“As society loses its ties to wildlife and conservation, the bonds with nature formed by hunting are the greatest hope for creating the next generation of true conservationists.” – Staff Writer (World Wide Trophy Adventures)
A hunting license can be purchased at $35 on deer tag for Kansas residents. A hunter can purchase multiple tags as per hunting regulations in the United States. I have always felt like, “Poaching should be controlled not Hunting which is pretty much Legal and Paid.”
How I became a part of this Royal Stag Hunt.
And one day he asked, “Do you like to go for hunting this weekend?” I asked then, “What are we going to hunt?”. “A Deer”, he replied. It did sound awesome for me and I was absolutely up for it. I never did hunting and when he asked for it, I was genuinely elated and excited. This happened when I was living in the small town of Wamego in Kansas, I used to go to my friend, former neighbor and the Ret. Lieutenant Colonel Kim Zimmerman (U.S. Army) in the apartment complex for watching movies in December 2012, a week before Christmas holidays.
For me hunting obviously sounded like a wonderful idea to do in the weekend. I had no car that time to travel a bit and explore new places which I’ve always loved doing. Everyone knows in the United States like when you don’t have a car, you yourself would feel like being hit hard and handicapped. That’s no wonder and the country is like that vast. So I couldn’t go out anywhere all by myself. When I was scratching time all the weekends just surfing net in those times, I was expecting some opportunities to spend my time different and always wanting an opportunity to give my DSLR camera, some real good work. I have never liked either me or my camera sitting in the four walls of my apartment and doing something stupid. Hence I saw this outdoor and hunting stuff as a wonderful opportunity to spend my time different in the weekend.
Please note that I didn’t hunt the Deer but my friend, Kim did. The featured image of this post was shot by him.
Hunting Outfit – That’s pretty cool wearing them!
He had one complete extra hunting/safety outfit and he gave that to me for the hunt. The Safety Outfit for hunting was pretty cool wearing them prior and during the hunt. The Hunting/Safety Outfit comprises of Orange Jacket, Hand Gloves, Hunting Cap, Camouflage Trouser and Safety Shoes. Being in the hunting outfit gives that mindset of ‘I’m a Hunter!’, almost not quite felt by the Indians. Having said that, it did sound awesome for me.
Getting stuffs ready for the hunt – After parking the Truck.
Here’s how we started. Got all necessary stuffs ready – Flintlock Rifle, Balls, Gunpowder, Knives and Camera. I was seriously amazed with the way he packed up everything. With the Flintlock Rifle in his hand and all the other stuffs pulled and strapped to his back and he was staring at the woods closeby. I was then photographing him and all the correlated moments of the complete hunt right from the scratch to the kill. Now I think, I should have captured the moments of dragging the kill (Deer) from the spot the kill was shot and until the truck it was dragged to.
I decided to watch and go for photography on every little thing he did in that hunt. The place he parked the truck nearby the woods, the moment he sat on the door side of the truck and pulling up the socks, taking the Flintlock Rifle out from the truck, feeding the gunpowder in the pan of the Flintlock, strapping the outfits and knives like a bag across the shoulders, when he starred the woods from far, when he was about to get in to the woods, when he was testing the wind directions with the help of some sand from the ground, when he changed the way of entering the woods in the opposite direction of wind, when without saying a word he just gave a shot the deer, the killing shot he did, when the antlers of the Buck came off and so on.. Yes! I was trying to capture everything in the hunt and I captured almost all that happened in the hunt.
Flintlock Muzzleloader, the hunting weapon.
“It’s better to sit in a tree and thinking about God than to sit in Church thinking about Hunting.” – A Deer Hunter.
Prior getting in to the Woods…
It tests your inborn/learned abilities when you’re doing hunting for the very first time in your life. This hunt was the first time ever for me but he has done this all his life. He got the Flintlock all ready; Having loaded with the powder down the muzzle, adding the patch and ball on top of it and we were all set getting in to the woods. We both started from the Gravel road where we parked the Chevy Truck. And before we start from the road he asked me to follow some protocols.
1. Always follow me.
2. Do not talk loud until we call this hunt off and
3. Stay calm, cautious and look around.
To the best of my abilities, I followed the protocols I guess. 🙂
In to the Wild and Woods…
After getting in to the woods, it was not even 10 minutes of time and he opened fire. When he was getting ready to put the rifle under his arm, and was aiming and ready to pull the trigger, I knew he was going to open fire. I was ready capturing that first shot and I didn’t even look at what he was aiming from far. In a couple of seconds, he gave a shot and I captured that moment. He didn’t say a word on what he shot and I didn’t ask him about that either. And when we walked few yards deeper in the woods, I saw the Big Monster Buck with beautiful Antlers lying on the grass trying to get up after having shot. Only then I realized that he shot the Deer from far and the shot was spot on. I was like “Wow, What a shot from that far!”. And this first shot was about 80-100 yards far.
It’s been said that “Hunting teaches you Patience, Discipline, Ethics, Sustainability, Appreciation, Confidence, Perseverance and Hard work.”
The Shooting Moment – For the 2nd and final time!
After having approached the fallen buck to its close quarters, he was telling me that he was going to give another shot at the buck. I was like “Okay. Let me get ready for capturing that shot”. And I got in to position so that I can capture the shooter and the buck in one picture. And I asked him to pull the trigger when I say “Ready”. And when I said the word, he gave that shot at the fallen Deer and the moment was very well captured. I couldn’t believe I shot such a beautiful photograph of the hunter opening up the fire when the prey was right upfront. The beauty of this photographic moment was – The Rifle was spewing out the Fire and Smoke, with the hunter and the prey got captured in a single frame of photograph. That was a well timed click from my camera; Not boasting anyways. 😉
After the Buck was shot for the second time, it was completely down but still breathing. As it was still breathing, he was getting ready to give another shot at the Buck. Just by looking at the Deer breathing I knew that it’s going to be dead in a couple of minutes and I asked, “Why do you want to waste the bullets, the Deer is going to be dead in 2 or 3 minutes at the maximum.” And he replied, “You can’t watch the animal breathing throughout until the animal dies and that’s not the way you kill the animal in the hunt.” And I got definitely something from his words and I felt that’s one great principle in hunting. Do not watch or wait until the animal goes dead in hunting. As you’ve already decided to take down the animal completely, kill the animal as soon as you can for good and that’s fair.
Photography Times with the Big Buck.
After the deer was completely killed it was photo times with this beautiful animal. From the picture it looks like the deer was slightly sleepy and drowsy but the animal is all dead. I remember he was telling me that “It’s not usually this easy to hunt a monster buck so quick like the way we did now. This hunt was certainly assisted with good times and a bit of luck.” Though I felt bit sorry for the deer from one half of my mind; the other half of mind kept telling me that this is the way our ancient people have lived. Besides that I have also asked the guy about what is the need for hunting the poor wild animals like deer and why they can’t be conserved? – Not here in the woods, a few days later in a restaurant in Wamego and he responded just like the below highlighted quote.
“My Hunting Licenses pay for the protection of these lands. What does Anti-Hunting propaganda pay for?” – Anonymous Hunter.
The Stag was taken down but the left Antler came off!
We were very much disappointed with the way the left antler came off from this big and beautiful Buck. I was never before used to such killing/hunting of a wild animal until this happened. Though I was happy that it was completely a different bit of experience for me in the wild but at the same time I was slightly sad and couldn’t take this kill all quick in my mind. As an Indian I was used to be completely against killing wild animals. This mindset prevailed in me for 10 minutes or so, after the kill. After that I was completely okay.
Hunting Wild Animals is strictly prohibited in India. But in the United States, it is allowed with certain regulations being tagged to it and that’s fair enough. People who do hunting pay for the protection and welfare of the wild animals and lands in the United States. And that’s a great measure of keeping the check on biological terms with Wildlife and Wild lands through the hunting programs throughout the nation.
“Heartless though it may seem to some, among the least harmful things to eat are sustainably culled wild animals. In the absence of natural predators, deer populations in parts of The Britain have reached such dense numbers that the woodlands they browse fail to regenerate.” – Tristram Stuart.
Dragged away the Buck to the Truck – All through the woods!
We had to carry this huge kill to the Truck from the middle of the woods. Kim took hold of one of the hind legs and he was pulling the Deer. And I was in thoughts like, “Man! this buck is pretty harder to drag through and it must definitely have lots of meat under the skin.” And I tried to help him dragging the buck. Meanwhile, one other guy saw us dragging away the kill from the woods. He approached us and was telling us that he was having an eye on this big buck a couple of weeks back and he said he was shocked to see that we got this one. And he told Kim, “You lucky! You got this big one.” 🙂 🙂
And the guy helped us both in getting the deer dragged towards the truck from the woods and helped in getting the deer loaded in the truck. All three of us gave a great sigh of relief saying “Uffffffff” after the monster Buck got loaded at back of the truck. That was a real challenge dragging away the Deer through the ups and downs of the deep woods.
Deer Kill (Hunt) reported with the Wildlife Biologists of Fort Riley.
As per the rules, we have to tag the Hunting License tagged to the deer. The team in the below picture is the Wildlife Biologists for Fort Riley, Kansas. They are responsible for all wildlife within the limits of Fort Riley. People whoever hunt in Fort Riley must go there as they collect data on all deer kills for data collection to adjust management procedures, including harvest limits. All hunters have to check in and out of their hunting areas. But they must see the biologists in person if they kill a deer. If someone kills a deer and do not report with the wildlife biologists, they get into trouble and may not be allowed to hunt again on post.
Everything I saw and learned from this hunt was absolutely fantastic and lasts long. The experience definitely stays all flashing even now since the moment we started getting ready for this hunt almost 3 and a half years back, Mid-December 2012. The complete experience I had was absolutely a non-Indian stuff for sure. Countrymen from India are never really allowed for hunting wild animals. Hunting is strictly prohibited all over India. But this case is completely different in the United States. This country is vast and almost thrice the size of India and the U.S. has 1/3rd of the population of India. Which means this big country has lots of land mass left out which are free from occupation by people. Lots of the Nature rich places were conserved and designated as National Forests and Public Lands of America. You can hear a lot about Nature Conservationists and Wildlife Biologists in this country in the public lands of America.
Fort Riley Deer Hunting Regulations 2012
Refer the link threads listed below for Deer Hunting Regulations in the post of Fort Riley, Kansas.
25 Reasons why Hunting is Conservation
Check out this link thread for the 25 valid Reasons from the site World Wide Trophy Adventures.
One such Reason: Why Hunting Is Conservation: Deer collisions kill 200 motorists and cost $10 billion a year. Imagine costs without hunting!
Again I reinstate, “Poaching should be controlled not Hunting which is pretty much Legal and Paid.”
Do you love hunting? What’s your story? 🙂