FIVE STAGES OF A HUNTER

gwhunter69

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FIVE STAGES OF A HUNTER

Hunters change through the years. Factors used to determine
"successful hunting" change as well for each hunter. A hunter's age,
role models, and his years of hunting experience affect his ideas of
"success."

Many hunters may fit into one of the following five groups. In
1975-1980, groups of over 1,000 hunters in Wisconsin were studied,
surveyed, and written about by Professors Robert Jackson and Robert
Norton, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The results of their
studies form a widely accepted theory of hunter behavior and
development. Where are you now? Where would you like to be?

SHOOTER STAGE

The hunter talks about satisfaction with hunting being closely tied to
being able to "get shooting." Often the beginning duck hunter will
relate he had an excellent day if he got in a lot of shooting. The
beginning deer hunter will talk about the number of shooting
opportunities. Missing game means little to hunters in this phase. A
beginning hunter wants to pull the trigger and test the capability of
his firearm. A hunter in this stage may be a dangerous hunting
partner.

LIMITING OUT STAGE

A hunter still talks about satisfaction gained from shooting. But what
seems more important is measuring success through the killing of game
and the number of birds or animals shot. Limiting out, or filling a
tag, is the absolute measure. Do not let your desire to limit out be
stronger than the need for safe behavior at all times.

TROPHY STAGE

Satisfaction is described in terms of selectivity of game. A duck
hunter might take only greenheads. A deer hunter looks for one special
deer. A hunter might travel far to find a real trophy animal. Shooting
opportunity and skills become less important.

METHOD STAGE

This hunter has all the special equipment. Hunting has become one of
the most important things in his life. Satisfaction comes from the
method that enables the hunter to take game. Taking game is important,
but second to how it is taken. This hunter will study long and hard
how best to pick a blind site, lay out decoys, and call in
waterfowl. A deer hunter will go one on one with a white-tailed deer,
studying sign, tracking, and the life habits of the deer. Often, the
hunter will handicap himself by hunting only with black powder
firearms or bow and arrow. Bagging game, or limiting, still is
understood as being a necessary part of the hunt during this phase.

SPORTSMAN STAGE

As a hunter ages and after many years of hunting, he "mellows out."
Satisfaction now can be found in the total hunting experience. Being
in the field, enjoying the company of friends and family, and seeing
nature outweigh the need for taking game.

Not all hunters go through all the stages, or go through them in that
particular order. It is also possible for hunters who pursue several
species of game to be in different stages with regard to each
species. Some hunters feel that role models of good sportsmen,
training, or reading books or magazines helped them pass more quickly
through some stages.

---------------
California Department of Fish and Game. "California Hunter Education
Manual". 1995 (revised edition). Sacramento, California. [p.8]
 

dan seitz

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Personally, I find this "5 Stages" business somewhat elitist.  It presumes that the "sportsman" stage is the final maturation point--that enjoying a walk in the woods or communing with nature and friends is at a higher preferred plateau than that of having a desire to actively pursue and take game.  I would prefer to just think that people find a niche of personal enjoyment and dispense with any elitist gradations.
 

gwhunter69

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Yeah Dan, I tend to agree with you.  It came from a psychology research project or something like that.  Personally, I think I am going to be stuck in Stage 2 for the rest of my life...at least in California.  Nevertheless, I found it interesting, so I thought I would share...
 

dan seitz

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I read this before on another site where it was held up as universal truth and used to suggest that people that defined hunting success as the taking of game were somewhat stunted in their development.  In a sense they said that the taking game was not necessary for them to be successful in hunting.  The whole experience of being out, smelling the air and hearing the birds to them is a successful hunt whether they ever took game at all.  While I enjoy all that immensely, the successful pursuit of game with my longbow is what hunting is all about to me.  It it weren't, I would just take a camera to the woods.
 

Hogskin

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I agree with you, Dan.  The day that I stop getting a kick out of hanging a tag on an animal will likely never happen in my life.

Regards,
Paul
 
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