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Marc Anthony of Goodfield owns and operates Look Alive Taxidermy and Non Typical Hunter magazine. Anthony grew up in central Illinois and spent eight years as a commercial pilot before giving that up to spend more time with his wife Jan and three children, Victoria, Drake and Elesa. Anthony hunted on and off as a child but started seriously at age 30 and focuses on bowhunting for deer and turkeys. He's arrowed four bucks that meet the Boone and Crockett Club (net) standards and 20 Pope and Young Club qualifiers. Anthony is on the Pro Staff for Muzzy broadheads, Bear Archery, Vital Gear, Natural Predator, Non Typical Hunter and several other companies. He also is a member of the Outdoor writers Association of America, OWAA.

 

Non-typical Hunter

A Web log by Marc Anthony

Where PETA misses the mark.

December 31, 2008 at 12:33 PM

Here’s a piece from the PETA website:

“Every year, more than 15 billion animals are slaughtered for food in the U.S. alone. Each of those billions of individual animals is denied everything that is natural and important to them: the space to take a few steps, love, safety from fear and pain, companionship, the joy of being able to nuzzle their young, and often even protection from the cold. That’s billions of feeling beings who die frightening, painful, and often violent deaths so that they can be thrown into a bucket or a box or onto a sandwich”.

This statement has so many holes in it, it couldn’t carry water 10 feet. Where do I begin?

First of all, in all fairness, we are fortunate enough to live in America where we have a diversity of different ideas, fundamentals and objectives. In America, a person has the same right to choose to be a non-hunter just as we have the right to hunt. Now when the non-hunter interferes with the hunter’s right to hunt, that’s stepping out of bounds. Their right doesn’t give them the right to dissolve our right! When you create a statement like the one above, you had better do your homework or someone like me will tear it all apart. These PETA people miss the mark in so many ways and then recruit people with ill logic and deceit. From there on, the hunter is already on the unfair defensive from new recruits.

Lets begin with “Every year, more than 15 billion animals are slaughtered for food in the U.S. alone”. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong because I didn’t bother looking up the stats on this claim because I thought it was so way out of whack, but 15,000,000,000? If we were to add all of the whitetail per state, game birds, big game, etc. harvested in the U.S., we would probably barely make the several million mark. Where do they get this figure?

The next statement “Each of those billions of individual animals is denied everything that is natural and important to them: the space to take a few steps, love, safety from fear and pain, companionship, the joy of being able to nuzzle their young, and often even protection from the cold”. Really??? If hunters didn’t hunt these animals, would they really have “protection from the cold”, “safety from fear of pain”, etc? Do I really have to answer that one? Of course not! Animals kill to hunt and hunt to kill. The wild was called the “wild” because it’s wild! An animal will eat another animal alive for crying out loud. Animals don’t live these cozy little lives as they are constantly looking for food, shelter and territorial boundaries. It’s flat out stressful! Further more, when you don’t manage wildlife by reducing the quantity, they’ll literally eat themselves out of “house and home”. Now that’s pretty humane! Their habitat can only be so large…period.

Now lets look at this veggie thing. Veggies are good! I probably don’t eat enough of them, but let me tell you, I must eat meat! I am a meat eater and if I don’t eat my fair share of meat, I get sick…really. I need protein (and not from peanut butter) to live and feel good. Most animals do too. It just kills me to see some young mothers out there, pregnant, eating only veggies when their young fetuses need protein. I know some of them are smart enough (and love their children enough) to start eating meat when they discover they are carrying a child. Others aren’t. Thank you PETA for feeding this kind of mental junk to the young and naive mothers out there who think following the movie star mentality is imperative to social acceptance.

What really kills me is the fact that Hollywood movie stars join in on the garbage not having a clue what their talking about. If it seems “fashionable” to join PETA, they’ll do it. I’ve got news for them, Hollywood movie stars’ opinion mean nothing to me and hold no water either when it comes to hunting. Do I enjoy seeing an animal suffer? Not at all, which is why I practice shooting my bow. Do I enjoy seeing animals starve? Not at all, which is another reason I hunt to manage the population. Does my body need some meat? You becha.

The acronym PETA stands for: “People for the ethical treatment of animals”. Should hunters own that claim? After all, it’s the hunters that are treating these animals ethically by selective hunting, managing populations and creating habitat through hunting fees. If PETA could focus on the treatment of pets, mistreated & undernourished animals, etc. and the leave the wildlife to us, there would be no reason for them to invade our “right” as they would have enough on their plate (besides veggies) to keep occupied.

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Tip of the week

December 29, 2008 at 11:28 AM

  Starting now, I’ve decided to create the “Tip of the week” in reference to whitetail hunting. Throughout the years and after speaking with thousands of deer hunters from all over North America, I’ve accumulated hundreds of great tips that I’ve found to be beneficial when hunting deer. I’ll post these tips once a week here for easy viewing. If you have a tip or something interesting you would like to forward to our readers, please email them to me and I’ll post them.

It’s obvious to most that some hunters hunt for meat, some for racks and some like to manage for all of the aforementioned. There is a way to achieve all of these objectives through education. That’s right, by managing properly the trophy hunter can get his rack, the meat hunter can get his meat and a balanced herd can be balanced. There would be very little reason for controversy among hunters if everyone got what they wanted…right? Then why not manage?

Managing doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact, it can be as simple as making a decision when you are ready to pull back the string on your bow or pulling the trigger on your gun. Meat eaters can pop does, trophy hunters can hammer big bucks and managers can balance their herds by selective hunting. Lets look at a few different scenarios:

Most deer travel less than 1 mile from their home turf, including during the rut. Most travel far less outside of the rut. So if the hunters who hunted several properties within this 1 mile radius all shot only 3 1/2 year and older bucks, everyone who shot bucks would have a trophy. The argument; “There aren’t that many big bucks in that area to shoot”. The answer; there would be if everyone managed the herd and only shot mature bucks. The explanation; In a moderately dense deer population per square mile, there will be plenty of deer (bucks included) for everyone to shoot. In just 2 years time, all of the basket racks would be at least 3+ years of age and of trophy quality. The younger bucks at that time will now have time to age. The cycle will now continue endlessly (theoretically) and everybody gets a big buck within that range. Its a no brainer, but every hunter within that radius must be on the same plan. The problem; getting everyone on the plan. In that same plan, meat hunters shoot only does. Does are mostly plentiful here in Illinois (yes, I know, that is a general statement) and need to be managed anyway. Keeping the doe ratio in check makes for better buck hunting, so again, management prevails. Sometimes button bucks can be mistaken for does, so that’s where the “Tip of the week” comes into play. Mike Coombs, an avid deer hunter of 30 years explained to me a theory he’s proven to be accurate in the evening. He claims he’s noticed a different behavior pattern of button bucks compared to does. He believes that for the most part, the button buck will always remain a bit more reclusive ( like a big buck), especially in the evening even when traveling with a doe or other siblings. Mike has stated that over the years, he’s watched the button bucks in his area remain in staging areas or hidden behind trees until just before dark before heading out into the fields. If his theory is correct, that could be one more tool in your arsenal for deer management. He also stated that the bigger buck traits can be seen in the button buck if watched for closely. I would have to agree with him on most of what he said because I’ve noticed the similar behavior in pet deer. The button bucks were always more feisty and ruckus. So a little bit of scrutiny could help.

Do you think there is a deer shortage? It’s hard to tell with the inaccurate data that we have to work with but I can tell you this much; A lack of activity in your area can be both a sign of too many does and not enough deer. Too many does can offer the bucks too many choices! If bucks know where the ladies are staying ( and they always do ), they won’t have to travel far or compete for them. No activity means little action for you. Now if you are an early season hunter like myself, I don’t depend on action for a good buck. But again, if you don’t tag out early, you’ll be forced into the rut like I was this year for my second buck and activity was monumental for success. So if you bust out a large group of does during one of your scouting trips, remember what you have and what type of hunting you’ll be doing when the season opens. If you have a valid reason to believe that the population is down in your area, then hunt and manage for a larger herd. Food plots, bucks only hunting and providing great cover can really pay off in a short amount of time.

Hey folks, it’s all about management! FYI, I don’t want to be misunderstood here and have a myriad of emails or comments saying “Hey don’t tell me what to do with my own property, etc”. I’m not, I’m just merrily providing food for thought and throwing in some tips from seasoned hunters. My personal opinion, based on my experience, screams management!  I get what I want most of the time and that is a good hunt. I’m not saying I get a kill every time I go out, I am saying I get a good hunt and good huntin’ is what it’s all about. I do my best to manage the properties I hunt (and they’re not very large pieces) and if I get skunked, then I get skunked, it’s not the end of the world. But when payday comes, being paid back for my efforts is really welcomed.

In this day in age, lets face it, the state’s not going to manage our herd for our benefit. It’s time to take control of our sport. You reap what you sew, so if you want quality and plenty of it, get with the plan!

Send me your tips!

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Merry Christmas to all PSO readers

December 23, 2008 at 11:48 AM

With the holidays approaching and the year winding down, I wanted to wish all PSO readers a merry Christmas!

When Jeff Lampe asked me aboard this year, I was happy to join as I love to read, write and fight for our hunting/outdoor rights. I also enjoy listening to other hunters and their strategies, which is why I started the Non-Typical Hunter Mini-Mag. It’s never boring when you can reciprocate ideas, stories and whitetail strategies all year long. Aside from the occasional negative comments that are written in the boards, most of the posters are dedicated and knowledgeable Illinois deer hunters and in my opinion, Illinois hunters top the charts when it comes to hunting whitetails!

Illinois is blessed with an incredible deer herd and fighting to keep it here for our children is one of my top priorities being a voice for the Illinois hunter. With an uncertain forecast in Springfield, I feel it is of utmost importance to keep our voices heard throughout the transitions of our Governor and his appointees. Hunting whitetails is a tradition here in Illinois and should not be allowed to slip through our hands!

Many thanks go out to outspoken individuals like Tim Walmsley, Don Higgins, Jeff Lampe, Les Davenport and other outdoor writers/contributors who share the same interest along with our fellow DNR employees who truly love the sport like Ron Wilmore and CPO John Van Zant who work from day to day doing their best to keep our heritage alive, mostly unnoticed. A special thanks to our Pope & Young / Boone & Crockett scorers who dedicate their time, gas and energy so that we can keep accurate records used in conservation when scoring heads.

To the PSO readers, thanks for reading and contributing! I look forward to seeing what 2009 brings. Good luck the rest of the season and God bless!

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