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Outdoor topics => The Outdoor Board => Topic started by: Forester Frank on November 16, 2000, 03:38:29 AM

Title: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Forester Frank on November 16, 2000, 03:38:29 AM
It's the 2nd day of MI rifle deer season and I find myself working instead of hunting, something I have always enjoyed (hunting). I may be classified as a disgruntled hunter and it is mainly due to other hunters.

I used to think of hunters as sportsman and conservationists - at least that's what my father taught me. Never shoot anything you will not eat; obey the laws; be safe; know what you are aiming at before you shoot; be respectful of other hunters and people in the forest. Lesson learned.

Today, I find that hunters have this "Grab as much as you can for yourself,and screw the other guy" attitude. There seems to be no regard for private property. Hunters pass through fence and posted signs as if they weren't even there. On state land I find that there is no longer mutual respect for other hunters and the area they are hunting.

As a hunter I am a traditionalist - I sit in a ground blind made of natural materials. Not a shanty or mini-polebarn. No overhead cover except for a pine bough. No heater or mini-stove. I scout the area looking for sign before the season, not opening day. I hunt the runways, not the bait pile. When I shoot I make sure I have a good, clean shot. Or I don't shoot.

I sit still and stay put instead of talking and walking around by 8:30 a.m. For the last five years I have had other hunters walk up to me during the first days of the season and ask, "Did you see anything"? "Uh -  no. Just other hunters walking around", I reply.

Baiting for deer is banned now, but it still is occuring, despite issues concerning TB. I have no problem with dumping a bucket of apples out during bow season to attract a buck within range of your bow, but to dump loads and loads of sugar beets, carrots, corn, apples, hershey bars (kidding), you get the point though.

I know there are still a lot of good hunters out there, that respect the land and the game. I would just like to see a return to sportsmanship, honesty, and ethics. That would be a good lesson to pass on to younger hunters.

I'll wait for your comments.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Jeff on November 17, 2000, 08:12:40 AM
I find myself losing interest in hunting for many of the reasons you have touched on. I will have more to say on this later. I want to think before I spout.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Ron Scott on November 17, 2000, 03:24:12 PM
Frank,I agree with your way of hunting as the preferred. The "new breed" have become shooters and not hunters. No hunting skills required, just buy the latest technology equipment that makes it easy and go to the woods.  Also too many "shooters"/acre in some woods this first week of rifle deer season.I stay away from those areas until maybe later in the season. Some of the private lands of absentee owners I work have had a lot of unnecessary trespass and destruction from uncaring hunters.    
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Forester Frank on November 20, 2000, 10:54:21 AM
Jeff and Ron:

Thanks for the feedback. Now back to the woods.

Forester Frank
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: donbickley on December 10, 2000, 07:58:24 PM
Frank, Jeff, Ron,
  GREAT philosophy there! I totally agree as well. We all have stories, and I will tell you mine.
  I was never much into hunting other than capturing them on film. However, I decided to get more into it. Bought a 30.06 with scope, recoil pad, hard case, the works. Other than when I hunted some as a kid, this was to be my first "adult" hunting experience.
  I did the scouting, found myself a nice natural "blind", and was just about an icesickle (pardon the spelling) when I heard what sounded like a cougar behind me. It was, in actually, a doe staring right at me. We DO have cougars up here in the U.P. by the way. Seen one, and have tracks on video tape.
  Anyway, a change of drawers and a day later, I took my son, 13 at the time, out with me to a new location. We sat, talked, and although it was bitter, we had a great father/son outing. He was a real trooper. It was too dark to shoot (in my opinion), and we left for the Wrangler.
  As soon as we got there, it was so dark that I had to use my lighter to find the Jeep key. At that moment we heard a series of semi-automatic rifles. Sounded like a war zone! Now tell me... if I needed a light just to see which key I had in my hand, that those "hunters" (used loosely) had enough light to see what the heck they were shooting at!
  Never again will I take my son on public land. I value his life way more than having some venison on the table.
  I've since given up hunting due to the high kill-off of record cold, followed by another winter of record snows. Next year I shall hunt again. But it will be private land.
  Speaking of private land, real quick, I had this friend who found some hunter's pickup on his land. He took out his chain saw and fell a tree blocking their exit. Lord knows when (or how) they got out of there. Hope it was a lesson learned though ;)
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Ron Scott on December 11, 2000, 07:42:29 AM
I've experienced the same several times and again this rifle season as getting into my vehicle at dark, 6-8 shots going off nearby. I guess some empty their rifles this way, and some even reload and empty again. They can't see what they're shooting at unless using night vision ssights. I'm also a 30-06 and scope person with two Ruger Model 77's.

I'm also familiar with the UP cougars and read the Iron River Reporter's Cougar Report of cougar sightings articles by retired Outdoor Editor Ed Erickson. When I worked the UP woods back in the early 60's and it started getting dark back in the swamp, the stories of the "mystery cat" as the cougar was known then in the UP,every stump started playing on me as I left the woods. I did see a cougar cross the road in front of me between Republic and Channing several years back, quite close and I know what a cougar looks like as I've seen them in the wilds other places.

Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: donbickley on December 29, 2000, 12:49:03 PM
  I meant to respond to your post sooner. Iron River's not far from where I saw the cat. It was on an old, unused logging road which goes from Nestoria to Amasa. Built back in the 70's I believe. About 2 miles before the highway, 5 miles north of Amasa, at about an hour before dark, I saw this large brown animal enter the brush in front of me. Although I didn't see the front half, the classic brown, long tail was visible. Only on kind of animal with those feature I saw ;)
  Up north of Three Lakes at Craig Lake I saw what I believe to be cougar tracks. They were about as long as a cigarette pack. No claw impressions so that rules out the local wolves.
  The DNR says they don't exist. Probably because they are an endangered species and they don't want people bothering them (MY guess), but capturing a photo of one of these cats would be GREAT though!
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Ron Scott on December 31, 2000, 10:21:20 AM
A good picture of the "cat" is what is needed for endorsement. There seems to be regular sightings, a reported dog kill, etc. with another recent sighting in that area. The Iron River Reporter and retired Outdoor Writer Ed Erickson's column "The Drummer's Log" has a cougar sighting reports section by Ed Klima. Ed Erickson's Outdoor Observations section can be emailed at ( You may want to make contact with Ed to follow up on recent sightings etc. Do you read the Iron River Reporter newspaper? It has a good Outdoors Section for that local area.

Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: BCCrouch on February 21, 2001, 01:20:13 PM
As hemlocks shade out and acidify their competition into oblivion, so too do the shooters often eliminate the hunters.  Staring at a pile of carrots never has been my kind of hunting and I avoid it at all costs.  Unfortunately, my favored still hunting method can make for a dangerous outing.  Twice now I've caught fools using their scope to watch me move through the edge of a cedar swamp while on state land.  Haven't these nitwits ever heard of BINOCULARS?  It's not a comfortable feeling and now I restrict my still hunting activities to bow season.   :(
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: timberbeast on March 27, 2001, 11:59:11 PM
Stoll-hunting the cedar swamp (sometimes on all fours) will always be my favorite way to hunt,  but I am not adverse to throwing out a few cups of corn now and again,  just to tke an easy doe.  The buck-doe ratio is so bad in Marquette County,  it's ridiculous.  In my opinion,  this is due to night-hunters.  I'll shoot a doe over bait,  and I'd rather shoot a doe than a buck,  at least for now.  I've never seen a big buck at a bait pile anyway,  but then again,  I quit when I can't see my sights.  Had some guys parking on my property years back,  I didn't think to fall a tree,  but I threw them off,  they were only about 100 feet from the truck.  Next night they came back,  so I parked them in with my pickup.  I made them wait until I finished eating and went sauna before I let them out.  It was about midnight.  They never came back.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Bill Johnson on August 28, 2001, 06:09:56 PM
Now that hunting season has started or is about to get underway shortly I think all of us who hunt should take a few moments to review the rules and regulations of whatever jurisdiction we hunt or plan to hunt in.

Remember to treat all firearms as if they are loaded at all times.

We have to wear blaze orange up here once moose season opens.

Respect private property, always get permission first.

Make sure you know what your target is before you squeeze the trigger.

If you are planning to come up to hunt in Canada, I'd advise you to check with Customs first to see if you need special paper work now that the new firearms legislation has been passed.

Booze and hunting Do Not mix. If you want to drink lock up your guns.

There's probably hundreds of other things to add but these are few that just came to mind

Safe Hunting.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: CHARLIE on August 29, 2001, 08:49:50 AM
I primarialy hunt ducks. I never hunt with anyone that doesn't put gun safety first. I never hunt with anyone that drinks while they are hunting. I never go hunting on opening day or on weekends. I used to hunt where you really had to want to hunt to get there. Slogging through pitch black forest and through slimey mud bogs for 20 minutes to reach some beaver ponds. My arthritis has now caught up with me and this year will be my first experience from a boat.  I never shoot unless I have a close and clean shot, and then sometimes I'll just let them land and watch. I don't shoot anything that I'm not going to eat. I detest those that will kill an animal and then give it away (without cleaning it) or throw it in the garbage. I detest those that will kill more than their limit. I taught my son to hunt the same as I. It is my belief that the majority of hunters are law abiding, safe and considerate of others. It is a low percentage that ruin it for the rest of us. I have no compassion for 'bad' hunters and have no problem notifying the Department of Resources about one.>:(
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: CHARLIE on August 29, 2001, 08:18:18 PM
I noticed some discussion about cougars in this thread and thought y'all might find this article in the Rochester Post Bulletin interesting.

Duluth-- A northern Minnesota homeowner shot through his front door and killed a cougar on his porch Monday--possibly the first verified cougar shooting in northern Minnesota in 30 years, state wildlife records show.

The big cat apparently came onto Jim Bennett's front porch three times, wrestled with the family dog and tried to take some of the dog's bedding said Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tony Arhart.

Bennet said he let his 78 pound lab out of his kennel about 11:30pm "I looked up, and the cougar was coming down the porch steps as I was going up." Bennett said. "The dog got in between us and protected me."

In the ensuing fight, the dog suffered minor scratches. Bennett told the DNR officials that he kicked at the 54 pound female cat and scared it away once. It returned aobut two hours later.

Bennett slammed the door and the cat left the porch, but it returned a third time 10 minutes later.  Bennett said he fired his pistol at close range through the front door and killed the cat.  "It wasn't leaving and I didn't want it hanging around my front porch." Bennett said.

Bennet lives near Big Sandy Lake north of McGregor which is about 58 miles west of Duluth.

So far, no charges are pending. Cougars are protected in Minnesota and authorities warn people that shooting them should only be a last resort.      
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Gordon on August 30, 2001, 06:30:54 PM
Don wrote
 Speaking of private land, real quick, I had this friend who found some hunter's pickup on his land. He took out his chain saw and fell a tree blocking their exit. Lord knows when (or how) they got out of there. Hope it was a lesson learned though

Classic!---------Man I wish I would have thought of that when this happened.

There was a hunter on our property without permission. His truck with a gun case at the head of the trail. My property is clearly posted. With only one trail leading back that way I went for a ride on the tractor Making as much noise as possible. This is where it gets good.

He comes out waving his hands at me. I shut the tractor down. He Proceeds to name me, and not so nice ones at that. I just couldn't believe this guy. So I asked who this property belonged to. Now get this---it was his uncles---. Well I had heard quite enough and I told him to stop the story and it was my property and he was no relation of mine. The look on his face told the story once I said that.

I told him to get his stuff and go. Man I was hot. I thought about hooking a chain to his truck and give it a little tow. But then I would be sinking down to his level. So I went back to the head of the trail and waited for him to leave. Some people. I now have a chain across that entrance.

It's the few knuckleheads that ruin it for all the true sportsmen and women. I find this to hold true with just about everything.

I've had a couple other run ins which I won't post here. Just because you get a hunting license doesn't give you a right to go anyplace you want to hunt.

Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Tom on August 30, 2001, 06:43:02 PM
I was surveying the state of affairs in my swamp last week after a bout of hard winds and lo and behold found a brand new tree climbing stand hooked to one of my pines.  It had been there, from the looks, a month or so.  I didn't want it to get hurt from the weather so I took it down and put it in a safe place in my barn.  

It's such nice people we have who visit us and leave these presents around like that. One day perhaps I will find a truck too.  I could use a truck.  :D
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Ron Scott on August 30, 2001, 07:44:45 PM
Keep us posted on that verified cougar. Was there any follow up as to where it might have came from? Tame or wild? Duluth isn't too far from the western UP where there have been regular reported sightings. None verified though as this one was.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Tom on August 30, 2001, 09:11:06 PM
Are there really people interested in cougars?

Florida Panthers are considered just about extinct and those the Gov considers to exist are in the Everglades.  Yet, I, and others I know of, have reported sightings of the big cats in N. Florida over the past 20 years only to be told that we were out of our minds.  The Game and Freshwater commission asked for reports of sightings and then didn't believe us when we reported them.  I had one howling right behind my house in the middle of the night in 85 and ran out into the woods in my underwear to see if I could see her. Then I had a revelation, "What are you doing out here you idiot?"  I ran back inside.

I saw one cross the road about a thousand feet in front of me one morning where 295 crosses 115 in Jacksonville.  He was gittin it across the road like a pack of dogs was after him, running low, stretched out with a lo-o-ng tail.  He was longer than a traffic lane was wide.  

"you must've seen something else, there aren't any panthers in Florida"  I was told, so I don't report stuff anymore.  I do talk about it to my buddys though.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: CHARLIE on August 31, 2001, 08:49:53 AM
Ron, I'll try and keep my eyes peeled (Ouch!  :o) for anymore about that cougar in MacGregor, Minnesota. So many times the newspapers will report when something happens and then never have a followup.

Tom, I always thought that their were three kinds of big cats in Florida. Wildcats, Panthers and Bobcats. I'm under the impression that the panther is different that the wildcat, thought they may look similar and have the same coloration (I think the panther has a smaller head or something like that). I may be all wet though...but that is what I always thought.::)

Have you ever heard a wildcat screaming! Bone chilling!  I remember hearing one when we were at the old hunting camp. Sounded like a woman that was screaming bloody murder. :o :o
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Tom on August 31, 2001, 01:46:35 PM

I think Wildcat is just a generic name for all the cats.  The Bobcat is a smallish cat with a bobbed tail and long hair on its jowls that makes it look like it has a fat face.  The Florida Panther is a cougar and is the same species as the the mountain lion but the arguement was that it was a sub-species.  There have been cougars turned loose in the state to try to rejuvenate the population, much to the dismay of the livestock farmers.

Here is an interesting link that even contains vocals.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Ron Scott on August 31, 2001, 03:56:14 PM
Yes, people keep reporting cougars, but Michigan DNR doesn't really believe them until one can be positively confirmed. such as the one in Minnesota. I guess its hard to dispute if you have it in hand.

We had the same situation when I was in West Virginia. We had sightings. I personally saw one.  There was no question as to what it was. I had my assistant with me to confirm it.Then we captured 3 of them and people became believers that some existed in West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Don P on August 31, 2001, 04:35:34 PM
Same down here, in Jefferson and Pisgah forests I've heard stories. There are local reports of a black panther around Doughton st park but they never seem to get a confirmed sighting.
There are none in the Black Hills either but one ran down the main drag in Hill City right past the restaurant window.

Growing up we were told there were no  confirmed moccasins  around but I sure came across a few unconfirmed ones. Was told they were water snakes, but I saw the tushes on one (yes you can make headway in mid-air)

One note on hunter safety,  I was out one day cutting in a brown shirt and it dawned on me season had begun. Hunting or not some orange is good.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Ron Wenrich on September 01, 2001, 05:48:55 AM
We've been having big cat sightings here in PA.  But, there has been no confirmations.

We even had one close to my area, which is more farmland than mountains.  They had the prints and visuals, but, still say there are none.  How far will a big cat range?

As for bobcats, they finally believe their population is big enough to warrant a season.  It takes a special permit.  Hunters think differently.  So, they buy the permits and don't hunt, keeping the permits from others.  
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Texas Ranger on September 01, 2001, 10:09:12 AM
Texas officials remain mum on big cats here.  But those of us who spend time in the woods are aware of an endemic population of cougar, large population of bob cat, and occaisional sighting of what used to be called the southern Lynxx, a few remote sightings of civet cats (rarer, I last saw one 25 years ago), and down around the Big Bend Country a few rare reports of jaguar, or jaquarundi.

But, I have seen three cougars in east Texas, 2 from my hunting activities, and one I will tell the story on.  My wife of 30 some odd years has always said that as a forester, I will make up an answer when I need to, i.e., scientific names of trees and plants.  So she also took a rather dim view of my sightings of cougars.  Until one day we were driving from our town to one in the next county, some 30 miles.  About mid way my wife says, "What's that", as a large cat clears the road way in 2 -3 bounds.  It was a cougar, tail and all.  About a week later I ran into the Extension Agent for that county (we call them country agents) and told him the story.  He grinned and allowed as how he had been called out to a rural subdivision to find out what was killing a ladies chickens, and found pug marks some 5 inches across, and yep, it was our cougar.  

Most hunters are not hunters and don't see the natural world when they are in it.  A cat could pass withing a few yards and they would never know it was there.  An example.  We were marking a tract of timber for a client and had sat down to take a breath and drink a little water, this was a managed stand and the beauty berry and yaupon was only a couple of feet high from burning.  We are setting there and I catch movement out of the corner of my eye.  I hush my crew, and we freeze.  Here comes some dude in full camo, face painted, bow with arrow nocked, "sneaking" throught the woods (Oh, bow season in Texas is an early season).  He walks not 5 feet from us, us in woods gear looking at him, he never sees us.

I have had hunters leave stands when they hear "strange" noises that they cannot identify.  Wierd stuff, we hunt pipelines down here a lot, and occaisionally a pipeline will burp, gurgle and sing.  Or a cat crying at sun down, or a coyote cutting loose over the next hill.  Most humans are not aware that 99.99% of the time, we are the baddest they are gonna meet in the woods.

My old army unit had a saying, "Fear not the night, fear what hunts the night".  Probably a carry over from an old Dracula movie, but it says what most would not understand.  The night/woods holds no danger other than man himself.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Tom on September 01, 2001, 03:04:08 PM
.....except for maybe a high root and a deep hole. :D :D :D

Good story,  I've seen folks walk in the woods with blinders on also.  The scary thing to me is "what they see".  I quit hunting in Management areas years ago because a lot of these fellows were taking "wiggle" shots and mistaking people for hogs and cows for deer.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Tom on May 04, 2002, 04:19:53 PM
This is actually Charlies post.  He asked me to put it on this thread.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Ron Scott on May 26, 2002, 02:55:20 PM
Is This Hunting?? One of several elevated stands on an area with seperate channel CB radio communications between them. Note the "bait station" below with a "roof" overhead to prevent the deer from "seeing up" and detecting the "shooter".

( )

Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Corley5 on May 26, 2002, 05:02:27 PM
If you hunt for the sport of it I would say it isn't very sporting.  If you hunt only because you like to eat venison it looks like a very efficient way to go about it 8)
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: Kevin on May 29, 2002, 06:33:11 PM
If it makes for a one shot humane kill I don`t have a problem with it considering there are too many deer and disease will wipe out far more than hunters will take in a season if they aren`t harvested.
I`d rather see a deer killed there and put to good use rather than see it wedged into a windshield.
Title: Re: Hunting Sportsmanship
Post by: J Beyer on August 30, 2002, 08:23:14 AM
I get to go hunting on 30-40 private acres this year ;D .  Besides myself, there might be one or two others on the same plot of land  ;D ;D .  I'm just going to get the lawn chair out and sit there as long as I can stand it if it is really cold out.  The place is right on the Fox River with plenty of food nearby.  Hunting should be good  considering the land has not been hunted on for several years.

JB 8)