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gspman

Stages of a hunter

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This should stir some discussion and some thought about how you enjoy hunting. Keep in mind that no stage is better than the others as long as you hunt legally, ethically, and safely. Personally I've been in several of these stages and currently am scattered in two or three of these stages.

Hunters change through the years. Factors used to determine "successful hunting" change as well for each hunter. A hunter's age, role models, and his years of hunting experience affect his ideas of "success." Many hunters may fit into one of the following five groups. In 1975-1980, groups of over 1,000 hunters in Wisconsin were studied, surveyed, and written about by Professors Robert Jackson and Robert Norton, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The results of their studies form a widely accepted theory of hunter behavior and development. Where are you now? Where would you like to be?

SHOOTER STAGE

The hunter talks about satisfaction with hunting being closely tied to being able to "get shooting." Often the beginning duck hunter will relate he had an excellent day if he got in a lot of shooting. The beginning deer hunter will talk about the number of shooting opportunities. Missing game means little to hunters in this phase. A beginning hunter wants to pull the trigger and test the capability of his firearm. A hunter in this stage may be a dangerous hunting partner.

LIMITING OUT STAGE

A hunter still talks about satisfaction gained from shooting. But what seems more important is measuring success through the killing of game and the number of birds or animals shot. Limiting out, or filling a tag, is the absolute measure. Do not let your desire to limit out be stronger than the need for safe behavior at all times.

TROPHY STAGE

Satisfaction is described in terms of selectivity of game. A duck hunter might take only greenheads. A deer hunter looks for one special deer. A hunter might travel far to find a real trophy animal. Shooting opportunity and skills become less important.

METHOD STAGE

This hunter has all the special equipment. Hunting has become one of the most important things in his life. Satisfaction comes from the method that enables the hunter to take game. Taking game is important, but second to how it is taken. This hunter will study long and hard how best to pick a blind site, lay out decoys, and call in waterfowl. A deer hunter will go one on one with a white-tailed deer, studying sign, tracking, and the life habits of the deer. Often, the hunter will handicap himself by hunting only with black powder firearms or bow and arrow. Bagging game, or limiting, still is understood as being a necessary part of the hunt during this phase.

SPORTSMAN STAGE

As a hunter ages and after many years of hunting, he "mellows out." Satisfaction now can be found in the total hunting experience. Being in the field, enjoying the company of friends and family, and seeing nature outweigh the need for taking game. Not all hunters go through all the stages, or go through them in that particular order. It is also possible for hunters who pursue several species of game to be in different stages with regard to each species. Some hunters feel that role models of good sportsmen, training, or reading books or magazines helped them pass more quickly through some stages.

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Yep this has been around for years and years. Generalizing is often difficult, but this is pretty close to what I see with people (ages 11 - 75) I hunt with and from what I see on the net. Some people move through the stages very quickly, others never get past limiting out ...

I also see people move from one type of hunting say deer to waterfowl and sort off start over on the stages....

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Ahhh if you want to stir the pot, throw in the "money stages" of hunting ... what a hunter spends on equipment and clothes,

those that chose to hunt with high end outfitters and/or lease of land, etc...

money always seems to bring out more emotions and envy than other factors...

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I'm right with you.....I'd probably change the name of 'Sportsman Stage' to 'About to Die Stage'.....then it won't automatically predispose folks to one category.

smile

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You missed a stage that I can relate to.

When I first began deer hunting it was in the early to middle '70s. For me, just actually seeing a deer during the entire deer season made the season a success. We've become so accustomed to a rather large deer population in recent decades with some very liberal harvest opportunities. Anyone that started their hunting experience since 1990 probably has no idea how thin things can be. I would call this the Beginner Stage.

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I love to now just hunt the larger bucks but I only shoot does for my freezer.

I just love to get out with friends and enjoy the outdoors and the hunt.

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I would be in the Sportsmans class, I enjoy the hunt with friends, have brought in the young-ens and taught them the way I/we hunt and what it is all about. Now with a new (1 yo lab) I am very excited to see the rewards of all the training. He cost me over $1300 so far in training and I know that the 1st time he does one thing the way it should work I will be very proud and figure my investment was worth every penny. Rather it be, bringing back a goose this weekend or finding a downed grouse or working a corn field looking for roosters

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Deer bow- limiting out

Deer Gun- Trophy

Waterfowl- Sportsman(mostly because ducks taste awful)

Upland birds- method

Doves- I think doves only have one stage, shooter

Big Game- Trophy

side note. While I am typing this, someone has all 5 topics in the new topics section filled with the same post. You see 2s, 3s and 4s occasonally but this 5 is a first for me. Dude is fast too, they are like 40 seconds apart.

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