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Broke out the CZ455 Squirrel Harvester to do a little hunting. Even had the exact site and trees in mind.

All of the sudden, I started thinking about this one squirrel I saw many times while deer hunting. He has a bent tail and is easily recognizable.

Anyhow, I get to thinking about how he'd climb down out of his nest, scrounge around, call out and play with the other squirrels he called out to.

I’d watch him for quite a while and got used to seeing him.

So, now, just a few minutes ago, I start getting ready to hit that same area to harvest some tree rats and I just don’t want to. I don’t think I could shoot the little guy.

Is this the beginning of the end as far as hunting?
 

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Everyone who lives on this planet is descended from survivors. The only families to survive were related to successful hunters.
In America we are allowed to follow family traditions. We can decide to harvest our food or let others harvest for us. :)
 

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Broke out the CZ455 Squirrel Harvester to do a little hunting. Even had the exact site and trees in mind.

All of the sudden, I started thinking about this one squirrel I saw many times while deer hunting. He has a bent tail and is easily recognizable.

Anyhow, I get to thinking about how he'd climb down out of his nest, scrounge around, call out and play with the other squirrels he called out to.

I’d watch him for quite a while and got used to seeing him.

So, now, just a few minutes ago, I start getting ready to hit that same area to harvest some tree rats and I just don’t want to. I don’t think I could shoot the little guy.

Is this the beginning of the end as far as hunting?
Been there. I've seen the big buck with his family, playing with his kids. Seen him chasing off the same coyotes that are the bane of the farm, seen he and his people eating with our cows.

One day you have everything in place to shoot him, and you just watch him instead.

If you enjoy the act of hunting, but no longer enjoy the killing part and/or the dragging it out and turning it into food part, might I suggest a good SLR camera?

I still get most of the fun of being outside in nature, and seeing that big prize buck, but now I can do it more than once.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Been there. I've seen the big buck with his family, playing with his kids. Seen him chasing off the same coyotes that are the bane of the farm, seen he and his people eating with our cows.

One day you have everything in place to shoot him, and you just watch him instead.

If you enjoy the act of hunting, but no longer enjoy the killing part and/or the dragging it out and turning it into food part, might I suggest a good SLR camera?

I still get most of the fun of being outside in nature, and seeing that big prize buck, but now I can do it more than once.
The Vulcan part says that squirrel plays a part in nature which includes food. At some point, he’s going to end up as dinner.

This new part (that’s always been there for certain species) says he’s just like us. He wants to wake up, live his short life and be free of pain and misery.

Any day of the week, we can meet our Maker through no fault of our own. Someone or some event will ‘take it upon themselves’ to end our existence.

I don’t know. There’s been a lot of personal stuff these last few months that’s got me thinking about the ‘fairness’ or ‘justice’ of life.
 

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....... He wants to wake up, live his short life and be free of pain and misery.......
You have the tool(s) to do that for him! LOL


On the other hand, perhaps your spiritual guide is testing you.
 

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Broke out the CZ455 Squirrel Harvester to do a little hunting. Even had the exact site and trees in mind.

All of the sudden, I started thinking about this one squirrel I saw many times while deer hunting. He has a bent tail and is easily recognizable.

Anyhow, I get to thinking about how he'd climb down out of his nest, scrounge around, call out and play with the other squirrels he called out to.

I’d watch him for quite a while and got used to seeing him.

So, now, just a few minutes ago, I start getting ready to hit that same area to harvest some tree rats and I just don’t want to. I don’t think I could shoot the little guy.

Is this the beginning of the end as far as hunting?
You've grown attached to him and think of him as a pet. Don't let that discourage you, leave that one for breeding stock and let him go and call his buddies down and shoot them. I have a few here outside the back door that I leave alone just for that purpose.
Yup.

I regularly shoot groundhogs and other pests up at our farm. And go deer hunting. So far, I haven't found a 'lovable' groundhog (mostly because they do so much damage) but if they are far away from our populated areas (around the buildings, roads, etc. -- where they could undermine the foundations or leave dangerous holes for horses and me) I let them go. When they encroach, bang, and they go back to other places where both of us can live in peace.

Coyotes are a shoot on sight because they so damage other game animals and are way invasive (and can sneak up and kill our pets). But if they're wiley they usually don't present themselves where I can get a shot. Natures game of predator and preditee.

Most of us will pass up a shot even when hunting in favor of a bigger prize (or throw back fish; same concept). Part of being a sportsman. If you HAD to take the shot to eat it'd happen but on that day you don't.

We had a 600-plus pound black bear which used to walk along the gas line (just slowly lumbering along). If it were a threat I'd sure as hell shoot it, but it was more of a live and let live scenario. Magnificent animal. I guess it COULD have someday presented a threat, but everyone was able to deal with the potential (being always armed and aware and ready to deal with things no matter what they were), it caused some nuisances from time to time (once knocking over a mid-size dumpster which was later secured better) but nothing very major.

I was kind of sad when it finally WAS harvested by someone else (who was legally hunting adjacent to us during bear season). Personally haven't had a lot of use for bear and don't particularly like bear meat but they felt differently. That's fine.

Part of conservation is nature's wonder which to me means sometimes leaving things be. But always realizing that nature has her way and that wild animals are just that (they are NOT people with 'people' feelings). So active intervention often isn't necessary and it's just fine to leave things be and watch the fun. That doesn't mean I won't be hunting when I want to, it just means I am grateful to have the luxury to choose. Not every species or even humans at times HAVE this luxury.

God has given me many blessings and rights. Fairness or 'justice' (whatever that is) as far as man's world isn't included in these. I have a path He wants me to follow and the challenge is in finding that path. Cancer really sucks; watching someone who was full of life reduced to being bedridden and dying of it sucks even more. But there is some grand reason behind it which I'll probably see someday. That is their path and my role is to provide comfort and do the right things. The ONE thing I have learned in the last few years is NOT to waste a day of one's life wallowing looking backward or in pity, or doing something one hates. Stay in the moment, made the best of things, don't be afraid to forge ahead with calculated risk to experience life. Don't let the statists suck me in (I can get around pretty much everything they might do--and can put up a pretty good fight). Make it fun, do something else, spend time with good folks who matter, pursue one's spiritual growth, and don't be afraid. Take each day and situation God presents me as a blessing and go from there.

I used to get upset over those 'no guns' signs (in whatever form). Then I started to realize the problem wasn't really in the stupidity of the people posting them but in how I'd waste ONE SECOND getting drawn into that paradigm or letting it upset me. So I just made sure I had a decent concealment rig, walked on by, ignored the sign (and stupidity), smile and wave, and everyone (including me) was happy.
 

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sometimes you just don't feel it.

I have left the duck marsh short of a limit in the middle of a good morning.
good enough I was shooing ducks away as I picked up the decoys.

I have also put the rifle down after walking in on a very, very big Elk.
watching him re-arrange the landscape from gimme range for over 5 minutes.
one better than I had been wanting for a long, long time.
[I had the tag, I had the help, and it wasn't far to the wheeler]
then backed out, walked over the ridge and shot a fairly nice Mule Deer at about 300 yds. 20-30 minutes later.

sometimes it just doesn't feel right.
 

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Nothing wrong with sparing them if you choose to do so.
A huge flock of wild turkeys paraded behind my dad' and brother's house for many years unscathed. Dad harvested a lot of game in his lifetime but it wasn't a do all end all event at anytime.
 

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I Posted a thread a short time ago-What About Chuck- about a groundhog I shot in our back yard. I would have never shot him if he hadn't been a possible threat to out little Shitzu as he wouldn't have been quick enough to get away from her. That was the 1st animal I have killed in a number of years. If it was a matter of survival I would not hesitate to hunt again. Hunting serves a valuable purpose and I support hunting but its not for me at this time. Enjoy your time in the woods .
 

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Letting that squirrel live wasn't a bad idea. Having some dumb ones around means they will probably live to breed and raise other dumb ones, more to hunt.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Letting that squirrel live wasn't a bad idea. Having some dumb ones around means they will probably live to breed and raise other dumb ones, more to hunt.:)
Went back to his area of the forest last Sunday. The wind was terrible. At some point, that day or another, his nest was blown all to Hellen Back. It was a big, old nest and had maybe half of it blown/scattered away.

Not sure if he's even in the area anymore.
 
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