elkoholic

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elkoholic last won the day on September 15 2015

elkoholic had the most liked content!

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About elkoholic

  • Rank
    Monster Buck
  • Birthday 06/30/1953

Converted

  • First Name
    David
  • Last Name
    Powers
  • Location
    Montana
  • Gender
    Male
  • Occupation
    pharmacist
  • Interests
    hunting, fishing, hiking, reading, weight lifting
  1. Touchy topic

    Okay, the weight loss thing, instead of doing the sensible things that usually require lifestyle changes (exercise and diet), I see people coming into the pharmacy to achieve a "better life through chemistry". It's just easier to pop a pill or purchase a diet plan. If you are using technology to improve the results and limit the detrimental affects of your doing exercise that is a little different than using electronic eyes in the field to do your scouting for you. As you are aware, I use trail cameras and am not totally against their use with the exception of during an active season they should not be used and certainly not to "pattern" a deer's movement. Here in Montana they legally have to be removed before the season opens. William, I'm with you on the back issue. I have had 2 back surgeries and multiple injections. I have learned to deal with constant pain and at times severe loss of function in my back and legs. I still hike and hunt miles from the road and do other things that I probably shouldn't. Stupid or hard headed, I'm not sure which, but I will carry on as long as my body does not totally collapse. On the blind thing, I live and hunt in northwest Montana and believe that as hunters we should experience the same weather as the critters we're hunting. We have the technology of all these wonderful garments we wear, so why not at least sit out in the open and give the animals a chance to see our camouflaged/scent masked butts. Also, I passed the 64 plateau and expect no quarter and shall give none. Growing old should is not for the faint of heart and should carry no special treatment granted. On abortion, I'll not go there. I will offer up this, as a whole, the human population is getting less intelligent and less physically fit with every passing generation. There are outriders of course, but our reliance on "technology" and our refusal to manage our own herd is causing more problems than we can handle. Ethics/morals are interesting topics. Often confused, ethics are society's beliefs on right and wrong and morals are an individual's beliefs on what is right or wrong. I am sure if one's morals clash with society's ethics, individual morals win out over ethics if no one is watching and no threat of being caught is detected. It is easy to justify something in your own mind. Dang it, I'm thinking again and it's starting to hurt.
  2. Touchy topic

    I love the devil's advocate. It brings about a good discussion. The thought on legal vs ethical would be that anything that is illegal is unethical, until such time that the general consensus becomes one where breaking the law becomes the acceptable thing to do. Hopefully we never get to the point where breaking the law is acceptable. On the other hand, legal may not be ethical. Hence, that leads into the "fair chase" debate. My feelings on the fair chase issue are that if you remove the ability of your prey to detect your presence by nullifying their senses, all pretenses of "fair" are gone. Is anything fair? No, but driving around in a heated (or ac controlled) environment while drinking your favorite "brew" looking for something to kill, surely skews the picture. Maybe it all comes down to why one is out there trying to put something on the ground. Do you just want to say you killed something and the method is of little importance or is the journey more important? A heated stand? It would only be fair if whatever you are hunting has a temperature controlled environment. Right? I actually like the heated stand thought, but I am against box blinds. Life is never going to be fair, but we as humans have a choice to even the playing field or alter it to be in our favor. Many of our choices are based on the area we hunt, hunting pressure, and local traditions. Poaching as a way of feeding the family can be accepted no more than stealing from the grocery store. There are other options, and the defense of not wanting to accept food stamps or charity makes a poor excuse for breaking the law. The "baiting" issue is an interesting one. My thoughts are such that if the bait is not naturally occurring, or a product of continuing farm or ranch practices, and the sole purpose is to lure a critter in to kill it, well..... There is some real muddy water on this one. Technology, it is apparent that anything that makes it easier to do something (be it losing weight, improving physical ability, or killing that buck of a lifetime) is going to be a big seller. Let me just say this, if you had to cheat to do it, did you really do it? Once again, were the results the only thing that mattered? Technology is not making you a better hunter. It may improve your chance of killing that buck, and if that is all that matters, so be it. Technology can be good, but letting it take the place of hunting skills I'm not so sure about. My thoughts on "trophy hunting". If you hunt just for "bragging rights" and donate the meat because you only wanted the "horns", I think you may have a self esteem issue. If you hunt to feed the "tribe" that is another story and if a trophy is in the mix, serendipity can be just. The sole purpose of my original post was to get those of us still still visiting the forums thinking (yes, I know sometimes that hurts) about who we are as hunters and why and how we can enjoy our cherished lifestyle. I particularly like a quote of Jim Shockey's, "When you are wet, cold, and tired, it is just getting started". Steve Rinella's statement that you remember a hunt as more fun the more adversity you encounter during the hunt also comes to mind. It all comes down to individual choices regarding how we hunt and as long as one is within legal requirements in the hunting area, go for it. Another final thought. If you are willing to talk to a game warden on the circumstances of a "hunt" the same way you would talk to family and friends you probably are on the right track. If on the other hand your conversation with a friend mentions driving down the road, stuck the gun out the window, or talks of illegal methods/implements and these "minor" details get left out of (or changed) when talking to a warden (or friends/family), maybe you are a poacher. If you break the law, you are a poacher, and if legal, the ethics part is on you. Enjoy the journey! Good hunting this fall!
  3. A Sunday scouting hike

    Finally got a day with a little rain and much cooler temperatures after over 2 months with no measurable precipitation and a lot of 90+ temps. Took a hike to check out a potential elk hunting spot and after a several mile uphill climb I think a found a likely spot. Although I saw no elk, there was sign of previous years rutting activity. On the way out I came upon a herd of mule deer with a few pretty decent bucks. With archery season less than 3 weeks away, and hopefully some more rain by then, I'm looking forward to putting some tracks in the high country. Here are a few pictures of the terrain I'll be hunting and the deer I saw.
  4. Touchy topic

    With hunting season rapidly approaching my mind wanders to issues that for some reason we, as hunters, feel uncomfortable about discussing. Locally, there is a problem with poachers, which one would think is straight forward enough in that all hunters (I hope) despise poachers. The issue is the number of "road hunters" (a Montana tradition it seems) who are in violation of not one, but two laws. FWP seems to condone this activity with their lack of enforcement or any attempt at education. There is an exception for handicapped hunters, but I have never witnessed any of these people following the law pertaining to this activity. Many of these "road hunters" feel they have the right to drive around gates or berms to access areas not open to motor vehicles. Well, I got that off my chest. Nationally, I feel there is this obsession with technology which stretches the bounds of ethics and fair chase. At what point will we know where the "buck of a lifetime" is every second and we can render all of his senses ineffectual in detecting danger. From Ozonics, HECS, and monitoring devices (trail cams) and beyond, maybe we have already gone too far. Now if the deer could monitor the hunters movement 24/7, then it might be more fair. The idea of long range shooting is coming of age, what with all the new technology who needs to be able to hunt, just shoot'em at half a mile. Crossbows, well, what about the new "air bow", I mean it does shoot an arrow after all. Then, there are shooting houses, I know from experience that deer appear to not feel threatened be any building that has been in place for any length of time as long as there are no strange sounds or smells emanating from such. I could shoot a decent buck from my house every year as the deer only get excited if I step outside. Now I'm sure most will say that if it's legal go for it, but, just because it is legal does not mean it is ethical. We as hunters need to sort out our own ethics on an individual basis. I personally feel we have gone well beyond fair chase and have tilted the balance far too much in our favor. I seriously doubt that anyone here will starve if we don't shoot a "trophy" and we probably spent enough money on hunting gear to feed the family for a year. We planted a food plot of clover, chicory and brassicas to draw in that big buck on acreage that maybe should have gone into a vegetable garden for the freezer. It is all about the antlers. Shooting of does and "cull" bucks is only for "herd management". How did we get here? Money is the root of all evil and anything that makes life easier is a big seller. If the end result is all that matters, fine, but if it were a baseball game and one team used aluminum bats, gloves and got 4 outs per inning and the other team used wood bats, no gloves and only 2 outs per inning, would it be fair? Did you take that trophy by manipulation of circumstances or was it under equal terms as decided by nature? These are just random thoughts, maybe brought on by age causing a reflective look at our world. Remember, we as hunters, never lose at hunting. It is not a sport. Whatever it is you are hunting is only trying to survive, for they surely do no celebrate if they avoid a predator, they merely get to live a little longer should they succeed in escaping. We may die during a hunt, but not from not killing and eating our prey (or celebrating our "success"). Yes, there are critters who do not take kindly to being attacked that will attack in defense, but even then we have an upper hand in fire power. Enjoy the hunt this fall. Make it more about the journey, not the kill. Technology is nice, but do not lean on it so hard as that dulls the journey.
  5. 8-11 Get this Friday check-in going

    It sounds like someone has a serious, disciplined ball player on their hands. Congratulations. Well, I actually have a free Saturday. Took the next 12 days off just to relax. I do not really have any plans except to hopefully not get caught up in the multitude of forest fires burning here in the northwest corner of the state. Pretty much the whole state is burning. Will be shooting the bow a little more with the scheduled opener just 3 weeks away, but with the current weather pattern there is a good chance they will delay the opening until the fire danger lessens. Doing anything outside is like trying to breathe in the middle of a campfire, you can taste it. Next week there is a county fair in the next county south of us and might just go and cruise the exhibits. If the smoke clears a bit I will do a little scouting for elk, basically climb to the top of a ridge and listen for early morning bugles as mid-August they will usually start to feel their oats a little. It's time to get loose ends and unfinished chores done before I get lost in archery season.
  6. Woodchucks

    Well, shooting groundhogs is one of the few things I miss doing since moving to Montana decades ago. Growing up on a farm in NJ gave me the opportunity to hone my stalking and shooting skills by doing my best to reduce the groundhog population. There were several summers during my high school days that 200+ groundhogs died at the hands of a farm kid and his trusty .22. Here in northwest Montana we have gophers (Columbia ground squirrels) that are about the size of a groundhog's head and can be a fun challenge if hunted with a handgun or bow. I no longer keep count but dozens have succumbed as I try to maintain my shooting skills. I figure if I can hit a gopher at 50 yards with a bow then hitting an elk should be easy. Whether groundhogs, gophers or prairie dogs, it is good fun that hones stalking (yes, stalking in close is a good challenge) and shooting skills and gets one outside.
  7. What about these....

    Yep! Fall is looking good.
  8. He's a Nice One! (trail cam)

    Nice looking buck. I would not let him walk if given a chance at a shot. He might be a brute next year, or, maybe not. He may be in someone's freezer long before then. Hopefully, yours.
  9. Deer Age - Cementum Analysis

    Interesting results. Tooth wear is a result of diet, and soil type. Deer living in an area where their diet is made up mostly of hard browse are more likely to show more wear and if you throw in sandy soils that adds to it. Now you know how molar wear in your hunting area looks at those age classes and can create your own aging chart based on that information.
  10. New addition

    Beautiful rifle! I would be hesitant to even touch one off, but then what fun would it be just hanging on the wall. Not sure I'd take it hunting in the mountains for fear of banging it up. Can not wait to see the finished Bowie Knives.
  11. repeal it, then what?

    Let me jump in here and give my view as witnessed while performing my pharmacist duties. First, it is not possible to receive the best care in the world while paying little if anything. You should not expect to receive thousands in benefits by paying hundreds in premiums. Imagine if your car insurance paid for routine maintenance, such as oil changes, wiper blades, and tires. How much do you think your car insurance would cost? Now, unfortunately, much of our society has this entitlement mentality. We have patients on Medicare Part D, who complain about a 20 cent co-pay, and yet they benefit from a program they never paid into and their premiums are subsidized. We are treating conditions that are lifestyle related and those patients should not be benefiting from the neighbor who is paying taxes to cover other's poor choices while struggling to provide for their own. I see an overuse and abuse of our healthcare system by those on Medicaid and Medicare. Many of these people drive new vehicles, live in newer homes (subsidized?), and seem to be able to afford beer and cigarettes. Let me put it this way, there is no way my neighbors should have to pay my way and there is no way I should have to pay for theirs. Most of these "entitled" people are rude and demanding. The only sensible way to end this "Health Care" mess is to get the government out of it. Then, make all medical care cash pay up front and have the patients submit claims to the insurance companies. I firmly believe this will lower up front costs which will lower premiums. Insurance companies pay at a rate so low that, in the pharmacy world, we often are reimbursed less than the acquired cost. Pharmacy work force is often reduced to a critical level. In the physician's office you are seeing more PAs and NPs and less MDs. The insurance companies tell the medical providers what they are going to pay for services and products. Next time you buy a car, try telling the dealer what you are going to pay him for it. This idea of subsidizing and giving things for free is a bad idea. Every level of government has lost sight of what is supposed to be doing and is instead being controlled by special interest groups. Our tax dollars should not be the government reaching in our pockets to give the money to someone else. Political interest, desire to contol and greed are ruling this country.
  12. Some trail cam shots

    Hiked in to a trail cam I set up in the mountains here. These are some pictures from July and I already have some from June in an earlier post. I have to pull the camera before the September 2nd archery opener, so in four weeks I'll probably post some more. I also put out a second camera today, which is about a mile away from this one. Looking more for elk than other critters but just enjoy what I get. Too bad there were no elk that walked in front of the camera.
  13. Some summer shots

    More scenery.
  14. Some summer shots

    Scenery? What scenery? Oh yeah, I live in a beautiful place.
  15. Some summer shots

    There hasn't been much happening in here so I thought posting a few summertime pictures might be a good idea. Some trail cam pictures and some good old fashioned hand held camera pics. Due to a long wet spring there was a bumper crop of wild flowers, with lupine being the most abundant and aromatic. Bear grass, Indian Paintbrush and Fireweed also brightened the landscape. Also in abundance this year, skunks are everywhere with dozens dead on the roadways, but the little stinkers are sure cute. Then there is the big game, always a good thing to catch them on camera.