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Old 12-30-2010, 09:41 AM
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Hunting vs. Fishing

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.)

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

Side note - West Africa has some of the most untapped giant tarpon fishing in the world...
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:07 AM
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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
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:08 AM
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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. 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.

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Old 12-30-2010, 11:12 AM
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shoot 'n release

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
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:37 AM
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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.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juro
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.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:12 PM
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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.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:21 PM
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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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alan caolo
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
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by petevicar
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?
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juro
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
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:20 PM
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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
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:22 PM
alan caolo alan caolo is offline
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odds 'n ends

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
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:12 PM
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Talking On being an "Outdoorsman"

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! 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! .
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.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:22 PM
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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.
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