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Shot a buck today...now I feel terrible


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Not much more to add so I'll just reinforce the point that a true hunter will mourn the animal's loss while celebrating his own gain.  And by celebrating i don't necessarily mean war whoops and high-fives and chest bumps.  My celebration just involves an immediate and pervasive sense of accomplishment, a sense of finality, that my work and efforts have paid off, and a sense that things are just "right", and a sense that I'm obligated to that animal to make the fullest use of its own sacrifice.  I must take that animal for my own nourishment, remember and commemorate him.

I've taken game and felt exhilarated to see the animal fall; I've killed game and felt remorse.  I can't explain either, but I'm very glad that I "feel".  

As for the OP's deer, I'd say that deer was taken cleanly, and the fact that the buck was looking at you doesn't really enter into it.  That deer was mortally wounded and probably didn't even know it; he was looking at you because he was trying to determine what that loud noise and thump was, and whether or not you were a threat to him and possibly somehow connected to the noise.  The fact that his life slipped away while he was standing in place is perhaps more kind than to have been fleeing in a panic.

I spine-shot a young button buck this year.  I didn't like that it happened but I put him down quickly, and yes, he was looking at me while I did it.  I had shot his mother just moments before and she trotted off as if nothing had happened, totally unaware that her lungs had just been turned to jelly.  She collapsed and tumbled down a hillside just a few yards away.  I wish that all game would just drop as if touched by the hammer of Thor, but life, or more accurately death, doesn't always work that way.

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Moments like that and a hunter's feeling of connection to their prey show how easy it was for races of Man to deify their prey. It truly is a spiritual bond almost divine in nature.
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A good natural feeling IMOP. About five years ago I was walking back to the truck with game in the bag, thinking if I wanted to do it anymore. I literally thought about laying my guns down. Gotta say to this day I can't stand it when I don't make a clean kill and have to twist a neck etc.
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You know what makes me sad? YOU DO! Maybe we should chug on over to mamby pamby land where maybe we can find some self confidence for you, you jack wagon!  

Want some tissues....you sissy.

Kidding aside, I get feeling a little emotional and can respect that.  But I don't get all the comments degrading anyone who doesn’t get all wussified from some made up heightened sense of morality.  Sure killing something can cause us to reflect on the frailty of life or have some other deep thoughts, but in the end, it's just an animal.  We kill them and eat em.  It doesn't have to be anything more than that.

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You know what makes me sad? YOU DO! Maybe we should chug on over to mamby pamby land where maybe we can find some self confidence for you, you jack wagon!  

Want some tissues....you sissy.

Not certain everyone knows your first paragraph was a quote from a TV commercial. A very funny one.

Interweb BB communication 101.

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When you no longer have those feelings it's time to quit hunting. I have shot dozens of deer and still feel the same way.

Nicely done.

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drummer's stump
I have taken more than a few deer in the last 15 years, and it never bothered me till this year. I have never been a buck hunter per say, growing up it was always us against the deer. If you grow up on a dairy farm in Pa, it is always you against the deer. So we always shot a lot of doe's, and with a rifle I always would take head shots, but the last five years I have only hunted with a flintlock. So I tend to take a lot less head shots, the last doe I shot this year, I made a bad shot on her. knowing it was a bad shot, I reloaded as fast as I could, she did not go real far and was not moving real fast so I ran up the ridge and cut her off and took a fairly long shot to end it but. I really felt shitty after that one, but next year I will do the same thing, and the year after that too
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MAArcher I know that commercial, and it is indeed hilarious!  I thought it funny, and if anyone missed it, it's the Geico commercial.  Very well done MAArcher.
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Pheasants Forever

If you regret the kill, then why pull the trigger in the first place?

Animals don't have the ability to reason, they feel pain, but they can't process the situation like so many assume they would. We as humans tend think too much with our emotions, that's not always a bad thing, but when we're emotional... we tend to throw out our logic.

I remember reading an article some years ago about a coyote that was trying to cross a frozen pond.  The ice gave away and the coyote was soon submerged in the water trying to find a way out.  Well, there was a crowd there watching and someone called the fire department.  Attempts were made to rescue the animal, but given the nature of a coyote, the rescue could not be made with close in hand contact. The attempts failed, and the coyote died... granted a very miserable death. One of the on lookers was greatly disturbed by the way the fire department handled the situation as she felt they should have done more... she stated, that all the fire department had to do was get close enough to the coyote and grab it, and that the coyote would just ball up like a helpless dog, thankful to be rescued. The fire department knew better.

Anyway, I never feel pain, nor do I grieve over anything I kill. If I had, I probably wouldn't be a hunter. I do sympathize with the animal if I am not able to make a swift and quick kill, but tears do not shed.  I feel worse for the animals that are treated like a crop of grain. The free and wild animals know death, they're accepting of it.  Their bodies respond to it, they're lives are based around it.  They're well aware of the dangers they face... same cannot be said for the animal in a cage that is stripped of any chance at fight or flight.

I also high five, hug, and rejoice in our kills...

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I have personally winessed two coyotes trapped in my parents swimming pool in Lewisville, Texas lifted about by the scruff of their neck. Neither one made any attempt to bite or be aggressive in any way. They both just laid there for a little while then ran off. My sister and I thought they were dogs when she picked them out of the pool. These events happend about 3 years apart. My folks neighbors have had simlilar experiences.

I feel a pang of regret everytimg I kill anything, even poisonous snakes.

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If you regret the kill, then why pull the trigger in the first place?

Animals don't have the ability to reason, they feel pain, but they can't process the situation like so many assume they would. We as humans tend think too much with our emotions, that's not always a bad thing, but when we're emotional... we tend to throw out our logic.

I remember reading an article some years ago about a coyote that was trying to cross a frozen pond.  The ice gave away and the coyote was soon submerged in the water trying to find a way out.  Well, there was a crowd there watching and someone called the fire department.  Attempts were made to rescue the animal, but given the nature of a coyote, the rescue could not be made with close in hand contact. The attempts failed, and the coyote died... granted a very miserable death. One of the on lookers was greatly disturbed by the way the fire department handled the situation as she felt they should have done more... she stated, that all the fire department had to do was get close enough to the coyote and grab it, and that the coyote would just ball up like a helpless dog, thankful to be rescued. The fire department knew better.

Anyway, I never feel pain, nor do I grieve over anything I kill. If I had, I probably wouldn't be a hunter. I do sympathize with the animal if I am not able to make a swift and quick kill, but tears do not shed.  I feel worse for the animals that are treated like a crop of grain. The free and wild animals know death, they're accepting of it.  Their bodies respond to it, they're lives are based around it.  They're well aware of the dangers they face... same cannot be said for the animal in a cage that is stripped of any chance at fight or flight.

I also high five, hug, and rejoice in our kills...

Hmmm...you're contradicting yourself here when you say animals can't process their situation, yet they are "aware of the dangers they face and are accepting of death" (paraphrased).  Not sure I agree completely with your assessment, but thanks for the feedback.

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Pheasants Forever

It's only contradicting if you leave out the full statement: "they can't process the situation like so many assume they would."

I am not saying that animals can't process a situation, I am saying that the animal, when it's dying is not looking at you thinking, "how could you do this to me".

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It's only contradicting if you leave out the full statement: "they can't process the situation like so many assume they would."

I am not saying that animals can't process a situation, I am saying that the animal, when it's dying is not looking at you thinking, "how could you do this to me".

I stand corrected, you're right.  It reminds me of what my vet told me after putting down my Lab of 14 years.  He said "She doesn't know she's dying, doesn't know angst, doesn't identify fear, doesn't fear what's to come..she simply doesn't process emotions like humans do and it's us who come up short in that equation".  I suppose that's what's going on most times, we attach our emotions to situations that are pretty much one sided.

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How anyone can high five their buddy after shooting a deer is beyond me.

My 7 year old and High fived, several times in fact.  Its an emotional realease, no more no less, he ever let a " whoo hooo" only as a 7 year old can as he delighted over his trophy.  Ill admit I get excited as well, it takes a lot of work to subdue those emotions when shooting, or when bow hunting even longer.  Taking joy in killing game and in one s accomplishment is a good thing.

Ill admit as well I dont get as excited when we take birds, but deer, or a yote...man oh man...its a rush.

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