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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After feeling the excitement of 8uptradbowhunter1’s multi year effort that finally paid off…I pondered what really makes a individual hunt in a way that he/she knows is a severe disadvantage and more importantly….why do they continue to do so when the failures start to pile up?

From my own experience, the answer isn’t completely clear even after decades of ups and downs….mostly downs. If it were merely “challenge” then I think common logic would eventually prevail; but for the people who really live this there is nothing “common” in the process.

For the first time I went back five years and tried to calculate my success rate in harvesting game. I knew some numbers but had to make a reasonable “swag” on others. In the end, my harvest success was a little less than 2% per sit. Keep in mind that this is without food plots or bait so I suppose it would be a little higher if I used those aids….but I don’t.

There are so few traditional bowhunters (even less so when they hunt all the way through and not just archery season) it almost feels as you have met an old friend when you stumble across one. The fraternal bonds run deep in the sport. I’ve never met a traditional bowhunter that I didn’t like.

I guess this is just a ramble with no real worthwhile value other than to kill a few minutes on a warm evening in a treestand.

So why do “I” do it? On my way to my stand, I passed a 15 foot tall box stand, in the center of a 4 spoke food plot that each spoke ran 200 yards… likely topped off with a feeder.

I just looked at it for a moment, shrugged my shoulders, and realized I do what I do because in my way of thinking; the way I hunt seems a fair and justifiable way to hunt a noble animal such as a whitetail deer.

That shouldn’t be construed as a expected benchmark for all others but it applies to me on this particular day….and I guess Im the only person that I need to satisfy. Today, the scales of fairness hang in perfect balance.
 

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Great post Stringwacker, everyone is different I guess. I will alternate between rifle and bow for the rest of the season (I no longer sit in the rain with a bow if I can help it) but if I don't kill anything else my season has already been a huge success.
 

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I guess I am not that dedicated as of yet. After a couple of misses during the archery season with the recurve I am back in the comfort of a box blind... I have taken one doe, but have seen over 20 deer that I have let walk. I just enjoy being out there. I dont shoot everything i see like others I know. One of these days i will connect with the recurve, but until then I will just keep hunting and enjoying the outdoors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The reasons why anyone hunts the way they do is deeply personal. I imagine you could put 30 folks in a room and ask them to explain the motivation and method in which they hunt….and you probably would get 30 different answers. Nobody would be right and nobody would be wrong as long as it was legal.

I guess speaking for myself it doesn’t bother me to the extent it does most people if I don’t kill the deer. I just don’t have the kill lust. While I might have a 98% chance of failure on any given whitetail hunt; I can truly say I have a 100% enjoyment rate on every hunt. A harvest is like the dessert conclusion to a fine meal.

I hunt…to have hunted.
 

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Like Stringwacker it doesn’t bother me if I don’t kill a deer. Since going trad in 2015 I have killed 3 deer, a doe and a buck with my rifle and this buck with my bow. I have passed shots on several deer with my longbow waiting for the right shot and also blew 7 chip shots before finally getting it right this week. I probably will gun hunt during the rut but bowhunting isn’t out of the question either.
 
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