Mike: My hunting buddy is a pretty good guy and a great hunter; he’s into conservation and getting kids involved and all that. But he’s obsessed with killing more deer and bigger deer than anyone else. Every year he gets hung up on being the number one deer killer in our parts. Is there anything you would suggest for me to do? I haven’t known him all that long, and he’s shown me some good hunting spots. But damn, sometimes I can’t stand to be around him and his ego.
BTW, I don’t care about numbers. I simply want to put some doe meat in the freezer and wait for a buck that is mature, like I have seen you do many times on TV. Thanks (name withheld so as not to PO my buddy).
Anonymous: I’ve been in all kinds of deer camps/clubs/lodges across America for more than 30 years and have run across a good many egomaniacs like you describe. While a few of them have turned out to be decent guys like you say your buddy is, most have been a——- with a capital A that I have no time or use for. Our lives and hunting time are too short; I want to hang and hunt with people I like and respect.
I’ve tried all sorts of approaches with egomaniacs–complete avoidance…cold shoulder when I’m in the same room listening to them brag about how great a hunter they are…politely confronting them and saying man, it doesn’t matter how many deer you kill or if yours is bigger than mine… No matter, I usually still never like these guys and never have a good time around them, so I avoid them.
Your case is a different though because you like this fellow some, and he has found you some good hunting spots. I suggest you bite your tongue and put up with his BS as best as you can for now. When he gets on your nerves too much, get up and leave–go hunting, go home, whatever. The next time you see him things ought to be better.
I don’t know how old this fellow is, but at some point in every hunter’s life the hunting becomes more important than the killing, though it takes longer for some people to get there. Hopefully soon your friend will start to realize that it’s not all about rack score and numbers of deer whacked and stacked, far from it. By then you’ll know him better and you might be able to talk this thing out man to man without blowing up your friendship.
Good luck, dealing with rude and arrogant people is never fun and never easy.
Man, I’ve dealt with “buddies” like that.
Which is why I am no longer associated with those people. And why I no longer hunt in my state of residence(North Carolina). For several years now I have hunted exclusively in my home state of South Carolina, with family and friends only. By doing so, time spent in the woods is enjoyable again, as it should be. When hunting becomes some sort of odd competition, to the point where even conversations about hunting become a “fact finding mission”, to determine ones “success” or “failure” in the woods, it’s time to make other hunting arrangements, and time to make new friends. This has been my experience. Some people can be a real drag to be around, due to personal problems. In those cases, I’ve found that the best thing to do is to avoid contact as much as possible.
I watched an episode(don’t recall the particular episode) of Big Deer several years ago, and at the end of the episode, Mike was talking about the essence of deer hunting with like-minded people. Mike said something simple that really resonated with me. He said simply, “I don’t hunt with people I don’t like.” That statement resonated with me because I feel the same way, exactly.
I love hunting for the joy of being in the field, and every thing that comes with that. The time with family and friends. The laughter and good times spent together. The good food source that it provides for me and my family. Who needs to keep score of the deer and turkeys killed? Or have a need to build a bigger corn pile than the neighboring property owner to “stop all the deer from walking on their land”? I certainly do not. And I choose not to be around people that require that type of need.
All the best to all the hunters that “get it” this season.
I think a lot of it has to do with a person’s upbringing. My dad was the most non-material, non-egotistical, non-showboat, non-anything-to-do-with-arrogance human being I’ve ever known. He taught me and my three brothers that it’s not about the car, or the house, or the money, or the anything…but, it’s about pure enjoyment of the outdoors and enjoying God’s grand world with your friends and family. However, with that said I’ve met plenty of folks who are into catching the most fish; or the biggest fish; or killing the most game; or the biggest game. It’s o.k. to be good at something, but too many people let the success go to their heads. I don’t know that there is a solution for this, but hopefully all people have an epiphany like Big Daddy did. Stay humble out there men (and women)!!
Mike, I once was that guy flew all over North America to hunt and kill big bucks . I shiver when I think how much money I spent doing so. Yes I killed a couple bucks over 150″ each year but 95% of the time I hunted alone doing so. With age comes wisdom now a days I enjoy managing my own place an having my family and friends there to hunt and spend time with in camp. I get as much of a thrill out of killing a doe for management now with my grandkids in camp as I do a decent buck . I still hunt big bucks in a few states each fall but look forward to my camp even more.