Where Did All The Real Hunters Go?

Animal Artistry

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No one escapes progress, and hunting appears to be no exception. But I’d be hard-pressed to call the changes in hunting progress. This tech-heavy world of scopes and trail cameras and ATVs has altered the essence of hunting so much it’s hardly recognizable to what we did fifty, forty, even thirty years ago. And it makes me wonder — where did all the real hunters go?

hunt.jpg

A Different Experience

I remember, as a young man, being thoroughly impressed by the hunter who handled themselves under any circumstances. They could saddle their horses, field dress their game, and find their way back to camp by following the stars. They could truly be a part of nature during their hunting experiences, and that level of immersion gave way to a deep respect for wildlife. These were tough, honorable men, and they were a worthy representation of both the West and this great country.

Fast forward to today, and those tough, honorable men are far more likely to be the guides, outfitters, and scouts working on behalf of the clients. The experience has been sanitized to the point that today’s modern hunter really only needs to write a big check and book a flight.

Even worse, technological advancements have replaced what were once vital skills for both hunting and survival. Very few people hike, walk, or ride a horse as part of their hunting experience — an idea that would have been downright laughable in years past. Now, there have all-terrain vehicles and quads to ferry clients out to the field and back. There are trail cameras that work 24/7 and feed the images directly to a device, so you can do your scouting from the comfort of your sofa with the game on and your chips and beer at hand. What we used to call scouting expeditions bear no resemblance to this at all. Today’s hunter is also equipped with spotting scopes and rifle scopes that can leave them a thousand feet from their prey. To me, this is nothing short of sniper equipment. The idea of stalking, getting close, paying attention to the wind, and all the nuances and subtleties of outwitting your prey has been completely erased by technology. I fear that respect for both the hunt and the animals themselves has likewise disappeared, making room for ego and machismo.

Looking Ahead

There are always extremes, and this paints a picture of hunting at its very worst. But it’s certainly not true of all hunters. I know there are some extremely tough young hunters who pride themselves on hunting with their skills and knowledge of the animal and environment instead of the latest and greatest technology and modern convenience. Still, it seems that the vast majority no longer understands what a tremendous gift it is to pit themselves against nature — and survive.
 

Shootist43

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Michael, what you said is so true. However the major reason for the difference between the hunters of yore and today is location and time. Living in cities (where no horses are allowed) and having 2 or 3 weeks vacation calls for serious changes in hunting styles and methods. Going back a few more years I'll bet the Indians thought the same things about the Whiteman.
 

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I don't have an answer. But it is a pertinent question today....as The American Museum of Natural History in NYC announced it will tear down the statue of Theodore Roosevelt at it's entrance this week. The president most associated with hunting and conservation in the USA....................FWB
 

buck wild

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Being in the taxidermy business might not be the best angle to be dismissive of HOW legally taken game is, well taken. I suspect your business is supported by a lot of "not real hunters". If you feel really passionate about this topic, I suggest you screen your clients and turn down any work that wasn't obtained by real hunters. Now that would send a message.... maybe more than one and it goes both ways.

Also, I don't suspect this is actually Mr. Boyce manning this account but likely a company internet rep. My apologies if that is not correct.
 

Animal Artistry

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Michael, what you said is so true. However the major reason for the difference between the hunters of yore and today is location and time. Living in cities (where no horses are allowed) and having 2 or 3 weeks vacation calls for serious changes in hunting styles and methods. Going back a few more years I'll bet the Indians thought the same things about the Whiteman.
Good points, thanks for sharing!
 

Animal Artistry

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I don't have an answer. But it is a pertinent question today....as The American Museum of Natural History in NYC announced it will tear down the statue of Theodore Roosevelt at it's entrance this week. The president most associated with hunting and conservation in the USA....................FWB
Didn't know about that. Sad to hear.
 

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Well , It is certainly better than the alternative : That younger generations do not hunt , AT ALL . At least , they ARE hunting ( Which , in today’s politically correct climate ... Is a blessing in and of itself ) . And I am no spring rooster , saying this ... Either . I turned 80 years of age , this February .
 

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I believe a lot of that has to do with where you live, and the amount of land available to hunt in your particular location. I still field dress the animals I've killed. When I went to Africa I told my guide I wanted to go to the skinning shed, and help out. The PH looked at me like had three heads. For me, if I don't get dirty gutting the animal I just killed, the hunt is not complete.

I can same the same for someone who has never been near the ocean, and be totally clueless on what to do, and depend on someone to show him/her where to go for X, Y, Z particular fish. That doesn't make that person any less of a fisherman. It all depends on where we live, and our life style.
 

PARA45

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I don't have an answer. But it is a pertinent question today....as The American Museum of Natural History in NYC announced it will tear down the statue of Theodore Roosevelt at it's entrance this week. The president most associated with hunting and conservation in the USA....................FWB

That is flat out BS, this man did more for conservation than any tree hugger living. What a crock of sh*t. When is it going to stop??? Ugh!!!!!
 

Animal Artistry

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Being in the taxidermy business might not be the best angle to be dismissive of HOW legally taken game is, well taken. I suspect your business is supported by a lot of "not real hunters". If you feel really passionate about this topic, I suggest you screen your clients and turn down any work that wasn't obtained by real hunters. Now that would send a message.... maybe more than one and it goes both ways.

Also, I don't suspect this is actually Mr. Boyce manning this account but likely a company internet rep. My apologies if that is not correct.
Yes, you're right--I'm just an employee who manages this account. I get what you mean about the business stuff. Mike is pretty direct as far as what he believes and uses the Animal Artistry blog to express his thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics. We can't really start asking clients how they legally obtained their skins and turning them away if we disagree with the method. At the end of the day, we're not looking to change how anyone thinks, acts, etc. Instead, we are putting out our truth, or Mike's truth, in hopes that it engages readers and starts a conversation.
 

Animal Artistry

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Well , It is certainly better than the alternative : That younger generations do not hunt , AT ALL . At least , they ARE hunting ( Which , in today’s politically correct climate ... Is a blessing in and of itself ) . And I am no spring rooster , saying this ... Either . I turned 80 years of age , this February .
Yes, very true! Thank you for the comment and happy belated birthday!
 

Animal Artistry

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I believe a lot of that has to do with where you live, and the amount of land available to hunt in your particular location. I still field dress the animals I've killed. When I went to Africa I told my guide I wanted to go to the skinning shed, and help out. The PH looked at me like had three heads. For me, if I don't get dirty gutting the animal I just killed, the hunt is not complete.

I can same the same for someone who has never been near the ocean, and be totally clueless on what to do, and depend on someone to show him/her where to go for X, Y, Z particular fish. That doesn't make that person any less of a fisherman. It all depends on where we live, and our life style.
All good points! Thanks for sharing!
 

Foxi

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You're right about everything.
But, many hunters also have a hunting life that goes far beyond the wilderness dreams you can afford every few years.
If you are at home in the hunting everyday life, i.e. almost every day, then you are happy about the technique especially when you have to manage damage.

Wildschwein.jpg
Wild boar damages
 

Animal Artistry

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You're right about everything.
But, many hunters also have a hunting life that goes far beyond the wilderness dreams you can afford every few years.
If you are at home in the hunting everyday life, i.e. almost every day, then you are happy about the technique especially when you have to manage damage.

View attachment 354682Wild boar damages
Great point! And wow...that's some serious damage.
 

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Agree with the idea that technology is overwhelming basic tracking and stalking for a lot of hunters. I'm impressed at the marksmanship of a 1000 yard shot at a steel target, but taking that shot (or even anything over 350 yards) at an animal in the wild is, as the poster above said, more like a military sniper than a hunter. Part of the experience of hunting is to track and stalk the animal to close range and make an ethical shot.
 

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Even with today's technology it is still possible to employ old time tactics. Hike or horseback in, use irons or low power scopes, stalk as close as you can, use a shorter range rifle, take advantage of terrain features, read the wind. Put some effort, sweat and maybe a drop or two of blood into it. When you can see him blink with your naked eye, ya done good. Shoot him, field dress him. Then drag or pack him out. That's real hunting.
 

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I guess I have to ask this to Animal Artistry: Do you not engage new technology? Or is it just where it's used in hunting that you don't like it? Still do your office paperwork by hand, no computers? Driving a 1970's car, better yet ride a horse to work? Not using new taxidermy techniques? No cell phones? Technology has changed our lives and habits from day one, and always will, heck your posting about the use of tech. on the internet.
 

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I have a very different point of view. Most of my career was spent in rural areas of New Brunswick, Wyoming and Alaska. I chose to live where I did, there were plenty of opportunities in the cities, I just refused to live there. Where ever I lived I hunted with my friends. The only place I have hunted with a guide has been Europe and Africa, and that by necessity. I have backpacked, horse packed, flown and boated to hunt. I am not unusual, all of my friends hunt the same way. Sure there’s lots of folks that like someone else to do the work (I have to admit it, I sure enjoy it on Safari). However, there are still plenty of guys out there who hunt the old way. Heck, our kids were capable of safely running a boat down the coast of Alaska before they could legally drive!
 
 

 

 

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