Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
RulesIllinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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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

Hunters: In line for self-destruction!

May 06, 2010 at 07:48 PM

Hunting, it’s the sport we all love! We plan for it, we buy land to do it on, we practice all year long and we anticipate the opening day…all summer long. We love it so much, we fear losing it. Who do we fear losing it to? Is it Obama? Is it PETA? Is it the anti hunting community? I don’t know whom you would choose but the answer isn’t here. No help needed, we’ll do it on our own!

Say the word “hunting” to the non-hunting community and they’ll think of shooting and killing animals. Say the word “hunting” to a hunter, and you’ll get all sorts of responses. Duck, deer, birds, trophy, meat, bow, gun, camo, etc, etc, etc? You’ll also get conversations reminiscing down memory lane with the family, friends and so on. Go to a forum and you’ll be attacked by whomever considers themselves the “Forum Cop”. Watch hunting on TV and you’ll see an array of episodes regarding trophy taking, instructional techniques and hunting entertainment. Diversified as it is, the word “Hunting” means something different to everyone. Was hunting always this way? Not at all. What has it become?

Sadly, hunting has become the common denominator for competition, jealousy and distrust. It used to be that a hunter would receive a solid “congratulations” for their harvest, no matter what it was. Oh sure, we still get congratulations and well wishes, as long as that rack that’s hanging on its neck isn’t bigger than the one on our wall. If that rack is larger, then it was poached, no doubt about it. If that buck was a yearling, then that person had no right killing it! Really, just ask any “expert” online who hides behind a phony screen name because if he used his own name, he would have to answer in a dignified way…heaven forbid. Yeah, this is what we want the public to see. Would you want to bet that these people talk to their families this way? I doubt it. For some reason people want to believe that it’s OK to show your dark side if you are disguised via a screen name.

Did I say distrust? Oh yeah, it’s at every corner. Try giving a seminar only to have someone raise their hand and ask you “How many big bucks have you killed?” That’s fine and dandy and I’m all for a person exercising due diligence but when you’re talking about habitat and why we need to hunt, where does the “big buck” question come to play? Did someone train these people to say this stuff? I was contacted this week by an extremely experienced nationally renown hunter and outdoor writer for some advice on hunting from the ground. He needed the material for an upcoming article he’s writing for publication. At the end of our conversation, he said” Marc, I’m really sorry to have to ask you this but how many deer have you taken from the ground. I need to know the trophy bucks, sizes, etc.” He was right. He had no choice but to ask me that question because credibility among hunters is so trashed these days, hunters feel they MUST know this data before they’ll listen to just one word of information coming from your lips. That’s a real shame because some of the best hunting tips, information and techniques I’ve acquired came from some old timers who never measured one rack in their lifetime. Now I’m not against measuring racks, in fact, I love to do it. It’s a sport for me and I enjoy it but IT IS NOT a requirement! For anyone to assume pertinent information will only come from a hunter with a trophy track record, is certainly foolish and is setting themselves up for failure.

Now we have ethics or I should say, the lack of. Hunters stealing each other’s tree stands, trail cameras, etc. Trespassing on private property while screwing up another person’s hunt. Taking a deer that was clearly shot by your neighbor (and you knew it) and not giving back to him, or worse yet, taking his rack. I would like for you to know that there can be no sicker feeling than shooting a buck of a lifetime only to have someone else take it. I can also tell you that there is no better feeling than someone finding your buck and returning it back to you even though it had a 191” typical rack on it’s head! Yes, that happened to me and I’ll never forget my good buddy who found it. He could have just acted like he didn’t see it and kept walking, only to go back at a later time. Now that’s a good friend!

I think one major flaw we have as hunters is common decency. Yes, we have meat hunters, trophy hunters and even people who just enjoy watching deer, who don’t even hunt. You would be surprised how easy it is to get someone on your side with regard to hunting, if you just give them an example of something decent! I’ve won over many anti-hunters and have even acquired great relationships with them because I TOOK THE TIME to patiently explain what we do and why we need to do it. In retrospect, I’ve learned that many non-hunters are actually a lot like you and I. They just love wildlife and don’t really want to see them harmed. Education is a beautiful thing! By walking up to someone and saying “Obama is a Nazi”, is just asking a non-hunter to hate us even more (and I’ve heard that exact phrase). First of all, any intelligent person would tell you that any African American who would want to become a Nazi is about as equivalent as Mary Poppins wanting to become a UFC fighter. When a person’s intelligence is insulted, you can kiss your support goodbye and I’m here to tell you, we need every bit of it today. Giving another person a little bit of respect will go a long way when it’s time to pitch your message. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen too much of that recently.

A true sign of intelligence is when a number of people can have a conversation arguing different ideas WITHOUT THE ARGUMENT! To argue an idea does not mean to be argumentative. Why can’t hunters figure that out? One thing for sure, we as hunters are losing this battle slowly but surely, because we can’t even accept the fact that many of us hunt differently. We absolutely, positively must learn to respect each other’s way of hunting because the anti-s certainly won’t.

If we won’t, who’s left?

   

 

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