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Thread: How important is that trophy to you?

  1. #1

    How important is that trophy to you?

    Let's say you're a treestand hunter. You like to settle in, get comfortable, do some glassing, listen to geese honk by overhead, watch the squirrels play in the tree next door, listen to the chickadee chatter, and watch the leaves trickle down to the forest floor atop the crisp autumn air. You like to do it your way. You make them to come to you. It's how you've always done it and always imagined it would happen... the day you look up the trail and see that trophy slowly heading your way with his head low due to the weight of that massive rack, stopping periodically to freshen a scrape just to remind all the locals whose house it really is. You've got your shooting lanes cleared and with an eagle's nest point of view can see for miles in all directions. You have the advantage. It's your favorite tree. It's the perfect setup. You're in your element.

    Now lets say you've heard others speak of spot and stalk hunting but you've never understood the appeal. What enjoyment would someone get from crawling around on the ground through the weeds and stickers on your hands and knees hoping first to get close enough, and secondly that you have a clear shot at the animal. No thanks you think to yourself. Not my style. Not to mention, all the money you spent on that new treestand and hunter safety system. And of course all the time you spent trimming out shooting lanes. No, you reassure yourself. I am no spot and stalk hunter. I'm a through and through treestand hunter. It's what I like. It's what I do. It's who I am you proudly tell yourself.

    So while sitting in your favorite tree one day you look over to your left and the smallest of movement catches your attention. Not sure what it is, you bring your binos up and upon adjusting the fine focus you are so taken back by what you see your heartrate suddenly jumps as though you just finished running a marathon and the adrenaline coursing through your veins has you shaking like a leaf on a twig. Without even realizing you're speaking and as you're gasping for air you hear yourself mutter "There he is".."There he is"... and suddenly as you get your bearings you realize that lying out in the field is THE trophy buck. The same one you've sat in your stand and pictured coming down that trail hundreds of times. The sequence of events that have played out in your imagination over and over again. And there he is, lying out in the field.

    As you continue glassing this magnificent trophy you happen to notice what appears to be a small strip of fireweed approximately 20 yds away from the buck. It looks almost as though the fireweeds are just high enough that with the buck bedded down you could sneak to within 20 yds of the magnificent beast with only his rack sticking above the fireweeds. You're becoming fairly confident that you could in fact stand a real good chance of sneaking to within 20 yds and getting a shot once the beast decided to stand up. The wind is right. The evening sun is still plenty high enough above the horizon. What do you do?? It's the buck that haunts your dreams but you never dreamed about taking him this way. Not off the ground. It's just not the way you have planned and rehearsed it. All the time spent trimming shooting lanes and all the money spent on treestands and climbing equipment.

    But on the other hand, you've hunted this tree for years and only dreamed about the buck that's now lying out in the field in front of you. What do you do? You've always said you just enjoy being out here and doing it your way.The hunt has always been just as important to you as the kill. You've always dreamed of shooting this buck from the stand, but never from the ground. If you crawl down and successfully stalk and kill this buck is it going have the same meaning? Are you going to be satisfied with the hunt? With the execution? This definitely isn't the way you planned it. You've never been a spot and stalk hunter. Will the thrill of the kill be overshadowed by the circumstances? Will you be dissapointed that it didn't play out the way you had envisioned it time and time again? Will you regret not waiting it out? Or are you so trophy hungry that all that matters at this point is putting a trophy on the ground, reagardless of how it's done..



    So what would you do in this situation??? Is it about the richness of the hunt, or just the trophy on the wall?


  2. #2
    i would def give the spot and stalk a try! I'm the guy you just described in this scenario. It's not so much about the trophy to me but
    the hunt. I think that would be an awesome way to get it done! spot and stalk is something ive never tried with a bow. I wouldnt know where
    to begin. but it would be worth a try and i think that the hunt would mean a h--l of a lot more!

  3. #3
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    Unless the final outcome is the deer in the back of the truck, either way you're gonna kick yourself in the *****. If the wind is a predictable 10mph I would stalk(that would be awesome to take him that way.) But what is the bucks pattern? Do I know he's gonna come within range of me? If he doesn't..KICK. If he spooks while I'm stalking..KICK. If he ups and leaves during my stalk and walks past my stand..DOUBLE KICK. Would be fun either way though.

  4. #4
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    For me it would be an easy choice as I am very different from the person described and am very much of a spot(sneak) and stalk hunter and prefer to do that much more than sitting for hours up in a tree.
    So I would get down from the tree in a heart beat

    For me hunting is very much about the challenge.
    When I look at my trophies/memories, I appreciate some smaller ones taken by stalking much more than some bigger ones I have shot from a stand.

  5. #5

  6. #6
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    I would just sit there and turn it over in my head until it got dark or he left, probably.

  7. #7
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    Hunters have adapted to different situations for thousands of years. I think that spot and stalk or treestand hunting go hand in hand with each situation. You never know whats going to happen unless you make something happen. The end result is all that matters to me, buck or not, its the learning and the thrill of the hunt. Antlers are the bonus.
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  8. #8
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    Biggest factor in my mind is the time of year it is. If it's the rut this buck could be just passing through and be miles away before the next morning. If that's the case I would probably go for the stalk if I really thought I had a decent chance at pulling it off. Of course if I get busted I'll be cussing myself for trying.

  9. #9
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    I prefer the stand as well but it's still hunting deer with a bow right??? I'm shoot'n

  10. #10
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    Get down and go get it. Thats real hunting IMO.

  11. #11
    never woulda happened for me because i woulda blasted that damn chickadee out the tree with my .40 lol
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  12. #12
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    You capitalized on an opportunity! AND IT WORKED! Id say that would be something to be extremely proud of! You have to adapt and take advantage of the situation. If you enjoy tag soup because you to proud to get out of the tree, well thats your deal. But if you want that big deer, you better learn to dance to whatever tune hes playing!

  13. #13
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    Im guessing this is a hypothetical? Or did this happen and your pissed you just sat there? Or.... are you looking at the 180" you stalked on your wall right now!?

  14. #14
    So sounds like the thrill of the kill wins out regardless of the method of take. Makes me wonder if that trophy on the wall would mean what you think it would. Let's say someone gives you his mount. You don't mind hanging it on your wall, but there is no sentimental value with it because there are no memories with it. I'm afraid this might be the case for me if I decide to crawl down just because stand hunting is how I like to do it. All my dreams of taking a trophy unfold from a stand. Not sure if I would want it to happen that way. Now for guys that are truly spot and stalk hunters I can definitely understand the appeal.

    One other thing we might consider as someone already pointed.. so far up until this point we have assumed that if we crawl down the buck is ours. But thinking back to when I first started hunting and my lack of patience would get the best of me, after an hr or so on stand without seeing any critters I would always climb down and start scouting. I thought it was better to see them bounding away then not see them at all. Number one rule I tought myself back then was patience is a virture and to stay put. For those of us that are stand only hunters, if we jump the buck during the stalk, we'll always kick ourselves for violating rule #1.

  15. #15
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    Trophy not near as inportant as having fun and enjoying the fall hunting season.

    DB
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Boone View Post
    Trophy not near as inportant as having fun and enjoying the fall hunting season.

    DB

    So you would stay put huh DB. That's kind of my thoughts too at this point in the game. Years ago would have definitely been a different story. No right or wrong, only how a guy wants to do it.

  17. #17
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    In my climbing stand I stay put but a Lock On I may sneak down and go after him.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by SWIFFY View Post
    Im guessing this is a hypothetical? Or did this happen and your pissed you just sat there? Or.... are you looking at the 180" you stalked on your wall right now!?
    Just a hypothetical today, but could be reality tomorrow!

  19. #19
    I don't get up at the ass crack of dawn in all kinds of uncomforable weather to
    Quote Originally Posted by crooked stick View Post
    settle in, get comfortable, do some glassing, listen to geese honk by overhead, watch the squirrels play in the tree next door, listen to the chickadee chatter, and watch the leaves trickle down to the forest floor atop the crisp autumn air.
    I go out there to kill something. That's my purpose in the effort and so no question I would get down and kill him if I thought it was the best chance to do so. If it wasn't about the goal (killing something) I would go sit in the tree whenever I feel like getting up and only when the weather was perfect. It's not about being "trophy hungry" it's about doing what it takes (ethically and legally of course) to be successful at what I intended on doing by hunting that day...which is again...to kill something.

    That's just me though...some people view hunting as being out there away from it all, bird watching and such. I just don't. Everyone has their own reasons for being out there and if yours is to kill a buck from the stand, then stick with your reason and complete your goal that way.
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  20. #20
    Nice descriptive story, but I don't see how this even a discussion. I would be flexible enough to switch tactics, put the sneak on, and get the deer. "Doing it my way" isn't always what the doctor ordered. When the fish aren't biting, it's time to switch lures.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Robin@AimLow View Post
    I don't get up at the ass crack of dawn in all kinds of uncomforable weather to

    I go out there to kill something. That's my purpose in the effort and so no question I would get down and kill him if I thought it was the best chance to do so. If it wasn't about the goal (killing something) I would go sit in the tree whenever I feel like getting up and only when the weather was perfect. It's not about being "trophy hungry" it's about doing what it takes (ethically and legally of course) to be successful at what I intended on doing by hunting that day...which is again...to kill something.

    That's just me though...some people view hunting as being out there away from it all, bird watching and such. I just don't. Everyone has their own reasons for being out there and if yours is to kill a buck from the stand, then stick with your reason and complete your goal that way.
    what he said. Just watched this on heartland bowhunter this past week. https://vimeo.com/46503646

  22. #22
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    If I was the guy you're talking about, I'm not so sure I'd get down and stalk. I'd probably try not to spook him and hunt him another day, since he's in the area. I wouldn't try stalking for the first time on a monster buck in a field.

    BUT, I am not that guy. I have been stalking groundhogs, turkeys, and deer with my bow and gun for years. Not that I'm good at it, but I've made tons of mistakes and have lots of experience. I'd get off my behind and go try the stalk if I didn't think there was any reason he'd be coming to me or getting up and moving anytime soon. I would try the stalk late morning, that's it. If it's early morning, there's a good chance he'll move in the near future, same for early afternoon into the evening.
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  23. #23
    Depends if I thought he might come my way. If not, I would get down and go after him. I am there to hunt and bowhunting doesn't always happen how we imagine it. I always try to make the best out of the situation. Would it diminish the quality of hunt? I don't think so. Only because I Think killing a buck of that caliber would be an extreme adrenalin rush anywhere you got a chance at him.
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  24. #24
    I have been in this situation before in Iowa. I took the spot and stalk approach and my camera man filmed everything from 100 yards away still in the stand. A 140 class 8 with split brows came in and bedded on the edge of a cut corn field alongside a wide creek bottom. I got to within 35 yards of him and was just about to draw my bow, when the wind switched and hit me on the back of my neck. At that very moment him and the doe he was bedded with left and I never got the shot. But, it was an absolute blast! I feel like any type of hunting is fun to me. Adding different variables and situations make it that much better. Sure it's fun to hang a stand and shoot a nice buck. But, being able to harvest nice bucks in different situations makes you a very well rounded hunter in my opinion, and keeps you on your toes. I enjoy hunting no matter what. I feel outsmarting them is the most fun no matter how it is done. They win more times than not anyhow, why not make the best of it and have fun with whatever situation you are dealt. I vote to go with your gut and whatever you are passionate about. And a spot and stalk hunt and a tree stand hunt, is still a hunt. And I am in it for the love of the hunt. The trophy is great for memories, but it is all for the hunt.

  25. #25
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    I primarily treestand hunt, but I have stalked and had success. Each has its pros. Honestly though stalking within range and harvesting a deer on his level, in his domain, gets the adrenaline pumping more than it ever has for me in a treestand.

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