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John Conaway
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Somehow over the past few years my drive to kill wild animals has slowed. I still really enjoy hunting and the outdoor experience. I have lots of confidence in my DAS Kinetics bow and my shooting skills. For years my drive and motivation was to shoot lots of game. Whitetail,black bear and turkeys were all at great risk when I stepped into the woods. Now it seems like I would rather shoot with my video camera or try to set up a good stand for one of my sons or my brother. I am lazy! I need to get a little more drive, there are only nine days left here in the Pa bow season and I have not even drawn the bow back. I have already had turkeys in range, a doe with a still nursing fawn. A couple of small legal bucks in New York and a rather large black bear inside 30 yards.
I guess what I need is a kick in the rear to get going! Hopefully by posting this here it will give me the push I need to get going. It has been a really strange season so far, too hot then too rainy. Tomorrow looks like a clear warm morning I have the day off ond am going to see what happens. It has been so wet I havent even taken the camera.
I guess its time to kick it up a notch. :shooting: John
 

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i have been carrying a small camera for a few years now and the pictures i've gotten with it are fun to look at from time to time.
i hunt now just for whatever meat i'm hungry for, so i am not really motivated past my stomach. got a great bear friday, (gun), and when the late elk season starts i will try to get a young cow and be done for this year.
i can and have taken a picture and not shot the animal. just the getting up close was good enough. hope i never lose that feeling!
good luck, and do what makes you happy.
 

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John Conaway
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Larry!

Its good to know that I am not the only one who just enjoys the thrill of the hunt. Some of my videos look really dumb to anyone but me. To me they help to remember. I have some great pictures of deer I could have shot. To know they are still there for my family and friends is "Trophy" enough. I plan to get a nice buck into range in the next week , but if not there is always next year. The bear however is personal I will try a couple days next week to get him inside my kill zone! I already have a couple New York southern tier bears to my bowhunting credit. One in 2000 and one in 1984. :shooting: John
 

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a video would be fun but may be too noisy on the ground. i carry a tiny 35mm with a fixed .25mm lens. if you are not real close it pushes them back so far you can't see them. i posted some pics on the other site once. a deer that i took three pics of and then shot. that was in stubble. one of a cougar that was hunting me and got pretty close before i heard it and i think one of a mt. goat that was a logs width away.
thats a bobcat sitting on a log that i got very close to thats on my name thingy. i have his hide.
out of all the animals i've killed in my lifetime i have cut antlers off of one deer and one elk, mounted one bear head, one deer head from an old buddy that i watched for 17 years and killed that winter because he was so thin i knew the coyotes would get him. also one raccoon that was huge and a chicken and duck eater. the bear was a huge old sow that came down onto my home place and was trying to catch a calf all summer. she was so old she could'nt fight the range cow momma's but i decided she had to go.
i like the pictures more than the bones and hides!
 

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I really enjoyed your posts Larry. I see far more in the woods that I would rather photograph than kill. I don't kill more than we can eat.

I have been physically close to many animals that I have chosen not to take. I have a few memories rarely or never shared. The memories of the hunt are so very much more than just the kill. I remember little dramas among the squirrells, foxes, turkey, raccoons, minks, crows, hawks, possums and other residents of the woods I hunt that can't be hung on the wall or explained very well. A day in the woods is always very well spent, regardless of whether I fill a tag!

 

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As some of us get older, we become more aware of our own mortality and begin to appreciate and respect life more in general...at least that is how I see it.

I am more attracted to the pursuit and the challenge than I am to the killing.

I got to watch my elk die this year and it wasn't a very pretty sight, but I also understand it was allot quicker and humane than the death that nature can deal out.

My bull went down within 20yrds. of where I shot him and he faught for every last second he could for about 10min. Most of the big game I have taken runs just out of sight and dies there while I give it time to die. I gained an even greater respect and love for that animal from that moment on.

The pain and suffering he went through to provide me with a years worth of meat will always be respected.

I am definitely becoming more aware and more sensitive to the gift of life all living creatures share together.

Ray ;)
 

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I also don't seem to care if I shoot anything any more. BUT I love taking kids out and getting them their first deer. I work with a State Mentoring Program and take kids 12 to 17 out deer hunting on the weekends. Costs me 140 miles of gas every week end, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I had a 15 yr old girl finally get her doe this year and I don't know who was prouder.
It seems as I get older, the little things become bigger. I hope I never grow out of this phase of the hunting experience.

Rob B
 

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John,

You've just got to do what feels right. When I was younger I was a killing machine, but these days I'm a lot more selective about what I kill. Maybe it is an inevitable part of getting older. In any case, you are certainly not alone.
 

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John, I too have slowed in the animal-taking dept. It used to be, just about any deer that came within bow range was a dead deer. I love to have venison in the freezer, but the main thing for me theses days is the challenge of taking a mature whitetail buck. Many will say that the old mama Does are the toughest to hunt, but I still believe the 4-5 yr.old bucks are the biggest challenge.

Ray said it well... "the pursuit and the challenge". I'm totally mesmerized by the whitetail's ability to live so close to human intervention, but yet be so elusive. I take on this challenge every year with a passion. The planning and fortitude required is time-consuming, but the experiences that unfold are very rewarding. When the November rut comes to a close, it's very difficult to stay motivated... I too need a kick in the rear to get going on those cold December mornings. But the wonders of nature and the challenge of taking a mature buck with a recurve keeps bringing me back for more.

The kill may not be the most important thing, but it IS the objective that I set out to accomplish each and every year. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't... but like you said, there's always next year. Does the "eye-of-the-tiger" begin waining in later years? I don't think so... sometimes it just doesn't include the killing part as often as it used to.
 

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I am more into the mentoring stage myself with my youngest son. But ole dad has to prove what he is teaching every once in awhile. :D
 

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John Conaway
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Discussion Starter #11
Hey maybe I can still hunt a little!

Guys the thread I started here was the spark I needed to get my hunting drive back. I have had a fabulous last three days. On sundayI went New York with my younger son, with the prospect of more rain high winds and warm weather. Well I was into my favorite stand at daylight and just getting comfortable when I see Ben walking toward me. He had shot a "nice buck" and with the rain on the way wanted help tracking it. It only went about 80 yards and expired from a lung shot from his Mathews wheel bow. The majority of the day was spent with getting it to a cooler and some pictures taken. It was Bens best buck by far, 21" outside spread 10 point that weighed 165#. It will gross score 132" P&Y with almost no deductions.
I managed a shot at a small 6pt later in the day between rain storms and a wind storm that caused me to head for cover. The shot was not so good, the deer had come in behind me and I had not taken into account the seat of my stand. The lower limb hit the padded seat and the arrow went harmlessly under the buck only 7 yards away.
Monday I went back home to Pa. I saw three legal bucks (4 points per side) but none I really wanted to try for. The weather was a little cooler and the bucks were moving. Tuesday I told my Mom it was the day and left early to get a scent trail out. The first buck was not legal and numbers two and three were not close enough. I had rattled and grunted but nothing was happening. A little after 10am I pulled out an American Hunter magazine and tried to read to keep me on stand. I really wanted to move to another stand but knew I was in the best spot for the trailing bucks and had to stick it out. After nearly finishing the article I hear a noise to my left and see a buck heading my way. Quickly ditching my magazine and reading glasses just as the deer stopped at the base of my tree and smelled my lure bottle. I thought about a spine shot but thought better of it. After only a few seconds,which seemed like forever, he started on down the trail. He quartered a little toward me and I released the arrow at about 5 yards. I saw It was a good hit and watch as the blood spot expanded on his side, a perfect heart shot. He ran a semi circle about 80 yards stopped and fell. I was in shock I could not believe what had just happened. Yes I knew the deer was in the area and that my stand was in a super spot but could not believe it! When I walked up on him I thought he was BIG. He is! I did not get him on a scale but is larger than my sons. The horns are heavy, but not even, there are a lot of deductions and he will not score well. Guranteed he is #1 in my BOOK!
My brother and cousin Mark are really responsible for the size of the buck we are selective on what we kill and use mineral supplements along with the soy beans and corn on the farm.
Equipment DAS KINETICS bow 50 @ 28 1/2"
Easton Lightspeed 500 arrows 30" (from Desert Archer Thanks Dave)
Thunderhead 100
NAP Centerrest Flipper
David Soza and his DAS Kinetics bow are responsible for the equipment. I told you guys when I got this bow it was a life changing event. Believe me now? :shooting: John
 

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See all you needed was a little push. :) I am so happy for you.That would be number one in my book as well! :highfive:
 

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Another congratulatons in order, John. :)

That is a very nice deer... they don't come a dime a dozen with that headgear!
 

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Congrads that,s a nice buck for sure !!

My best season to date happened several yrs ago(12 the first yr they reopened the swamp)......there was BIG bucks all over,got to see a couple fighting in the wild,had several close encounters with BIGGUNS and coulda took several smaller bucks.I never drew my bow the whole season yet I still get goose bumps everytime I think of that season.It,s not always about killin somethin........ofcourse it,s nice when that all falls into play too
 

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John Conaway
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Discussion Starter #16
The other buck!

The middle picture is my son Bens buck. I am really more proud of Him and his buck than mine. He took it from a stand I placed. I really love it when it works out for my kids! Its a real treasure to have good kids who love the outdoors and hunting as much as I do. I am very lucky to have three wonderful kids. My oldest,Johnny,does not get time to enjoy it much but is a very good hunter. Ben spends a lot of time in the woods and lives for hunting season. My daughter Katy does not hunt but understands the need to do it. I am truly a lucky man to have three such great kids! Thanks guys for the great comments. I am blessed! :shooting: John
 

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John, congratulations on such a fine buck. Not many more things in life are more gratifying to me, than walking up to a big buck shortly after putting an arrow through em.

Lambow
 

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John Conaway
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Discussion Starter #18
Hey I hope you dont mind me bringing this two year old thread to the top. It seems like yesterday and yet so much has changed. My son Ben wife Kim had their second daughter on Monday morning. (Grandpa for time #6) so he wont be hunting. Johnny is too busy to get out. My brother Jim still has health problems and is only able to get out a few hours.
What has not changed is my DAS bow setup, except for a poly grip and now 125 gr thunderheads it is the same.
Next week will be special. I might not kill another big buck but the weather is promising and the bucks are there. I will enjoy every second of it!
I guess I was a hunter "Once upon a time" and maybe for a few days each fall I can be one again.
I owe all you people here more than you will ever know.
Thanks from an older bowhunter.
John
 

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John,

Thank God on the birth. Is everything OK?

Good luck on your hunt. I'm hoping that this year will not be the last. We have an appointment to keep that I am looking forward to with great anticipation...

Mike
 

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Hey John, memories are good and help keep us going in the same direction we've always gone. Sometimes the direction changes, and sometimes it stays the same. I haven't changed much though..... I still take a long look at this photo (taken 10 years ago) to get hyped again for yet another season. Hunters "once upon a time" and we STILL ARE!!

(did I say like standing corn) :)
 
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