Steve Beckwith - Maine Hunter

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Wow.. The social media has exploded on the subject of stalking. Of course it's the age old everyone has their right of choice on how to think, act and do things in life! From my stand point it's up to the individual how one chooses to be successful as a hunter. The method used "as long as it is legal" in my opinion is part of developing useful skills as a hunter. New gadgets and inventions is what humans do to advance or be successful! It's kind of like fishing, I like worms, you like flies, and someone else likes lures, it's "choice" and it's "my" choice not yours!

It doesn't matter if you are stalking, turkey, deer, moose, antelope, elk, geese, or a woodchuck if it is legal to stalk an animal we fellow sportsman need to stick together and accept how others hunt and what they enjoy. If you don't want to do it? It's simple don't! But for the love of god stop arguing that your way is better than my way and vice versa!

For example you may like to sit in a treestand all day to shoot a deer, but another hunter may opt to be a tracker and run down that animal until he finally gets his intended target, another hunter may choose to aimlessly walk around the woods and take a dear by accident (by chance or jump shooting), while another favors calling in a deer using scents and a call, or maybe driving deer is legal in your state and you enjoy that type of hunting or hunting from a ground blind is your preferred method. If these methods are legal and effective, it's all part of developing your own hunting skills your style and method of being the superior predator. A hunter is the ultimate predator. From the development of rock fall traps, spears, clubs, slingshots, bows and modern firearms man has developed methods and improvised his skills into many weapons and tactics to achieve hunting success. 

Man created decoys, mouth calls, electronic calls, metal tree stands, pop up blinds and many other tools to add to our bag of tricks to be successful. Does it really matter if I call in a turkey with a fancy custom made box call or if I use an electric call downloaded to my cell phone to make the same exact sound to kill a turkey? No it don't! Because the guy that uses his store bought electronic call will have filled his legal tag, followed his local laws to do so and had his own personal satisfaction that he or she is happy with to accomplishing the same end goal as the turkey hunter who called in his turkey using a box call he purchased at a department store or maybe made himself. Any person that belittles another fellow hunter because they used one device over another is nothing more than....well..a jack ass! Not anyone I would want to associate with, call my friend or especially go hunting with! People I associate with respect how others accomplish the same end result, by following their local game laws and legally filling their tag and putting meat on their table regardless of their personal skill level. 

I personally use anything at my disposal to be successful as long as it is legal where I am hunting. So let me get back to the topic at hand, stalking! I recently have been seeing many videos of people using turkey tails to stalk a turkey and get up close. I've seen hunters bashing others doing this on forums and social networking sites and saying how unsafe this is etc., etc. Yes.. it is marginally unsafe in certain conditions to do this, in my area in brush or wooded scenarios it could be dangerous, but it's certainly not unsafe in an open field. It is the gun handlers responsibility to always identify their targets or face stiff fines and even jail time for shooting another human. If you have ever seen a 5 foot plus person crawling behind a two foot wide turkey tail, across an open field it is rather obvious what is going on, most of your body is exposed from any direction. As a turkey hunter have you ever just fired at a tail fan...NO, you wait until you see the head, neck, beard before taking the shot, even if the live bird is close to the "fanning hunter" you can easily witness the live bird moving towards the human crawling behind the turkey tail fan and know that it's unsafe, unfair and usually illegal to shoot game being pursued by another hunter. 

I will agree a very few people have been shot across the USA while wearing red, blue, or white, using gobble calls, or even simply using male bird decoys in a set up by inexperienced hunters desperate to kill a turkey. But... these people are breaking numerous laws and are the negligent hunters we need to put the blame on the negligent shooter not on the person using a legal method to hunt the intended animal. When "we" as "hunters" step into the woods we accept the risk that another hunter may in fact fail to identify his target, it's unfortunately part of going hunting and we hunters have to be aware of our surroundings while in the act of hunting. I honestly feel that if I get shot while hunting it will be because whomever pulled their trigger is not a responsible hunter and should be held liable for their actions. If I'm hiding behind a natural bush, against a tree, a ground blind, walk behind blind, a stake out blind, a cow blind, a mirror blind, or crawling behind a turkey tail in an open field and what I am doing is perfectly legal in that State, if you shoot me or at me you, I will certainly be having you prosecuted in court and going after everything you own for damages! It is ridiculous to put the blame on the hunter abiding by the laws of hunting in that area, when an accident happens!  

So please stop putting down a fellow hunter's legal hunting tactics because it's not your cup of tea and remember to enjoy hunting how you like it, enjoy the world around you as you would like to enjoy it and respect your fellow hunters out there using legal hunting tactics to become the ultimate predator. Be aware of your surroundings, local game laws, and identify your target before engaging your shot, hunters stand united!

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