I've been really busy lately so I haven't been around to watch this thread and was surprised at all the responses. I've been out on different public grounds every day since starting this thread and most of bow season leading up to and during bow hunts, I've met some of the nicest people around. That's kind of why it blew my mind shot gun hunting the other day that led to this post.
One bow hunter stopped in the parking lot just as I was heading out from my truck. He obviously wanted to hunt that land but instead of being mad that I beat him there, he sat and talked with me for about 20 minutes telling me where to go, what's going on, gave me a good scouting report. Another day and another piece of public land, same thing, a young kid showed up just as I was going out, he asked nicely if I minded that he hunted there also. We mad a plan so we were not messing up each others hunts and wished each other good luck and went hunting. Another time, I was in my tree climber when a man, a boy and a dog went right under my tree. I smiled and waved to them to let them know I was there and they came up to talk. They were hunting pheasants and doves and after they left my tree, they tried there darndest to drive deer towards me. It didn't work but they sure tried hard and covered a lot of ground and it looked like they were having fun.
There are a lot of good people out there hunting as well as a few that just don't have a clue or don't give a darn. There are also a lot of young hunters who just need someone to teach them the do's and don'ts of public hunting. I tore into the young kid who fired rounds just over my head but once I got that off my chest, I more calmly explained to him that next time we meet, he's welcome to tag along and see what he can learn and maybe we can get him a deer.. The kids that set up out in the middle of the alphalpha field I explained to them that there shotguns don't shoot that far, the deer will see you at 250 yards just as easy as at 50 so set up closer for a shot. The one kid told me he ONLY fired 6 shots, I told him I've got 6 deer from my last 6 shots and challenged him to try to do the same. Treat every bullet as if it were your last dollar and make each one count.
Some of the hunters out there were drunken red necks but the scariest ones were kids that were hunting with out adults. We need the next generation of hunters but it seems that nobody is teaching them. I totally understand too. My dad wouldn't hunt. Gave me and my brother BB guns and turned us loose. Sent me to hunter safty by myself, gave me a shot gun when I graduated and I was allowed to go when ever I wanted until I did something stupid and got busted for it. Then I could only hunt with my grandpa and uncle. A 12-15 year old hunts differently with an adult than with out. It's amazing that I'm still alive remembering some of the stupid stuff I'd do out hunting by myself. I don't know how many bare trees I climbed with a loaded shotgun as a stupid kid. I can tell you parrents right now, hunter safty is a great program but it's NOT a substitute for adult supervision. A kid can be taught in a class room basic safty but it takes time in the field with an adult to turn what's been taught in class into safe practices in the field. Kids today are being taught by video games and it's tough to get injured or injure someone else with a video game. They need adults to teach them the difference and that means you and me.
I've calmed down a lot since my younger days, it takes quite a bit to get me riled up where in the past, I'd just fly off the handle for little reason. I mentioned a hunter who sat in "my spot" and that would have set me off when I was younger. It didn't this time. Sure I was hoping "my spot" would be open but when I saw it wasn't and I saw it was the old guy from the day before, I was actually kind of proud that I showed him that spot, I got 1 deer the first time I chose that spot and I was hoping he'd get his that day. It was trying to find a different spot to hunt that became frustrating because all my spots were taken and I hated walking around spot to spot only to find more orange. As hind sight is 20-20, I shouldn't have even walked out that day. I should have just drove on to the next public ground or got my butt out there sooner to get my spot. So I guess as I complain about others, I'm not so perfect either. All we can do is try to respect others and try to work together. If we all treat others as we would want to be treated, public grounds would be a much safer place to hunt.
American by birth, hunter by choice.