- An "average Joe" outdoors Blogger, self-filming hunter, outdoors enthusiasts, an avid ARCHER and a whitetail & turkey BOWHUNTING FREAK! FATHER of three wonderful children that loves outdoor related activities. Hunting is just a big part of my life, and sharing it is my passion. "Fun, Friends, Family & God!" Like many, I get up to go to work every day. I am a Project Manager/Superintendent for a successful commercial roofing & contracting company. Sales, safety, quality control, scheduling & planning, consulting, and tackling everyday adversities are challenges I turn into opportunities. I was born in Mexico, Spanish is my native language, and I am proud to call myself an American. On September 2013, I celebrate 16 years of archery & bowhunting. My first bow kill was on public land grounds at Pierre Marquette State Park, IL.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
I love and respect my vegan friends, and they respect me :) I am a meat eater - I AM A HUNTER!
I ask to be pardoned for the delay of this final part of my THREE part series blog. I am a busy father, a professional, a hunter, a hunter & archer with duties, and then there's me time. I promise to keep this one as short as I possibly may by briefly touching on other benefits of hunting. Read along.
On Part 1 and Part 2, we have covered historical perspectives, religious background, economic impacts (good and bad), and dismissing the believe that "hunting is killing".
1. Now that I have announced a planned Colorado Elk Hunt for 2014, one of the factors I mentioned is preparation. One aspect is physical. THEREFORE, hunting is: Exercise & staying Healthy
· "The vast majority of hunters reap the benefit of being outdoors and getting plenty of exercise as they look for game. Hunters that target species such as elk, deer and antelope walk great distances in search of their quarry." In case you didn't know, I ride a bike on rugged terrain, with my hunting gear and pack, then do lots of walking, depending on what spot is correct for the hunt. Read: Pressured Public Land Whitetail - My Way to get an idea of my regimen. I have to rest well, stay prepared or in shape for the gruesome workouts I get afield. Yes, hunting can be part of staying healthy. Do I work out? NO, not in a traditional fashion, but shooting my bow maintains a good muscle memory. Also, like other athletes, there are exercises for archery shooters. Healthy, well-built, strong individuals have asked to pull my bow. I draw from 65-70 pounds, depending on what I'm shooting for (hunting or shooting leagues), and these fit individuals CANNOT draw (pull) my bow back. They are stumped. It's not because of lack of strength, but because of a different muscle group and conditioning (back muscles are used the most)
· For my Elk hunt, I CANNOT depend on muscle memory, itself, but will HAVE TO add a more conscious "healthy" diet, more muscle specific routines and longer walks, running, and other cardiovascular activities to prepare for the altitudes of Colorado and the physical demands of walking with weight for miles and hours! Then, if I kill an elk, packing it out will be an added challenge. EXERCISE!
· TO MY RESCUE: http://bowhunting.net/2011/02/archery-muscles-by-bowfit/ and http://www.elk-hunting-tips.net/hunting-fitness.html
2. Hey, it's cooking time! People hunt deer because they enjoy eating deer meat, which is called venison. Deer meat has a high level of protein and less fat than beef or pork, so it is an awesome healthy choice for many, and can be prepared in tons of ways. Friends like the IRON COOKER (https://www.facebook.com/IronCooker) rock! Because of the hunting industry, the business has benefited. I am a customer of his. He has sponsored my archery tourney. He knows COOKING! Cooking can be fun. It is a time to rejoice and count our blessings. Don't forget about hunters donating and sharing meat with the hungry.
TO MY RESCUE: a. Venison cooking tips - http://www.myrecipes.com/t/game/venison/
b. Elk cooking tips - http://www.elkranch.com/cooking_tips.shtml
3. From an ecological standpoint: Overpopulation equals overgrazing! Overgrazing will set a chain reaction, including starvation for the species we "kill" and to those that are not hunted! It means survival of the fittest. (remember increased vehicle collisions because they are out in search of food, or the destruction of homeowners' gardens...?) "Young trees and plants which would be useful for the replenishment of the forest floor will all be destroyed if hunting was not allowed in certain areas of the world. With selective hunting, we can preserve both the deer species in a particular area as well as the plants and vegetation." Remember, deer are NOT the only ones entitled to the forest or respective habitat. Hunting helps keep it balanced as best as possible. Therefore, "Regulated Sport Hunting: The Humane Way of Preservation". Too, if you want to protect the deer, for example, DON'T LET IT STARVE!
Question. Would you rather see extinction or conservation? FYI: Hunting IS conservation. I'd like to see PETA blindly investing THEIR OWN money (or at least match what hunters contribute) to increase jobs, dollars flowing in our economy, increase forestry, wetlands, sanctuaries, and preserve species, maintain federal family parks open, feed the hungry, ALL WHILE keeping animal species from starvation, maintain anti-poaching programs, decreasing vehicle collisions, etc. Maybe, each PETA member will take a species home and protect them, shelter them, and keep it thriving!
Read How Activists Can Cause an Animal’s Extinction – Click Here
4. Hunting: An Education in Survival Skills
I LOVE THIS!!!: "..it is morally important and ethically correct to imbibe within each hunter the spirit of being vanguards of environmental awareness." With hunting comes a responsibility. Hunter education courses are mandatory. It teaches about ecological factors, conservation, SAFETY, respect, and even the animal we pursue. It teaches about family involvement, economic impact, health, and the skill of survival and it's best! It opens opportunities as a profession (conservation officers) to social involvement (not playing video games). It teaches facts of life and death - NOT JUST EMOTIONAL REACTIONS AND FORWARDING UNPLEASANT VIDEOS!
5. Protect People! "Hunting deer is also beneficial because people need to be protected from them. As deer populations grow, individuals enter areas where people live. When this happens, deer can cause traffic accidents that can result in death, along with damage to cars. Deer also spread ticks that carry Lyme disease and other infectious diseases." - Matthew Scully
Did you know? There are local government programs/businesses hired with TAX payer money to go into communities to control deer population? YES! A MUST READ: http://chesterfield.patch.com/groups/editors-picks/p/protesters-rally-against-local-deer-sharpshooting This is a few miles of my living quarters. It is still happening around the country.
TO MY RESCUE: Read about other diseases. CWD is a major concern in MO and WI, for example. http://www.nyantler-outdoors.com/deer-diseases.html
I hope this has helped and maybe changed your view on hunting. Thanks for reading and God Bless!
One more time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2N0Utg7KYE
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
My anti-hunter friend: "I don't wish harm to anyone--but if they're already killing--hunting is killing--then keep it to themselves..." Me: FACT: Hunting is not killing, thus an egregious statement. Hunters have a minimum success rate. Hunting is the entire individual experience - be it for fellowship, food, tradition, connecting with nature. FACT: The past two years, this one still in progress, I have killed 3 deer. Last year I lost one to the coyotes, killed a giant deer in KS (and fed multiple families, including me), and one doe deer this year. I have spent countless of hours afield. I have spent countless of days afield, not to mention MONEY! FACT: I have passed on many deer, for personal reasons, never releasing an arrow. HUNTING IS NOT KILLING! One of my favorite sayings is, "IF YOU WANT TO KILL SOMETHING, DON'T HUNT. IF YOU WANT TO HUNT, WELCOME TO MY WORLD".
Read: The UGLY of KS My Hunt - 2012.
My anti-hunter friend: "And you are the hero--killing animals with weapons that put you at an unfair disadvantage". Me: FACT: My kills are private, personal, and intimate. I kneel before the lifeless deer's body, and THANK my God for what He has provided me. I thank Him for the health, ability, resources, and His guidance to make it happen. FACT: Unfair advantage? Of course, I am a predator. I am a meat eater. I am a hunter. A clean swift kill is my goal IF I even get a chance to release an arrow; furthermore, IF I even choose to release an arrow; furthermore, IF I release an arrow - I hope I hit my intended target. Wanting to see an animal suffer would make me a sociopath!
My anti-hunter friend: "And I'm sorry I value animals' lives as much as humans. It's my values, my opinions. Best." Me: FACT: I am thankful for her valuing animals' lives as much as humans. I respect her values and opinion. Ethical hunters value life just as much. We learn about our game, their anatomy, their habits, their environment, their conservation, and their edible values. Every group has bad apples. Pardon the cliche. Not all hunters follow rules. Poachers, my friends, are not hunters. Google poachers, I'll spare you more facts. Hunters are anti-poachers.
THEREFORE, LET'S MIX IT IN A LITTLE: Anti-hunter's believe: "More studies are needed concerning stress responses associated with eco-touring and photographing animals, activities supposedly morally superior to hunting. The stalker's intentions, malevolent or not, seem unimportant. It's reasonable to believe that animals will show fear and anxiety responses to human stalkers that are similar to those shown to non-humans stalkers." - antistalking.com
So, my non-hunting friends, if you enjoy a walk or jog in a park where wildlife co-exists, photograph wildlife, eco-touring (visiting Yellow Stone National Park - heck, a zoo for that matter), and/or have moved/bought a house that has "pushed wild life out" or moved into "their area"...., you are being naughty because you partake in "..activities supposedly morally superior" - WOW!
Now that I may have stimulated some thinking, let's talk about the ECONOMIC IMPACT. You may Google more information about your state, but I will focus on my state of Missouri:
GOOD IMPACT: "Hunting Supports Missouri: Conservation pays by enriching our economy and quality of life". Thank you MDC for providing us with this very valuable information and support!
· 600,000 hunters call MO home
· More than 1.4 billion is contributed to MO's economy by hunting. This comes in various forms: buying arrows, ammo, weapons, food for camp, hunting clothes, fuel, lodging, processing, cameras, etc., etc.,
· More than 24,000 jobs are supported in MO through hunting: Gas stations, outfitters, hotels, vehicle dealers, big box retailers (Walmart, Bass Pro Shops), mom & pop stores, Park Rangers, restaurants, videographers, editors, teachers, etc., etc.
· MO leads the nation in recruiting new hunters, with 1.16 hunters replaced for every one lost. This success is largely due to citizen interest in conservation, youth-only seasons, low-cost permits, and Department-sponsored hunting and education programs.
· More than 2 million tons of venison have been donated by hunters since 1992 through the Share the Harvest Program. Almost 6,000 hunters participate in the program each year. Also check out "Hunters for the Hungry". Hunters are humanitarian, too. Is that an incredible value to posses and pass on to our children, or what? Even trophy hunters, when they kill, the meat is donated to the local village and citizens!
TO MY RESCUE: I really hope you don't skip this link: http://www.huntersforhungry.com/
· More than 500,000 deer hunters spend more that $750 million each year directly related to deer hunting in MO, which generates more than $1 billion in overall business activity in MO annually.
· Low permit cost is one more reason MO is a great place to hunt. MO's $17 Resident Any-Deer Permit is a fantastic bargain compared to the average of $46.63 for equivalent privileges in surrounding states. Added note, I hunt in IL, which costs me a Non-Resident price tag of almost $500.00. KS, which, costs me nearly $400 NR tag, gas, lodging, food, etc., and guess what? I don't always kill, because I am a hunter. We even have a funny, when we don't "tag-out" - we call it "eating a tag- sandwich"
TO MY RESCUE: Worth including the following from the previous blog: "Finally, hunters and recreational shooters in modern societies like the United States have played a significant role in wildlife conservation. As members of various hunting and shooting organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the National Rifle Association, hunting enthusiasts have generated billions of dollars that have supported various types of game management programs, habitat protection and restoration, and conservation education. Some of this money takes the form of direct contributions to such programs, and other monies are generated indirectly by taxes on hunting equipment purchases and various license, tag, permit, and stamp fees. One of the oldest and most important among such hunting-based revenue sources is the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (also known as the Pittman-Robertson Act), and it has distributed more than $3.8 billion to state fish and wildlife agencies since it became law. Thus, somewhat ironically, modern hunters contribute significantly to the survival of the very species whose individual members they hunt and kill." - RICHARD S. MACHALEK
I belong to the NWTF. National Wild Turkey Federation. Go check them out!
Whew! Hunting has such a big impact? Yes. A POSITIVE ONE!!!!
Now, let us look at how wildlife, in particular the deer family, affects you in a not-so-good way, and what your car insurance has to do with hunting.
Although just about everyone loves watching deer, record deer herds do not register well with everyone. In fact, some people outright despise them. Take farmers, for example, who lose crops to uncontrolled wildlife, thus lose millions in revenue, thus increased food costs that you pay. How about homeowners that spend time and lots of money taking care of their yards, gardens, beautiful flowers - only to be consumed by them critters? Gah, that must be frustrating!
Deer-auto collisions cost millions of dollars each year. As a result, deer are not very well liked by auto insurance companies, nor the drivers that hit them, either. Too, somehow, somewhere, in a way - depending on your region...., you ARE paying some sort of $MULA$ for deer, elk, domestic herd, free ranging pets' vehicle collisions. Believe me. TO MY RESCUE: This will open up your eyes, just a bit.
Please visit: http://www.car-accidents.com/deer-car-auto-accidents.html
Please follow me on this, because it will cross-relate to deer overpopulation, the damages they cost (vehicle collisions), not to mention deer eating YOUR plants (if you have deer in your area). Which, BTW, deer are one of the most adaptable creatures in existence. They live and thrive in suburbs, cities, in your back yard (if applicable). What stalking stress? I shoot competitively in a park where deer come up to us. They eat and go about their business - while we have weapons and are shooting the weapons! What stalking stress? (if you missed this topic, you may have skipped some reading above).
Thank you MSN Money and CarInsurance.com for the following data: Did you know West Virginia is #1 for chances of deer related collisions. Texas is #40 with 1 in 325. Texas data is skewed, IMO, (all may be) because in West Texas (El Paso), it is RARE to see deer (mule or coues species). Now go to south or central Texas, deer population (including whitetail, exotics, etc.) is ridiculous. Anyhow, Hawaii is #51 with 1 in 6,787. Friends, my sister is a victim of a deer collision. She almost lost her life. Too many deer (overpopulation). "According to C. Mullen, State Farm Director of Strategic Resources, there was an estimated 1.22 million deer related collisions in the year (ending this past June 30th). This data is extremely important because it affects your rates, deductibles, etc. It's recommended, that if you have higher risks of being involved in a deer collision, lower your deductible." The average cost of damage is around $3,500 (+/-). Some of the states such as Hawaii, are completely disconnected to this serious problem. Hawaii would take hunting more seriously if they had West Virginia's numbers. Have you every seen a deer on the side of the road/highway - dead? Believe me, that impact wasn't fun for the driver/operator. Now, believe this, it ruined someone's day, plans, trip, hopefully it didn't cost them too much money, physical harm, or death, for that matter. (+/- 150 deaths are reported each year)
SOME CAUSES OF DEER COLLISION?
From my experience as a hunter, I can tell you when deer collisions are going to start (educated guess) in the Mid-West region. Months do vary due to climatic and regional differences, which affect the cycle of when deer will begin to mate. Southern states are 2-3 behind. Again, follow me on this (another crash course, but important for the point):
· Mid-Late October: This is when the male deer (bucks), are beginning to separate from their bachelor groups. They are now training for battle, to gain breeding rights and superiority. They are starting to fatten up, fortifying their bodies, and they start "getting in the zone" - mma/boxing style. It's call a "Pre-Rut" phase. They occasionally begin to go out of their home range, establishing dominance, "pushing" does, and chasing off inferior/subordinate bucks. Bam, deer collision! Dead deer begin to appear on various forms of streets.
· November: some pre-rutting may still carry over, but now the bucks are really getting blinded my one thing..., the ladies. They want to mate. Google a picture of a "normal" state of a deer and that same deer "rutting". They are swollen, big, aggressive, battle and mating ready. Now some of the ladies (does) are beginning get "in heat", if you will. But they play with the boys' feelings. They release a special scent, but not necessarily are willing or ready to mate. The boys are going nuts, fighting, and for 2-3 WEEKS are constantly mating or wanting to mate. They LITERALLY forget about eating. Some have "rutted" themselves to death due to battle, starvation, and/or exhaustion. Pushing, chasing, fighting, mating EQUALS an incredible increase of deer collisions. Period!
Check out these two rutting bucks go at it. Notice how swollen their face and necks are. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202200391281076
· December: Two things here. Most does have been mated. Bucks are exhausted and beat up, literally. Why then do we still see, although lower, an unusual number of deer collisions? One, it's because some does come into heat late. This arouses that stronger buck, or bucks, and the chase is on again. Two, food sources are now low. Bucks are trying to replenish their insane weight and energy loss. In addition, simply food sources are low, by now. They are hungry. Overpopulation plays a part in this, as well.
TO MY RESCUE: Here is some expert, kick-ass information that shows more of the economic impact hunters have. See more at: http://www.sportsmenslink.org/the-media-room/news/sportsmens-economic-impact-report-shows-hunting-and-fishing-expenditures-ar#sthash.Lwqc4tWV.dpuf
HAD ENOUGH YET, MY WONDERFUL NON-HUNTIG FIENDS? It's just the tip of iceberg. (cliche, cliche). Next, I will talk about OVERPOPULATION and OTHER BENEFITS OF HUNTING.
Please feel free to contact me or leave feedback. I don't know it all, thus, I welcome new constructive, objective, and pragmatic input! Remember, I'm writing to you as a hunter, not a biologist or some executive. Hopefully my humble writings are bringing light to issues you may have never thought of, relating to hunting. Gracias, and thank you for reading.
- Alex Tagle
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
"If you are an ANTI-HUNTER..., please stop reading now. I respect, (but not agree with) your opinion and way of life - RESPECT MINE. Thank you."
The above was THE ORIGINAL OPENING. Why was? Due to the following post I read TODAY by someone I have a connection with from high school:
⦁ "I'm just going to say it. Anyone who kills an animal (for sport) should be charged with murder. What is wrong with you people? Those who enjoy the "hunt" should all be put in cages together so they can hunt after each other--consenting killers. That's fair. I'd totally be ok with that. Animals do not give consent. I wonder how many hunters are atheists? Aren't they usually Christians or God-fearing people? If you believe God created all living beings/creatures, then why is it acceptable to kill animals? I'm not attacking people of faith, I'm attacking hunters who claim to value life and Christianity. I'm very interested in the feedback this will provoke."
Her post is accompanied by a family posing with a dead elephant, somewhere in Africa. I am appalled by the poor taste of picture this family took. I DO NOT condone this type "bragging" and vanity inflicted posting of pictures. Although I "thank" them for being outdoors people/family, I am more disappointed with their lack of respect, not just to hunters, but for and toward the beautiful animal. Too, I am equally pissed, this family would give more "ammunition" to anti-hunters and not protect the act of hunting.
Here is even a more disappointing and scary matter. This emotionally charged post, is that - emotional, and nothing more. Her emotions are blurred by cloud of hypocrisy and ignorance - true disconnection of predation, life, AND death. To say: "Those who enjoy the 'hunt' should all be put in cages together..." Massive human rights violation. I'd be scared of electing this person as my future leader of America, or defender of our sacred constitution. Furthermore, to add: "..so they can hunt after each other- consenting killers. That's fair. I'd totally be ok with that" end quote. Wow!! Not only is she an anti-hunter, but violent in nature (her thoughts sure depict it - don't you agree?) Who is the sadistic and savage one, here? The hypocrisy comes in the sense that she is "speaking up" for an animal, YET WISHING HARM, PROMOTING VIOLENCE, AND IS BEING HATEFUL. We, my friends, meaning people, humans, are animals. We are a type of species - FYI: Homo sapiens.
I get having a difference of opinion. I celebrate differences. It's what makes us all unique and special. But to cross the line with violent thoughts? It makes no sense. I hope she starts to rationalize and digest reality with rationalization, not pure emotion. Someday, I hope we may have an intelligent, adult conversation about life and death – hunting.
Now, I will get back on track. Most of the work has already been done for me. I'm just piggy-backing. After all, no need to re-invent the wheel...., so let me begin this adventure by asking you to watch the following video:
A vegan shows up to a book greeting, has the admirable courage to speak up, and asks Steven Rinella a deep question about killing.... The book is Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life on an American Hunter. Steve is the book's author, Host of @theMeatEaterTV on Sportsman Channel. Listen carefully to Steve's classy, respectful and intelligent answer.
1. Don't Skip: Please click on links and/or read special articles sequentially, for they are part of the blog's life, purpose, point. (labeled: "TO MY RESCUE".)
2. I will be posting in phases. There will be updates announced via my FB, Community Page, and Twitter. You will have to visit to keep up.
3. Share. I'm about the most simple person you are going meet. It will be easy to follow, read and hopefully, understand.
4. KEEP IT CLEAN!!! If you have a different opinion, or want to learn more about a certain hunting related issue or topic, please feel free to contact me or leave feedback.
I recently, relatively speaking, took a memorable trip to El Paso, TX - the city my mother (RIP) chose to settle in. I was blessed to have been able to re-visit and enjoy incredible fellowship with middle-to-high school friends.
Most of my friends, whether by word of mouth or via social media, by now know I am an avid outdoorsman - a bowhunter. As redundant as it is, I hunt with a bow, with archery equipment ONLY - by choice!
And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow.
This "series" of a blog, "TO MY NON-HUNTING FRIENDS", is not to explain why I hunt or to talk about bowhunting strategies, but to give my non-hunting friends a different and hopefully better insight to what hunting is about, what misconceptions there are, what it means to individuals and what it means to the economy, conservation efforts, families and more.
Let me take a moment and deep breath as I disclose the obvious: I'm not a PHD, nor will I self-proclaim I am an expert writer. Therefore, to reach my desired goal, I have done research to help me (aka, I Googled). I also have knowledge and input from my years of hunting and relationships built: Professional hunters, authors of the topic, "educated" experts, etc. I strongly feel it is only fair, since I speak and write as a hunter with a biased perspective and do not have the expertise to come up with such compelling articles, research, and methodologies to express my intent (labeled: "TO MY RESCUE".)
Reasons for this blog:
1. In El Paso, I had a brief conversation with a wonderful individual. She expressed how sad she felt with the concept of "killing" innocent animals. I sincerely saw her strong, sad emotion protruding from her eyes. It wasn't the moment to sit her down to try and give her insightful thoughts and information that may have helped ease her mixed emotions. She's very educated and classy. ("I hope you take time to read this write-up".)
2. During a late night dinner, or breakfast, depending on your perspective, the topic of my hunting came up. I was asked how I felt killing poor animals, how I can shoot Bambi. Have you ever heard of a "crash course"? For ten minutes, or less, I had the floor. I naturally and effortlessly went off (respectfully of course) on a hunter rant. All eyes and ears were on me, and they looked like "deer in headlights", pun not intended. When I was done, I strongly believe that most present LEARNED "a" something. I know that from the list of topics that I touched on, they at least took something with them that helped rectify some of the skewed facts and misconceptions they may have had - correction, that they did have.
3. Back in St. Louis, MO, while watching a game of baseball at a local pub, a patron asked me if I hunted. His question was prompted out of curiosity due to the "camo" shirt and cap I was wearing. He boldly asked me if I equipped the deer with weapons so that it'd be an "even play field". I looked at him, while he ate his chicken wings, and told him "welcome to my world". I reminded him he and I are scavengers (we eat other "someone's" or companies' kill) and killers. He scavenges and kills via purchasing his meat at restaurants or grocery stores....I kill most of mine. He smiled, we shook hands, and he apologized for his indiscretion. I smiled back and bought him a drink.
4. This is MY opportunity to expand, with help of other people's words and work, what my crash course was about.
TO MY RESCUE: Article "Outdoors: Sportsman's book takes aim at converting non-hunters" -by Dennis Dunn
"Introducing children to the outdoors........is crucial to continuing our hunting heritage, according to Dennis Dunn."
What would have become of me if I hadn't had a father who introduced me to the hunting experience at an early age is anybody's guess. I honestly can't imagine a life without the beloved outdoors adventures I've been privileged to enjoy, and it is hard for me to comprehend what it must be like for those not as fortunate.
However, some manage to find a way into the hunting world despite the lack of a fatherly mentor.
Dennis Dunn is such a man. He hails from Seattle, and neither his biological father nor stepfather were hunters. He was introduced to archery by his mother, and he picked up a fascination with bowhunting. From humble beginnings of bringing down squirrels, Dunn has become one of the world's renowned bowhunters, one of only a handful who has taken all 29 huntable big game species in North America.
And Dunn has accomplished his quest using bows that are devoid of sight pins or any other distance-measuring devices -- bare bow, in other words. Neither does he use release aids, only three fingers and a leather glove.
In his book "Barebow," Dunn chronicles his "adventures and misadventures" during his 43-year pursuit of the North American Super Slam -- his encounters with those 29 species. His book is written in a way that appeals to both the hunter and non-hunter. It is the pursuit of the non-hunter, in fact, that now consumes Dunn's energy, as I discovered recently at the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association annual conference in Punta Gorda, Fla.
"I've found that in general the anti-hunter is not amenable to arguments of rationality and the facts," Dunn said. "They tend to think with their emotions, and their minds are made up.
"'Don't confuse me with the facts' is the (type of thinking) you run into there. The non-hunters constitute about 80 percent of the population and they're the ones who will determine the outcome of this ideological debate and struggle at the polls. The non-hunters are the ones who will determine if hunting remains a legal human activity.
"I think the best way to fireproof against the anti-hunting propaganda ... is to give them literature, like the book I just finished writing."
Dunn has managed to convert his beautiful bride, Karen, from the ranks of the anti-hunters.
"Like a lot of other anti-hunters, she bought off on a lot of false concepts or images of what hunting is really like," he said. "It was a slow process. The first part of it had to do with getting her to read enough stuff with factual content so that she started to question premises and assumptions of the stuff she had been getting from the mainstream media. Finally, I gave her a book to read -- "In Defense of Hunting" by Dr. James Swan -- and I recommend (it) to anybody. You cannot read that book and not come to understand how vital hunting is."
Dunn points out the vast majority of non-hunters are not vegetarians who consume meat in some form.
"The typical city-dweller sees nothing connected with death," he said. "But eating is as much a blood sport as hunting. Something has to die if you're going to eat chicken, beef, lamb or whatever. Once you approach it from that point of view, then you can talk to them about hunting being more intellectually honest because you're not paying somebody else to do your killing for you. You're going out and taking responsibility for the death of your own food. You become part of the prey-predator drama, just as man has always done -- up until a few hundred years ago when just about everybody had to hunt to survive.
"Now with modern animal husbandry where most people live in the cities and buy their antiseptically packaged meat at the meat market or supermarket, most modern citizens around the world have lost touch with their ancestors and with their natural world that has always provided man with what he needed to survive. Hunters choose to reconnect with their ancestral soul by immersing themselves in the forests, the fields, the mountains and take that responsibility upon themselves to provide food, as much as they can. And in that process they are always in a position to be in touch with their relative insignificance in the cosmos. ... They find themselves engulfed by the outdoor world, which is so awesome and so vast, compared to what we live in in the big city."
Dunn suggests that each hunter reach out to his or her circle of family and friends who are non-hunters and educate them.
"They have the contacts in place to get into the ears and minds of those people," he said. "They need to realize non-hunters will determine their fate down the road. Every hunter and fisherman has to become more proactive at converting the waiting to be converted."
The focus for all hunters, Dunn said, should be the younger generation, which has lost its connection to the outdoors.
"Children need to be introduced to the world of nature as soon as possible and come to understand the prey-predator drama," he said. "If you introduce boys and girls to hunting at an early age -- definitely pre-teen if not pre-10 -- they come to learn in a hurry what life and death is all about and how precious life is and how easily it can be snuffed out. They learn empathy and compassion. They learn self-discipline. They learn patience as they learn the skills of hunting. ...
"The virtues that our parents and grandparents had to learn to survive are not being learned by most young people today in the schools they attend. Unless their parents (or mentors) take the leadership role in teaching them those virtues -- and the outdoors life is one of the best ways to do it -- we're all going to be in trouble." - Dennis Dunn
Historical Background and Perspective:
Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me...
First, let me disclose MY history with hunting, killing animals I eat and where "religion" comes to play in my life. Please do not confuse my beliefs as convenient or validation for what and who I am. I came to learn of these scriptures as an adult. Please do not feel this is a hypocritical outreach, for I will be the first to admit, I am an imperfect follower and believer of my God.
I was born in Colonia Anahuac Chihuahua, Mexico. It's was a very small town with antiquated customs, where we celebrated grandious traditions, events, fiestas - such as Quinceneras, Dia de Los Muertos, Dia de Los Ninos, etc., small or straight up large bashes. Killing of a puerco/marrano (swine - Sus scrofa domesticus: also domestic pig, hog. I googled that, btw.) and gallinas (chickens) to prepare meals for a few, up to hundreds is NOT uncommon. My uncles would take me along, on horseback, to chase (hunt) rabbit. I'd help chase that wild pig to be killed for the fiesta. God forbid we killed our own if we didn't have to (grandma rule).
I was already a hunter. Simply, the label was never thought of. I, we, were under-informed and used unorthodox methods but nevertheless, hunters we already were.
Religious? Well, from Quinceneras, weddings, etc., down to in individual homes, we gave thanks to God for the blessings. We thanked God for the meal before us. Eating and sharing was part of consuming what we killed, even beans and tortillas from the corn my family harvested off our family land.
Fast forward. Years later, I met Rick Short, a hunter. He invited me over for dinner – a mix of vegetables with a generous portion of seasoned, well prepared meat – VENISON. This venison was from a hunt that resulted in a kill. It was then I shared stories of horseback riding in the open country to hunt rabbit. It was over this humble dinner, I realized I wanted to re-connect with that kid hunter in Mexico. Sixteen years later, I am still living that dream, with an emphatic passion, love and respect to the game I pursue. Today, as I write, my freezer is filled with meat off my first deer kill of the season.
And there came a voice to him: "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."
TO MY RESCUE: A true, historical, educated perspective and excellent article "Hunting - world, body, life, history, rate, human" - by RICHARD S. MACHALEK:
"Social scientists report that humans have employed hunting as a subsistence strategy for at least 90 percent of Homo sapiens' history. The anthropologists Richard Lee and Richard Daly conceptualize hunting, the pursuit and killing of other animals, as one component of "foraging," a broader complex of subsistence activities that also includes the "gathering of wild plant foods, and fishing" (Lee and Daly 1999, p. 3). Hunting entails searching for and killing (or, on occasion, capturing and confining) a wild, unconfined animal. While humans hunt and kill animals primarily as a source of food, they also hunt in order to neutralize a threat (i.e., a tiger or leopard that preys on people), to remove a pest (i.e., rodents or birds that consume agricultural products), or to eliminate a competitor (i.e., predators that kill game animals).
As a human activity, hunting is magnified in its significance by a deceptively simple feature: the evasiveness or resistance exhibited routinely by prey. Because of the behavioral challenges that it presents, hunting has had far-reaching consequences for key aspects of human social, psychological, and cultural life. Since the mid-1960s, for example, anthropologists have argued that hunting may have been a powerful and fundamental force shaping the very nature of cooperation and sharing among early humans.
One such claim involves what the behavioral ecologist Bruce Winterhalder calls the "risk reduction hypothesis." The failure rate of hunters is notoriously high. Even among experienced, highly skilled subsistence hunters who pursue big game animals, any one hunt is much more likely to result in failure than in success. Studying the Hadza of Tanzania in 1993, the anthropologist Kristen Hawkes reported that when hunting big game, Hadza men failed to make a kill 97 of every 100 days that they hunted. When a large game animal is killed, it often represents a "windfall" in excess of what any one hunter and his or her immediate family can consume. These circumstances promote reciprocity and sharing among hunters. By sharing the meat provided by a successful kill, a hunter effectively "buys insurance" against failure in future hunts. When, in the future, he or she fails to kill prey, other successful hunters with whom meat has been shared previously will reciprocate and provide meat to the unsuccessful hunter. The science writer Matt Ridley argues that the cooperation and reciprocity associated with hunting may help constitute the basis of systems of moral and ethical culture. In short, hunting is an activity that promotes cooperation and sharing because it entails the pursuit of a highly valued resource, access to which is unpredictable and risky.
Anthropologists report that while both men and women hunt, in the vast majority of human societies this activity is predominantly male. Yet, it is not self-evident why males are more likely to hunt than females. Scholarly interpretations of the 1990s link hunting to sexual activity and rewards. While the matter is debated among social scientists, some researchers argue that males are motivated to hunt not only because of the food they acquire but because of the social esteem and increased sexual opportunities enjoyed by successful hunters.
The extrinsic rewards of a successful hunt may provide clues about why hunting is intrinsically exciting and satisfying to many people, especially males. To the extent that a behavior confers significant survival and reproductive advantages, evolutionary psychologists like Leda Cosmides and John Tooby suggest that humans are likely to evolve specialized psychological mechanisms that promote such behavior. Accordingly, if hunting yields highly valued protein in the form of meat, promotes stable patterns of cooperation and exchange, and provides males with a currency that they can exchange for sex, it is reasonable to surmise that human males may have evolved psychological attributes that make hunting highly intrinsically satisfying and rewarding to them, whatever the accompanying risks. While this line of reasoning appears promising and compelling to evolutionary minded social and behavioral scientists, it may be too early to conclude that humans are psychologically equipped with specialized mental mechanisms that are the product of humans' Pleistocene history as hunters.
Despite the demise of the hunter-gatherer era about 12,000 years ago, hunting has maintained great significance in many human cultures. In A View To a Death in the Morning (1993), Matt Cartmill traces the symbolism and imagery of the hunt from the hunting-gathering era, through the agrarian era, and into modern, industrial times.
SPECIAL NOTE: Hunting, once reserved for socialites in the early twentieth century, has become popular sport for all classes.
BETTMANN/CORBIS sees the symbolism of the hunt as rich with information about how human beings understand and assess their place in nature. In the Greco-Roman world, hunting was elevated to cosmological significance in the form of deities such as Apollo and Artemis/Diana. In later European art, literature, and philosophy, hunting themes became freighted with complex meanings about class relations and social justice. In contemporary industrial societies such as the United States, media products such as the animated film Bambi are said to express a view of nature in general and animals in particular as good, and humanity as evil, or at least "dubious." Thus, writers like Cartmill see the human significance of hunting in the post–hunter-gatherer era as primarily semiotic, as pertaining to the symbolization of humanity and its relation to nature, and to itself.
In contemporary Western societies like the United States and Great Britain, it is conflict over the moral meanings attending hunting that has made it the focal point of intense and protracted political debate. Members of animal rights organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Friends of Animals vilify hunting. They also denounce hunters whom they see as arrogant and insensitive for engaging in an activity that is described as "recreational" or "sporting," and necessitates the death of a "sentient," nonhuman animal. Yet many hunters themselves impose entirely different meanings on the hunt, and some, such as the naturalist Paul Shepard, even assign it spiritual significance, construing it as an activity that expresses a deep and profound reverence toward nature and living things. It is unlikely that these divergent views will be reconciled in the near future. If humans are, in fact, possessed of an evolved psychology that derives from a hunting-gathering past, it has yet to be determined if this evolved psychology and the contours of modernity are somehow reconcilable or, rather, are fundamentally incommensurable.
Finally, hunters and recreational shooters in modern societies like the United States have played a significant role in wildlife conservation. As members of various hunting and shooting organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the National Rifle Association, hunting enthusiasts have generated billions of dollars that have supported various types of game management programs, habitat protection and restoration, and conservation education. Some of this money takes the form of direct contributions to such programs, and other monies are generated indirectly by taxes on hunting equipment purchases and various license, tag, permit, and stamp fees. One of the oldest and most important among such hunting-based revenue sources is the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (also known as the Pittman-Robertson Act), and it has distributed more than $3.8 billion to state fish and wildlife agencies since it became law. Thus, somewhat ironically, modern hunters contribute significantly to the survival of the very species whose individual members they hunt and kill."
Cartmill, Matt. A View To a Death in the Morning: Hunting and Nature History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.
Cosmides, Leda, and John Tooby. "The Psychological Foundations of Culture." In Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby eds., The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Endicott, Karen L. "Gender Relations in Hunter-Gatherer Societies." In Richard B. Lee and Richard Daly eds., The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Hawkes, Kristen. "Why Hunter-Gatherers Work: An Ancient Version of the Problem of Public Goods." Current Anthropology 34 (1993):341–351.
Hawkes, Kristen. "Why Do Men Hunt? Benefits for Risky Choices." In Elizabeth Cashdan ed., Risk and Uncertainty in Tribal and Peasant Economies. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1990.
Hill, Kim, and Hillard Kaplan. "On Why Male Foragers Hunt and Share Food." Current Anthropology 34 (1993):701–706.
Lee, Richard B., and Richard Daly, eds. "Foragers and Others." In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Ridley, Matt. The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Viking, 1996.
Shepard, Paul. The Tender Carnivore and the Sacred Game. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973.
Winterhalder, Bruce. "Diet Choice, Risk, and Food Sharing in a Stochastic Environment." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 5 (1986):369–392.
RICHARD S. MACHALEK
Enough for now:
Whew! So far so good? I think so. I sincerely hope you have captured a sense of what hunting is about. Next, I will touch on the ECONOMIC IMPACT. Stay tuned and thank you for reading :)
- Alex Tagle
Monday, October 21, 2013
You know, tonight's hunt started off full of optimism. I headed out after a long day of work. I decided to hunt a favorite spot because the wind was perfect, and I had a gut feeling the buck I missed opening day was still calling that area his sleeping quarters.
I wasn't wrong.
At 5:45 p.m., the first doe showed up. Then the second, third, and fourth. They grazed & played a bit. All of the sudden, they spooked..., somewhat. They were actually pushed out of the way by a buck making his presence with a dominant demeanor. He was hooking and trashing some small trees & saplings. What a sight.
I had already ranged & re-ranged the surrounding "marks". I had this. I waited patiently. No big deal. I already had told myself I was going to hold at 32 yards, on the heart area to ensure a lethal hit in case he jumped the string.
At 6:05 the moment of truth presented itself. I second guessed myself. SHAME ON ME!!! You see, I miss judged him the first time, and undershot the buck. This time, I held a little higher at the last second. I squeezed the release. The shot was high!!
I failed myself, but more than that, I failed the animal. How sick is that? I failed the animal I was aiming to kill? YES! He deserved better. Pass on him, miss him, or kill him. He's roaming around wounded, if he doesn't get overtaken by coyotes. I knew as soon as I'd let go of the arrow it was bad. Have you ever shot at a target and realized it was a poor/bad shot the SECOND it was made? That's how I felt.
I consider myself a dedicated archer, and fairly good shot. I consider myself an experienced hunter, meaning I practice hunting scenarios, have killed my share of game, have tracked, etc. etc. So what happened? It's not a lack of practice, physical skill or talent.
I attribute tonight's epic failure to mental weakness. It happened tonight. I was mentally weak tonight. I have lost few deer to coyotes. I have missed my share, too. But wounded..., knowing I have made a bad shot, my second (on a buck, for that matter).
I am being hard on myself, I guess. I think I should. I need to improve on my mental toughness. The game I pursue deserve that "true hunter" mentality.
Simply said, it's difficult to know I have wounded an animal. Hunting never gets old, but wounding a whitetail, I never will get used to it (not should I).
I guarantee this. I will be commited to strengthening that faulty metal link.
After two hours of tracking, loss of blood, I called it. Rain tomorrow lessens my chances of a successful, quality tracking duty. I'll go back, regardless.
I am a hunter.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
In appreciation to my likes & followers, I'm giving away a set of Vapor Trail Archery string & cable as soon as Hunting Freakz reaches 5k followers on Twitter. My friends at VTA have been kind enough to sponsor this give-away.
To enter your name for the drawing, simply LIKE and COMMENT (FB - Hunting Freakz). Share the page to get your friends a chance, as well.
Be a good sport, have fun, it's simple, don't over think it. :)
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Friday, October 4, 2013
Well, my friends, it is here, the much awaited 2013 IL hunting season. Time to put all the pieces of the puzzle together, from archery equipment, to archery and hunting tips. Time has come for me to practice what I preach, and thus, this is how opening week has gone for me, so far:
I'd just got back from a magnificent trip, and apparently lost track of what day it was. Thinking it was Sunday, I set my alarm to wake up at 4...., it was TUESDAY!! Needless to say, I ran a bit late on opening day, but managed to make it. The morning hunt yielded an awesome encounter with a young spike and the admiration of experiencing the woods coming to life. I can't stress enough how special it is to be alive, be able to enjoy a passion, and how much this piece of public realestate means to me.
(This was a bitter-sweet day. As I rode my bike to my hunting location, my thoughts were with my hunting freakz buddies, Kyle and Rudy. We used to make the ride together. Kyle retired, then it was Rudy and I. Rudy transferred (coast guard), now I'm solo. We made so many memories.)
The evening hunt did not lack it's hiccups. Hunter error 1: I forgot my hunting pants! Yes, I laughed & laughed. I made fun of myself. Hunter error 2: I misjudged a mature buck and missed. I had been videotaping a buck that was bedded close to me. I made a decision to pass on him, being that it is early in the season, and that my NR tag is expensive. However, as I was taping him, I made some contact/social grunts with my mouth. Out of my left side, storms in a smaller rack buck, but mature. Chocolate horn. Heavy bases. It happened so quickly, the younger buck got a bit startled. I settled my pin on the mature buck, and yes, I missed. Unfortunately, because of how fast things transpired, I wasn't able to get the camera on that buck. But what an encounter!
(Check out the vid & don't forget to view the simple pics)
The second day I skipped because the wind just was no right for the hot spot, the "Killing Tree".
On the third day, winds were once again perfect. I went through my ritual and settled on the stand. I knew deer were going to begin to move around 6 p.m., and sure enough, they did. No bucks, just does. The first one came toward me, but never got to within 30 yards. The next two made their way also. They read the script and came within my shooting comfort range. As soon as the first doe gave me a broadside shot, I settled my HHA Sports Optimizer pin, and the rest is history - no tracking required. I had just killed my trophy, a pressured public land whitetail.
My approach and tactics to hunt this piece of dirt hold true . The grueling 2 mile ride each pays off, especially when hauling a deer, and I'll do it all over again. Let me remind you why it pays off. IT'S A HEAVILY HUNTED AREA! How awesome it is to be able to see deer more often than not, to film, to take a shot, to have multiple encounters, being able to "pass" on deer, and just be on them in general? It's a rush, let me tell you. I don't kill a lot of deer, but one here & there is a lot for this area, IMO.
(check out my tips)
Well, I've ensured meat in the freezer, I thank God for what he has provided, and look forward to more meat......, with an added bonus of a mature buck.
Good luck to everyone this season, may your freezers be filled with backstraps and your homes with joy. God bless.