I received a private message through Facebook today that has weighed on my mind all day. The person questioned me “at what point does a hunter become a trophy hunter”; which was a direct remark to my Iowa blog entry where I stated that I let “two nice shooter bucks walk”. This by no means meant that I consider myself “per se” a trophy hunter in the meaning of the word. I simply choose to let 2 to 3 1/2-year-old bucks walk at my discretion. I believe in the practice of QDM & hold myself accountable for every decision I make in the field.

Two of the three bucks that came across the adjacent hill we were watching over.

What a hunter does behind their own gun trigger or release is their decision to make–I don’t feel that another should scrutinize that decision. I would not dare make remarks about the many harvested spike bucks and 4 points that this person has in their Facebook albums nor do I feel that I need to defend myself to their remark of “how stupid, I would have SMOKED him”….their beliefs and actions are theirs alone.

The untouchables....I have watched these two yearlings (shown here 20 yards from my back deck) grow in my back yard. One day, yes--with patience and a little luck--they too will be wall hangers.

It was once said by an unknown poet “beauty {a trophy} is in the eye of the beholder.” The hunter, and only the hunter, in the moments before the trigger is pulled or the releas is squeezed is liable for that decision. I am proud, and always will be, to say that every hunt I have participated in and every shot that I have placed has been in the highest ethical standard that I believe in, not the principles and beliefs of someone else. You, as the hunter, make those decisions alone. Hunt hard, harvest ethically and may your drag be short. ~Nancy Jo

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