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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking too much lately, as I'm prone to do, about how technology plays into the modern-day hunter. Starting with rifled barrels and conical bullets, to early scopes, copper-jackets, bolt-actions, variable powers, "premium" bullets, adjustable bipods and all the way up to today's laser ranger-finders and portable shooting computers...things have changed a lot in the last 150 years. Then again, most of that change is in the last 50 years, alone. I'm just wondering if all of it can be called "progress"?

I read an article a month or two ago about a gentleman down in KY or TN who goes out each fall in traditional garb (no Gore-tex!) and shoots an open-sighted (no fiber optics) muzzle-loader with a patched ball (no sabot) and honest-to-goodness black powder (no pellets). His story told of wet, cold, miserable feet, a nap taken while sitting on the ground under a big old tree (no pop-up blind or aluminum climber), deer too far away to take a shot at, and finally, a doe who wandered too close and was invited home for dinner. It really got me to asking myself if the way I hunt is still right for me, or if I need to take a step or two back in time, away from the technology?

I shot a doe three years ago with an open-sighted ML, but it had fiber-optic sights, two 50-grain pellets, a 240gr jacketed pistol bullet in a sabot and I was in a tree-stand, 15 feet up in the air. I was happy to put some venison in the freezer and felt like I had done it "the old-fashioned way", but looking at it now, I'm not so sure I did. Even when I use the oldest technology, archery equipment, what I shoot is far from anything Ishi would recognize, or Saxton Pope or Arthur Young, for that matter.

What about you? How much technology is "too much", for the way you hunt? Is there such a thing as too much, or is it all for the good, if it results in a humanely harvested animal? Do you ever purposely take "less" in the field with you, so you can enjoy it more? Have you grabbed the old single-shot, open-sighted .22 for a morning of squirrel hunting, instead of the 17HMR with a 4X-12X scope? If you could carry a rifle that fired an actual laser, capable of killing game out to a thousand yards, or more, would you do it? Where does the line get drawn, for you and the way you hunt?
 

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There is no line in the sand. Once you move beyond running the animal down and killing it with your teeth, you are into technology of some sort, and it is just a long gray line after that. We all moved down the technology route long ago, it is just a matter of how far.

Many hunters make deliberate choices about technology, but even bow hunters seldom limit themselves to long bows and no sights. Open sighted flintlock muzzle loaders are very advanced technology compared to jumping on a deer's back and gnawing on its neck until you kill it. :)

I have made choices based on the kind of experiences I want while hunting, but I have to admit that my aperture sighted Mod.94 is a vast technological leap over a pointy stick, and my scoped .270 is almost laser-like in comparison.

I think the question is, unfortunately, unanswerable except on a purely personal level.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Well said. There is something to appreciate using things like clothes, shoes, and any sort of a projectile that isn't powered by your arm muscles alone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I understand that each person would need to answer this question for himself, but that's what I'm trying to gauge: What level of technology do you choose? The evolution from smooth-bore, to rifled, to breech-loading, to lever-action, to bolt-action, to semi-auto have all been steps up in technology...do any of you make a conscious choice to use less of the high-tech stuff that is currently available, because you feel it makes for a more rewarding hunting experience?

I confess that I've tried almost every new technology that came out for hunting and when I got into both archery and muzzle-loading, it wasn't to challenge myself with simpler hunting tools, it was to spend more days in the field. It's only lately that I've started to contemplate the idea of using less advanced equipment as a means to enjoy the actual hunt more. One example is that I have spent fewer days up in a tree stand and more time hunting from an improvised ground blind or still hunting an area.
 

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I also try to think about the game animal i'm pursuing
i Want to kill it fast and clean.
Of course hunting with a longbow would be More gratifiing
than with the compound but theres a lot more chance for a bad shot
and i dont have the time or determination to get accurate enough
to Hunt with it. Same thing for the old muzzleloaders rifles that seem
to have a mind of their own when time comes to decide where
that patched ball Will go.
In the times those weapons were used. They hunted for a living
so i guess they could live with a crippled animal from time to time.
So i would say if your consistent with this kind of weapons go ahead
but i'm not good enough
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Heck it's all good. Pointy sticks for urban pest control ;) up to the Weatherby at the deer camp. Lever guns for mounted operations (handier to get out the window in a hurry) and open sights as backups. Scopes for low-light pig shooting, especially.

Iron sighted revolver for backup and sometimes primary means of hunting. Got a percussion revolver I'll use one of these days. It's all good!!!!!
 

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This is kind of a humorous thought for me...a certain old(er) fellow I know (though I won't say who, in order to protect the guilty), once made up a bola, using only his hands, and proceded to go hunting with it. A bola, by the way, is a bunch of weights - in this case, about half-fist sized rocks, tied together, essentially to trip the animal up. He used wet slough grass for the lash, and dug up the rocks with his hands and a stick. He then proceded to climb a tree and sit in a low branch for the better part of a day, until he managed to bag a coyote. He caught it around the neck and leg, and jumped on it. I guess he was planning on stabbing it with a stick that he broke so that it was pointed nicely. Never had to use it though...he killed the coyote when he landed on it.

He tried two more times, but never did end up with big game out of it. I'm not sure how old he would have been, but he was past retirement age by a few years anyway...so at least his late 60's. He had a lot of spunk though, and just wanted to see if he could do it!

That being said, I draw the line at a centerfire rifle, with a scope of your choosing. I completely dislike scent blocking, and I won't bait in any manner I can help (even hunting the edge of a field at dusk). I won't use a rangefinder. I use tree stands, occasionally...but rarely. I've had deer literally almost walk over me (within two or three feet) when I'm sitting still near a trail, with a nice grass and leaf camo blanket, and I love the thrill of knowing that at least occasionally, my animal instinct can better theirs.

Of course, I don't necessarily fault anyone who feels any other way.
 

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Technology means different things to hunters, based on where they fall in the five stages of a hunter.

1. The Shooter Stage
2. The Limiting Out Stage
3. The Trophy Stage
4. The Method Stage 5. The Sportsman Stage

I like to think I'm in the method or sportsman stages of my life. What I use and how I hunt are more important than what I shoot, if I shoot anything.
 

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Technology means different things to hunters, based on where they fall in the five stages of a hunter.

1. The Shooter Stage
2. The Limiting Out Stage
3. The Trophy Stage
4. The Method Stage 5. The Sportsman Stage

I like to think I'm in the method or sportsman stages of my life. What I use and how I hunt are more important than what I shoot, if I shoot anything.
What about the hunter who hunts to survive? I would take all your stages listed, and combine them for stage one.

For me its not about how advanced my weapon of choice is but how close i am to the animal when i deliver the lethal blow (whatever it may be) If you are within 40 yards of the animal you kill, it dont matter if your using a lazer gun. I do agree that anything more than using your teeth and hands is technology.

Anyone ever consider a wrist rocket with heavy bearings? could probly crush a deer skull within ten yards with such a weapon, that would be fairly primitive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What about the hunter who hunts to survive? I would take all your stages listed, and combine them for stage one.

For me its not about how advanced my weapon of choice is but how close i am to the animal when i deliver the lethal blow (whatever it may be) If you are within 40 yards of the animal you kill, it dont matter if your using a lazer gun. I do agree that anything more than using your teeth and hands is technology.

Anyone ever consider a wrist rocket with heavy bearings? could probly crush a deer skull within ten yards with such a weapon, that would be fairly primitive.
What you're referring to is subsistence hunting, which does not take any of those 4 listed stages into account. Those are for people who hunt for reasons other than simple survival.
 

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What you're referring to is subsistence hunting, which does not take any of those 4 listed stages into account. Those are for people who hunt for reasons other than simple survival.
All hunting unless it is hunting predators should be subsistence hunting to a degree, i would be curious how many people actually believe "trophy hunting" is one of the latter stages of being a hunter? That was probably the first stage i entered at about 9-10 by the time i was 12 i was really itching for trophy qaulity animals, after a few years of hunting, my goals changed, i was then interested in filling tags (putting meat in the freezer) Right now i am in my third stage of hunting, I want to fill my tag first and foremost, secondly i want to remove an animal that has passed its prime, or genetically weak.

So stage one = trophy hunting mentality

stage two = Filling tag mentality

stage three= Fill tags, while only removing animals that are past there prime, or of weak genetics.

All hunters are individuals, they all have different stages, but to suggest there is a set of stages that most hunter progress by is insulting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The stages of a hunter listed by Mogwai are what most hunter's education classes teach, as a way for young people to understand some of the basic motivations for why and how people hunt. It is not meant to be insulting, merely informative and perhaps thought-provoking.

You, yourself, admit to having progressed through various stages. That your progression is different than what other hunters have experienced makes neither one right, wrong, or insulting...just, well, "different". I think most people start out with just wanting to get their first deer, no matter how big. Then, they want to fill all their tags. Then, after they've shot a fair number of deer, they want to shoot a big one. Hopefully the final stage, for most hunters, is to simply enjoy the experience.

For me, I am learning that I enjoy the experience more, when I take "less" with me, in terms of the latest n' greatest stuff. Quite often I find myself carrying a small folding chair into the woods, hiding behind some bushes or a fallen log and seeing if my scouting has paid off, or not. Whether I get a deer; young or old, buck or doe, near or far, it doesn't matter nearly as much as whether or not I found the peace and relaxation I've come to value so much in hunting.
 

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So stage one = trophy hunting mentality

stage two = Filling tag mentality

stage three= Fill tags, while only removing animals that are past there prime, or of weak genetics.

All hunters are individuals, they all have different stages, but to suggest there is a set of stages that most hunter progress by is insulting.
Well, to a point I agree, but "insulting" is not the way I see it; it's just self-centered to think everyone else is like you.

I and my favorite hunting partners had a discussion on this very thing around a campfire at noon this last season. Russ and I (the fathers) found ourselves at the point where we didn't care a bit whether or not we shot anything - we were just hunting for the fun of it. Although we both felt would enjoy some meat this winter, we could hardly say it was really necessary, and that probably meat from the store costs less.

Our sons agreed among themselves that filling a tag was pretty important still, but they were actually after meat and counting on it.

We all agreed that the best season of all would be one where we shot good meat on the last afternoon of the last day, having hunted for many days during which we were holding out for the "world record", or nothing.

What point do we fit? ;)
 

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I have been lucky enough to make clean kills with a bow, and to kill game with a gun several years in a row. I find the two kind of balance each other out (for me). I get great satisfaction out of bowhunting. It is a great challenge to get within the senses envelope of a deer and make a bow kill at 20 or 30 yds. Anyone who thinks cleanly shot deer suffer anymore from an arrow wound than from a gunshot wound has not bowhunted much. On more than one occasion, I have shot clean through a deer with a broadhead, and the animal never knew it was hit. They go on about grazing, or look around nervously because they heard the release, and then collapse 30 or 60 or 90 seconds later. It is realy cool. The flip side is setting up and trying to nail a big trophy at 300 yds or more with a high-powered. That is a lot of fun too. I love distance shooting with rifles. It has it's own challenges.
 

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When I was young I just wanted to kill my first buck.
Then horns mattered(never cared about filling tags)
now at 41 I am moving into a less is more stage. I hunt with single shot rifle and scope.
I already have the urge to buy black powder, so i am sure that is coming. Will be with a scope also, my eyes are too bad to see good enough to place a humane kill shot consistantly.

I wonder how I will feel about things in another 10 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Without sufficient technology, many of the animals we hunt may be hunting us.
What about guys who go into the brush after wild pigs with nothing more than a couple good dogs and a long, sharp knife? That's back to basics and it gives the animal half a chance to do some damage to you, instead of the other way around. I'm not looking for that much of a challenge, but how many of you are choosing a fixed 4X scope, or 2X-7X, instead of the more powerful models? I know a lot of guys on here love receiver sights...is that because of the nostalgia, the added challenge, the sense of being a better rifleman, for not using a scope at all?

I'm not concerned so much with "method" here, as I am the level of technology involved. How much of the hunting you do could you keep doing, if society started to crumble and certain things were no longer available, like laser range-finders or even jacketed bullets?
 

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What about guys who go into the brush after wild pigs with nothing more than a couple good dogs and a long, sharp knife? That's back to basics and it gives the animal half a chance to do some damage to you, instead of the other way around. I'm not looking for that much of a challenge, but how many of you are choosing a fixed 4X scope, or 2X-7X, instead of the more powerful models? I know a lot of guys on here love receiver sights...is that because of the nostalgia, the added challenge, the sense of being a better rifleman, for not using a scope at all?

I'm not concerned so much with "method" here, as I am the level of technology involved. How much of the hunting you do could you keep doing, if society started to crumble and certain things were no longer available, like laser range-finders or even jacketed bullets?
How many people go after grizzlys with a couple dogs and a knife? How about Lions? Elaphant? Yes many of those animals were killed by a pack of humans touting spears, that is technology though. Many of those spear touting natives didnt come back from the hunt.

Btw i dont really consider hunting hogs with a knife and dogs "low tech" you do have the dogs holding the pig down.

That all being said, i do like the idea of using a "less modern" firearm to hunt with, im happy with my mdl 94 30-30 without a scope.

Would be more of a chalenge to use an old flintlock (or a new one) with more traditional components.


P.s those guys and there dogs are probably safer then somone with a rifle walking through the brush after pigs, have you seen the dogs they use?
 

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Originally Broom Jm mentioned tradional hunting with a flintlock and a round ball.

I am not sure if they do it anymore, but when I was a kid in Pennsylvania, there was a group of guys that used to get together for muzzle loader season. The would put on the old buckskins and the raccoon skin cap and head to the woods. That used to be neat to see them in the woods.

I hunted with an old flintlock once. I got caught in storm with snow and freezing rain. As I was sitting under and old hemlock tree, a good buck came out, about 35 yards away, and I pulled up, got him in the open sights and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened, the powder was wet, and the old Hawken did not fire. Buck ran off, and I had to put the rifle in the basement across from the old coal stove to dry out. About a week later I sold it to a friend of my uncle's. Not sure what he ever did with it.

Now as far as the technology and gimmicks. I would never trade my scoped rifles. I used to bow hunt, but lost interest since moving to the southeast. Something about bow hunting when it is 95 degrees out just doesn't sit well.

As long as I had my rifle, a knife and some good boots. I could make it a good day hunting. Some can't live without all the gimmicks and technology, some can.

These days you have people posting to forums such as this one while sitting in a tree stand. Via there cell phones. Strange how far we have come.
 

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These days you have people posting to forums such as this one while sitting in a tree stand. Via there cell phones. Strange how far we have come.
Since I often hunt alone, I carry a cell phone in case of an emergency. However since the phones went digital, many of the areas I hunt in Colorado don't have coverage as they are higher the cell phone towers. With the old analog phone I could sometimes make a call, but now at one location I can look down into a ski resort town and not get a cell phone connection. I guess I won't be posting to the forum while hunting.
 
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