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ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒ&
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Discussion Starter #1
I must be in a good mood today or feeling rather lazy. I am out here on my deer lease this weekend. Not archery hunting, but bird hunting and I am after an impala I have seen lately.

Anyhow, our property is full of rabbits and I love rabbit meat. The other three guys think I am nuts, but I always will take an opportunistic shot on one when I see them.

About twenty minutes ago, I was walking around just outside of camp. I had just gotten off of the phone with my wife and was spotlighting looking for eyeshine. About 30 yards ahead of me was one of the biggest jack rabbits I have seen. It had to have been pushing 10 or 12 pounds. When I first saw it, I was regretting leaving my .357 lever in the truck.

As I kept the light on him, it began walking toward me on an angle. I will be damned if it did not walk to within 10 or 15 yards of me, stop and presented with a broadside shot. I had my Glock 19 with night sights though riding on my hip.

I drew the glock, lined up the sights and had some pressure on the trigger. He was going to be mine. Before I realized what I was doing, I lowered the pistol and holstered it. Then I just watched Mr. Rabbit take his time going back out to forty yard.

I have never taken anything with my pistol and I am quite confident that I would have bagged it had I taken the shot. I just don't know why I didn't. Maybe I just didn't want to dress it out tonight. I am not very dogmatic, but something must have told me not to shoot.

Has this every happened to anyone else? Has that little something ever told you not to take the shot?
 

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ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒ&
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Discussion Starter #3
I normally wouldn't pass on food either. It was just different to tonight. We did shoot 16 dove though.

I saw four raccoons earlier as well. I usually don't shoot them though--unless they are being nuisances. I am still shaking my head and wondering why I let the bunny walk.
 

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Troll Hunter Extraordinai
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Highlander often times i take a pass and just enjoy the show. I never can say why i decide to fire are not. ultimatley it is always for meat. But from time to time I let them walk by living another day.

Wensday I had an 8 point, about 4 or 5 years old past the ears about 15" spread i'd say stand broadside at 20 yards. I let him go for now, maybe he will find him a nice doe in a week or two.

No shame bro, we don't have to kill ever thing we see.
 

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As Gardengear mentioned you don't have to shoot something just for the sake of shooting it. If I need a meal...yep I am going to throw down on it! If I am hunting for sport...sometimes I kill, sometimes I let it live. Not one thing wrong with that my man.
 

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Opinionated old fart.
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I have pased on a couple of shots feeling like I would have "wasted" something. I know, meat is meat, but twice a little voice said "dont destroy that". Maybe you just had enough game already.
 

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If the rabbit was that big, chances are it was kinda old. I say that you sensed the age and wisdom of the animal and you didn't want to release that wisdom back to the earth just yet. That rabbit will probably be coming back often, might be a nice hunting buddy for you, you get to clear out some competition for it by taking the other rabbits and you also get to have a wild friend.
 

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It's happened to me too. Sometimes you just enjoy the thrill of the Hunt, and you don't need to kill anything. It is equally enjoyable to know that you could if you had to, but that you don't have to. Respecting your Quarry means that it will survive for the next Generation. That's called being a responsible Hunter. Good on you, and thanks for sharing the story.:thumb:
 

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Probably reflecting on both the great harvest you just had and the call from wife, which takes you out of the hunting mindset.
Probably a good reflection on you. You did not nead to eat, so you let it go. That's cool. I've let many deer go that were too young or too friendly. No challenge.
A rabbit cleans so quickly however......Next time.
 

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Maximus
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I am not very dogmatic, but something must have told me not to shoot.

Has this every happened to anyone else? Has that little something ever told you not to take the shot?
I have had this a few times with perfectly open shots. Not because I felt bad for the game or anything. Just something felt"not time yet". Who knows what it was. But I had the feeling that if I did take the shots, I would have felt guilty afterwords or missed.

Another friend of mine also had something similar happen. Had that feeling, but pulled the trigger anyways. The round didnt go off. Bad primer or light strike... he didn't know. But said he was actually relieved after that.

Who knows.
 

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While Stalking Rabbits once, I looked to my Left, and there was one sitting still as the Tree it was next to. I raised my .22 and leveled the Crosshairs on its head. It was only 10 Feet from me. It did'nt move a single muscle. It would have been too easy, so I lowered my 10-22, and raised my Camera. I'll post pics' later, but anyway, I was just happy to be this close to the thing that I was Hunting, that I wanted to make the Moment last. Killing it would only shorten my Experience. After I took the Pics, I purposefully Startled it to make it run away. It was an Amazing Experience.:thumb:
 

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First time turkey hunting, I saw a beautiful mature gobbler. He was so beautiful, I didn't shoot. It happens to all of us man. It doesn't make you a sissy, it makes you an outdoorsman. Maybe he will be back, and like was said, maybe you can begin to look forward to seeing him every time you go there. Sometimes as hunters, we tend to work at shooting animals, and forget why we love the outdoors in the first place. Just like a man may save up all his money until he forgets why he's saving it.
 

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Why do you ask? 2 Dogs!
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I think it shows restraint, respect and confidence, just in knowing that "You Could've"

Me......I'd have shot it, then spent a little time calling coyotes over it.

Jacks aren't all that good to eat as opposed to cottontails!
 
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Plays best, alone
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Not trying to be smart,but do you know what was behind the rabbit. Maybe your subconcious was aware of something that didn't seem right. On the otherhand you were probably just being lazy.:D:
 

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I FEAR COWARDS MOST
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I find myself less and less trigger happy the older I get.

I still enjoy the hunt immensely, but I find myself drawn to means and methods of hunting that more favor my quarry.
 

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ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒ&
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Discussion Starter #20
I think it shows restraint, respect and confidence, just in knowing that "You Could've"

Me......I'd have shot it, then spent a little time calling coyotes over it.

Jacks aren't all that good to eat as opposed to cottontails!
Jacks are very good eating. They have a lot more meat on them than a cottontail. I either grill them or chicken fry them. When I chicken fry them, I tenderize them pretty well. No tenderizing needed when grilled though.

Got four of them in the freezer right now.
 
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