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What to do when you are beginning to doubt your love of hunting? It's been several years without much luck, and while I know peo

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  • What to do when you are beginning to doubt your love of hunting? It's been several years without much luck, and while I know peo

    What to do when you are beginning to doubt your love of hunting? It's been several years without much luck, and while I know people have gone decades without getting something, I am afraid that the disappointment is starting to hurt. I would love to go on a paid hunt with people who really know what they are doing and to help me change my luck, but as a college student I can neither afford the cost of a trip nor the time away from class in the hunting season. So what do you all do improve your chances for next year and get the adrenaline pumping for the coming season?

  • #2
    You're stiil in college and have so much of your life ahead. It is just a sacrifice you have to make for your own good. The time will come when you can do more of the things you would like to do. Be patient, get your education, and enjoy your future adventures.

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    • #3
      Take up small game hunting where the success ratio is much higher.

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      • #4
        DSM is right, give yourself time maybe hook up with someone who has experience or gain experience through trial and error! The best have patience this is a lesson you already are learning.Alot of us have been where you are now,hang in there you will be glad you did.

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        • #5
          My hunting took a leave of absence during my college years. It rekindled after graduation and working in my profession. New found hunting friends from the work place. I remember as a young employee being summoned to the office of the CEO, he did comment on the good progress I was making(something never done except by immediate boss). Then he proceeded to tell me the real reason he had summoned me-to talk about hunting.
          Have patience, you too will rekindle your hunting desire to a higher level.

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          • #6
            "Successful" hunting is not just shooting stuff. You're missing the boat there young fella. Not surprising considering all the antler-mania hype that's commercialized so much these days. The reward is being out there, not what you can bring home or hang on the wall. Heck, if you don't shoot anything, you don't have to clean, butcher, and cook it. But the memories have no strings attached. Heck, I remember some interesting trees I have seen when hunting! And I didn't have to cut them down! Or geese flying headfirst through a blizzard ... flight after flight. And I was only pheasant hunting. And there's the odd arrowhead rock formation that eventually saved my life one night. Yes, I'll never forget that ... even though it's not hanging on my wall.

            Anyway, shrug off the pressure to bag stuff (which I'm sure is peer related!) and you'll get much more out of hunting. Try hunting by yourself. You'll be surprised at how much more you get out of the experience. Probably because there is no peer pressure. Get the right target in your sights and hang in there.

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            • #7
              So I am a beginner hunter aso and I typically only small game. And I have learned that if you look at it as if it was more of a scouting or hiking trip with a gun of course you will get more out of the experience. Bring a empty bag though you never know what you will find. (or the squirrels youll bag).
              Good Luck

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              • #8
                Ill tell you that I can totaly understand what it is that you are feeling. What I know from hunting has come from some mentorship from all these great gentlemen on this site, from my grandfather, and from trial and error and spending days out in the field with no luck, making mistakes, becoming frustraited with those mistakes that I feel I should have known better. For the past 6 or 7 years that I have been hunting I have have come up empty on every trip. Yes it can be frustraiting. I never want a canned hunt, and will always continue to put in for the draw on public land being my own guid and doing my own research. not that there is anything wrong with any of the others but I have found that I enjoy making myself better at hunting. One of the things that was mentioned above was peer pressure leading to that feeling of dissapointment, and yes that is where it comes from. I go hunting cause I love it. I would shoot and animal and love that too, but I really love being out in the field seeing different thing, as mentioned above, discovering new tricks and ways to do things that will help me. If I am with others hunting I hunt with those that I want to spend time with, my father started hunting with me and I love spending that time with him regardless of shooting at an animal. every year I get excited about going hunting cause I know what I will already get, the experience, the time with my dad, and the hope and maybe opertunity to harvest our own meat. But in the end I already come back with something that I would not otherwise have gottn. keep that in mind. These guys on this site know what they are talking about and are a great source to get questions answered. use them I have found they always help.

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                • #9
                  JMO~~ Look for a Hunt-Club or a Hunt-lease with a good track record (Not Drinkers)but Hunters, Are you now hunting State-land? try looking in to some Farm-land.

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                  • #10
                    All good answers above. If I may add, I'd encourage you to give up the antler craze (not deer hunting) and small game hunt, if only to slow down and enjoy the outdoors. Save for that big hunt if that's what you desire, but if you are just looking to shoot things, that big-ticket trip will leave you wanting as well. I love hunting, I love the woods, marshes and fields, I know I'd love the mountans and the desert, I love watching animals wherever I see them, I love eating all game, I only like antlers. Get out there.

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                    • #11
                      +1 OH, The thing that really ruins hunting for me is went people get upset that they didn't shoot anything, I have hunting ducks before with people who almost started shooting random songbirds flying by. It took all I could do to keep them from shooting a wood duck off the water. For me, the best part of hunting is watching the game approach and taking it the right way. I have passed on so many shots because it wouldn't have felt right. Sad to say that there isn't many people out there like that anymore.

                      I also agree with giving deer hunting a break. I have fun just being different. Everybody hunts deer, so I hunt ducks, geese, doves, turkey, crow, ex. You will find that the woods or water is less crowded. Don't let people bother you about not hunting deer either, many people have said I am not a real hunter, but I just ignore them.

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                      • #12
                        I can well remember those days in my life. When I had the biggest of dreams and the emptiest of wallets. If you can make friends with some local classmates who like to hunt that may help. After making the righ friends and being a nice friend yourself, one or two may invite you along to their Daddy's ranch that is loaded with whatever you are hunting. In a college town, getting a good place to hunt is tough but if you can drive a day or two away for that special hunt with a friend, you might just have some luck. I'm still friends today with a fellow I met that way many years ago... only now he has inherited the 27,000 acre ranch... sweet!

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                        • #13
                          GSDreamer, Concentrate more on your college grades and making the Dean’s List. You could hunt your whole life. College is number one and forgets hunting. Super grades will get you awesome paying job. All my nieces and nephews, who went to college, have great paying jobs.
                          When you make money from a good paying job, you can hunt Alaska, Africa, New Zealand or anywhere in the world.
                          Ontario is correct, the hunt is not about the killing something. Young people today, including me when I was in my twenties would be depressed, and feel like you failed for not bagging a deer, elk or bear on a hunting trip. I didn’t get a bear this year but I passed up on six bears. I wanted a bigger bear but just being out there hunting in those mountains for a week made it a great vacation.

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                          • #14
                            Return to your roots and do some small game hunting. You would be surprised at how much small game hunting can rekindle your love for hunting.

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                            • #15
                              When I relocated, I left the social circle of good hunting companions and I really didn't anticipate the impact that would have on the enjoyment of hunting. These men are still like brothers to me. I changed priorities, focusing on solo trips and small game, and generated a new social circle when I learned other members of my church and gun club shared the same priority. For the past several years, a few of us get together for practice sessions and small game trips to southern Oregon.
                              There are cycles of interest and success, and I withheld hunting with rifle and spent several years hunting with a handgun, then "hunted" with a 35mm SLR camera and a 200mm (4X) lens.
                              I truly understand that a "dry spell" can be discouraging, but the quality of the outdoor experience is more important than the relative success of a hunt, so I would ask you to focus more intently on that. Whether you go afield with a rifle, sidearm, shotgun, camera or a daypack filled with snacks, have fun with it. Know that priorities (and opportunities) will change, that cycles of interest and involvement occur, and continue to remain active as an outdoorsman. Every success in your studies.

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