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Hunting - is it an art, or a science? My thoughts below.

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  • Hunting - is it an art, or a science? My thoughts below.

    Hunting - is it an art, or a science? My thoughts below.

  • #2
    I started thinking about this last night when I picked up my latest issue of a bowhunting magazine (that shall remain unnamed). When I opened it I was immediately bombarded with ads and articles pushing this, that and the other thing you "need" to be a successful deer hunter. Keep in mind that I'm not ripping the magazine here; they are not unique in this regard, because almost every outdoor publication and TV show has fallen victim to the commercialization of the outdoor sports.
    It seems to me that in recent years, many "experts" and hunting-supply companies have been preaching the philosophy that if you use X products, hunt with Y secret tactic, and spend your time in Z big buck capital of the world, your odds of success are all but guaranteed. Whether that is true or not is a debate for another time, but even if it is at least somewhat true, is that a good thing? For me personally, if relatively easy success was guaranteed, or even highly likely, it would diminish my enjoyment of the hunt, and lessen my feelings of satisfaction when I bagged my quarry.
    That brings me back to my original question, how much of a "science" do we want to make hunting? Do we want to do everything technologically and tactically possible within the boundaries of the law to increase our odds? Or do we want to pursue our quarry on a more even footing - i.e, the "art" of hunting - even though that might diminish our chances for success?
    I realize that this is often a personal decision influenced by our individual goals as hunters, and I'm not trying to push an agenda of my own here. I am just interested in hearing other views on the recent trend toward hunting tactics and equipment that make the sport more resemble a military campaign than recreation or putting food on the table.

    Comment


    • #3
      I would say it's a bit of both. Without many of the advances we have had, hunting would be much less enjoyable for us. On the other hand, all the new technology in the world will not replace the art of hunting. The art of hunting comes from intense knowledge and respect for our prey. The art is developed over years of time spend with game in its environment. Science will never replace acquired skill. I compare it to book smart vs street smart. Unfortunately, the amazing marketing campaign associated with hunting shows has changed things. We now have a new generation of hunters who think they can't possibly hunt without a string of cameras through the woods and a trailer full of the latest gadgets. They feel like they are under dressed unless they have charcoal lined undies and are slathered in gallons of the latest scent free products. Woodsmanship for gadgetry is not a great trade in my humble opinion.

      Comment


      • #4
        -I think every person could use a different word to define hunting in their opinion. For some people it is just a hobby, and for some it is a way of life. I know many people who hunt simply because they want to hang out with the guys or whatever. I think of hunting as a never ending puzzle.
        -To answer your specific question...I would say it is more of a science. At the same time, I do understand your answer on a technological basis. I always tend to ask myself questions on a scientific level while hunting. An example of this would be asking yourself why a deer is where it is(food,shelter, etc.).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by huntfishtrap View Post
          I started thinking about this last night when I picked up my latest issue of a bowhunting magazine (that shall remain unnamed). When I opened it I was immediately bombarded with ads and articles pushing this, that and the other thing you "need" to be a successful deer hunter. Keep in mind that I'm not ripping the magazine here; they are not unique in this regard, because almost every outdoor publication and TV show has fallen victim to the commercialization of the outdoor sports.
          It seems to me that in recent years, many "experts" and hunting-supply companies have been preaching the philosophy that if you use X products, hunt with Y secret tactic, and spend your time in Z big buck capital of the world, your odds of success are all but guaranteed. Whether that is true or not is a debate for another time, but even if it is at least somewhat true, is that a good thing? For me personally, if relatively easy success was guaranteed, or even highly likely, it would diminish my enjoyment of the hunt, and lessen my feelings of satisfaction when I bagged my quarry.
          That brings me back to my original question, how much of a "science" do we want to make hunting? Do we want to do everything technologically and tactically possible within the boundaries of the law to increase our odds? Or do we want to pursue our quarry on a more even footing - i.e, the "art" of hunting - even though that might diminish our chances for success?
          I realize that this is often a personal decision influenced by our individual goals as hunters, and I'm not trying to push an agenda of my own here. I am just interested in hearing other views on the recent trend toward hunting tactics and equipment that make the sport more resemble a military campaign than recreation or putting food on the table.
          Much of the latest in technology takes historical hunting a shooting
          session where it is not a question of if, but when will they take the deer they have identified. photographed, measured antlers, given a name and estimated weight. It is like carrying out a death sentence. Very mechanical and not very attractive to me. JMHO

          Comment


          • #6
            I think you have to say it is a bit of both. Even if you don't go the route of new technology, science is still involved. Animal behavior, analyzing and learning the effect of weather, moon phase, mating period, and preferred forage during the time you are hunting are all considerations. Hunting skills are the artsy part. Using the wind, topography, and lay of the land are also essential to the success of your hunt.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have to agree with "both". The more you study your quarry and environment the better you'll do on average. Then there's the gut feeling, the emotions, the patience, hardiness, and the final execution to make the science pay off.
              Regarding the modern technology aspect. To each his own. I do use scent eliminating products and I think it helps. I think the biggest gear improvement is clothing though. I'm not trading my waterproof, breathable, well insulated gear for down or wool. (I like wool, but I'd rather be dry and warm than soaked and 'less cold').
              I don't own any scent eliminating clothing. Well, maybe some copper threaded smallclothes.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would have to agree with you guys, and say that it's both. I'm certainly not anti-technology, and I do use trail cams, laser rangfinder, etc. myself. After all, technology has always been revolutionizing hunting; a couple hundred years ago, rifled barrels made smoothbore muskets obsolete, just as one example. I guess seeing all the "stuff" in that magazine just made me wonder if there's an end to it - how much is too much, and will we know it before we get there, or not until we're already there? It seems to me that for many people, hunting has become simply the quest to kill something, and they'll use any legal method to do so. While I admit that killing things is pretty much synonymous with hunting - after all, without killing, it would just be animal-watching - for me, it's as much or more about the whole outdoors experience than it is about filling my tag.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JM View Post
                  -I think every person could use a different word to define hunting in their opinion. For some people it is just a hobby, and for some it is a way of life. I know many people who hunt simply because they want to hang out with the guys or whatever. I think of hunting as a never ending puzzle.
                  -To answer your specific question...I would say it is more of a science. At the same time, I do understand your answer on a technological basis. I always tend to ask myself questions on a scientific level while hunting. An example of this would be asking yourself why a deer is where it is(food,shelter, etc.).
                  I don't know about how the rest of you feel, but to me it's instinctive, seems like I'm always hunting for something.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by huntfishtrap View Post
                    I would have to agree with you guys, and say that it's both. I'm certainly not anti-technology, and I do use trail cams, laser rangfinder, etc. myself. After all, technology has always been revolutionizing hunting; a couple hundred years ago, rifled barrels made smoothbore muskets obsolete, just as one example. I guess seeing all the "stuff" in that magazine just made me wonder if there's an end to it - how much is too much, and will we know it before we get there, or not until we're already there? It seems to me that for many people, hunting has become simply the quest to kill something, and they'll use any legal method to do so. While I admit that killing things is pretty much synonymous with hunting - after all, without killing, it would just be animal-watching - for me, it's as much or more about the whole outdoors experience than it is about filling my tag.
                    instinct

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think we make the science; observation, experimentation, results, evaluation, and start the cycle again; that has gone on for hundreds of years and passed on to us by our hunting mentors and own experiences, and turn it into our own art form. After all, I have never seen any two hunters, even brothers, hunt exactly the same way. Without the science it would only be a matter of luck, and without the art the science can't be applied.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 4everAutumn View Post
                        I would say it's a bit of both. Without many of the advances we have had, hunting would be much less enjoyable for us. On the other hand, all the new technology in the world will not replace the art of hunting. The art of hunting comes from intense knowledge and respect for our prey. The art is developed over years of time spend with game in its environment. Science will never replace acquired skill. I compare it to book smart vs street smart. Unfortunately, the amazing marketing campaign associated with hunting shows has changed things. We now have a new generation of hunters who think they can't possibly hunt without a string of cameras through the woods and a trailer full of the latest gadgets. They feel like they are under dressed unless they have charcoal lined undies and are slathered in gallons of the latest scent free products. Woodsmanship for gadgetry is not a great trade in my humble opinion.
                        Hi...

                        I think 4everAutumn hit the nail right on the head. Couldn't have said it better myself.

                        Too many 'gadgets' out there to bother myself with...!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ozark_ghost View Post
                          I think we make the science; observation, experimentation, results, evaluation, and start the cycle again; that has gone on for hundreds of years and passed on to us by our hunting mentors and own experiences, and turn it into our own art form. After all, I have never seen any two hunters, even brothers, hunt exactly the same way. Without the science it would only be a matter of luck, and without the art the science can't be applied.
                          Hi...


                          I think huntfishtrap pretty well covered it in his first post. Like me, he's probably fed up with all of those ads begging for your money and practically gauranteeing you success...!!

                          I prefer the 'old' methods...the 'art' of hunting (and fishing and trapping)...!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            How did we ever get by before the 'AA's?
                            For me it's more instinct and old school. I do o.k.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by huntfishtrap View Post
                              I started thinking about this last night when I picked up my latest issue of a bowhunting magazine (that shall remain unnamed). When I opened it I was immediately bombarded with ads and articles pushing this, that and the other thing you "need" to be a successful deer hunter. Keep in mind that I'm not ripping the magazine here; they are not unique in this regard, because almost every outdoor publication and TV show has fallen victim to the commercialization of the outdoor sports.
                              It seems to me that in recent years, many "experts" and hunting-supply companies have been preaching the philosophy that if you use X products, hunt with Y secret tactic, and spend your time in Z big buck capital of the world, your odds of success are all but guaranteed. Whether that is true or not is a debate for another time, but even if it is at least somewhat true, is that a good thing? For me personally, if relatively easy success was guaranteed, or even highly likely, it would diminish my enjoyment of the hunt, and lessen my feelings of satisfaction when I bagged my quarry.
                              That brings me back to my original question, how much of a "science" do we want to make hunting? Do we want to do everything technologically and tactically possible within the boundaries of the law to increase our odds? Or do we want to pursue our quarry on a more even footing - i.e, the "art" of hunting - even though that might diminish our chances for success?
                              I realize that this is often a personal decision influenced by our individual goals as hunters, and I'm not trying to push an agenda of my own here. I am just interested in hearing other views on the recent trend toward hunting tactics and equipment that make the sport more resemble a military campaign than recreation or putting food on the table.
                              Hmmm, I personally don't know anyone hunting like that.

                              Comment

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