Evolution of a Hunter

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Senior Member
Do all hunters go from if its brown its down to having the opprotunity to harvest a deer and letting it pass. I have been hunting for about 5 years and have evolved to the point that I do not have to shoot everthing that walks. I have never shot a wall hanger and if I do great but if I do'nt the time in the woods is worth ever minute spent there. In fact I am to the point just the opprotunity to harvest a deer is almost as much fun as harvesting one. I guess its the experience.




I agree with you 100%!!!!!!!!!

I had plenty and I mean plenty of opportunities to shoot my share of bucks last year.........But, I'm not shootin' one just to shoot one.........

I took 3 does (just enough for meat) and saw over 20 bucks that had at least 4 points on one side...........

For me, it's almost as enjoyable sittin' up a tree, seeing a buck, and then figuring out it's "NOT" a buck you're gonna take.........Then just watchin' him do whatever........

That in itself is "ALMOST" as enjoyable as takin' a quality buck.........


Senior Member
Good Post

I think most if not all of us began hunting shooting what we saw, but after a few seasons under your belt you settle down and relax, and the vision of what you can choose to shoot or not shoot becomes more clear.

I myself could have killed 200+ bucks in my life time, but over the years I have more enjoyment sitting, and watching the game than blasting away at any old deer I see.

It to me is more about the hunt rather than the kill, and it does not bother me one bit if I go a year or two empty handed
I agree with everything you posted.
As a matter of fact I've now gotten to the point where Mr. Big isn't even my main goal. My favorite part of hunting now is taking my girls or a young person with me and watching them experience the joy of shooting or seeing a deer.Helps me remember the pure emotion of that first deer, first miss, first wallhanger, first deer fight, first buck hot on a doe. etc :clap:

Bucky T

GONetwork Member
Hunting is a series of steps up the "Hunting Ladder", if you ask me.

I started out shooting anything I saw. It was a great way to begin deer hunting. Every deer to me back then was an ear to ear grinning trophy in my eyes.

I've now stepped up to letting all the small bucks and all small bodied deer for that matter walk by. I really enjoy watching deer in their natural enviroments. I also really enjoy putting in food plots, setting up feeders, and taking pictures with my DeerCam.

Hunting Teacher is a couple of steps up the ladder from me, but is at a point I know I'll be at 10yrs down the road when I have kids.

I'm looking forward to climbing higher and higher.



Senior Member
I agree with most of everything posted so far especially what Tommy said. For me, I am looking for Mr. Big. However, that's not the only reason I hunt since I have not killed a wall hanger in several years. I have let many walk, even some that were bigger than the last wallhanger I killed. I take the does I need to take from meat and management standpoint and have let small bucks walk for most of my hunting career now.



Senior Member
I'm with HT2 on this exactly! :clap: For me it's knowing I could have and not pulling the trigger in most cases except for the meat does. Only difference at all is that I didn't see as many bucks as HT2 this year! :huh:


Senior Member
I put strict limitations on myself early on. I killed my first deer, a 4pt when I was 18 years old. After that, I took a doe or two and then a nice 6pt with a 14" spread... decent mass.

I told myself then "it's gotta be bigger than that now before I shoot another".

2 years rocked by until an 8 point came along. So, "it's gotta be bigger than that".

Even though my 6 point was bigger than both my 8's I had taken at the time, I told myself I wasn't going to shoot anything smaller than my 6 point.

For about years I didn't kill a buck, and then two years ago I killed the biggest buck of my life.. A 134" B&C 8 point.

I told myself then, I'm not going to kill one unless it's bigger than that..

I tell you that, to tell you this.

The year after taking my big 8, I saw a nice 8 point enter the food plot with plenty of daylight left in the hunt. I scoped him out, and let him walk. He was a 2 year old, spread out to his ears, nice tine length, healthy deer.

Shortly after, I shot a doe that came out into the food plot.

Fast Forward one week later. Same food plot, right at dark a nice big ol' doe walks into the food plot right at dark. I pop her and when I get to her I realize it's a buck that had already shed his antlers.

More than likely, he was the same buck I'd let walk the week before.

Anyhow I was "disappointed" in myself for taking that deer. Because he would have been NICE next year, and two, I had just used one of my buck tags.

On the way out, I got to thinking about how selfish is that of me to think that way. Many people hunt lifetimes and don't take a deer.. Kids go all the time and don't get a deer, and here I am disappointed with having taken one that wasn't up to my spec's... so to speak.

I told myself right then that I'd never be disappointed with taking any deer, but to just be forever GRATEFUL for having had the chance at one, and futhermore succeeding in taking one.

Will I shoot small bucks all the time now? No. I'll still be choosy on the bucks, but the does had better watch it.

Oftentimes we put too much emphasis on the horns, weight, etc... and forget about the reason why we are really out there.

And that's to experience God's creation, while putting the finest meat on this earth in our freezer.

Horns, or no horns.
After hunting a couple of years and shooting just about everything that walked by, I found myself sitting in the stand one morning not shooting but watching. I learned more about dear in the next couple of years by watching them than shooting and therfore my success rate on seeing and taking good animals increased dramatically. Funny though i still shoot as many today as i did then, Just enjoy it alot more.


Senior Member
That's kind of the way it went for me. When I was a teenager it was an event just to see a deer, any deer. There was a friend of my father's who had a basket racked 8 and a 6 mounted and I thought it was amazing that he had such good luck. Deer populations have grown and there is more data on deer than ever before, and more and more hunters are being selective. It is still amazing to me that years ago just seeing a 4pt buck was so cool and now it is just a footnote for that hunt. Time flies when you're having fun!
I went threw that stage also, when starting to hunt, if a deer walked in front of me it usually got shot AT, i was young and to young to hit the deer because i was shaking so bad, but then i finally connected on one and i got better and killed some deer, now im happy and enjoy as much just watching them alot of times, so now i usually like to take 3 or 4 does for meat and let the little bucks walk and wait for a nice one


GONetwork Senator Area 51
I guess most of us go through that I was the same way early on and now I am alot more selective except with my bow I still get a charge out of a doe.


Senior Member
Any deer dumb enough to get within 35 yards of me needs to be taken out of the gene pool. I am not selective about antlers as bucks just don't do much for me. I am selective about one thing, size. I only kill that which I will eat. That is not to say that every deer that walks by gets an arrow flying their way.....but I hunt to kill and to eat the venison. 7 deer do not last my family 1 year.