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The Stages of Hunting/Fishing


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I think all of us have read about the stages that many people who hunt and/or fish go through. Relating to hunting they are:

1. Shooting Stage-having the opportunity to get shots at your quarry.

2. Limiting out Stage

3. Trophy Stage

4. Method Stage

5. Sportsman Stage.

It seems I'm leaving the method stage and leaking into the sportsman stage and I've progressed almost to a "T" from 1-5. Many people go back and forth or skip a stage. I find myself sometimes wishing I could "go back" and visit one of the past stages but I haven't been able to on my own.

The way I've been able to live in the past is by hunting with younger nephews and my son. It makes me feel like a kid again, sometimes rougher than I remember it being when I was younger but enables me to bring back a lot of great memories.

What stage are you in?

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guess i'm in the enjoying my time while on the water stage or in the woods stage. when i was a kid our family was in the harvesting for food stage. later however a lot of things changed. i remember releasing my first 6 pound walleye. that was a painfull few seconds. after she left my hands and watching her swim back the idea of releasing large game fish became a habit i quickly adapted to and enjoy.

i remember as a kid in the fall and winter grouse and snowshoe's were the game we hunted along with deer, a much shorter season. i've eaten many meals of wild game. loved rabbit. my mom browned the meat and made the best gravy along with potato dumplings for a great meal.

i started out fishing with the basics. minnows, worms, very little artificial baits. then more and more artificials and now going back as i started. i even have more interest is stream fishing for trout and fishing off shore on some of the lakes upnorth where i did just that as a kid.

with me it seems to be a cycle i guess from how i started is where i will finish, but without the dissapointment i had when i was younger when i got skunked. a greater appreciation of just being in the outdoors. good luck.

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I've spoken of this many times over the years on FM. Not sure that I agree that "Sportsmen" is the final stage. I'd say we're sportsmen once we can legitimately find and harvest game on our own. This would encompass stages 2-4.

The way I view this progression is;

1) Novice...just pleased to get anything. Purely learning thru being taught, observation, and practice.

2) Limiting out...have spent enough time afield or on the water to know how to put game in the bag on your own. Now it's all about getting the most you can with the time you have. You're not even completely successful unless you fill all the tags, and limits. Honestly pretty greedy at this stage, and most often this is where bending or breaking the rules comes in.

3) Trophy...now you're pretty good at what you do, and bagging big game, and big fish is the top priority. Often, this is the point where most folks wanna get kudos for their "big" achievements. Seems like people can get hung up in this stage for a long time, sometimes spending their whole lives feeding their ego, and the local taxidermist. Perhaps this could be aptly called the "bling" stage? smile

4) Pure enjoyment...now getting anything in the bag is simply icing on the cake. The cake is the entire experience itself. Just loving the time of being outside, enjoying the gift that is hunting and fishing itself. You know you can catch fish, and put venison in the freezer, without too much effort, and if you really wanted to, you could put a nice mount on the wall as well...but that isn't a hill to die on any longer.

Sometimes these stages blend together, and as stated earlier, sometimes a person will skip one, and/or go back to another, but for the most part we all progress thru every stage at some point in our outdoor maturation process.

As a fairly young man, I passed into the 4th stage quite early, as I spent much of my younger years quickly cruising thru the early stages. Now my greatest passion is helping others to be successful by teaching on the water, or in the field. I especially love passing on my experience to my own children, and seeing them grow up with a love for the outdoors, hunting and fishing.

Great post!

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Interesting thread. I'm not to the final stage yet--whatever it may be--because I don't know with any certainty that I can put fish in the boat. And being on the water isn't icing on the cake....or I should say that catching fish while being on the water with wonderful company/during a beautiful sunset is sprinkles on the icing on the cake. smile

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