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Shot a buck today...now I feel terrible


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Great buck, made all the better with your sentiment. The second deer I ever shot made an ungodly groan when I finally put it down with a final shot. Almost put me off deer hunting, like the time I shot a crow and it was still alive and looked at me and squawked defiantly--never shot another.

I hunt mostly alone and except for a few deer, I was alone when I walked up to them on the ground. If I was with friends I'd likely celebrate and be outwardly happy. But that doesnt mean I wasnt humbled and respectful inside. I like being alone for the field dressing ritual, but sure like a friend around for the drag out.

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Andrew, I'm sure part of your angst was caused by the unusual manner in which your fine buck died... I've killed many deer with a gun, and a number of them with a muzzleloader - every one has reacted violently to the bullet impact, and if they don't drop in their tracks they're off like a shot - your buck reacted like some bow killed deer I've seen.  Still, it is a fine trophy taken 100% fair and square; the fact that it's death bothers you so speaks volumes about your character - you and your wife should savor every bit of it, and celebrate it's life as you enjoy it throughout the coming year.

As to the high-five comment, while I can understand part of the sentiment (I too have no love lost for disrespect of game animals), I will add that if taken in the proper context, I see nothing wrong with a bit of celebrating a kill.  My son took his first deer this year... we high-fived, hugged, put blood on his cheeks, then shared a prayer of thanks for the bounty the Lord had provided us... I cannot imagine a more fitting finish to a young man's first kill.

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Laminarman, very nice buck, and I can empathize, as I shot poorly (perhaps the scope has been bumped?) this year at the buck pictured. I broke his spine, and he looked me right in the eye as I put him out of his misery as quickly as I could. It was not pleasant. Like you, I then thanked him for allowing me the privilege of taking him, and I meant it. It's all good. Jay%27s%20Buck%202010%20003.jpg
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You folks are all fantastic.  This board is very quickly showing me that the people on here are classy and care, like I do.  Thanks for the kind words, I feel better today as the immediacy of it is over.  He's aging in the barn, and has now taken on that withered, drying look and the look of his vibrant life is gone, but we'll recount it tonight with a fine meal.  On a very positive note my 8 year old was just psyched as can be and said "Finally!! You got one with horns!!" (wiseass).  He's excited to start deer hunting in a few years, so it goes on and it's all good.  Thanks again, God bless every one of you.
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I agree with all of those who commented.I have chased whitetails the DIYourself way for over 30 years and feel the same way after each one is taken. That is a fine muzzleloader buck enjoy your bounty. I spent a cold day in the muzzleloader woods today and left 1 hour before dark but not before pushing a nice doe to a deerless friend.Now with aching muscles,a nice wood fire warming the house,a cold pilsner or two and the dogs hanging around the couch I feel like I had a pretty good day.
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You hit the nail on the head regarding this board.

 Deer hunting is a big resposiblity. You are soley responsible for the outcome of your actions, and it takes alot more effort to clean them up compared to throwing a small bird into a gamebag. Only you chose to load your gun and go out into the woods. If you hadn't done that... that beautiful trophy would still be feeding back there somewhere. Nontheless, you did EVERYTHING to the highest standard. If a fine, (or ordinary) animal is going to die; a quiet passing, whether he is looking into the eye of his downfall or not, is the finest gift you could give him. Nature would likely be more cruel.

 Once I posted a similar topic on this board, quite a few years ago. I was driving to run some errands, and found someone had hit a deer with their car, and just left it in the middle of the road. All four legs were shattered, and bent in impossible directions, and it's guts had been completely opened up and thrown down the road. The deer was sitting calmly with its head erect, watching cars drive around it. I stopped and dragged it off to the side of the road and put it out of its misery with my bare hands. You will never believe how hard that is to do. That deer died horribly at the hands of something it hated. I felt terrible, and had to post. People here made me feel better.

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Scotsman, you should never be concerned about having to kill that deer with your bare hands. You took it out of its misery the fastest way you could. You brought tears to my eyes thinking about how some animals suffer so needlessly.
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You hit the nail on the head regarding this board.

 Deer hunting is a big resposiblity. You are soley responsible for the outcome of your actions, and it takes alot more effort to clean them up compared to throwing a small bird into a gamebag. Only you chose to load your gun and go out into the woods. If you hadn't done that... that beautiful trophy would still be feeding back there somewhere. Nontheless, you did EVERYTHING to the highest standard. If a fine, (or ordinary) animal is going to die; a quiet passing, whether he is looking into the eye of his downfall or not, is the finest gift you could give him. Nature would likely be more cruel.

 Once I posted a similar topic on this board, quite a few years ago. I was driving to run some errands, and found someone had hit a deer with their car, and just left it in the middle of the road. All four legs were shattered, and bent in impossible directions, and it's guts had been completely opened up and thrown down the road. The deer was sitting calmly with its head erect, watching cars drive around it. I stopped and dragged it off to the side of the road and put it out of its misery with my bare hands. You will never believe how hard that is to do. That deer died horribly at the hands of something it hated. I felt terrible, and had to post. People here made me feel better.

Scotsman,

First of all, thank you for doing that to that animal.  Second of all, I'm sorry you had to experience it.  And finally, third, thank you for sharing as that puts a whole lot in perspective. You are a classy person, and again, this is a reflection on this board as a whole.  Which, by the way, is the reason I like bird hunters, usually wholly nice people.

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I wouldn't want to know a person that doesn't have pangs of reget over killing any living thing.

When it goes badly ( it has for me a few times) its especially hard to reconcile..

Personally as I age I find it harder and harder to kill

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I wouldn't want to know a person that doesn't have pangs of reget over killing any living thing.

When it goes badly ( it has for me a few times) its especially hard to reconcile..

Personally as I age I find it harder and harder to kill

Isn't it funny Bobman?  It becomes harder to do and I know so many in later years who just "give it up".  How do we know if it's from the killing or from the effort involved, or the cold, and the waiting and work?  The old farmer who I bought my property from no longer hunts.  He said "I've done it all".  He's taken big bucks, small game, boss Toms, and mountain lions during WWII years in the Adirondacks and in the west working for the government in wildlife control and biology.  He's trapped wolves and coyotes and grizzlies. Quite a man, but he says he cannot pull another trigger.  He enjoys the hunt in a different way- he takes his grandkids and great grandkids out, teaches them, guides them, and helps them butcher their animals.  Quite a feat at 84, and quite a man and that's a noble way to still enjoy and respect it, isn't it?  I hope I'm so blessed.

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Any deer that I don't take cleanly I feel bad about.  Had one deer this year that wasn't a clean kill.  I did get the deer but after that I put that gun away.  Something got goofed up with the scope.  I went back to old faithful and took down 4 deer cleanly with it.  

The 8pt buck I shot this year I was happy I got cause it was the biggest I've shot but yet I removed a great 2 1/2 year old buck not even near his prime.  He was a big boy of the forest and hopefully he was successful on passing on his genes.

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I understand this feeling as I have felt the same way. I'm a bow hunter and every time I hit a deer and it lays down within sight of my stand I have to look away and I say a prayer to myself. I have a hard time watching it breath it's last breathe but I'm thankful that that I have made a good shot and the deer didn't suffer an agonizing death. It's obvious that you made a good shot on a nice buck. Nothing wrong with these feelings, it's all part of being a mature human being.

Virgil

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Laminarman...you did a great job of putting to words the internal struggle of the hunters heart.  I've been there and like you I knew I'd be back despite how awful I felt.  Like Scotsman I've stopped to dispatch a wounded deer and then wrestled with the mixed brutality and compassion of what I'd done.  I've moved dead ducks and geese off the road so their mates wouldn't meet the same fate while they mourned their loss.  Being a sportsman is what prompted these actions.  It's not the dying, it's the suffering I can't abide.  It's the hunting that allows me to see myself as an equal in the natural world instead of being above it.

On a side note....I'm an unashamed high fiver, back patter, and bear hugger.  I'm even a tackler if the recovery was hard won enough.  Don't mistake enthusiasm and joy for lack of respect.  If you introduce children to hunting make sure to high five them, back pat them and talk them up.  You can still drive home the seriousness of what they have done, but if you can't make it happy in the beginning they won't be at it long enough to develop a hunters true appreciation.

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Hub, Virgil and Tricker:

Thanks for the kind words, they do help.  Wish we could all hunt together some day or at least shake hands.  God bless and Merry Christmas!

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