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Fantasy Hunting League: The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of?

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September 08, 2011

Fantasy Hunting League: The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of?

By David E. Petzal

My writer friend Bob Robb—international hunter, raconteur, member of the 300-Stitch Club—informs me that there is now a Fantasy Hunting League, wherein hunting “experts” wander the landscape and kill big game in teams, as I understand it. There is a website for the League, and people are invited to pick a Team and follow it. If they pick the team that gets what it’s after, they win prizes, including $60,000 in cash. Bob, upon learning of this, said that his gut reaction was “…something akin to the way it feels after eating rotten possum.”

Most hunters participate vicariously to some extent. Not everyone can go to Alaska or Africa, so they read about it and watch it on the screen. That’s fine. I did it, as did my generation of hunters. But we didn’t take the magazine articles and movies as a substitute for the real thing, and I’m afraid that’s what’s happening here. We now have hunting by proxy. Watch some yahoo kill an elk and win a prize. God forbid you should endure the discomfort of doing it yourself. Hunting—in particular big-game hunting—seems to be one of the last sports that requires its participants to develop some real skills, and put forth real effort, and spend a fair amount of their own money, and sweat and freeze and come up empty-handed and still go out and do it the next year.

I dislike a great deal of the electronic stuff that you can drag into the woods. It’s a substitute for developing skill. Knowing how to strap a camera to a tree to see what came by is not the same as being able to read tracks to see what came by. A real hunter, a real outdoorsman, can do just fine with no electronics whatsoever.

Comments (83)

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from TED FORD wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

So, who dreams up this garbage?

+9 Good Comment? | | Report
from rob wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Disgusting, vile filth is about all I've got.
If you've ever watched the VS. network or any of the other hunting networks, these "Pros" couldn't find a whitetail, elk or hog without a high fence, guide, tree stand or a bucket of corn to save their head to toe camo'd hides.
What really nauseates me is when they do get something down, the fist pumping and knuckle bumping and tears and thanks to Jeebus and Hoyt and my mosquito buster 1000 and my scent eliminator 2000 and my rack master 5000 tree stand and my grippy 7500 tree stand climbing rungs and my..... well you get the drift.
It's sad that hunting has turned into a non-stop product endorsement/arm chair quarterback event. This fantasy hunting team thing is the icing on the cake.

+19 Good Comment? | | Report
from MJC wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Sounds like one more way hunting is being turned into a profitable commodity. Honestly, this isn't too far from all of those television shows where experts go on hunts in a game ranch with a 'guide' who knows where the animals are because he's been feeding them for the last year. It's unfortunate because both this fantasy league and those TV shows are going to shape the public's opinion of hunting far more than the actions of a true outdoorsman will.

As for electronics in the field, I think the degree to which the are a devil or a saint depends entirely on who's holding them.

If you see your GPS/range finder/trail camera as a crutch that you're using because you haven't had the time to develop true outdoor skills, I've got no problem with you. That attitude shows humility and respect for nature's capacity to ruin your day.

If you think your electronics instantly make you as good or better than Davy Crockett, I'm much less likely to participate in the search party they send out for you.

+9 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

People with too much time on their hands, that's who!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

What a silly waste of time.....and Dave, I agree with you...I have yet to see the appeal of game cams. I know it lets you see what is coming around your stand and when, but I'd rather do it "old school" and look @ the tracks and rubs and park my butt in the stand and enjoy actually hunting, not shopping for deer.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from RipperIII wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I started hunting 3 years ago at age 48 with no mentor and no outdoors experience.
My GPS kept me from getting hopelessly lost in thick woods, My range finder helped me accurately arrow my game.
I have since learned a great deal about tracking, reading sign and keeping my bearings.
The electronics have sped my learning a great deal, they are less of a crutch, more of a convenience and rarely if ever leave my pocket except to range for bow hunting...out of respect for the animal.
Taking up hunting and all that there is involved with the pursuit, taking, and dressing has been one of the best adventures that i've undertaken in my adult life, the "modern" aspects are aides only, and with each hunt I lean more toward "bare bones" hunting...maybe next season I'll try a long bow.

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from wgp wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I have loved to hunt and fish for years but stll find it exceedingly boring to watch other people do it on TV.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

During my 4-year tour (1986-90) at Eielson Air Force Base Alaska, I've been asked how many bears have I taken. I had hundreds of chances. I had my crosshairs on many with a round in the chamber of my 338 Win Mag with Nosler 250 grain partitions loaded at 2847 fps and a harvest ticket in my backpack. An easy one shot clean kill everyone. I never pulled the trigger though.

Why you ask?

The beauty and respect of one a Hunter to the other (the bear) perhaps? But I knew in the back of my mind that if I did pull the trigger, the hunt was over. I wasn't ready for the hunt to end, never. I wanted more days to hunt, just to be out there. Even if I came home empty handed, it didn't matter.

The awesome power, to watch a Grizzly role rocks the size of my ATV like a basketball, hunting for rodents. Most of all, being alone on a mountain ridge, setting on a giant rock overlooking the endless landscape where perhaps no man ever walked. To watch a snow flurry on a far mountain ridge and to feel the Alaskan wind enjoying what God has made. I may have come home empty handed, but my mind is full of awesome memories it is a experience, I'll never forget!

Fantasy Hunting League SUCKS!

+9 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Speaking of skilled woodsmans: Read a great story this morning of African trackers finding the track of an elephant wounded 12 kms away the day before. Much to the surprise of the skeptical PH the trackers followed the tracks across hard ground to the downed game. Guys like this make poor Midwestern whitetail hunters, like myself, look like babes in the woods. Would love to take tracking lessons from those guys one day.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Tred Barta

ENOUGH SAID!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Not my cup of coffee. I'd rather hunt than watch hunting. I'd rather watch almost anything than watch a hunting TV show. But if this sort of thing is some person's idea of a good time and they want to pay for it, well, that's their business.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Amen Dave. Just another way for someone to make a buck and market more junk. Reading Ruark, Cactus Jack, Old Elmer, Page and Gresham made we want to get out and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells myself. Not watch some bone head "Bone Collector" market more junk and hunt behind a fence or on a very private ranch.

I'm not a big fan of NIKE, especially after this past weekends "combat" football uniform debut, but as their marketing credo goes... "JUST DO IT!"

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The purpose of the "hunting" shows is merely to provide the sponsors a venue to hawk more new "gear".

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dbetzner wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

"the stuff that dreams are made of" yes I would go along with that, Nightmares are dreams after all. Hunting TV has gotten out of control. a 3 years back I used to watch it just seeing an animal I havent gotten to see yet alone hunt fueld the desire, then the PH opened his yap and the sponsorship took over and killed the show. X broadheads really did their job along with X camo and X bow all araned so neately around the animal as to barely see it. I got my initial intrest in hunting from the stacks (and i mean stacks of 2-3 years worth of multiple magazines) of magazines my grandpa gave me after I told him I loved fishing. At 7-8yrs old I couldnt read them real well but I sure did want to go hunting. I dont watch the hunting shows anymore havent watched them in a few years. They've perversed the sport in my opinion. And this "fantasy hunting" just takes it to a whole new level.

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from Big Country wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hunting shows I'll watch if I think I can learn something. If not then I don't bother I used to buy the DVDs evry now and then, I don't watch them mutch anymore. As for trail cams, I like them. GPS, great safety tool. Electric range finders great for scouting and setting up a stand location and hunting with if you facy, I don't hunt with one in my stand ever. I don't even own a range finder. The electric calls I don't like, I'm not sure why other than I just like doing it myself. Eletric range finding and self calculating rifle scopes, cheating. Shooting South Texas White tails with a .300 win mag, pointless.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big Country wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hunting shows I'll watch if I think I can learn something. If not then I don't bother I used to buy the DVDs evry now and then, I don't watch them mutch anymore. As for trail cams, I like them. GPS, great safety tool. Electric range finders great for scouting and setting up a stand location and hunting with if you facy, I don't hunt with one in my stand ever. I don't even own a range finder. The electric calls I don't like, I'm not sure why other than I just like doing it myself. Eletric range finding and self calculating rifle scopes, cheating. Shooting South Texas White tails with a .300 win mag, pointless.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I play fantasy baseball & football with my buddies because it brings me closer to the games that I enjoy but don't really get to play. it also keeps me close to some buddies as we get o0lder and our lives take us in different directions.

fantasy hunting does not interest me, and fantasy fishing doesn't either (that's been around for a while now). I can get out and do those myself and have a great time.

as a side note, Ted Nugent on Spirit of The Wild blows my mind. Every other word out of his mouth is an advertisement. Do you think he says Grace at dinner like Ricky Bobby does in Talladega Nights??!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I think fantasy hunting will be a flop, with a handful of lonely losers participating.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

RIGHT ON' JBIRD!

Big Country, WELCOME SIR!

I'm totally in agreement with you,"Hunting shows I'll watch if I think I can learn something."

Watching some pinhead who "CANNED HUNT" with all that camo on inclosed in a box tower and go into some fist bumping yelling BEEP! BEEP! YA'BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! ONE BIG BEEP! BEEP! just isn't Sport Hunting!

I prefer watching Border Wars that these Bozo's!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Had it not been for this article, I doubt I would ever have heard of it, just like the 'tattooed hunters' mess.

When we got the channel, I watched a few shows. After one weekend, I guess I had learned everything they had to teach no matter how many years you watched. They were all the same.

The vast majority of the comments above are true. I don't see this catching on with hunters. Notice I said; quote with hunters endquote. There may be some accountants, dentists, and such who will latch onto this, just like the fantasy football crowd.

But they will never know the cold dawns, the sweat in the armpits along with the stiff cold feet, or Ravioli cooked on a Chevy 305 engine block.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from JettPack wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Who needs fantasy hunting? I already have it. All year, I sit around and dream about those chilly November mornings, relive hunts of the past, try to fast forward the humid summer days and make the leaves fall. That pre-season anticipation is fantasy hunting to me.
There is so much wrong with how hunting is presented these days. I'm so sick of junk like this, the TV goofballs and talk of G3s and antler mass. Hunting, to me, will never be a measuring contest. If I ever lose the feeling I have when I see any deer in the wild, I won't be back in the woods. And I certainly won't have a need for this kind of fantasy hunting!

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

ha! some funny comments here! great!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

What in the dickens is the 300 Stitch Club?

Once, long ago in Namibia, we picked up a huge elephant track hard against the Botswana border. It was a cold early morning, we stripped down to our shorts and began tracking northward across the Caprivi Strip. We fast walked over the highway that traverses the Strip continuing relentlessly, only giving up at the Angola border without catching up with the animal. The highway then was a gravel road, now it is a paved thorough fare. The next evening we staggered out onto the road and hitch hiked back to the proximity of our vehicle. As the crow flies, the Strip is only around twenty miles one way, unfortunately we were not using crows, nor did the elephant walk a straight line. Additionally, we guessed the afternoon temperature as high as 102. Now that was a fantasy hunt.

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from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

What in the dickens is the 300 Stitch Club?

Once, long ago in Namibia, we picked up a huge elephant track hard against the Botswana border. It was a cold early morning, we stripped down to our shorts and began tracking northward across the Caprivi Strip. We fast walked over the highway that traverses the Strip continuing relentlessly, only giving up at the Angola border without catching up with the animal. The highway then was a gravel road, now it is a paved thorough fare. The next evening we staggered out onto the road and hitch hiked back to the proximity of our vehicle. As the crow flies, the Strip is only around twenty miles one way, unfortunately we were not using crows, nor did the elephant walk a straight line. Additionally, we guessed the afternoon temperature as high as 102. Now that was a fantasy hunt.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

A good Book on Hunting Elephants in Africa written by of the Great men In the Air Force Brig Gen Robert E. Lee Scott,Of Flying Tiger Fame. He described a hunt with Harry Selby Of spending an entire MONTH in the Karamojo region looking for ONE particular Elephant that as supposedly 150 years old and had 120 lb Tusks. Found it after walking over 100 miles, sheeping on the ground,etc scoped when he had it in range a perfect site picture did not shoot !The name of the book is "In the Elephant's Eye, out of print tor years I have a copy
but it's not for sale.Now there was a sportsman!

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

sleeping not sheeping! OY vey!

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Happy, the 300 stitch club probably involves an encounter with something really scratchy or bitey, or less likely, a really large baseball.

I'm betting on the former rather than the latter, but I'm a pessimist at heart.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hengst wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Maybe, without peeking, we should guess at which donkeys behinds are taking part in this travesty they call hunting. Rob said it best!!

I would venture to think that Mr. Happy is a member of the 300 stich club after his cat encounter.

BTW is Waddell involved or maybe rumproast (T-bone)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hengst wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Guessed wrong. Lakosky and the irritating blond, Steve West,the Ciancirillo's and Tom Miranda to name a few.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I have lots of fantasies about hunting but none of them involve watching other people do it.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I like to see all of the dumb animals that are on the TV shows where you can talk back and forth and move when the animals are only 10 or 15 yards away from you and the animals don't hear you or see you. " You shoot him, no you shoot him, no you shoot him , okay is the camera on him and is it light enough" and the deer is still standing there posed. They have never hunted a WV turkey or deer, or they would get a real education. I have had turkeys that I am sure that they saw me blink my eyes.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

See where the evolution of hornography has taken our sport!!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

That God you said it Dave I may have been flogged for the audacity to say 'do it yourself'.
PS, I've said before I don't and will not watch the tv shows with inseminated and perhaps drugged Texas deer.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dbetzner wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I think chuckles said it best when he said "I have lots of fantasy's about hunting but none of them involve watching other people do it"

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

300 Stitch Club?
Must involve being gored, bitten or clawed. D

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hey Coop...
Be honest with us now; Don't you wish you had taken that Grizz in your sights to have and hold that bear rug while blogging on the Gun Nut trail?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Welcome back Happy...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

ralph, you know he does!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bellringer wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

This fantasy hunting business, along with the vast majority of the hunting infomercial programs are about as appealing to me as going to a restaurant to watch other eat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I cannot add much to Rob and MJC's assessment of the dreadful hunting shows. This "fantasy" hunting is just another step toward insanity. If I had any propensity to be an anti-hunter, a couple hours of "hunting TV" would put me over the top. We are going to lose the wonderful activity of hunting through our own stupidity and "hot dog" behavior in the field. The whole thing takes away from the sacred nature of real hunting.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

fantasy hunting....wow, maybe after im done with my fantasy football lineup i should switch out the lakosky's for the bone collector, i think he has a better chance this weekend at bagging the caged in texas whitetail. the lakosky's are hunting free ranging wild whitetails, they probably wont kill one.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I wonder how those virtual deer taste?

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from NHshtr wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hunting to me, is a personal experience. Walking the woods and fields, reading sign, and sitting in heat and cold, smelling the various odors of the trees and shrubs to absorb what the woods can tell me.

The TV shows (both hunting and fishing) boil all that down to the kill or catch only. And as others have said, the hosts begin rattling off all the brand credits. The show is a thin vehicle to sell gear, pure and simple.

All we can do as hunters is to keep it personal and ethical. We need to assure that we break-in new hunters with respect for animals, the woods, the fields, and the tradition.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The 300 (or any number specified for entry) stitch club is when you've had 300 stitches due to injuries. It means you're a badass, or you're stupid and clumsy, or all of them.

"A real hunter, a real outdoorsman, can do just fine with no electronics whatsoever."

Are you allowed to say that? I think you just alienated 80% of the readership.

By that definition, there are very few "real hunters" left.

Yes, ladies, "electronic devices" includes range finders. They didn't exist once, and animals still got shot.

Not only are these things a crutch for lack of skill, they are just one more thing to blame your failures on.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

shane

Let me see if I get it, Tasco scope on a 340 Weatherby Magnum with no muzzle break

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

One up for you Clay. I too have enjoyed just being out there. It rejuvenates the mind and body.

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from z41 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

DEP, Your not pulling my leg again are you, this fantasy hunting? You know what really galls me is the 1000 yard Elk killing crowd.

Here's a upper my 10 yr old grandson started shooting trap last night with my old Model 12 3" Duck gun. It banged him around. He'd shoot 3 or 4 times and then I'd shot 5 or 6 times and then he'd say "Grandpa can I shoot?" And the cycle of 3 or 4 shots would repeat. We were shooting a short squad (4 guys) and they extended patience, help, and encouragement and the good old boys talked with him.

It was a excellent way to get a young pup started and that is what it's all about, leaving an inheritance. Z41

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from Big Country wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I forgot to add to my babbling.
I do not see the point in fantasy football or fantasy baseball and sure as hell can't see the point in fantasey hunting. They already have that on the X box and play station I have 1 hunting game and 1 fishing game for when the wife and my new born baby girl keep me from fishing or hunting for to long. But it doesn't work. I still can't shake the urge to go out into the OUTDOORS for these activitys and do them myself. So I never play them anymore they just collect dust.
Now as for all the cracks about Texas, Y'all know that most people here in Texas that hunt do it in opean country with no high fence right? cause that is moastly for out of towners wanting to buy there trophy whitetail. The rest of us have to check activity, clear shooting lanes, hang stands, place ground blinds, move ground blinds (wich can be a hazard with the snakes staying active well into the "winter" in most parts" and yes even fill feeders. And please don't start about feeders it's early and I don't want to argue with anyone atleast until lunch,

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from New Age Bubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Why are you watching TV? TV == "a bad thing". Well, OK, there's the weather channel.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I guess the more POS gizmos that you have and use, the better odds of a solid alibi if you miss....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Having spent all of my life doing entirely without the vast array of electronics, scents, scent "free" clothing, camo everything, trail cameras, etc., etc., I have been extremely successful in all my hunting endeavors, despite my sad lack of all this stuff, so I entirely agree with Dave's point of view. My hunting career spans over 70 years, and when I started out there was almost nothing available beyond whatever firearm you had and the clothes on your back, both of which were probably pretty poor. The contrast in available gear between now and then is mind-blowing and I doubt can be appreciated by today's hunters and fishermen. However, I might differ somewhat in the use of trail cameras. These gadgets have opened a huge window for researchers, biologists, scientists, and so on, to count and document wildlife that often no one would have ever known were present and are now being used world wide to make amazing discoveries that we are now constantly hearing about, so they have become a extremely useful learning tool for many others beyond just us hunters. Of course, obtaining photos of not only deer, but all wildlife, has now become almost a sport in itself, and I see nothing wrong in that. Despite all the so-called "improvements", I would give anything to be able to return to the old days of self-reliance and make-do.

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from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Are you guys sure this isn't another one of Dave's "satires", haha.

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from wp wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Fantasy hunting seems like just another step towards the perversion of our sport, just like hunting shows. Maybe it is just a modernization of the classical hunting books of yesteryear that inspired many to hunt, but I don't see this doing the same. I think that just like others have stated, it will be about product advertisement and killing, not true hunting. It is less likely to be about the "hunt" and time spent in the wild. Clay Cooper's sentiments above about not pulling the trigger are not felt by nearly enough of us. Maybe I'm wrong in thinking that, but in many of the hunt clubs I have encountered, the mentality seems to be similar to that of the hunting shows.

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from Zermoid wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I'm hoping this post is satire as well as the "party poppers" one was...........

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from Thesecondarrow wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Do we win bonus points if they use muzzle-loaders?
What's next, HALO Big game edition?
Or maybe a Risk game with moose, elk and deer on one side and trappers, hunters and Fish & Game officials on the other.

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from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Dave, it's all about $$$$$$,and ranks on the same level as graphic, violent video games that are detrimental to society. EVERYONE has a hunting show on TV today....it's a popular money maker for the producers, equipment manufacturers, and actors?(I wouldn't elevate them to the level of hunters)that to paraphrase Robert Ruark, "couldn't track a gutshot hippo through a hotel lobby".

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from Kyle VanBritson wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I'm 17 and just got into hunting...and watching videos of "pros" sitting in a elevated blind that has heaters,food,magazines, that's basically a freaking house, and passing up bucks that are 140+inches because they are too small!? In my opinion...that's a disgrace to true hunters. If you think you desereve to take a whitetail or anything...actually hike into a real stand,don't take your atv into a small house. Don't sit there and try to justify "passing up" a 140+ inch buck because he's just too small for you to shoot, I mean seriously,if you sat out and froze your balls off in a stand like I, among most normal hunters do, any buck is a trophy, I just took a 5ptr last year,he was my first buck,and I'll never have another trophy as good as him.

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from smokey0347 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I agree with a lot of the comments on here. Never used a trail camera or 'baited' or used any of those high priced video cameras and such. Camo? That's what I wore in the Military 'hunting' the enemy. I've hunted a lot of big game here in Arizona and a couple of other States and never wore any Camo. Just jeans and red or orange shirt/jacket (depending on the weather). GPS is fine to help you get back to camp if you get turned around in the mountains but, a good compass and knowing how to use it is almost as good. I don't think that, of all the elk and mule deer I've shot over the years, any of them cared about what I wore or if I'd taken a picture of them a week before the hunt.
All this 'gadgetry' takes away from what the real sport of hunting is about. Know your area, know the habits of your quarry before you head out. Do some scouting and you'd be surprised at what the outcome might be.
Scent-blockers? Use the wind as your friend when hunting. I don't mean to go out smelling like some dead crap your hound dog rolled in but, nothing wrong with using good ole soap and water. I know my grandfather would be a spinning if he knew of all this stuff you 'just have to have to get your monster buck' that's on the market today. Grab yer gun, some snacks, proper clothing and use some common sense. You'll enjoy your hunt and learn from the experience. Hunting is not just about killing a big Trophy, it's the whole time you spend in the field enjoying what nature has put there for us to enjoy.
Just my own humble opinion, folks.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

That's funny, Jeff, the whole fantasy hunting thing made me think of the "Tats for twits" show too. ;)

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The photo above sez it all, IMO.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

WAM

"Wonder how those virtual deer taste"

Don't know the answer to that but I’m told with synthetic rubber and electronics these days, guess anything is possible

But I wonder if this Fantasy Hunting going to include your choice of virtual hunting partners. You get to choose any celebrity or you can access their system and create your own virtual partner

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from 007 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

"Pathetic" should pretty much sum up the whole concept.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

"Pathetic" should pretty much sum up the whole concept.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

If I was going to put on a show, it would be educational and hilarious to watch. far as educational, that's self explanatory. As for hilarious, I would set up hunters candid camera style to get there reaction. Imagine someone well known and accomplished hunter like Jeff Foxworthy or even Sir Phil and David. Have a popup live looking critter like a monster buck, antelope or coyote filled with Tannerite or have the critter fall and as soon as they look away, it pops back up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZM5sEUQrV8

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I bemoan this additional nail in “traditional” hunting. I don’t know why, but there seems to be a growing number of “hunters” main hunting experience is gear shopping. It’s my observation these fellas field gear pushes $50k just between the 4x4 and ATV, but are unable or unwilling to hunt more than 5-mi’s away from home base. E.g.:

I live less than 2-miles outside a small hamlet, surrounded by working Mennonite farms. These are developed lands for a 15-mile radius. Nothing wild about them The local hunters fight visiting hunters tooth and nail for hunting privileges to these developed lands. The rub is there’s very few deer for these guys to use their $60k hunting systems upon.

These Mennonites hunt everyday, 365 days a year between regular hunting tags and damage control permits. I bet a deer@week is taken within 1.5 mile of where I live, yet the area is believed to be prime, populated deer habitat. Basically all these guys have done is blown $60k for a drive and to perch in a stand in a bona fide park land.

I’m waiting to see the wakeup call on these boys, see them travel for a real hunting experience. I can also see where these guys get off watching “Fantasy Hunting League”. It’s seeing what they bought put to actual use, in a way.

I feel like I’m in Ancient Rome.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Public land hunting and fishing no canned or private land.

Majority of the hunts I see on TV, I can drive the Wife's Chevy Impala down that road!

Public land and need a M38 or ATV to haul the gear to a camp site I can live with that

Fantasy Hunting League: The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of?

When you do it yourself, satisfaction takes on a brand new meaning of accomplishment and you can say, "I DID IT"!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Ralph the Rifleman

Back in Alaska watching those Bears, some up close and personal was torture not having the funds to have the Bear properly taken care of, just wasted :(

I did dry fire a few times at a couple

Being broke sucks!

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from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Dave, and especially Bob Rob;
I completely read this blog wrong. I took it as an endorsement of the fantasy league. My apology and I'll go eat crow for the next week.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Try a little wasabi and fresh ginger with it thinly sliced.

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from lachoneus wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Smokey,

"GPS is fine to help you get back to camp if you get turned around in the mountains but, a good compass and knowing how to use it is almost as good."

While hunting in Kaibab near the Grand Canyon not long ago, I fired up my new GPS to put in a waypoint for an area I wanted to hunt later. To my surprise, the GPS indicated I was about 400 miles away in New Mexico. I showed the GPS screen to my sons, who confirmed I was not hallucinating. I turned the thing off, turned it on again, and this time it showed we were in the Kaibab. I am competent with a map and compass, and bought the GPS just because it seemed like a good way to confirm location as determined from the map. Now, having a GPS along gives very little comfort.

I find that many of the gadgets in common use today impede rather than promote the enjoyment of hunting. As another writer posted, they are often just one more thing that can break. Worse yet, they often distract the hunter from enjoying the experience itself and discourage him or her from developing skills that do not rely on technology.

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from RandyMI wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Again I get the idea that Mr. Petzal and I have something in common....something important. I get SO TIRED of all the hype & B.S. connected with hunting anymore. Of course, most of the C.R.A.P. seems to be tied hard & fast to someones efforts to make a buck. Sure, everyone needs a buck or two but it's gotten outright obnoxious. I know I'm kinda romantic about it but I just hate to see hunting continue at quadzillion-warp speed into pure, unapologetic commercialism. I used to like local stock-car racing, too, but I can hardly stomach NASCAR. Jeff Foxworthy's schpeel about NASCAR & sponsorship could easily be made-over for almost any so-called TV hunting show. Gun nuts and FS are usually refreshing exceptions. Nearly every sentence (and quite a few of these 'celebs' seem to have considerable trouble with the idea of a 'sentence') has to include so many sponsor plugs that it's hard to tell a pure commercial from the dialog of the program.

Seems like EVERY guy in the woods HAS TO HAVE a rangefinder or have an assistant who does & can feed the shooter the exact yardage. No skill involved there. Plus the absolute flattest-shooting bow or gun....not much skill there. Used to be that HUNTING went hand-in-hand with WOODSMANSHIP to produce an OUTDOORSMAN or OUTDOORSWOMAN. (Probably foreign words to many!) So much of what was good about hunting is being or has been lost. Another have-to-have gadget is the GPS---why not learn orienteering and how to use a compass to find our way in Boy Scouts. How to shelter overnight; build a snow fire. (I miss Rancid Crabtree!)

With the flattest shooting bow on earth, what difference is there between 39 yards and 41 yards? If they can't estimate yardage well enough to make first-shot kills then they need to go home and practice! Yes, me & my friends and relatives, too!

I'm sure this will bring some howls so I might as well go further---don't show up in my camp or yard with an
AR-style rifle. They may be fine for soldiers but deer season isn't war, I don't assault game animals and if you're with me, you don't either. Same if you have to hoot & holler when a shot connects---hunting isn't recess time for the HA/AD first-graders behind that cyclone fence!

BTW, isn't that contest thing with Kelly Gotch just plain silly??? She was an 'OK' hostess on Michigan-Out-of-Doors but the show she does now is dorkie.

RandyMI

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from RES1956 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hunting, skeet, trap, and sex are not spectator sports. To realize any satisfaction, one must be an active participant, IMHO.

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from crowman wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

As a 60 year old hunter with a lot of time outdoors hunting doves to elk I want to put my 2 cents in about state of hunting that I've seen happening in the last 20 years. There's a lot [most] of deer hunting writers and shows that 3/4 of the content is about horns. You would think it's a math class with all the number being bandied around like the deer from the neck down didn't exist. Food plots where the hell is the sport in that? Same goes with baiting. Guy's like Hank and kids, Jeff, and the rest of them are not hunters they are only shooters big difference. As for gadgets I like GPS [ I have a orienteering merit badge, Eagle Scout, know how to do it] lets you stay out longer after dark or get back to camp in a snow storm, hard to do with a compass in the dark. Everybody as to sort thru the gear to come up with what works for them including me. It's fun to see all the new stuff but it takes a lot to make what I carry better. Hunt for the sake of hunting not the numbers all animals on the ground are trophy's. As for the rifles I like the AR platforms for varmint hunting but bolt's for big game. As for the people that think the AR's are for war remember bolt actions came from the trenches of WW I it's just the evolution of rifles get use to it there here to stay.

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from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

"I'm" a member of "A" 300 stitch club. I faced down, not only a 230 pound offensive guard in high school, but later in life was tracked down and attacked headon by a 65mph Toyota Corolla!! Ten broken bones, a crushed calcaneus (heel) and multiple surgeries!! (the Toyota was the scariest!)

Fantasy, schmantasy! If I'm not sliding my arm up into a "chest cavity", it wasn't a "successful" hunt. A "successful" hunt isn't "necessary" to ENJOY the hunt!
There is more to life than watching animals die, especially on TV!
Hopefully, I'll kill a few more before it's MY turn. I'm packed, I'm just not ready to step on the train yet!!! LOL!!!

Bubba

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from Scott Kittinger wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

How about taking a new tack: try NOT sitting in a tree, try NOT to use scent blocker, try NOT using a GPS and a cell phone or whatever. If you're young, try NOT to use a scoped rifle or shotgun or what they call a muzzleloader these days. OR better yet, try a traditional muzzle loader! Try traditional archery! Less is MORE. Gentlemen, I believe the only way we can grow in our skill is to leave behind the trail cam, the scent block and the fancy camo. Use the wind and track the animal as our fathers did. Have respect for the animal by honing your skills and give thanks when you're successful. This "fantasy hunting league" is just that: fantasy. It deserves nothing less than to be completely ignored in the hopes of its untimely end. Another gambling game in the dust bin of ridiculous television.

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from micko77 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The whole "Team Hunting" thing has no appeal to me, as is the case with most hunting shows. I do enjoy two of them, though, for different reasons. First, Tred Barta,for doing things HIS way, through thick and very, very thin. Would that I had his friends. Second is good old Uncle Ted Nugent. Yeah, a completely different style of hunting, but he has brought so many people to the sport, and opened the eyes (and ears!) of so many, many people in the life he has led. I saw his rock shows in the early 70's throu 3 years ago, and would gladly go again should the opportunity present itself. He's a no-holds-barred, righteous man who hunts legally and challenges the thinking man about ideas on hunting. And he's probably planted more trees than your average 18-year-old had had heartbeats!.

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from happygilmore2120 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I've got to say that there are definitely some oppinionated views on here. I've got to say that first off I along with most of you on here have no desire to be a computer play along hunter. Nor do I particularly care to watch someone else go hunt a questionably wild deer. However, there are tons of other channels that I choose to watch that other people could give two craps about so I say to this just don't participate...who cares. My real reason for posting is more along the lines of the "real hunters." I have honed my skills finely so that on nearly any day I can go out and shoot a deer with my bow. Some of this has to do with the fine hunting areas that MO has provided, some with luck and some with the fact that I have hunted since I finished elementary school. I do use many of the modern marvels however and I definitely consider myself a real hunter. I don't put out my cameras to find out if the quarry is there or not, rather I like to hunt for horns on occasion and though I know most of you "real hunters can sniff the dirt and tell how old he is and lick a hoof print and tell how many points I cannot. Many of you have brought up the fact that "real hunters" didn't and don't use electronics, let me tell you...real hunters didn't have scopes on there guns or brass cased ammunition and if you really want to get technical real hunters didn't even shoot guns or bows with cams. So I guess the only real hunters left to smack talk are the traditional archers and even most of them don't make there own equipment. Don't get me wrong I take advantage of all of the things that most of you do, I just don't consider myself more or less skilled because of the technologies that are available. If it keeps people interested who cares. For those of you who doubt my skills come hunting with me or take me out and I'll prove them!

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from dtownley wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

TV hunt'in ? If they hunt does I watch, Eastmans I watch, anywhere the kids or troops hunt...I watch. I know you can't kill a big one if you shoot a small one. The only good deer is one that can't be wiped from your memory...two good deer got away after the shot and I will never forget them as I do not want a third. Fantasy Hunting = never having to live with wound & maim or correct for it. So now I look out for strands of barb-wire or wild grapevine as the re-direction from these were not a fantasy.

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from arod4224 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hey Every including the write of this article. As the owner and operator of the FHL, I am frustrated by this article and those who have negative comments. First off David has provided false information about the FHL and how it works. Instead of teams of pro hunters and that everything is about competition is far from the truth. Let me explain and you are allowed to have your option once getting correct information.

The growing popularity of "Pro Hunters" and the TV shows they represent are for sure growing and yes they do promote companies and products. Here is the facts: Hunting popularity is going down. These are the facts, let tags are purchased every year. The goal is to get more involved and traditionally we would introduce our young to the sport, but guess what? TV and video games are winning that battle.

So what do we do? The old saying if you can't beat them, join them. There is no deny that technology has changed the way people hunt and outfitters have allowed those who don't have great property the ability to still have a great successful hunt and outfitters work 365 days a year for their clients, busting their butts.

Social Media has taken over the way our young people interact an it's not going away no matter how we fight it. It's easy to just bash it with words, but even harder to take the time for your self and learn why people actually enjoy it.

The FHL works like the above. Just like sports center provides info about other pro sports. The FHL provides info about Pro Hunters. We know the sports aren't the same, and the FHL is not for everyone, but it when your not in the stand of field you thinking about hunting and when your buddy has a good night in the stand he calls you up to tell you about it and that even gives you goose bumps, wishing you were in the stand that night. Well everyday most of the FHL pros are in the field somewhere hunting. (Not hunting high fence, tied up deer over a feed pile), private land yes, but they are hunting and it can be educational. Maybe you dont kill a 170" because of the FHL, but when over 60 pros are spread out over the country, you will be educated by "where is the rut happening" "what to use" "where might i plan an guided hunt next year" and even social network with friends on the site.

In conclusion:
The FHL's main goal is to bring another form of entertainment to those who enjoy outdoor tv, and who just love to hear stories of hunters with or without success. Please please please take to the field and teach people about the love of the sport. You may not participate in the FHL this fall because your too busy hunting everyday, every morning and every evening and we wish you luck. Just don't be afraid of change, instead of filming all fall, editing and bringing to tv in the fall. The FHL brings real time info about hunting Pros to you. Topday people want info and they want it now, it's a fast pace world. Hunting is now cathing up with what others are doing and popularity in the FHL is growng very fast. Isn't that what its all about? Getting more involved? Bottom line, more hunters participating at any levels means hunting is here to stay. The more we fight the more volnerable we are to antis.

The David Petzal, I ask that you do more research before bashing something as the readers are easy to agree about negativity and in this case, you facts were wrong. We are available anytime to explain exactly the goals behind the FHL and what we can bring to the hunting public. We are not just about "competition" were are so much more.

FHL Admin

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from dtownley wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Oh, the sad day it is when our sport needs numbers cause someone can't find a kid that 1. would like to hunt or fish 2.can get permission from a parent that would like them to learn a fieldcraft 3. only needs a will of their own to attempt it 4. have someone with that knowledge & means to help them succeed ? Yes, this used to be called the BOY SCOUTS and then they would be labeled discriminators(girls/lgbt). Individually we could each find a person of interest and make the offer. My Gramps has five daughters and no one to teach... five married, after he was done 15 can-do field ready campers, hunters, fisherfolks came out of the deal. I don't think I was the only one of the grandkids to come out and preach & teach the outdoor gospel. Now what, in my opinion we are going to make bone hunters and to he!! with the herd ? I have taught 3 a small # now but when the son marries no telling how many siblings she will have that might make the team and become a teacher. We know these shows are there to get some of us through the down time of a closed season, as I hope we will not bet on someone to proxy it for us. Not good, as I saw a show that had couple of girls killing(deer)for a title of... I couldn't even watch the end(I like hunters that are girls). Like WEBKILL, you either go for it or you don't. FNL ADMIN. good luck telling Dave how wrong he is or misinformed. As always, sponsers find out their wrong through lack of sales and T.V. shows through lack of viewers. My ears listen for the train of opinion but only some will board. My wife will attest I have been wrong before ?

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from dtownley wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Well, we are good liars or we just don't see what we do as a game ! Checked a couple other sites on this topic and it is a very similar response. "Don't be afraid of change"FHCADMIN. This sounds very familiar.BHO?

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from sgaredneck wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Moishe,

Brig. Gen. Scott was a friend of my Dad's. I had the honor of meeting him, and seeing him speak a couple of times. He was a fine fellow, and I have inscribed copies of some of his titles, including a 1st ed. "God Is My Co-Pilot", and the one you mentioned. It's a pretty good read.

To clarify, he wasn't in the first group of pre-Pearl Harbor AVG pilots, so he's not recognized by some as a true Flying Tiger. But he was in the mix of things at the end of the AVG with Gen. Chennault, when they were absorbed into the Air Corps. Hearing him speak of the conditions they were operating in, I think they fought the conditions as much or more than the Japanese.

He was a sportsman indeed.

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from hydespro wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

Seriously, think about all these comments. Everybody is so damn opinionated about the way others live their life. Just because someone does not hunt the exact way you do does not mean they are disrespecting "your" sport or ways. Hunting is for all to enjoy, regardless of how they go about it (within legality). Outside of some extreme situations, I do not worry about how others choose to pursue and kill game. Just like you all were raised to hunt, work, and live the way you do, the generations of recent were/are as well. Most people do not know any different, they just enjoy what is rightfully theirs to enjoy. Just because a person may use all the technology available to them when out hunting, does not mean they aren't "real hunters". Correctly stated above, most of today’s gadgets do work in favor of the hunter, making it easy to spot, watch, kill, and track game, yet does the use of the former dismiss their efforts at the sport and deem them "not real" hunters? Just like most everything in life, times and technologies change. I use a truck with an engine to get from place to place, but since it is not a horse and buggy does that mean I am not a real traveler? I use a computer and cell phone every day at my job so that I can be more efficient, provide a better product, and outperform the competition; but since I use the latest and greatest technology does that mean all my work is "not-real"? Think about HUNTING as LIVING in this example; our thousand year old ancestors could be criticizing every single one of us for how the way we live. Modern technology, motorized conveniences, roads, clothes...the list goes on. Now, if they were to import the same logic the majority of the above comments root from, we would be 'making a mockery of' or 'perverting' LIVING. As hunters are born and raised they use what is at their disposal, just as you all have living your lives. It is great to practice the sport by early means, but what makes hunting a whitetail with 140+ horns on a perfectly manipulated piece of hunting land with a crossbow outfitted with ACOG sight any different then hunting any size & gender of whitetail on thousands of public land with a long bow? When in reality, the "sport of hunting" as we call it, began with no specialized choice of animal (meat was meat), no killing equipment (catch it, kill it with your bare hands), and with no limit to the amount of type of land! All the self-proclaimed "old school, true" hunters are still modernist in the eyes of our hunting forefathers. One more thing, just because someone hold out for a larger horned deer doesn't make them less of hunter. YES, it does make them a different type of hunter but just because they have the facilities to hunt that way does not make it wrong. Most of us on here choose to shoot whitetail deer because we have the facilities to do so, yet some do not have the opportunity to shoot whitetail and instead can only shoot a smaller or inferior species. One hunter's hearts may race when seeing a large bodied doe and another hunter's heart may race when seeing a large antlered buck. Choosing to work harder to pursue one or another does not make them an immoral or wrong hunter.

This is just my opinion, just as all the above comments are opinions of others. I just wish society today would be more accepting of others practices when it comes to something such as hunting. Critical views can be kept to oneself

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from rob wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Disgusting, vile filth is about all I've got.
If you've ever watched the VS. network or any of the other hunting networks, these "Pros" couldn't find a whitetail, elk or hog without a high fence, guide, tree stand or a bucket of corn to save their head to toe camo'd hides.
What really nauseates me is when they do get something down, the fist pumping and knuckle bumping and tears and thanks to Jeebus and Hoyt and my mosquito buster 1000 and my scent eliminator 2000 and my rack master 5000 tree stand and my grippy 7500 tree stand climbing rungs and my..... well you get the drift.
It's sad that hunting has turned into a non-stop product endorsement/arm chair quarterback event. This fantasy hunting team thing is the icing on the cake.

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from TED FORD wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

So, who dreams up this garbage?

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from MJC wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Sounds like one more way hunting is being turned into a profitable commodity. Honestly, this isn't too far from all of those television shows where experts go on hunts in a game ranch with a 'guide' who knows where the animals are because he's been feeding them for the last year. It's unfortunate because both this fantasy league and those TV shows are going to shape the public's opinion of hunting far more than the actions of a true outdoorsman will.

As for electronics in the field, I think the degree to which the are a devil or a saint depends entirely on who's holding them.

If you see your GPS/range finder/trail camera as a crutch that you're using because you haven't had the time to develop true outdoor skills, I've got no problem with you. That attitude shows humility and respect for nature's capacity to ruin your day.

If you think your electronics instantly make you as good or better than Davy Crockett, I'm much less likely to participate in the search party they send out for you.

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from RipperIII wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I started hunting 3 years ago at age 48 with no mentor and no outdoors experience.
My GPS kept me from getting hopelessly lost in thick woods, My range finder helped me accurately arrow my game.
I have since learned a great deal about tracking, reading sign and keeping my bearings.
The electronics have sped my learning a great deal, they are less of a crutch, more of a convenience and rarely if ever leave my pocket except to range for bow hunting...out of respect for the animal.
Taking up hunting and all that there is involved with the pursuit, taking, and dressing has been one of the best adventures that i've undertaken in my adult life, the "modern" aspects are aides only, and with each hunt I lean more toward "bare bones" hunting...maybe next season I'll try a long bow.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

During my 4-year tour (1986-90) at Eielson Air Force Base Alaska, I've been asked how many bears have I taken. I had hundreds of chances. I had my crosshairs on many with a round in the chamber of my 338 Win Mag with Nosler 250 grain partitions loaded at 2847 fps and a harvest ticket in my backpack. An easy one shot clean kill everyone. I never pulled the trigger though.

Why you ask?

The beauty and respect of one a Hunter to the other (the bear) perhaps? But I knew in the back of my mind that if I did pull the trigger, the hunt was over. I wasn't ready for the hunt to end, never. I wanted more days to hunt, just to be out there. Even if I came home empty handed, it didn't matter.

The awesome power, to watch a Grizzly role rocks the size of my ATV like a basketball, hunting for rodents. Most of all, being alone on a mountain ridge, setting on a giant rock overlooking the endless landscape where perhaps no man ever walked. To watch a snow flurry on a far mountain ridge and to feel the Alaskan wind enjoying what God has made. I may have come home empty handed, but my mind is full of awesome memories it is a experience, I'll never forget!

Fantasy Hunting League SUCKS!

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Had it not been for this article, I doubt I would ever have heard of it, just like the 'tattooed hunters' mess.

When we got the channel, I watched a few shows. After one weekend, I guess I had learned everything they had to teach no matter how many years you watched. They were all the same.

The vast majority of the comments above are true. I don't see this catching on with hunters. Notice I said; quote with hunters endquote. There may be some accountants, dentists, and such who will latch onto this, just like the fantasy football crowd.

But they will never know the cold dawns, the sweat in the armpits along with the stiff cold feet, or Ravioli cooked on a Chevy 305 engine block.

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from JettPack wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Who needs fantasy hunting? I already have it. All year, I sit around and dream about those chilly November mornings, relive hunts of the past, try to fast forward the humid summer days and make the leaves fall. That pre-season anticipation is fantasy hunting to me.
There is so much wrong with how hunting is presented these days. I'm so sick of junk like this, the TV goofballs and talk of G3s and antler mass. Hunting, to me, will never be a measuring contest. If I ever lose the feeling I have when I see any deer in the wild, I won't be back in the woods. And I certainly won't have a need for this kind of fantasy hunting!

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from wgp wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I have loved to hunt and fish for years but stll find it exceedingly boring to watch other people do it on TV.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Speaking of skilled woodsmans: Read a great story this morning of African trackers finding the track of an elephant wounded 12 kms away the day before. Much to the surprise of the skeptical PH the trackers followed the tracks across hard ground to the downed game. Guys like this make poor Midwestern whitetail hunters, like myself, look like babes in the woods. Would love to take tracking lessons from those guys one day.

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from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Amen Dave. Just another way for someone to make a buck and market more junk. Reading Ruark, Cactus Jack, Old Elmer, Page and Gresham made we want to get out and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells myself. Not watch some bone head "Bone Collector" market more junk and hunt behind a fence or on a very private ranch.

I'm not a big fan of NIKE, especially after this past weekends "combat" football uniform debut, but as their marketing credo goes... "JUST DO IT!"

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from Kyle VanBritson wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I'm 17 and just got into hunting...and watching videos of "pros" sitting in a elevated blind that has heaters,food,magazines, that's basically a freaking house, and passing up bucks that are 140+inches because they are too small!? In my opinion...that's a disgrace to true hunters. If you think you desereve to take a whitetail or anything...actually hike into a real stand,don't take your atv into a small house. Don't sit there and try to justify "passing up" a 140+ inch buck because he's just too small for you to shoot, I mean seriously,if you sat out and froze your balls off in a stand like I, among most normal hunters do, any buck is a trophy, I just took a 5ptr last year,he was my first buck,and I'll never have another trophy as good as him.

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from jbird wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I think fantasy hunting will be a flop, with a handful of lonely losers participating.

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from smokey0347 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I agree with a lot of the comments on here. Never used a trail camera or 'baited' or used any of those high priced video cameras and such. Camo? That's what I wore in the Military 'hunting' the enemy. I've hunted a lot of big game here in Arizona and a couple of other States and never wore any Camo. Just jeans and red or orange shirt/jacket (depending on the weather). GPS is fine to help you get back to camp if you get turned around in the mountains but, a good compass and knowing how to use it is almost as good. I don't think that, of all the elk and mule deer I've shot over the years, any of them cared about what I wore or if I'd taken a picture of them a week before the hunt.
All this 'gadgetry' takes away from what the real sport of hunting is about. Know your area, know the habits of your quarry before you head out. Do some scouting and you'd be surprised at what the outcome might be.
Scent-blockers? Use the wind as your friend when hunting. I don't mean to go out smelling like some dead crap your hound dog rolled in but, nothing wrong with using good ole soap and water. I know my grandfather would be a spinning if he knew of all this stuff you 'just have to have to get your monster buck' that's on the market today. Grab yer gun, some snacks, proper clothing and use some common sense. You'll enjoy your hunt and learn from the experience. Hunting is not just about killing a big Trophy, it's the whole time you spend in the field enjoying what nature has put there for us to enjoy.
Just my own humble opinion, folks.

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from RJ Arena wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

People with too much time on their hands, that's who!

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from jjas wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

What a silly waste of time.....and Dave, I agree with you...I have yet to see the appeal of game cams. I know it lets you see what is coming around your stand and when, but I'd rather do it "old school" and look @ the tracks and rubs and park my butt in the stand and enjoy actually hunting, not shopping for deer.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Not my cup of coffee. I'd rather hunt than watch hunting. I'd rather watch almost anything than watch a hunting TV show. But if this sort of thing is some person's idea of a good time and they want to pay for it, well, that's their business.

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from Dbetzner wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

"the stuff that dreams are made of" yes I would go along with that, Nightmares are dreams after all. Hunting TV has gotten out of control. a 3 years back I used to watch it just seeing an animal I havent gotten to see yet alone hunt fueld the desire, then the PH opened his yap and the sponsorship took over and killed the show. X broadheads really did their job along with X camo and X bow all araned so neately around the animal as to barely see it. I got my initial intrest in hunting from the stacks (and i mean stacks of 2-3 years worth of multiple magazines) of magazines my grandpa gave me after I told him I loved fishing. At 7-8yrs old I couldnt read them real well but I sure did want to go hunting. I dont watch the hunting shows anymore havent watched them in a few years. They've perversed the sport in my opinion. And this "fantasy hunting" just takes it to a whole new level.

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from Big Country wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hunting shows I'll watch if I think I can learn something. If not then I don't bother I used to buy the DVDs evry now and then, I don't watch them mutch anymore. As for trail cams, I like them. GPS, great safety tool. Electric range finders great for scouting and setting up a stand location and hunting with if you facy, I don't hunt with one in my stand ever. I don't even own a range finder. The electric calls I don't like, I'm not sure why other than I just like doing it myself. Eletric range finding and self calculating rifle scopes, cheating. Shooting South Texas White tails with a .300 win mag, pointless.

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from CL3 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I play fantasy baseball & football with my buddies because it brings me closer to the games that I enjoy but don't really get to play. it also keeps me close to some buddies as we get o0lder and our lives take us in different directions.

fantasy hunting does not interest me, and fantasy fishing doesn't either (that's been around for a while now). I can get out and do those myself and have a great time.

as a side note, Ted Nugent on Spirit of The Wild blows my mind. Every other word out of his mouth is an advertisement. Do you think he says Grace at dinner like Ricky Bobby does in Talladega Nights??!!

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from chuckles wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I have lots of fantasies about hunting but none of them involve watching other people do it.

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from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Dave, it's all about $$$$$$,and ranks on the same level as graphic, violent video games that are detrimental to society. EVERYONE has a hunting show on TV today....it's a popular money maker for the producers, equipment manufacturers, and actors?(I wouldn't elevate them to the level of hunters)that to paraphrase Robert Ruark, "couldn't track a gutshot hippo through a hotel lobby".

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from Douglas wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The purpose of the "hunting" shows is merely to provide the sponsors a venue to hawk more new "gear".

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from Big Country wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hunting shows I'll watch if I think I can learn something. If not then I don't bother I used to buy the DVDs evry now and then, I don't watch them mutch anymore. As for trail cams, I like them. GPS, great safety tool. Electric range finders great for scouting and setting up a stand location and hunting with if you facy, I don't hunt with one in my stand ever. I don't even own a range finder. The electric calls I don't like, I'm not sure why other than I just like doing it myself. Eletric range finding and self calculating rifle scopes, cheating. Shooting South Texas White tails with a .300 win mag, pointless.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

RIGHT ON' JBIRD!

Big Country, WELCOME SIR!

I'm totally in agreement with you,"Hunting shows I'll watch if I think I can learn something."

Watching some pinhead who "CANNED HUNT" with all that camo on inclosed in a box tower and go into some fist bumping yelling BEEP! BEEP! YA'BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! ONE BIG BEEP! BEEP! just isn't Sport Hunting!

I prefer watching Border Wars that these Bozo's!

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from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

What in the dickens is the 300 Stitch Club?

Once, long ago in Namibia, we picked up a huge elephant track hard against the Botswana border. It was a cold early morning, we stripped down to our shorts and began tracking northward across the Caprivi Strip. We fast walked over the highway that traverses the Strip continuing relentlessly, only giving up at the Angola border without catching up with the animal. The highway then was a gravel road, now it is a paved thorough fare. The next evening we staggered out onto the road and hitch hiked back to the proximity of our vehicle. As the crow flies, the Strip is only around twenty miles one way, unfortunately we were not using crows, nor did the elephant walk a straight line. Additionally, we guessed the afternoon temperature as high as 102. Now that was a fantasy hunt.

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from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

What in the dickens is the 300 Stitch Club?

Once, long ago in Namibia, we picked up a huge elephant track hard against the Botswana border. It was a cold early morning, we stripped down to our shorts and began tracking northward across the Caprivi Strip. We fast walked over the highway that traverses the Strip continuing relentlessly, only giving up at the Angola border without catching up with the animal. The highway then was a gravel road, now it is a paved thorough fare. The next evening we staggered out onto the road and hitch hiked back to the proximity of our vehicle. As the crow flies, the Strip is only around twenty miles one way, unfortunately we were not using crows, nor did the elephant walk a straight line. Additionally, we guessed the afternoon temperature as high as 102. Now that was a fantasy hunt.

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from hengst wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Maybe, without peeking, we should guess at which donkeys behinds are taking part in this travesty they call hunting. Rob said it best!!

I would venture to think that Mr. Happy is a member of the 300 stich club after his cat encounter.

BTW is Waddell involved or maybe rumproast (T-bone)

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from hengst wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Guessed wrong. Lakosky and the irritating blond, Steve West,the Ciancirillo's and Tom Miranda to name a few.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I like to see all of the dumb animals that are on the TV shows where you can talk back and forth and move when the animals are only 10 or 15 yards away from you and the animals don't hear you or see you. " You shoot him, no you shoot him, no you shoot him , okay is the camera on him and is it light enough" and the deer is still standing there posed. They have never hunted a WV turkey or deer, or they would get a real education. I have had turkeys that I am sure that they saw me blink my eyes.

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from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

See where the evolution of hornography has taken our sport!!

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from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

That God you said it Dave I may have been flogged for the audacity to say 'do it yourself'.
PS, I've said before I don't and will not watch the tv shows with inseminated and perhaps drugged Texas deer.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

300 Stitch Club?
Must involve being gored, bitten or clawed. D

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Welcome back Happy...

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from Bellringer wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

This fantasy hunting business, along with the vast majority of the hunting infomercial programs are about as appealing to me as going to a restaurant to watch other eat.

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from Bernie wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I cannot add much to Rob and MJC's assessment of the dreadful hunting shows. This "fantasy" hunting is just another step toward insanity. If I had any propensity to be an anti-hunter, a couple hours of "hunting TV" would put me over the top. We are going to lose the wonderful activity of hunting through our own stupidity and "hot dog" behavior in the field. The whole thing takes away from the sacred nature of real hunting.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I wonder how those virtual deer taste?

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from NHshtr wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hunting to me, is a personal experience. Walking the woods and fields, reading sign, and sitting in heat and cold, smelling the various odors of the trees and shrubs to absorb what the woods can tell me.

The TV shows (both hunting and fishing) boil all that down to the kill or catch only. And as others have said, the hosts begin rattling off all the brand credits. The show is a thin vehicle to sell gear, pure and simple.

All we can do as hunters is to keep it personal and ethical. We need to assure that we break-in new hunters with respect for animals, the woods, the fields, and the tradition.

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from shane wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The 300 (or any number specified for entry) stitch club is when you've had 300 stitches due to injuries. It means you're a badass, or you're stupid and clumsy, or all of them.

"A real hunter, a real outdoorsman, can do just fine with no electronics whatsoever."

Are you allowed to say that? I think you just alienated 80% of the readership.

By that definition, there are very few "real hunters" left.

Yes, ladies, "electronic devices" includes range finders. They didn't exist once, and animals still got shot.

Not only are these things a crutch for lack of skill, they are just one more thing to blame your failures on.

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from z41 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

DEP, Your not pulling my leg again are you, this fantasy hunting? You know what really galls me is the 1000 yard Elk killing crowd.

Here's a upper my 10 yr old grandson started shooting trap last night with my old Model 12 3" Duck gun. It banged him around. He'd shoot 3 or 4 times and then I'd shot 5 or 6 times and then he'd say "Grandpa can I shoot?" And the cycle of 3 or 4 shots would repeat. We were shooting a short squad (4 guys) and they extended patience, help, and encouragement and the good old boys talked with him.

It was a excellent way to get a young pup started and that is what it's all about, leaving an inheritance. Z41

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I guess the more POS gizmos that you have and use, the better odds of a solid alibi if you miss....

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from tom warner wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Having spent all of my life doing entirely without the vast array of electronics, scents, scent "free" clothing, camo everything, trail cameras, etc., etc., I have been extremely successful in all my hunting endeavors, despite my sad lack of all this stuff, so I entirely agree with Dave's point of view. My hunting career spans over 70 years, and when I started out there was almost nothing available beyond whatever firearm you had and the clothes on your back, both of which were probably pretty poor. The contrast in available gear between now and then is mind-blowing and I doubt can be appreciated by today's hunters and fishermen. However, I might differ somewhat in the use of trail cameras. These gadgets have opened a huge window for researchers, biologists, scientists, and so on, to count and document wildlife that often no one would have ever known were present and are now being used world wide to make amazing discoveries that we are now constantly hearing about, so they have become a extremely useful learning tool for many others beyond just us hunters. Of course, obtaining photos of not only deer, but all wildlife, has now become almost a sport in itself, and I see nothing wrong in that. Despite all the so-called "improvements", I would give anything to be able to return to the old days of self-reliance and make-do.

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from wp wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Fantasy hunting seems like just another step towards the perversion of our sport, just like hunting shows. Maybe it is just a modernization of the classical hunting books of yesteryear that inspired many to hunt, but I don't see this doing the same. I think that just like others have stated, it will be about product advertisement and killing, not true hunting. It is less likely to be about the "hunt" and time spent in the wild. Clay Cooper's sentiments above about not pulling the trigger are not felt by nearly enough of us. Maybe I'm wrong in thinking that, but in many of the hunt clubs I have encountered, the mentality seems to be similar to that of the hunting shows.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

That's funny, Jeff, the whole fantasy hunting thing made me think of the "Tats for twits" show too. ;)

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

WAM

"Wonder how those virtual deer taste"

Don't know the answer to that but I’m told with synthetic rubber and electronics these days, guess anything is possible

But I wonder if this Fantasy Hunting going to include your choice of virtual hunting partners. You get to choose any celebrity or you can access their system and create your own virtual partner

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from 007 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

"Pathetic" should pretty much sum up the whole concept.

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I bemoan this additional nail in “traditional” hunting. I don’t know why, but there seems to be a growing number of “hunters” main hunting experience is gear shopping. It’s my observation these fellas field gear pushes $50k just between the 4x4 and ATV, but are unable or unwilling to hunt more than 5-mi’s away from home base. E.g.:

I live less than 2-miles outside a small hamlet, surrounded by working Mennonite farms. These are developed lands for a 15-mile radius. Nothing wild about them The local hunters fight visiting hunters tooth and nail for hunting privileges to these developed lands. The rub is there’s very few deer for these guys to use their $60k hunting systems upon.

These Mennonites hunt everyday, 365 days a year between regular hunting tags and damage control permits. I bet a deer@week is taken within 1.5 mile of where I live, yet the area is believed to be prime, populated deer habitat. Basically all these guys have done is blown $60k for a drive and to perch in a stand in a bona fide park land.

I’m waiting to see the wakeup call on these boys, see them travel for a real hunting experience. I can also see where these guys get off watching “Fantasy Hunting League”. It’s seeing what they bought put to actual use, in a way.

I feel like I’m in Ancient Rome.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Ralph the Rifleman

Back in Alaska watching those Bears, some up close and personal was torture not having the funds to have the Bear properly taken care of, just wasted :(

I did dry fire a few times at a couple

Being broke sucks!

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from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Dave, and especially Bob Rob;
I completely read this blog wrong. I took it as an endorsement of the fantasy league. My apology and I'll go eat crow for the next week.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Tred Barta

ENOUGH SAID!

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from CL3 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

ha! some funny comments here! great!

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

A good Book on Hunting Elephants in Africa written by of the Great men In the Air Force Brig Gen Robert E. Lee Scott,Of Flying Tiger Fame. He described a hunt with Harry Selby Of spending an entire MONTH in the Karamojo region looking for ONE particular Elephant that as supposedly 150 years old and had 120 lb Tusks. Found it after walking over 100 miles, sheeping on the ground,etc scoped when he had it in range a perfect site picture did not shoot !The name of the book is "In the Elephant's Eye, out of print tor years I have a copy
but it's not for sale.Now there was a sportsman!

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Happy, the 300 stitch club probably involves an encounter with something really scratchy or bitey, or less likely, a really large baseball.

I'm betting on the former rather than the latter, but I'm a pessimist at heart.

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from Dbetzner wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I think chuckles said it best when he said "I have lots of fantasy's about hunting but none of them involve watching other people do it"

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hey Coop...
Be honest with us now; Don't you wish you had taken that Grizz in your sights to have and hold that bear rug while blogging on the Gun Nut trail?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

ralph, you know he does!

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

fantasy hunting....wow, maybe after im done with my fantasy football lineup i should switch out the lakosky's for the bone collector, i think he has a better chance this weekend at bagging the caged in texas whitetail. the lakosky's are hunting free ranging wild whitetails, they probably wont kill one.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

shane

Let me see if I get it, Tasco scope on a 340 Weatherby Magnum with no muzzle break

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from nc30-06 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

One up for you Clay. I too have enjoyed just being out there. It rejuvenates the mind and body.

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from Big Country wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I forgot to add to my babbling.
I do not see the point in fantasy football or fantasy baseball and sure as hell can't see the point in fantasey hunting. They already have that on the X box and play station I have 1 hunting game and 1 fishing game for when the wife and my new born baby girl keep me from fishing or hunting for to long. But it doesn't work. I still can't shake the urge to go out into the OUTDOORS for these activitys and do them myself. So I never play them anymore they just collect dust.
Now as for all the cracks about Texas, Y'all know that most people here in Texas that hunt do it in opean country with no high fence right? cause that is moastly for out of towners wanting to buy there trophy whitetail. The rest of us have to check activity, clear shooting lanes, hang stands, place ground blinds, move ground blinds (wich can be a hazard with the snakes staying active well into the "winter" in most parts" and yes even fill feeders. And please don't start about feeders it's early and I don't want to argue with anyone atleast until lunch,

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from New Age Bubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Why are you watching TV? TV == "a bad thing". Well, OK, there's the weather channel.

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from Thesecondarrow wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Do we win bonus points if they use muzzle-loaders?
What's next, HALO Big game edition?
Or maybe a Risk game with moose, elk and deer on one side and trappers, hunters and Fish & Game officials on the other.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The photo above sez it all, IMO.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

"Pathetic" should pretty much sum up the whole concept.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

If I was going to put on a show, it would be educational and hilarious to watch. far as educational, that's self explanatory. As for hilarious, I would set up hunters candid camera style to get there reaction. Imagine someone well known and accomplished hunter like Jeff Foxworthy or even Sir Phil and David. Have a popup live looking critter like a monster buck, antelope or coyote filled with Tannerite or have the critter fall and as soon as they look away, it pops back up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZM5sEUQrV8

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Public land hunting and fishing no canned or private land.

Majority of the hunts I see on TV, I can drive the Wife's Chevy Impala down that road!

Public land and need a M38 or ATV to haul the gear to a camp site I can live with that

Fantasy Hunting League: The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of?

When you do it yourself, satisfaction takes on a brand new meaning of accomplishment and you can say, "I DID IT"!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Try a little wasabi and fresh ginger with it thinly sliced.

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from lachoneus wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Smokey,

"GPS is fine to help you get back to camp if you get turned around in the mountains but, a good compass and knowing how to use it is almost as good."

While hunting in Kaibab near the Grand Canyon not long ago, I fired up my new GPS to put in a waypoint for an area I wanted to hunt later. To my surprise, the GPS indicated I was about 400 miles away in New Mexico. I showed the GPS screen to my sons, who confirmed I was not hallucinating. I turned the thing off, turned it on again, and this time it showed we were in the Kaibab. I am competent with a map and compass, and bought the GPS just because it seemed like a good way to confirm location as determined from the map. Now, having a GPS along gives very little comfort.

I find that many of the gadgets in common use today impede rather than promote the enjoyment of hunting. As another writer posted, they are often just one more thing that can break. Worse yet, they often distract the hunter from enjoying the experience itself and discourage him or her from developing skills that do not rely on technology.

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from RandyMI wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Again I get the idea that Mr. Petzal and I have something in common....something important. I get SO TIRED of all the hype & B.S. connected with hunting anymore. Of course, most of the C.R.A.P. seems to be tied hard & fast to someones efforts to make a buck. Sure, everyone needs a buck or two but it's gotten outright obnoxious. I know I'm kinda romantic about it but I just hate to see hunting continue at quadzillion-warp speed into pure, unapologetic commercialism. I used to like local stock-car racing, too, but I can hardly stomach NASCAR. Jeff Foxworthy's schpeel about NASCAR & sponsorship could easily be made-over for almost any so-called TV hunting show. Gun nuts and FS are usually refreshing exceptions. Nearly every sentence (and quite a few of these 'celebs' seem to have considerable trouble with the idea of a 'sentence') has to include so many sponsor plugs that it's hard to tell a pure commercial from the dialog of the program.

Seems like EVERY guy in the woods HAS TO HAVE a rangefinder or have an assistant who does & can feed the shooter the exact yardage. No skill involved there. Plus the absolute flattest-shooting bow or gun....not much skill there. Used to be that HUNTING went hand-in-hand with WOODSMANSHIP to produce an OUTDOORSMAN or OUTDOORSWOMAN. (Probably foreign words to many!) So much of what was good about hunting is being or has been lost. Another have-to-have gadget is the GPS---why not learn orienteering and how to use a compass to find our way in Boy Scouts. How to shelter overnight; build a snow fire. (I miss Rancid Crabtree!)

With the flattest shooting bow on earth, what difference is there between 39 yards and 41 yards? If they can't estimate yardage well enough to make first-shot kills then they need to go home and practice! Yes, me & my friends and relatives, too!

I'm sure this will bring some howls so I might as well go further---don't show up in my camp or yard with an
AR-style rifle. They may be fine for soldiers but deer season isn't war, I don't assault game animals and if you're with me, you don't either. Same if you have to hoot & holler when a shot connects---hunting isn't recess time for the HA/AD first-graders behind that cyclone fence!

BTW, isn't that contest thing with Kelly Gotch just plain silly??? She was an 'OK' hostess on Michigan-Out-of-Doors but the show she does now is dorkie.

RandyMI

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from RES1956 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hunting, skeet, trap, and sex are not spectator sports. To realize any satisfaction, one must be an active participant, IMHO.

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from crowman wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

As a 60 year old hunter with a lot of time outdoors hunting doves to elk I want to put my 2 cents in about state of hunting that I've seen happening in the last 20 years. There's a lot [most] of deer hunting writers and shows that 3/4 of the content is about horns. You would think it's a math class with all the number being bandied around like the deer from the neck down didn't exist. Food plots where the hell is the sport in that? Same goes with baiting. Guy's like Hank and kids, Jeff, and the rest of them are not hunters they are only shooters big difference. As for gadgets I like GPS [ I have a orienteering merit badge, Eagle Scout, know how to do it] lets you stay out longer after dark or get back to camp in a snow storm, hard to do with a compass in the dark. Everybody as to sort thru the gear to come up with what works for them including me. It's fun to see all the new stuff but it takes a lot to make what I carry better. Hunt for the sake of hunting not the numbers all animals on the ground are trophy's. As for the rifles I like the AR platforms for varmint hunting but bolt's for big game. As for the people that think the AR's are for war remember bolt actions came from the trenches of WW I it's just the evolution of rifles get use to it there here to stay.

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from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

"I'm" a member of "A" 300 stitch club. I faced down, not only a 230 pound offensive guard in high school, but later in life was tracked down and attacked headon by a 65mph Toyota Corolla!! Ten broken bones, a crushed calcaneus (heel) and multiple surgeries!! (the Toyota was the scariest!)

Fantasy, schmantasy! If I'm not sliding my arm up into a "chest cavity", it wasn't a "successful" hunt. A "successful" hunt isn't "necessary" to ENJOY the hunt!
There is more to life than watching animals die, especially on TV!
Hopefully, I'll kill a few more before it's MY turn. I'm packed, I'm just not ready to step on the train yet!!! LOL!!!

Bubba

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from Scott Kittinger wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

How about taking a new tack: try NOT sitting in a tree, try NOT to use scent blocker, try NOT using a GPS and a cell phone or whatever. If you're young, try NOT to use a scoped rifle or shotgun or what they call a muzzleloader these days. OR better yet, try a traditional muzzle loader! Try traditional archery! Less is MORE. Gentlemen, I believe the only way we can grow in our skill is to leave behind the trail cam, the scent block and the fancy camo. Use the wind and track the animal as our fathers did. Have respect for the animal by honing your skills and give thanks when you're successful. This "fantasy hunting league" is just that: fantasy. It deserves nothing less than to be completely ignored in the hopes of its untimely end. Another gambling game in the dust bin of ridiculous television.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

sleeping not sheeping! OY vey!

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from nuclear_fisher wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Are you guys sure this isn't another one of Dave's "satires", haha.

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from Zermoid wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I'm hoping this post is satire as well as the "party poppers" one was...........

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from micko77 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

The whole "Team Hunting" thing has no appeal to me, as is the case with most hunting shows. I do enjoy two of them, though, for different reasons. First, Tred Barta,for doing things HIS way, through thick and very, very thin. Would that I had his friends. Second is good old Uncle Ted Nugent. Yeah, a completely different style of hunting, but he has brought so many people to the sport, and opened the eyes (and ears!) of so many, many people in the life he has led. I saw his rock shows in the early 70's throu 3 years ago, and would gladly go again should the opportunity present itself. He's a no-holds-barred, righteous man who hunts legally and challenges the thinking man about ideas on hunting. And he's probably planted more trees than your average 18-year-old had had heartbeats!.

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from happygilmore2120 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I've got to say that there are definitely some oppinionated views on here. I've got to say that first off I along with most of you on here have no desire to be a computer play along hunter. Nor do I particularly care to watch someone else go hunt a questionably wild deer. However, there are tons of other channels that I choose to watch that other people could give two craps about so I say to this just don't participate...who cares. My real reason for posting is more along the lines of the "real hunters." I have honed my skills finely so that on nearly any day I can go out and shoot a deer with my bow. Some of this has to do with the fine hunting areas that MO has provided, some with luck and some with the fact that I have hunted since I finished elementary school. I do use many of the modern marvels however and I definitely consider myself a real hunter. I don't put out my cameras to find out if the quarry is there or not, rather I like to hunt for horns on occasion and though I know most of you "real hunters can sniff the dirt and tell how old he is and lick a hoof print and tell how many points I cannot. Many of you have brought up the fact that "real hunters" didn't and don't use electronics, let me tell you...real hunters didn't have scopes on there guns or brass cased ammunition and if you really want to get technical real hunters didn't even shoot guns or bows with cams. So I guess the only real hunters left to smack talk are the traditional archers and even most of them don't make there own equipment. Don't get me wrong I take advantage of all of the things that most of you do, I just don't consider myself more or less skilled because of the technologies that are available. If it keeps people interested who cares. For those of you who doubt my skills come hunting with me or take me out and I'll prove them!

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from dtownley wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

TV hunt'in ? If they hunt does I watch, Eastmans I watch, anywhere the kids or troops hunt...I watch. I know you can't kill a big one if you shoot a small one. The only good deer is one that can't be wiped from your memory...two good deer got away after the shot and I will never forget them as I do not want a third. Fantasy Hunting = never having to live with wound & maim or correct for it. So now I look out for strands of barb-wire or wild grapevine as the re-direction from these were not a fantasy.

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from arod4224 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Hey Every including the write of this article. As the owner and operator of the FHL, I am frustrated by this article and those who have negative comments. First off David has provided false information about the FHL and how it works. Instead of teams of pro hunters and that everything is about competition is far from the truth. Let me explain and you are allowed to have your option once getting correct information.

The growing popularity of "Pro Hunters" and the TV shows they represent are for sure growing and yes they do promote companies and products. Here is the facts: Hunting popularity is going down. These are the facts, let tags are purchased every year. The goal is to get more involved and traditionally we would introduce our young to the sport, but guess what? TV and video games are winning that battle.

So what do we do? The old saying if you can't beat them, join them. There is no deny that technology has changed the way people hunt and outfitters have allowed those who don't have great property the ability to still have a great successful hunt and outfitters work 365 days a year for their clients, busting their butts.

Social Media has taken over the way our young people interact an it's not going away no matter how we fight it. It's easy to just bash it with words, but even harder to take the time for your self and learn why people actually enjoy it.

The FHL works like the above. Just like sports center provides info about other pro sports. The FHL provides info about Pro Hunters. We know the sports aren't the same, and the FHL is not for everyone, but it when your not in the stand of field you thinking about hunting and when your buddy has a good night in the stand he calls you up to tell you about it and that even gives you goose bumps, wishing you were in the stand that night. Well everyday most of the FHL pros are in the field somewhere hunting. (Not hunting high fence, tied up deer over a feed pile), private land yes, but they are hunting and it can be educational. Maybe you dont kill a 170" because of the FHL, but when over 60 pros are spread out over the country, you will be educated by "where is the rut happening" "what to use" "where might i plan an guided hunt next year" and even social network with friends on the site.

In conclusion:
The FHL's main goal is to bring another form of entertainment to those who enjoy outdoor tv, and who just love to hear stories of hunters with or without success. Please please please take to the field and teach people about the love of the sport. You may not participate in the FHL this fall because your too busy hunting everyday, every morning and every evening and we wish you luck. Just don't be afraid of change, instead of filming all fall, editing and bringing to tv in the fall. The FHL brings real time info about hunting Pros to you. Topday people want info and they want it now, it's a fast pace world. Hunting is now cathing up with what others are doing and popularity in the FHL is growng very fast. Isn't that what its all about? Getting more involved? Bottom line, more hunters participating at any levels means hunting is here to stay. The more we fight the more volnerable we are to antis.

The David Petzal, I ask that you do more research before bashing something as the readers are easy to agree about negativity and in this case, you facts were wrong. We are available anytime to explain exactly the goals behind the FHL and what we can bring to the hunting public. We are not just about "competition" were are so much more.

FHL Admin

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from dtownley wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Oh, the sad day it is when our sport needs numbers cause someone can't find a kid that 1. would like to hunt or fish 2.can get permission from a parent that would like them to learn a fieldcraft 3. only needs a will of their own to attempt it 4. have someone with that knowledge & means to help them succeed ? Yes, this used to be called the BOY SCOUTS and then they would be labeled discriminators(girls/lgbt). Individually we could each find a person of interest and make the offer. My Gramps has five daughters and no one to teach... five married, after he was done 15 can-do field ready campers, hunters, fisherfolks came out of the deal. I don't think I was the only one of the grandkids to come out and preach & teach the outdoor gospel. Now what, in my opinion we are going to make bone hunters and to he!! with the herd ? I have taught 3 a small # now but when the son marries no telling how many siblings she will have that might make the team and become a teacher. We know these shows are there to get some of us through the down time of a closed season, as I hope we will not bet on someone to proxy it for us. Not good, as I saw a show that had couple of girls killing(deer)for a title of... I couldn't even watch the end(I like hunters that are girls). Like WEBKILL, you either go for it or you don't. FNL ADMIN. good luck telling Dave how wrong he is or misinformed. As always, sponsers find out their wrong through lack of sales and T.V. shows through lack of viewers. My ears listen for the train of opinion but only some will board. My wife will attest I have been wrong before ?

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from dtownley wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Well, we are good liars or we just don't see what we do as a game ! Checked a couple other sites on this topic and it is a very similar response. "Don't be afraid of change"FHCADMIN. This sounds very familiar.BHO?

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from sgaredneck wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Moishe,

Brig. Gen. Scott was a friend of my Dad's. I had the honor of meeting him, and seeing him speak a couple of times. He was a fine fellow, and I have inscribed copies of some of his titles, including a 1st ed. "God Is My Co-Pilot", and the one you mentioned. It's a pretty good read.

To clarify, he wasn't in the first group of pre-Pearl Harbor AVG pilots, so he's not recognized by some as a true Flying Tiger. But he was in the mix of things at the end of the AVG with Gen. Chennault, when they were absorbed into the Air Corps. Hearing him speak of the conditions they were operating in, I think they fought the conditions as much or more than the Japanese.

He was a sportsman indeed.

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from hydespro wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

Seriously, think about all these comments. Everybody is so damn opinionated about the way others live their life. Just because someone does not hunt the exact way you do does not mean they are disrespecting "your" sport or ways. Hunting is for all to enjoy, regardless of how they go about it (within legality). Outside of some extreme situations, I do not worry about how others choose to pursue and kill game. Just like you all were raised to hunt, work, and live the way you do, the generations of recent were/are as well. Most people do not know any different, they just enjoy what is rightfully theirs to enjoy. Just because a person may use all the technology available to them when out hunting, does not mean they aren't "real hunters". Correctly stated above, most of today’s gadgets do work in favor of the hunter, making it easy to spot, watch, kill, and track game, yet does the use of the former dismiss their efforts at the sport and deem them "not real" hunters? Just like most everything in life, times and technologies change. I use a truck with an engine to get from place to place, but since it is not a horse and buggy does that mean I am not a real traveler? I use a computer and cell phone every day at my job so that I can be more efficient, provide a better product, and outperform the competition; but since I use the latest and greatest technology does that mean all my work is "not-real"? Think about HUNTING as LIVING in this example; our thousand year old ancestors could be criticizing every single one of us for how the way we live. Modern technology, motorized conveniences, roads, clothes...the list goes on. Now, if they were to import the same logic the majority of the above comments root from, we would be 'making a mockery of' or 'perverting' LIVING. As hunters are born and raised they use what is at their disposal, just as you all have living your lives. It is great to practice the sport by early means, but what makes hunting a whitetail with 140+ horns on a perfectly manipulated piece of hunting land with a crossbow outfitted with ACOG sight any different then hunting any size & gender of whitetail on thousands of public land with a long bow? When in reality, the "sport of hunting" as we call it, began with no specialized choice of animal (meat was meat), no killing equipment (catch it, kill it with your bare hands), and with no limit to the amount of type of land! All the self-proclaimed "old school, true" hunters are still modernist in the eyes of our hunting forefathers. One more thing, just because someone hold out for a larger horned deer doesn't make them less of hunter. YES, it does make them a different type of hunter but just because they have the facilities to hunt that way does not make it wrong. Most of us on here choose to shoot whitetail deer because we have the facilities to do so, yet some do not have the opportunity to shoot whitetail and instead can only shoot a smaller or inferior species. One hunter's hearts may race when seeing a large bodied doe and another hunter's heart may race when seeing a large antlered buck. Choosing to work harder to pursue one or another does not make them an immoral or wrong hunter.

This is just my opinion, just as all the above comments are opinions of others. I just wish society today would be more accepting of others practices when it comes to something such as hunting. Critical views can be kept to oneself

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