Nicole McClain: Point-Obsessed Hunters – the Big Buck isn’t the “Point”

Nicole McClain of Deer & Deer Hunting Tagged a Wisconsin Buck this Hunting Season

Nicole McClain tagged a nice Wisconsin buck during her hunt at Ted Marum’s Tri-State Outfitting. (photo copyright Nicole McClain)

If my son or daughter refuses to eat the meat he or she harvests, it is my bold opinion that they will not be allowed to hunt.

That’s right. If you’re not going to respect the animal by harvesting it over the family dinner table with appreciation, retire your gear and find another sport to embrace. The only acceptable option would be to donate the meat to a shelter.

Don’t put your hunting pants on backward

As a McClain — and a cancer survivor — hunting isn’t about trophy hunting, killing animals, hanging heads on the wall, waiting for the biggest buck in the woods, uncalculated shots with a firearm, shooting out of range because “it’s a monster buck,” shooting a dog-of-a-deer for lack of patience or cerebral intelligence, or staying up late drinking beers at camp waiting on the ace of spades.

If any of those are your reasons for hunting, what a damn sad shame.

Hunting is:

  • being grateful for the God-given privilege to partake in the blessing of harvesting an animal
  • participating in the balance of nature
  • respecting the gift of life
  • the ability to be an animal lover and a hunter simultaneously
  • providing food for my family
  • eating nonhormone-injected, low-fat meat
  • educating the next generation on the importance, safety and privilege to bear and use arms
  • camaraderie that creates trust, respect, knowledge and close connections
  • perfecting the skill sets and natural talent it takes to do this sport – and do it well
  • mental agility and perseverance
  • land calculations and weather interpretations

How about we hunt, shoot and hang your head on a wall

The deer you shot last week didn’t know it would fall victim to your sights and arrow – that buck or doe thought it was a normal day with the expectation of eating, walking, socializing, getting laid, sleeping and watching out for predators (the same damn things we do and expect as humans) – and then you came along and took its life before it even knew what hit it, literally.

I liken it to us as humans – we have much the same daily goals as the deer we shoot, and then life smacks us in the face where we demand to know, “Why the hell is this happening to me?” We are more like the animals we hunt than any would like to admit – but admitting this takes strength and character – and builds an appreciation for hunting which many fail to grasp. You’re an ignoramus if you can’t see the correlation.

Thoughts that go through your head after you shoot a deer

What do you think about seconds after you shoot a deer? I’ve asked hundreds of hunters this question and this about sums up the replies in order:

  • Confirmation and placement of shot
  • Excitement of another one under the belt
  • The number of points/size of the deer
  • Telling friends and the dudes at camp you just shot a deer
  • Where the deer will drop

What do I think about seconds after I shoot a deer?

  • Confirmation and placement of shot
  • Thankful to God for a clean shot
  • Sadness for taking the life of an unbeknownst animal
  • Grateful to God for the opportunity
  • Where the deer will drop, closer hopefully means less suffering
  • Sadness for taking the life of an unbeknownst animal (yes, again)
  • Calling my parents to tell them I shot a deer

Points are the last thing I think about – as long as I know it’s a legal shot. Six-point, 12-point or a doe, it doesn’t matter to me – I’ve taken and mounted all sizes and sexes. If a massive elk or moose comes into range, awesome. If not, I don’t get my undergarments in a bunch. I’m so exhausted with the point-obsessed hunters who frown upon avid hunters who take a six or an eight. Guess what Mr. Point-mania: ironically, you’re completely missing the point.

Demonstrate and instill those values in Generation Z and you’ll raise responsible adults who aren’t terrified of weapons, trying to revoke your right to bear arms, or using weapons for all the wrong reasons.

Nicole McClain of Deer & Deer Hunting stands with a massive elk mount

Points are the last thing I think about – as long as I know it’s a legal shot. Six-point, 12-point or a doe, it doesn’t matter to me – I’ve taken and mounted all sizes and sexes. If a massive elk comes into range, awesome. If not, I don’t get my undergarments in a bunch. (photo copyright Nicole McClain)

Death doesn’t “earn” respect, and it never says “please”

Hunting has become a lifestyle on this road of many forks, reminding me of God’s gift of life, for both myself, and the life of every animal I harvest. When I harvest a deer, it saddens me, sometimes for weeks.

You can take that “It’s because you’re a girl,” trash talk and eat it.

Death teaches and steals respect without ever saying “please.” Hunting was my bucket list item after being diagnosed with cancer. Have it happen to you and maybe you’ll look at life a bit differently, especially when it comes to taking the life of another.

What hunting topic gets you fired up?

Until next time, enjoy the season fellow hunters. Hit me up on Facebook and Twitter and let me know which hunting debate gets you fired up.

Nicole is connected with brands and foundations like Pink Arrow ProjectLumenokCAMX CrossbowsDeer & Deer Hunting Magazine20th Century FoxFight Like a Girl!JC PenneyTGIFridaysKellogg’sColdwater CreekSusan G. KomenU.S. ElitePickle Press ComicsGrange Insurance, and CamoTrading.com.

Check out more of Nicole on Deer & Deer Hunting:

Read Nicole’s Expanded “I’m A Deer Hunter” Feature Now For More Insights!

Watch Nicole on Deer Talk Now!

Take a Look at Nicole’s Photo Gallery!

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