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Discussion Starter #1
How many remember deer hunting when it was "HUNTING" remember you mostly did it with a group to have some venison, hoping any one of you would get a Buck, then everyone got a meal or two? Knowing it would take some effort just have a shot at a deer, since doe were illegal to shoot, and you were only allowed one Buck regardless how you got it.

When I started bow hunting, it was known your chances at even seeing a deer were rare. But even with the bow when it started getting a seperate season, a Buck was rare to get a shot at. Bows were power houses if you had one of the steel cable compounds, it would come close to 200 fps!

Even then that was fast! But what it do was teach you it was about the hunt, and if you were doing it just for the meat, you probably didn't hunt. Gun season was where everyone got together and tried moving the deer to anyone just here some shots and hope someone in your party got one so you had a share of the meat.

Today to me it definitely means something else. Today, it's more about the setting I am in, and many days could care less about killing a deer, and knowing most bucks and any doe that doe come in and present a shot are going to get a pass. Back in my beginning I knew, if it was a legal deer I better take it, cause even seeing a deer was rare. My how it has changed,
 

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Same here. I can remember no timber land was posted so you did your scouting and picked your spot to build your stand (nobody knew what a portable climber was back then). And like you said, it would sometimes take a week, two weeks, or even 3 to see a buck so you didn't pass one up if you wanted to kill something. 'Course any racked buck back then weighed ALOT more than they do today too. Clothes? Wasn't much in the line of camoflauge. I can remember carry a sleeping bag to the stand with you and having sleet form ice on those two pairs of jeans you wore when it got cold.

I will say....it was REAL hunting back then compared to today.....but I much rather have the more modern hunting equipment of today.
 

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Yup, deer camp back in the day consisted of a 12-man tent that we packed in on our backs and stood up the weekend before the opener. Then we cut (by hand with an axe) & hung a "buck pole" between two nearby trees just in case... We had a little homemade wood stove that we packed in to heat the tent and perk pots of coffee on which done double-duty-ed as a socks and jeans dryer/scorcher, and we each carried in monster coolers full of beef, pork, bread, whiskey & beer! One opening morning I remember climbing up into a red oak tree that had a nice big semi-horizontal branch about 14 feet off the ground where I could stand & lean against the trunk. That morning I watched 10 does walk past directly underneath that tree, I could have dropped onto the back of any one of them and I thought about doing just that with my knife in hand, but I let them all continue on cause it was bucks only rules. I think I was 16 years old, hung over that morning, but having a ball at deer camp! The following year I did get lucky and killed a young 4 point while sitting on an old pine stump, about 50 yards away from that same oak tree with my compound. We came back to the same place and set up our tent for rifle season that year and I remember two of the guys in camp ran out of bullets before noon on opening morning and they both walked out to buy more ammo before any of the others came back to camp for lunch. Those was the good old days!!!
 

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I remember as a young lad that my Dad and his hunting buddies all considered shooting a doe was on the same level as being a poacher. Many times it actually was since you rarely drew doe tags back then. Now a doe is the first deer down for those who don't see a buck right away.
 

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Its still bucks only rules where I live in the UP of MI, but we are allowed to shoot two bucks per year if we choose to buy double tags (1st buck must have at least 2 points on one side, 2nd buck must have at least 4 points on one side, no spikes allowed when ya buy double tags) when we pay up. If we choose to buy just one tag then we are done after one... we can't go back to buy another once that tag is filled. I have killed only one doe in my life as a teenager more than 40 years ago. That year I had drawn a doe permit in the area where I grew up
 

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Many times I see more deer today in one sitting than I would see all season back in the day. Back then I was all about killing as many deer as possible which usually wasn't very many. These days it's much more about the experience of the hunt and all the preparation thereof. I hunt just as much as ever, maybe more but I'm much more selective in the deer I shoot these days. A good case in point is when I got my new crossbow this past Jan. there was still a full month before season closed. I told myself that I was going to take the first mature deer, buck or doe, that I had an opportunity to. Despite seeing shooters every time I went after that, I waited until the last evening of the last day before I finally loosed an arrow. It's almost gotten to the point where pulling the trigger is an anticlimactic let down. Almost.:)
 

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Sure it's changed but who would really want to go back? Seasons where you only saw a handful of deer and not even a glimpse of a legal deer. I'm glad for today's opportunity to hunt with better equipment, bigger deer herds, and realistic chances for anyone who wants to bring home a deer to do so. The good ol days were good in their own way but today is tomorrow's good ol day.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Well I for one would love it, if everything else was like it was back then, hunters had more respect for the land and other hunters back then, and everyone pretty much let you hunt when you asked. When I killed a deer a back then, there was a lot more satisfaction that cab only be experienced if you partook back then. I am all for Buck only or one deer a season, but today that would not be healthy for the herd in most cases.

Heck I'd be all for nothing but slug guns, I had a lot more fun hunting with shotguns, today I prefer revolvers, if I am not using a bow. But today I truly do hunt deer even squirrel for the sport,, not how many I kill. It is just more enjoyable to me to have to pick your opportunities wisely when you have to get closer. Probably why I prefer archery for deer.

Jack I hunted for over a decade when there was no such thing as an an antlerless tag, most with my dad, and like you said later on when they finally started drawing for antlerless tags, it was much more frowned on for anyone shooting a doe, especially illegally!

Heck many hunters back then were against giving any antlerless tags out, and slammed others for using them, I know a couple who entered drawings and threw the tags away when they got them, believing they were saving the heard and not letting others kill them.
 

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I hunted those days too maybe not as far back as you but before there was a deer seemingly behind every tree. Does were protected or by drawing only so if you were lucky you might see one legal deer a year. You know the little forkhorn who never got the chance to mature into anything better. True access was eaiser but there weren't any deer on those farms either. I'm sorry that for you those kinds of hunts are gone but I believe most hunters appreciate the opportunity today's deer herd provide.

There are a lot of things from my youth that I miss and wish wouldn't have changed but deer hunting has only gotten better. My opinion only and we apparently will just have to disagree about that.
 

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I remember as a young lad that my Dad and his hunting buddies all considered shooting a doe was on the same level as being a poacher. Many times it actually was since you rarely drew doe tags back then. Now a doe is the first deer down for those who don't see a buck right away.
I know a few guys who are still very much against shooting doe "because Pop never did." I understand times change, but I know we used to see 20-30 doe in a day and hope you got to see even a small buck. Spikes over 3" were legal back then. Probably not as many deer now, especially in some places in PA. The landowner family where I hunt, and the forester who helps them manage the property want deer killed, so I do my part. I have to agree with 'catter though, I really don't have that bloodlust that I had when I was younger. I can really enjoy a day hunting even when I don't see a deer.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The thing is today, around here anyways in the state of ohio, if meat was all you wanted and killed only by opportunity,, season could be over before the rut!

I seldom will shoot a doe till after gun season the first week of December is over. Statewide limit is only 6. only two either sex in the counties around me. The main county I hunt is the last one I kill deer from, saving it as my most hunted spots I like to hunt after Christmas. Nut even at that we no longer can use antlerless tags in these countie, you have to use the more expensive either sex tags, with one Buck per year statewide only!

Even that is enough to make me wish we hunted by zones and not individual counties, but my biggest beech today is the help yerself tagging system they have introduced to favor poachers! I have always loved the harder you worked for it the sweeter it was, Them bucks were there, they just didn't walk out and model for you back then.

But one thing is for sure today, the easier it is, the more people enjoy it today, matter of fact, for some it's the only thing that keeps them participating! I am one that will never pay to hunt any spot, my success will never be measured by gow much I'm willing to pay for it. That alone makes success more difficult today, and Public ground will always rate high on my favorites list.

I hunt for the sport way more that just for the meet, handguns and bows, just for that reason. I was not always that way, but the older I get the easier it gets, and the challenge truly is missed, if I was younger I'd be using spears if it was legal. ;)
 

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The thing is today, around here anyways in the state of ohio, if meat was all you wanted and killed only by opportunity,, season could be over before the rut!

I seldom will shoot a doe till after gun season the first week of December is over. Statewide limit is only 6. only two either sex in the counties around me. The main county I hunt is the last one I kill deer from, saving it as my most hunted spots I like to hunt after Christmas. Nut even at that we no longer can use antlerless tags in these countie, you have to use the more expensive either sex tags, with one Buck per year statewide only!

Even that is enough to make me wish we hunted by zones and not individual counties, but my biggest beech today is the help yerself tagging system they have introduced to favor poachers! I have always loved the harder you worked for it the sweeter it was, Them bucks were there, they just didn't walk out and model for you back then.

But one thing is for sure today, the easier it is, the more people enjoy it today, matter of fact, for some it's the only thing that keeps them participating! I am one that will never pay to hunt any spot, my success will never be measured by gow much I'm willing to pay for it. That alone makes success more difficult today, and Public ground will always rate high on my favorites list.

I hunt for the sport way more that just for the meet, handguns and bows, just for that reason. I was not always that way, but the older I get the easier it gets, and the challenge truly is missed, if I was younger I'd be using spears if it was legal. ;)
You need to come to Missouri, spears are a legal way to hunt deer. It is called Atlatls, have not tried it
 

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Full disclosure: I haven't hunted deer in a lot of years, but I think what you're saying holds true irrespective of the animal. What I'm reading here is a lot of the stages of a hunter, though in my opinion there sure can be overlap to those stages; they are not each independent of the others.

I'm in my mid-50s. I still enjoy killing stuff, because I like eating meat, and I prefer what I can kill to what the store has (which is expensive here). But I totally identify with what you're saying about setting. I have two things here, and have for the past half dozen seasons or more, that really get me going. One is hunting with my kids, in particular my youngest daughter. This spring she was able to kill her first caribou and her first brown bear, both with ammunition we put together at the loading bench. The caribou was a fat cow we've been eating on for the past several weeks and the bear was on old boar that squared 8.5'. The other thing that gets me going is my hunting partner. I am blessed with several very good friends I hunt with, but one is a constant. His humor, attitude, and outlook on life make camping and hunting a complete joy, whether we kill anything or not. Make no mistake: we still like to kill stuff, and do our fair share. But the experience is always terrific. Always. The setting and experience... yup. That's definitely what it's about.

Related to deer hunting... I miss deer hunting. I grew up hunting deer in central Kansas. I graduated and started teaching elementary school there a lifetime ago. Even then, the writing was on the wall: folks with money leasing up lands that had been available to locals, making it difficult to find places to hunt. I have friends I grew up with that have given up hunting because of it. My choice was to move to Alaska. There were many reasons for that move, but access to land not being an issue was certainly one of them.

You mention going back to how it was. For me that was the landowners knowing who I was because of my grandpa. It was having access to land to hunt, fish, and trap. It was a handshake, a please, a thank you, and a reminder to close the gate. I'm sure you can still find that in places, but that type of experience is endangered and fading fast. I don't mention that to cast bad juju on those who are leasing properties. If KS teachers were paid a king's ransom maybe that's the route I'd have gone. As it is I find myself watching properties down there. I do get paid a good wage here, and it's possible that someday my wife and I will go back. If so I don't plan to be looking for property to hunt; I'll be hunting my own.

Happy Memorial Day everyone.

Proud dad photos: the daughter and her spring critters.
 

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