Many years ago I discovered that the reason I hunt is for the meat. I love seeing the animals around and yes I know some must die to make room for other's. It seem's to me that in the last decade or so, hunting has become little more than a blood sport. I see awful unsightly photo's of game shot and read some pretty spooky attitudes toward hunting. Nothing you can do about that so generally move on. The "if it's legal, it's ethical" crowd really bugs me, absolutely so respect for the animal they are killing.
I think I'll do some big game hunting this year but I'll shoot them with a camera. Friend and I will try for pigs, tuff find around here but they are there, great tasting too. Been thinking about actually learning to call coyotes and take their photo's too. We've got quite a few around here but I don't believe they are as distructive as I'm told, even the ranchers around here pretty much leave them alone. The bigger farms, grain growers, wounld't even let you hunt them most times. The coyotes main source of food seems to be mice and mice eat grain befor it's hartvseted. Now if you'd like to shoot sage rats, farmers are your buddy!
I remember as a teenager, I was visiting my family in Michigan, mom and dad were divorced. Met my Uncle Dick that year and he was the first one to ever take me out looking for deer just for the sake of seeing them. He was a hunter too. My family that did hunt, my step dad wasn't a hunter, had a reverance for the animals they killed, even the preditors. Their reasons for hunting was mainly meat, that was a long long time ago. People then looked at the animals as more than sport.
I do love the animals, all of them, but I also know that numbers must be kept in check. And then there are some animals that can't be given a foot hold in civilization again. Love wolves but would shoot every one I saw. They just don't do well in civilization.
Mountain lions with numbers kept in check and harrased with hounds are little problem. With numbers soaring here, they are eating their way to domestic animals. I have only seen three in the wild in my life, beautiful animals. I understand they are very good to eat also.
One of the most important components of deciphering a new hunting area is distinguishing between the summer and winter ranges for the game that you plan to pursue. Without knowing this you cannot make reliable assumptions about where the game will be come opening day. Knowing these areas will allow you to take the current weather (as well as the past couple weeks) and apply that to the landscape and make an educated guess as to where you might find that big buck or bull.
There are a couple ways...