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How To Make People Angry

by: Lloyd Tackitt 3/19/2013

Trophy fishing.

Years ago I was an avid hunter.  Hunting was a passion, a really deep passion.  I hunted everything, every chance I got.  Then one day I was bow hunting and had a perfect broadside shot at a decent sized buck.  I pulled back and took aim.  But then I started thinking, "It's a really warm day, once I shoot this buck I have to sit down and wait a solid half hour before following the blood trail.  It'll take another hour or so to find it and field dress it, then a good hour of dragging it back to the truck, followed by two hours of driving.  When I get home I'll have to quickly hang and skin it, then cut the meat up, package and mark it then freeze it.  Have to do all of this fast in this heat.

By the time I finished this train of thought the deer had walked off out of sight while I stood there at full draw.  I realized at that moment that I was no longer actually interested in hunting.  I'm not against hunting, quite the opposite, I'm all for it - for other people.  I just don't have the passion for it anymore. 

Even when I hunted I was never ever interested in trophy deer.  A doe was as good as a 12 point buck, every bit as good if not better.  I hunted for pleasure and for meat.  Killing a trophy buck always seemed backwards to me.  If you think about it, hunting the big bucks will over time create a situation where smaller bucks breed more deer than the big antlered bucks. Or so my theory goes.  I know hunters that don't buy it.  It really doesn't matter to me though.

It doesn't matter because the reason for hunting a trophy is to have bragging rights.But what's to brag about?  It's a buck with more horn on it than average - so what?  Does it mean you're a better hunter than others?  Again - so what?  What possible difference does it make?

Does the trophy hunter actually believe that people think he's a superior specimen?  I don't think so.  I've never heard anyone say "What A Man!" about a hunter that took a trophy.  I guess my father made the point best when I was a kid.  I bragged about something, don't remember what now, and he said "Braggers are small people inside.  Don't brag, it lowers you."  I have angered my share of trophy hunters, back when I was young and brash.  Now, I pretty much just tell the poor guy that it's a beautiful mount - then change the subject.  Older and wiser - maybe.

Here in Texas hunting deer over bait is a tradition, not one I ever practiced - well once when I was a young teen and was invited on a hunt.  I shot a doe over corn and felt absolutely nothing good about it.  I preferred fair chase ever after.  I bring this up because I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer"  and I'm right on board with that sentiment.

What does this have to do with fishing?  A lot.  The days of killing and stuffing a trophy fish are not quite gone, but there are certainly far less people doing it.  Fishermen understand that removing that old survivor weakens the strain.  His genes don't get passed on anymore.  Keep taking the old timers and you get inferior fish.

Fishing is different of course.  You can't exactly rope a deer and fight him in and then release him, although that would be one hell of a sport.  Maybe that's why I lost interest in hunting.  I can catch a trophy fish and actually feel better about releasing him than I would feel killing and eating him.  I don't subscribe to killing the big fish - we need them to reproduce and make other big fish.  Fishing isn't about killing, not for me these days, although I still kill some each year to eat - smaller ones taste far better than big ones, so I only kill a few smaller ones.  Not many, not often, but sometimes I just get a craving for some fresh fried fish.

Fishing for me now is about the art of catching and landing fish.  99.99% of which I release unharmed to go on about their business.  Hunting, I haven't hunted in a very long time and don't see it happening ever again.

So, did I tick you off? 

Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Member comments
Dave Mauldin, TX   3/19/2013 9:37:13 PM
I 100% agree! I hate to kill any thing now, and love catching and releasing fish
 
Flyrodn, CO   3/20/2013 4:19:24 PM
Not me, but I'm an advocate of releasing all trophy classed fish, no matter the species, including perch, sunfish, crappie, you name it.
 
Wuandbeag, CO   3/20/2013 4:36:17 PM
Thanks. I'm with you, must be evolution or aging or both.
 
Catcherman, CO   3/20/2013 4:47:53 PM
Ya! Haha no, I get it. Perhaps that set of horns or fins is like a beautiful picture though? I don't put a bad picture on the wall.. and certainly don't put a picture on the wall to brag about it. More so I hang it up to let my visitors look at, aswell as giving my home character. 3 question I have......what if the "little one" is the off spring of the "big one" ? Whose to say all or even most the small fish or deer are inferior? And are fish anything like humans in the sense that after they get to a certain age they probably aren't reproducing much.
 
shiverfix, CO   3/20/2013 4:59:14 PM
Since joining the site, the irony to me has be palpable. There have been numerous posts regarding hunting with the congratulatory responses, yet keep a fish and you will be vilified. I am a photographer. The way many people feel about trophy fish is the way I feel about trophy hunting. I have no interest in seeing someone posing with a huge buck, let alone a wolf or a bear. I have never seen a cat in the wild. It is something I would love to see, and the chance to photograph one would be exhilarating. When I see pics of a treed or dead cat, it turns my stomach. In this regard I understand how people feel about seeing dead trophy fish. I have kept many fish since I started fishing again a couple years ago. I have release many, many more, including a 30" catfish. I have caught 3 fish that would have qualified for MA, but didn't see the need to get it. When I go fishing with my wife and or kids, I get pictures of them with fish, but don't post them here anymore. I don't really see the point. If I catch a trophy fish, it goes back into the water, and I take home the big smile on my face and a sense of accomplishment.
 
HeavyC, CO   3/20/2013 5:09:08 PM
No, but I do reserve the right to disagree >-)...Those big fish or big deer have left their genes in the pool, and those little ones being eaten WERE the ones carrying them! I would prefer those younger ones, with those monster genes do the breeding. I guess maybe I would compare it to you and Flyrodn for instance...I sure do not want you two breeding anymore! Leave it to your sons and grandsons!!! They have your good genes, and they are better suited for passing them along at this stage in life! Good read though Lloyd, thanks for sharing. ....HeavyC Out!
 
shiverfix, CO   3/20/2013 5:40:13 PM
Oh, and to expand on your comment about catch and release hunting... I am a catch and release hunter. I will spend just as much time stalking or waiting, I shoot it, then mount it in a mat and frame, and hang THAT on my wall :)
 
IndieCon, CO   3/20/2013 6:26:20 PM
Tangling with trophy-class fish is one of life's great pleasures. It seems a shame to deny others the opportunities I've had.
 
Coyute, CO   3/20/2013 6:26:53 PM
No sir, you didn't tick me off at all. Well said. I certainly appreciate your view on this topic. IMO, the people who intentionally kill trophy fish and the ones who are obsessed with 'trophy' hunting are generally small men only trying to mask the abundant insecurities that affects every man. Some of these 'men' get their fix by walking around in 'tapout' shirts, some walk around with a swagger that they hope announces to the world their 'badassitude' and others are obsesses with horn envy. Just like everything, there are exception but in general terms that's the way I see it. Thanks.
 
bluecreek, CO   3/20/2013 8:17:54 PM
Interesting. Comparing hunting to fishing,.which,..is really not to far from each other,.altho a catch and release of a hunted animal is minimal. I hunt,.,.to hunt. I enjoy being in the mountains. Whether I get anything or not, is not the question. I bowhunt, and more times than not, I end the season without tagging anything,but bring home the experience of another great season of being in the outdoors. Fishing,..same thing. I fish to fish. Catching IS important, And getting a trophy fish is what I and everyone else hope for, but is not the reason to be out there. And if I ever do catch that behemoth, pics and a quick good goodbye back to where it came from, is what I'm talking about, Willis!!
 
TigerHunter, CO   3/20/2013 11:07:30 PM
Great blog!!! The best part of this site is all the articles/blogs.
 
skiman, CO   3/21/2013 9:08:05 AM
Lloyd... As an OG, (old-guy), who has hunted and fished all my life, I too have reached that place. Maybe it comes with experience or age, but I don't feel the need hunt to kill or fish for trophies, nor do I feel the need to "prove" myself to anyone. I know where I've been and what I've done. I have the countless memories of hunts and fishing trips that no photo or mount will ever do justice to. These pictures are in my mind and heart, and I recall them time and time again. As I get older, these images will surely fade, but the pictures in my heart only get clearer and sharper. Perhaps in time, trophy hunters and master anglers will realize the real trophy is in the experience... and not the end result. Thank-you Lloyd.
 
Abel1, CO   3/21/2013 10:05:09 AM
From a taxidermists point of view. Taxidermy is artwork. If you think it is easy try it. You have to be able to bring it back to life by creating the mount and painting it. Competition taxidermy is nothing at all like those you get from production. My mounts are appreciated for the quality and workmanship that went into them not the stories. For me a trophy can be the 6" brook trout in spawning colors caught from a small creek to the 30# king salmon. As far as big game hunting some say they just go for the meat. Well King Soopers is just down the road and the meat tastes better. I doubt there are many that will pass up the buck of a lifetime for a spike given the choice. I agree that my hunting trips are every bit successful coming home with an empty pickup. Here is an idea I came up with around christmas last year but didn't post. Why not have a shoot and release big game ranch? If you can tranquilize a bear and move him then? You could have your picture taken with your animal and for those who are unsuccessful you could have a couple of plywood cutouts that they could stick their heads through for the pic. At the end of your hunt you would be going home with a side of beef. Just an idea. No you have not made me mad in anyway. I just wanted to offer another point of view. We all have reasons for choices we make. They just need to be respected.
 
Coyute, CO   3/21/2013 11:31:28 AM
I have never been to a King Soopers that had meat that tasted as good as a young cow elk but I have been to a King Soopers that had meat that tasted WAY better than a trophy herd bull. I have done catch and release hunting but it wasn't done with a tranq gun, the deed was done with a camera and my own eyes. To each his own, but in the end I feel like our justifications for doings the things we do are mostly transparent to those looking in. :)
 
tracks, CO   3/21/2013 11:40:48 AM
I rarely get ticked off I have teenagers.... I hunt, I mostly C&R when fishing. I don't hunt trophy animals but I fish for trophy size fish. I never really thought about it but it certainly is odd that I apparently value the life of the fish that I catch and release more than the Elk I shoot and kill.
 
152 fishing, CO   3/22/2013 4:39:39 PM
nope, have a good one
 
JKaboom, CO   3/22/2013 5:11:02 PM
Very intersting BLOG and points of view. I enjoy eating fish and wild game. As far as trophies go... to each his own :)
 
Rsrecurvehunter, CO   3/22/2013 8:21:13 PM
I trophy hunt and fish. But doesn't mean I'm not happy not getting my trophy. My trophy hunts last for about 2 hours, lol, and just because I don't catch a trophy fish doesn't mean I'm not happy with the trip. I'm just happy to be out doing what I love, if that trophy steps out or bites, so be it! If I get a doe or a stocker trout, so be it! Better than not getting out for sure. As for mounts, how do you decorate your house? I know how I decorate mine, maybe it makes me feel like I'm in the wild still. I love them, always been fascinated since I was a kid, and I have a few too many probably, but every one brings back memories. Plus I figured Id get them while I'm single so that eventually I'll have MY own room someday. Great blog and opinions.
 
Ajax5240, CO   3/22/2013 11:28:43 PM
I was addicted to hunting for several years, waterfowl hunting to be specific. The thing that killed my passion is the realization that it is becoming a rich mans sport. Thousands and thousands of dollars in decoys, a few grand in a trailer to haul the decoys, thousands to join a club or get leases, owning a dog just to fetch birds. By the time you are done with one season, you can get a nice boat and fish all the public waters you want. There are times that i still miss the thrill of decoding a flock of birds. But I then pack up the boat or ice sled and go fish. That feeling of missing the hunt fades quickly, maybe it's the beer. But likely it's the relaxing feeling of fishing and great times with friends. Thanks for sharing another great write up Lloyd!
 
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   3/23/2013 2:44:25 PM
Many excellent responses. Too many to comment on them all, but I recognize and appreciate each one.
 
esoxrocks, CO   3/23/2013 6:53:29 PM
No... you pretty much said it for me too. Absolutely enjoy a pursuit and a catch without the end-game necessarily being a kill.
 
Lloyd Tackitt
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