones
12-31-2010, 11:54 AM
I used to hunt turkeys, whitetail, squirrels, rabbits, and woodchucks on my parent's farm growing up. I lost interest in it when I left home, and haven't shot an animal since. I still target shoot quite a bit, but I don't really have any desire to shoot anything to kill it (other than a soda can).

flydoc
12-31-2010, 01:37 PM
Scott- be careful- I've heard horror stories of wounded soda cans circling around through the brush, only to fall upon the hapless hunter from behind and gouge him to death with its pop-top:hihi:
Flydoc

highway61
12-31-2010, 02:52 PM
I haven't hunted in many years, but have friends who do, and they often invite me to come along. If I were to take up hunting I would want to do so with a bow. I am impressed by the skill it must take for a bow hunter to get close enough to make the kill. In my understanding from the hunters I know they have an ethic not much different than anglers. Maybe that doesn't include catch and release, but it does mean they will not kill for the sake of showing it off as trophy hunters do and they will not kill the large, older bucks out of respect for their "skill" in staying alive.


I don't see much of a difference between hunting and fishing. Both are pursued with the same spirit of adventure that we all seek. By pursuing our quarry in water, meadow or forest we are able to get in touch with something primal that you can't get when sitting in the lazy boy watching TV or playing the x box. Instead of being part of an audience living vicariously, we are participants making our own experience. What matters most is the ethos in which we pursue our quarry. Do we respect the creatures we are hunting? Do we respect the environment in which we are hunting? Do we give back to sport by belonging to conservation organizations such as TU or CCA or Ducks Unlimited to name a few. Do we respect our fellow sportsman who share our common ethos?

What bothers me the most about either sport are those hunters and anglers who
don't have an ethos and haven't given any thought to their sport other than than the kill.

Steve

Adrian
12-31-2010, 03:47 PM
One day, before I die, I will hunt wild grouse with Hawks from horeseback on the moors above the River Spey. Tulchan used to offer this an an option during the short grouse season - I chose the salmon fishing :) We dined on wild grouse at a communal dinner table that evening and it was very fine indeed!

Quentin
12-31-2010, 04:39 PM
One day, before I die, I will hunt wild grouse with Hawks from horeseback on the moors above the River Spey. Tulchan used to offer this an an option during the short grouse season - I chose the salmon fishing :) We dined on wild grouse at a communal dinner table that evening and it was very fine indeed!

One day, a couple of weeks ago, I was walking back from the Big Y supermarket during my lunch break, pizza and soda in hand. I heard a rustling noise in the trees across the street, and looked over in time to see a large bird falling through the branches. It turned out to be a hawk that had just ambushed some other bird. I stopped to watch for a moment as the hawk was still on the ground, tail and wings spread downwards as it stood atop its prey. It looked like it was trying to prevent a possible escape and/or prevent some other predator (me) from stealing the kill. The hawk just stared at me and squawked repeatedly until I moved along. I dined on pizza when I got back to my office and it was very fine indeed. :hihi:

It was very cool to see the hawk up close. I wish I had seen it grab the other bird. I have seen a hawk take a bird one other time, but it didn't get it from the air. It just dropped down from a higher branch and grabbed the other bird when the bird started to fly out to chase an insect. It must be awesome to see a bird of prey grab another bird during a high-speed dive :whoa: . That would be an amazing way to hunt.

Q

9wt
12-31-2010, 04:53 PM
Adrian.
If you have even a passing interest in falconry, try reading "The Goshawk" by T.H. White. Admittedly, it's not about a falcon but a broadwinged hawk, but it is a wonderful descripton of the training of a hawk. The author was briefly a teacher at my dad's school and he recalled seeing him standing at the local rail station with his hawk on his fist.
Michael.

9wt
12-31-2010, 04:55 PM
Quentin.
Falconers call that behaviour "mantling" and I have seen a hawk showing the same behaviour to prevent another hawk from taking its prey.
Michael.

juro
12-31-2010, 05:18 PM
Growing up with brothers, I used to do that over my dinner plate :)

Adrian brings out a good point - hunting is natural, and instinctual. If I go flopping around lighthouse beach in July I am sure a great white would not hesitate from following his own instincts, nor should I hesitate from making a meal from an animal in the food chain in which I live.

Where that departs from the natural order of things is subjective, but we each draw our own lines within the freedom that our world affords us. But to hunt is being a man and there is no shame in that whatever form we choose.

striblue
12-31-2010, 06:55 PM
One day, before I die, I will hunt wild grouse with Hawks from horeseback on the moors above the River Spey. Tulchan used to offer this an an option during the short grouse season - I chose the salmon fishing :) We dined on wild grouse at a communal dinner table that evening and it was very fine indeed!

Adrian!! I would THAT! we can wear our barbour jackets, wellies, Knickers and tweed hats. and wonder the moors...man... that would be fun.:smile: :smile:

JonC
12-31-2010, 09:25 PM
9wt
This is really bad, but I have to point out that the goshawk is actually an accipiter, when I read the post I thought the broadwing designation sounded wrong in the dim recesses of what's left of my mind so I looked it up for confirmation.
Jon

9wt
01-01-2011, 07:26 AM
Jon.
You're right, of course, that's the ornithological classification. Actually, after looking it up I found that falconers classify the goshawk as a "shortwing" - "broadwings" would include eagles and true buzzards (not vultures). "Longwings" includes the peregrine and gyrfalcon, etc.
Unfortunately, according to the medieval classification, all we commoners would be entitled to hunt with would be a kestrel, and they hunt mice.
Bon appetit!
Michael.

PEC54
01-02-2011, 03:42 PM
I hunted deer for over 40 years ,I shot my first deer when I was 8 yrs old,over the years I've tagged many ,sometimes with the proper permits 2 or 3 in a year,then suddenly at the age of fifty I totally lost the will to kill deer and have not hunted for deer again.I still enjoy hunting grouse (partridge) and pheasants.

Guernseybass
01-02-2011, 03:57 PM
Each unto their own I guess. I wouldn't shoot anything that I wasn't going to eat.

I am pretty sure that most hunters and anglers share the same thrill of the chase and the quiet reflections that often accompany it.

I think how far you take either sport is up to you - I've heard tell of dry fly purists who fish hookless dries because it is the deception of the take that give the bloodrush to them.

Personally, I think my killing days are over but I love fresh venison me.

Mark

OC
01-02-2011, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the great topic. I wasn't going to respond as this subject is difficult for my inner self. Shat, that sounds terrible! I have no problem pulling the trigger, none at all yet I have the guns locked up in the gun safe and really don't know where the keys are. Tracy keeps telling me to find the keys and I just say ya, ya I'll find them. Every day I have elk walk through our farm yet I don't hunt them and I love elk as food more than any meat in the world. I am lucky enough to be able to afford to buy or raise my meat now, all of it top of the line organic eggs, chicken, duck, goat and beef. But I am afraid of myself that I would put the site on that Elk critter and pull the trigger, I call it "playing god with no remorse", if the riffles were out of the safe. And yet I do not have any ill for those who hunt for food or pleasure as long as they believe in it and love doing it.

I used to laugh when my ex and my native american friends used to get pissed at me for playing with my food when I go catching and releasing my caught fish. Now there are some days I see their reasoning and it scares the hell out of me.

Dear Abby, help me please I no longer know who I am. Is it the Fall of life entering into Winter that makes me no longer sure about the things I do or did? Maybe I should just sit around smoke cigs, drink scotch and think about the great Montana Elk hunts of old. About the many wonderful days catching and releasing big trout, beautiful and slender women day after day. Why do we change, why do we change? :confused:

striblue
01-02-2011, 06:46 PM
OC...I liked your response, and I also feel the same way as Paul (PEC54). His statement is the same in substance as my first post . I was never looking for a confess all, but the way you described your fellings about this ...or should I say... the mixed feelings...is what I have . The thread was an attempt to see how others feel about these things and perhaps why. I think those feeling go well beyond just catching a fish or pulling a trigger. On days alone on the flats , or sitting down on a dune...I do think about stuff like this. Sometime I just wonder about it all...:confused: A classic example of "change" in people...is the movie "The Deer Hunter".....remember when he could not drop the big Deer at the end... and yelled out at the animal after the high shot..."OK.....OK..." He was saying a lot more than just "OK".

PS. In a way that was like catch and release in Hunting...You have a high powered rifle with a scope... you have the animal in the cross hairs...you know you will hit it...you just will...all the things have fallen into place.... then you intentionally miss...no one knows...only you know you would have dropped it....No need to kill it... and it saves a big project of carting out and dressing the thing. Actually, that would satisfy me...I hunted it down, tracked it...had my shot...HHHHMMMM...

Warren
01-02-2011, 07:14 PM
John, for what you would spend on a nice double you can buy an real nice camera outfit and a nice vacation in Africa.
I still hunt quite often, I love to eat upland birds & deer. I absolutely relesh the taste of moose.
However most of my shooting these days is now done with a Canon and some kind of Tele lens. My bow string has not been pulled back in two years & my shot guns remained silent and leaned up against the wall. I last shot a rifle at a four or five years ago when my kid drew got a permit and I got to tag along.

Will I shoot to kill again at game? Most likely. But for now I am content on studying it & photographing natures beauty.

Leave the long Tele lens at home and try sneaking up a deer to get with close enough to"fill the frame" with a 50 or 85 mm lens. Takes some skill lemme tell ya. Far more than getting in bow range and it is every bit as satisfying. The old saying is true, the thrill is in the chase

striblue
01-02-2011, 07:23 PM
Warren, I could not agree with you more.... but the problem is I like to shoot guns. This is why I shoot trap and skeet and clays....you have to hit those targets and it's fun. If any hunters were in a hunting party with me and asked how I did on the day in question...I would say that I got my Hunt...and they would say.."Ya, well where is it"? I would have to say that I missed it intentionally..I am practicing the new concept in hunting of "shoot and release". You can just hear the flak for that one...."Charlie, get a load of this guy...he is telling us he got a hit and missed it intentionally, what a bunch of BS, he's got a lot of nerve to say he missed intentionally."...Well... I guess I would have to slap him. ( just like I slapped Ernest Hemingway once when he tried to ridicule me)...:lildevl: ;)

JonC
01-02-2011, 08:19 PM
My high school shop teacher was a man of tremendous generousity and one I visited regularly at his woodworking shop for many years. He was a real old time outdoorsman who just loved his time in the woods and on the stream, hunting deer was part of his being and he went out every day of deer season and had done so in the Vermont tradition for decades. I always asked him how hunting season went, he never would volunteer, then one year he just said that he just loved to go out with his rifle but had lost any desire to kill another deer. When I went to his funeral, I recounted the story to his daughter, I thought it was one of the most memorable things he ever told me and he was a great teller of jokes and stories.
Happy hunting:chuckle:
Jon

OC
01-02-2011, 09:49 PM
Thanks striblue for the words. I don't know where my guilt comes from--- or maybe I do but don't want to deal with it. It is not a big deal and I will always fish and teach my grand kids to meat fish first and fly fish later. They will own all my weapons after the worms get me but before then maybe I will pull the trigger one more time. But it is amazing how we change and maybe it is a good thing. I can't imagine running around any more with a pocket knife trying to hunt down deer as I did as a 6 year old. Or trapping muskrat and coon as a 6th grader by sneaking under the fence of the old South Weymouth Naval Air station setting traps then run to school in hip boots so to be on time. Wish I could be that way again but wishing won't do no good and wishing may be asking more than I really want like becoming senile and going and doing all those things again with the "OLD HOME" in hot pursuit. :smokin: I doubt that I believe in god like a lot of people do, so I wonder about life after death without any god. I dream we make are own heaven and hell and in it I'm so hungry my stomach is swollen and hurts. I'm catching fish after fish with a fly rod and letting them all go.

Everyone posting has great thoughts on the subject.

Guernseybass
01-02-2011, 10:44 PM
John, I think that shooting a lower species or birds for food is your answer personally.

There's some good duck hunting up your way - capt Dave of Bayman could help you out.

bonefishmon
01-03-2011, 12:31 AM
Some thirty years ago when the kids were really young I took the boys to the lake for some worm fishing at the same place my mother took me when I was their age. Mom always said that fishing and hunting was the best way to experience the great outdoors. Hiking became a very important weekend activity as well. She allowed us to bring our Daisy BB guns because boys will be boys and they just love to shoot stuff. I'll never forget getting my first BB gun on Christmas. I was not allowed to shoot Chicadees and Robins but Mom loved seeing a crow get stung by a BB in the garden. Later on came a Mossberg single action and a 410 over and under. She loved Pheasant and Partridge. I could never stomach killing a deer as being a Vegan denounced doing so. I have since given up killing anything but still have the urge to hunt. I fly fish because for me it satisfies my instinct to hunt without kill. Which brings me back to the kids at the lake. After drowning a worm one fine morning the boys got bored and wandered off to catch grasshoppers. I found them nearby and upon arriving back to the spinning rod, I reeled in and found a fresh water mussel clamped down on the split shot. I carved out the meat from the mussel and buried the size twelve Eagle Claw hook into the meat and made a cast. Off the boys ran again with their nets for hopper bait and upon arrival back to the open bailed spinning rod I found only a few turns of mono left on the spool. Ben grabbed the rod and reeled in a very large rainbow trout. This was to be his first catch and release fish. The hook never made it out of the meat and was simply pulled free from it's stomach. We put it in a cooler and and dumped it into the pond near our house. It was bread hooked by another kid three months later while we were fishing for sunnies. Ever since that occassion the boys found flyfishing and releasing fish much more enjoyable. Long story short. The reason we fish, hunt and hike is simple. It gets out outside and away things less interesting. I am sharing this in fear that it is not in tune with some of the great threads before this. Good on you John!
We do whatever gets us outdoors. Hey Warren. If you are shooting deer with a 50mm lens on a digital SLR body it is actually longer than you think! LOL! Try a 28mm!

Phil

Warren
01-03-2011, 04:44 AM
Hey Warren. If you are shooting deer with a 50mm lens on a digital SLR body it is actually longer than you think! LOL! Try a 28mm!

Phil

No it's not Phil, I use a full frame DSLR :D A 28 would be challenge worth the effort. I suppose after I took it's picture, I could just reach out & cut it's throat with my knife...:D
Like I said... try, I have managed to come close, but not close enough to fill up the frame. Someday I will. When I have time & patience to sit again.

My time afield has been limited the past few years due to other things in life getting in the way. Conversions such as this fuel the fire to say F$$$ IT! and get away...

If it were only that simple.

bonefishmon
01-03-2011, 08:07 AM
[QUOTE=Warren]No it's not Phil, I use a full frame DSLR :D A 28 would be challenge worth the effort.

Wow Warren! Most people don't even have a clue what an FX vs. DX DSLR means let alone afford a full frame FX camera. Smart move if you own some of the older lenses that do not autofocus on many of today's entry level DX camera bodies. I do apologize!

Phil

jimS
01-03-2011, 12:10 PM
The young tend to give little or no thought to mortality, the pain and suffering of others, and to a lesser degree the consequences of their actions. With age, one recognizes that immortality is a fantasy. To that extent, I submit that if one is a hunter, interest becomes inversely proportional to age. Having hunted and fished most of my life, I find today in the winter of my years, a sense of sadness when I recall less than clean kills on some wildlife in the past. Today I think about pain and suffering and the consequences of my actions during the hunting that I still do. I no longer take those long, running shots at deer; nor do I normally shoot at grouse that are not pointed.

Today you are more likely to see me on the flats stalking striped bass than in the deer woods or grouse coverts.

OC
01-04-2011, 07:28 PM
JimS,
Yes you have hit the nail on the head for a lot of us. It's not the idea of hunting it self as hunting can be such a rewarding thing to be a part of. With age those mistakes we may have made come back into play not only in our mind but in our dreams and soul. Maybe we begin to believe that we run out of good hunts after a number of honest mistakes in the field. I'm sorry my story is long winded but it is a story on why we have such feelings about killing. I don't mind telling it here as I've known most of you through flytalk and fishing for many years.

My first bird hunt at twelve I almost shot the person who took me. I was so nervous I kept playing with the safety and we all know where that led to. I didn't hunt again till my early 20's when I got a job as a meat hunter in NZ. I killed so many deer for money it became obscene in many ways. After that I had many great and wonderful hunts in Montana, hunts most would give their left nut to have. My last kill was back in 1986 in Montana and it was a bear. I had no intention of ever killing a bear as I hunted for meat only, I would only kill young bull elk or cow elk when I would get a special permit. Having lived in Yellowstone year round I was taught to be on the alert for bears in all sorts of places, smelling out a bear is one of the best ways to know they are around as they can really smell foul. On that last hunt I was hunting on the biggest ranch in Montana, now Turners ranch. I was following 3 deer below me in deep forest I could see them but could not get a good shot at any of them so I walked a game trail in the same direction. Not far in I smelt a very foul smell as the wind was in my face and I knew it was most likely a bear or a dead critter. I just let it go by me and continued on after the deer. Before I knew it I caught a blur coming at me out of the corner of my eye. I just fired almost from the hip and this big brown thing came skidding up to me then rolled down the steep slope 4 or 5 feet and rested up against some dead fall. I was freaked and climbed the slope sat under a tree, smoked a bunch a cigs and tried to figure out what just happened. I thought it was a griz but after finally going down and checking the dead bear out it was thank god a black bear. I didn't know what to do as I had no bear tag and was just going to go on my way so as not to get busted and tell no one. But soon I heard strange whimpering from the direction the bear came from and I walked up the trail slowly. About a hundred feet up the trail was the remains of a deer and laying on top was a bear cub. I freaked, didn't know what to do, so I decided to go back to town and get the game warden if I could find him at home at that time of year. It was a 15 minute walk back to my truck and about 5 minutes into that walk the cub was following me and crying, now I was really freaked. I did find the game warden at home and told him my story and we drove back to the scene and god dam the cub was lying beside it's dead mother. We dressed the bear so we could drag it back to the truck, the cub stood 50 feet away the whole time we prepped the dead bear. I could tell the warden was really pissed off even though I showed him what exactly happened. Later I found out he wasn't mad at me but upset about the cub and what to do about it. We didn't talk much on the way back to town. When we got back to his house instead of the fish and game yard he looked at me and told me to go buy a bear license and come by the house early next morning and get the bear. I told him I didn't really want it but he said I own it, it is not your fault but that it's my responsibility to put it on the wall now. Told me to be careful who I told the story to.
It's on the wall here in Oregon right now but I'm none too proud of it and when guests ask about it I don't say a whole lot.
So I guess I made enough hunting mistakes to make me wonder if I should ever hunt again. And yes that cub shows up in a dream or two every once in awhile.

juro
01-05-2011, 09:24 AM
Very powerful story, thanks for sharing.

PEC54
01-05-2011, 10:23 AM
One day, before I die, I will hunt wild grouse with Hawks from horeseback on the moors above the River Spey. Tulchan used to offer this an an option during the short grouse season - I chose the salmon fishing :) We dined on wild grouse at a communal dinner table that evening and it was very fine indeed!
One of our fellow forum members ,CSJ60 has trained and hunted with redtail hawks,maybe he will chime in. Craig you out there?

millerbrown
01-05-2011, 04:14 PM
As I said in an earlier post, there is nothing wrong with hunting. But when we are served up trophy game, as in many African (and Asian venues) it becomes something LESS than hunting. It becomes something like fishing, for a fee, over triploid bows in some controlled lake. There is no "HUNT" here, just the bagging of game for a fee. I know of guys who have done this. I find it hard to see how someone can brag about it.

Millerbrown

teflon_jones
01-07-2011, 11:03 AM
Scott- be careful- I've heard horror stories of wounded soda cans circling around through the brush, only to fall upon the hapless hunter from behind and gouge him to death with its pop-top:hihi:
Flydoc
Is there any particular brand of soda that I need to be especially wary of? Or are they all equally dangerous?

Dble Haul
01-11-2011, 09:39 PM
Wow, what a fascinating read.

I have recently had the itch to hunt, especially since there is a game trial that runs along the creek in the back reaches of my back yard. I have a bow and other essential equipment.

What keeps me from hunting? All the scouting time is during prime fishing time, and the fall rut is during the fall coastal run. When it comes right down to it, I can't tear myself away from the fishing. :razz: