I love to hunt.

It's a great way to combine so many of my other outdoors pursuits, such as hiking, camping, and just generally escaping into the woods. I love trying to match wits with the wild things, even though I often come out on the short end of the stick.

I realize that there are a lot of "politically correct", eco-sensitive (and misinformed), and soft-hearted folks out there who think hunting is some terrible, barbaric rite enacted by whiskey swilling rednecks who shoot up everything that moves and then some. And I have to admit, those stereotypes do have real-life counterparts. I'd love to disclaim any relationship between what they do and what I do, but the fact is, they call themselves "hunters" too.
Busted!  The little guy in the back has me pegged.
Don't you hate when you just KNOW you've been busted?
More deer pictures here.

But I do what I can to correct that, even when that means calling in the law. I have no tolerance for the jerks out there who don't respect the resource or the people they share this world with. I could rail for days on this topic, and on the topic of anti-hunting. I have, actually, on several different discussion forums. So I'll spare those of you who are uninterested. If you really do wanna see some of my thoughts, you can go here. It's a long-winded discourse on hunting, the problems it faces from the inside and out, and what hunters need to do about it.

Feel free to Email me, if you wanna talk about it. I'm always open to an intelligent debate. The keyword here is INTELLIGENT, though. If you just wanna flame away with kneejerk or emotional responses, then don't waste your time or mine. I won't respond to name calling. I believe that in some cases, there is a very supportable philosophy behind some folks' anti-hunting sentiments.

So, moving on. . .

Canada Geese and Mallards just hanging out, waiting for me to shoot.  With the camera, of course.
You don't see sights like this very often back in NC.

I suppose most of my hunting time is spent either pursuing wild hogs, deer or ducks. This has been especially true since I came to California. The duck and goose hunting here is incredible, especially compared against what I had back in southeastern North Carolina. The waterfowl populations are booming nationwide, but nowhere have I seen the evidence of this as clearly as in California.

On the other hand, deer populations in NC have swollen beyond reasonable carrying capacity, so the limits, success levels, and availability of good deer hunting beat the tar out of what I have experienced here in CA. Not that the hunting here is all that bad. I was priviledged to have a friend take me into the hills of Mendocino county and show me a spot that has become my local favorite. After a five season jinx, I finally managed to take my first California blacktail.

For 2001, I'm trying to keep a hunting journal. Check it out here, if you like.

I've had mediocre success as a deer hunter, even in NC where the populations were so dense. There are a lot of reasons for this, probably beginning with my lack of patience. In the southeastern sections of NC, the hunting is primarily done from treestands. This is due in part to the nearly impenetrable cover, as well as the fact that the land is all flat as a pancake. A rifle shot can carry for a mile or more over that terrain, so it is safest to climb a tree so that your shots are aimed at the ground. At any rate, anyone who has ever spent a couple of hours perched in the branches of a tree knows how uncomfortable it can become. And if you're not comfortable, you can't sit still. And if you're not sitting still, you're not going to see much game.

Also, because of the terrain, hound hunting is quite popular. While I did participate in this aspect of the sport for a while, I soon became disenamoured of it. To hear the hounds run is to experience a wild thrill, but shooting deer in front of the animals really didn't seem very fulfilling to me. Also, as the human population increased, there were more and more cases of houndsmen trespassing and causing problems for local homeowners. I distanced myself from the houndsmen. I find it much more satisfying to do my own tracking, and the rewards include a much heightened set of woodsmanship skills. I never killed as many deer as the houndsmen, but those I have taken have been rewarding. Like this one.


Feel free to take a gander at my hunting links.

I've been hunting and shooting most of my life. Here's how I learned to shoot.

Or go back to the main hunting page.

Copyright 1997 Elwing Enterprises
All text and photos by Elwing Enterprises unless otherwise noted
Last revised: June 8, 2001