texashuntingforum.com logo
Main Menu
Advertisement
Affiliates
Advertisement
Newest Members
TxHornHunter2021, Azlyx8, Tomroy, opencoffeenav, lazyeye
68789 Registered Users
Top Posters(All Time)
dogcatcher 108,604
stxranchman 58,231
SnakeWrangler 57,492
RKHarm24 44,585
rifleman 44,461
Gravytrain 43,662
BMD 41,222
Big Orn 37,484
Forum Statistics
Forums46
Topics609,707
Posts11,410,700
Members83,789
Most Online19,184
Feb 5th, 2020
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Reasonable Doubt #8336304 07/30/21 02:31 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,278
T
Texas Dan Offline OP
THF Celebrity
OP Offline
THF Celebrity
T
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,278
Reasonable doubt. It's a term used every day in courtrooms when instructions are given to a jury. However, it's also something that comes into play every time a hunter has to make a decision on whether or not to take aim and pull the trigger. I was going to post these comments in another thread but felt they might warrant their own discussion.

Let me first say I'm in no way accusing anyone of being an unsafe hunter, but only using comments made earlier to begin a new discussion relating to being safe in the deer woods.

It was in another thread where a forum member identified two deer in the photo below. Now honestly, my eyes are only good enough to see one, and I'm not questioning if there are two deer in the photo. However, what the comment brought to mind is when does a hunter have no reasonable doubt that what he or she sees is in fact a deer? As a Hunter Education instructor, it was a discussion that I always included in my classes in order to get hunters to think about when a truly safe decision has been made to pull the trigger. I mean, short of a criminal act, people are shot just about every season by another hunter who mistakes them for a deer. And in some cases, it's a family member that does it. Now when you stop and think about it, the person who made the shot must have had no reasonable doubt that what they saw was in fact a deer, or did they? Did they really see a deer or did they see something they wanted to be a deer? And did they want to see it so badly that they were willing to take aim and send a bullet flying at it? Again, my comments are not meant to call into question the comments made about two deer appearing in the photo below. The question is, when does a hunter decide there is no reasonable doubt that what they see is in fact a deer?

Just one final comment. When I started the discussion in my classes about safely identifying your target, I used a photo that I had of a well-hidden tripod. I would ask those in the class to see if they could find it. Most of them could without any problem. Then I would ask them if they can see the deer? There was never a class when at least a few kids and sometimes even one or two adults who would claim they saw a deer, often with firm convictions. Then I would let them know there was no deer in the photo.

I have my own approach for safely identifying wild game, but would enjoy hearing what others have taught their kids and even adults who are new to the sport? It's definitely a discussion worth having before leaving them alone in a stand with a gun.

[Linked Image]




Last edited by Texas Dan; 07/30/21 02:52 PM.

Dan

Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8336323 07/30/21 02:47 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,278
T
Texas Dan Offline OP
THF Celebrity
OP Offline
THF Celebrity
T
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,278
Here's a photo I've shared several times in the past of the result of a hunter in West Texas who was somehow convinced he was shooting at a bobcat.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Texas Dan; 07/30/21 02:50 PM.

Dan

Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8336412 07/30/21 04:18 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,234
I
ILUVBIGBUCKS Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
I
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,234
Originally Posted by Texas Dan


I have my own approach for safely identifying wild game, but would enjoy hearing what others have taught their kids and even adults who are new to the sport? It's definitely a discussion worth having before leaving them alone in a stand with a gun.




Great topic TD.

What I was taught from day 1 and what I taught my kids was you don't even think about picking up a gun, much less pointing it at a potential target unless you are 110% sure of that target and what is around it, in front of it, or behind it!


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8336417 07/30/21 04:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,172
T
Texan Til I Die Online Content
Veteran Tracker
Online Content
Veteran Tracker
T
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,172
Good binoculars will answer 99.9% of those questions. Take your time, use your glass and figure out what something is.


Silver spurs and gold tequila
keep me hanging on.
Pretty girls and old cantinas
give me shelter from the storm.
Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8336442 07/30/21 04:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 58,231
S
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi
Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi
S
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 58,231
In a large portion of Texas the counties are now under antler restrictions. Those same counties also have antlerless deer restrictions. So anyone hunting those is going to have to spend more time studying a deer to see #1 if it is a buck or a doe...#2 if is a buck is it legal...#3 if it is really a doe and are the legal to kill that day. To do all of that a the sight of a deer is going to be next to impossible without taking a few seconds to look closely. When and where I hunt I am using bino's to find deer or to look at them once I spot one. Bino's first to see whether it is a buck, doe or fawn. Then does it meet the lease/ranch/my personal criteria to harvest. Then I pick up the rifle and wait for my shoot preference. A lot depends on what type of land you are hunting on and then who you are hunting with. Finally what that piece of land allows to be taken off of your tags or their tags. If I am hunting hogs or predators that requires a different set of personal guidelines to hunt by. I prefer to hunt alone so that takes the other hunter(s) factor out of the equation. When hunting with other hunters safety is the highest concern. I hunt Mule Deer on a very large lease. Even with 8,000 to 9,000 acres per gun we still try to let each know what area or pasture we will be hunting. It is mainly glassing spot and stalk or driving with glassing. So bino's and spotters are in use constantly.
I was on a ranch that was for sale that had where a hunter shot another hunter by mistake. There was a memorial in the place where the young hunter was killed. The young hunter that had left his blind location and was on the edge of field. The unsuspecting adult hunter did not know that the younger hunter was out of his blind. The hunter thought he was shooting a "hog" in the low light conditions. It was tragic.


[Linked Image]
Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8336461 07/30/21 05:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,699
T
Texas buckeye Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
T
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,699
Just have everyone switch to bow hinting and problem of target ID is solved 99.9% of the time.

bolt

Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8336467 07/30/21 05:10 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,192
M
majekman Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Online Content
Extreme Tracker
M
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,192
Had a cousin many years ago was shot off his horse in Colorado...hit an artery....his dad and brother watched him bleed out and die. The shooter thought he was shooting at an elk back in the timber.
I simply cannot see how those type incidents happen when firing a gun. There are people that simply have no business hunting I reckon kinda like there’s people that have no business driving a vehicle. That’s only way I can rationalize it in my mind
confused2

Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8336485 07/30/21 05:26 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,278
T
Texas Dan Offline OP
THF Celebrity
OP Offline
THF Celebrity
T
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,278
A few tidbits I've heard through the years...

Avoid trusting your eyes when viewing still objects. Wait until you can identify multiple, connected body parts that are in their natural motion. What appears to be a single, motionless body part is never enough to confirm what you see is an animal. I'm sure we've all had instances where we seen something in the woods and thought to ourselves how someone could see it and think it might be a deer.

And always remember that just as all the girls get pretty at closing time, the desire to see something to shoot can get much stronger as the sun begins to set and it becomes harder to see. And this is also true for those who believe expensive optics will always make up their visual shortcomings and/or low light conditions.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 07/30/21 05:37 PM.

Dan

Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8336494 07/30/21 05:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 58,231
S
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi
Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi
S
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 58,231
I was taught to identify horizontal lines in a vertical world. I do not trust my eyes, I trust what my bino's see. I never hunt without them.


[Linked Image]
Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: stxranchman] #8336501 07/30/21 05:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,278
T
Texas Dan Offline OP
THF Celebrity
OP Offline
THF Celebrity
T
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,278
Originally Posted by stxranchman
I was taught to identify horizontal lines in a vertical world. I do not trust my eyes, I trust what my bino's see. I never hunt without them.


Yes, I'm sure spacial recognition is much easier with optics helping two eyes instead of just one. I just recently read an article that stated people who have lost an eye have a much harder time judging space and distance. And yet, how often will hunters use their scope as a substitute for a pair of binoculars. I'll admit that I have.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 07/30/21 05:49 PM.

Dan

Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8337642 08/01/21 01:05 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,699
T
Texas buckeye Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
T
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,699
Using one eye vs two makes little difference to a bad shooting decision. No shot should be fired without a clearly identifiable target and no danger in front or behind the target. Clearly identifiable does not mean low light “i thought it was ____” or in the brush “i thought it was _____”

It means the animal is clear from any structure and is clearly identifiable without a shadow of a doubt the animal is what you think it is.

Poor judgment in shooting typically follows poor judgment in other areas of life. How many people take questionable shots and how many people drive while tipsy or drunk? I bet the same people perform the same questionable actions in more arenas than just hunting/shooting.

Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8337684 08/01/21 02:43 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 11,226
6
603Country Online Content
THF Celebrity
Online Content
THF Celebrity
6
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 11,226
It’s easy to make a shooting mistake that you can’t fix. I almost did once, and it really scared me, and I’ll never forget it.


Not my monkeys, not my circus...
Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8337783 08/01/21 11:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 6,900
H
Hudbone Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
H
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 6,900
Haste lays waste

Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8338387 08/01/21 11:22 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,244
P
psycho0819 Online Happy
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Happy
THF Trophy Hunter
P
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,244
Why is nobody just shooting the bobcat? rifle


Tolerance is the virtue of a man without conviction.

The end of the world began the day it was created, and life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease.


Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8338399 08/01/21 11:40 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,244
P
psycho0819 Online Happy
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Happy
THF Trophy Hunter
P
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,244
Seriously though, I hunt in an area where I can see into and thru groups of trees/wooded areas. I've memorized it enough that I know if there's anything there that shouldn't be. It happens all the time. I'm looking right to left and by the time I scan back there is something in the shadows where there was nothing last time. But I couldn't think of a single reason I'd consider it ethical to hurl a bullet at something based on that one bit of information alone.

That being said, if I have judged an animal and THEN it walks into one of those shade areas, or is even partially obstructed by cover, but I am confident I can still put a bullet on the animal where I want it, I'm sending it.

As for the pic above, I can spot what looks like one deer, and a couple of possibles for the second one, if there are two.


Tolerance is the virtue of a man without conviction.

The end of the world began the day it was created, and life is a sexually transmitted terminal disease.


Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8338404 08/01/21 11:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 7,609
O
Old Rabbit Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
O
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 7,609
I have let many a deer walk because I couldn't tell if it was a legal deer. Just because you can see it, or tell it IS a deer doesn't mean you have a clear shot or a safe or ethical shot. I was taught to wait till you see it move and verify it is your desired species and not a person sitting on the ground or bent over dragging something. My wife asked me why I had to have pair of Zeiss Binoculars when I have a scope on my rifle. This became a teaching moment to her and our 3 kids about never using a firearm to view your hunting area, but IF you just had to, then open the bolt and remove the round from the chamber. Then I let my wife look thru a pair of cheap binoculars, then the good ones and she said it was like night and day difference and she understood why now.

Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8338489 08/02/21 01:18 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,827
tlk Online Happy
Extreme Tracker
Online Happy
Extreme Tracker
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,827
For me this thread is very disturbing. If you were taught and raised to hunt then you should be totally aware of not putting your damn finger on a trigger until you are fully aware and clear of what you getting ready to kill. Many times I have backed off a target because there was a reasonable doubt - sometimes it turned out to be a viable animal and target - but for the times I backed off and then realized it would have been a horrible mistake I gave thanks I did not proceed - if in doubt BACK OFF !!!!


You can't fix stupid
Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: tlk] #8338610 08/02/21 04:39 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,278
T
Texas Dan Offline OP
THF Celebrity
OP Offline
THF Celebrity
T
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,278
Originally Posted by tlk
Many times I have backed off a target because there was a reasonable doubt - sometimes it turned out to be a viable animal and target - but for the times I backed off and then realized it would have been a horrible mistake I gave thanks I did not proceed - if in doubt BACK OFF !!!!


Let's put it another way. How would you describe to a first-time hunter what should convince them with zero doubt that what they see is an animal?

Last edited by Texas Dan; 08/02/21 04:42 AM.

Dan

Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: tlk] #8338725 08/02/21 01:00 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,234
I
ILUVBIGBUCKS Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
I
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,234
Originally Posted by tlk
For me this thread is very disturbing. If you were taught and raised to hunt then you should be totally aware of not putting your damn finger on a trigger until you are fully aware and clear of what you getting ready to kill. Many times I have backed off a target because there was a reasonable doubt - sometimes it turned out to be a viable animal and target - but for the times I backed off and then realized it would have been a horrible mistake I gave thanks I did not proceed - if in doubt BACK OFF !!!!

Amen!

I completely agree with you.


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: psycho0819] #8338794 08/02/21 01:53 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 7,609
O
Old Rabbit Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
O
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 7,609
Originally Posted by psycho0819
Seriously though, I hunt in an area where I can see into and thru groups of trees/wooded areas. I've memorized it enough that I know if there's anything there that shouldn't be. It happens all the time. I'm looking right to left and by the time I scan back there is something in the shadows where there was nothing last time. But I couldn't think of a single reason I'd consider it ethical to hurl a bullet at something based on that one bit of information alone.

That being said, if I have judged an animal and THEN it walks into one of those shade areas, or is even partially obstructed by cover, but I am confident I can still put a bullet on the animal where I want it, I'm sending it.

As for the pic above, I can spot what looks like one deer, and a couple of possibles for the second one, if there are two.


In the picture above, I would only call the buck as a positive sighting. When there was this picture and then the second picture to look at, there was a definite change where an animal had moved and created an open area that previously held an animal. But I had to opportunity to switch back and forth between the two multiple times and to enlarge them. As far as identifying deer, I get to see deer almost every day in the back pasture or on my morning walks. I spend numerous hours every week looking thru glass, trying to locate deer that are hidden in the field, only to be surprised by the ones that hide so well I never see them.
That said, neither of these animals int the picture provided are in a position that I would even consider shooting.

Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8338958 08/02/21 04:00 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,699
T
Texas buckeye Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
T
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,699
Originally Posted by Texas Dan
Originally Posted by tlk
Many times I have backed off a target because there was a reasonable doubt - sometimes it turned out to be a viable animal and target - but for the times I backed off and then realized it would have been a horrible mistake I gave thanks I did not proceed - if in doubt BACK OFF !!!!


Let's put it another way. How would you describe to a first-time hunter what should convince them with zero doubt that what they see is an animal?


When you see the animal for all its glory and see there is absolutely NO WAY it is something else. That isually means it is out in the open with nothing in front of it and you can clearly see the four legs, body, head and see if it an animal you want to shoot (legal or not).

On of the first lessons i always tell first time or early hunters is “it is ok to let animals walk”

Just seeing an animal does not mean you need to shoot.

My son (hes 20 and been hunting for a little less than a decade, several years by himself) was hunting hogs and saw mama in the brush but only a baby came out. He shot the baby and not mama in the brush. He was happy he shot one. I was proud he made a good decision.

A hunter should be able to control their trigger finger. If they cant, they aren’t a hunter.

Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8339024 08/02/21 04:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 19,077
P
Pitchfork Predator Online Content
THF Celebrity
Online Content
THF Celebrity
P
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 19,077
It's not complicated......we are not hunting to feed our families anymore.....there is no excuse not to make sure you know 100% what your shooting at......once the bullet leaves the barrel you are fully responsible for the consequences......


Marc C. Helfrich
Retirement Planner

www.insured-wealth.com
469-323-8920
Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #8339030 08/02/21 05:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,385
Q
QuitShootinYoungBucks Online Content
THF Celebrity
Online Content
THF Celebrity
Q
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,385
Originally Posted by Pitchfork Predator
It's not complicated......we are not hunting to feed our families anymore.....there is no excuse not to make sure you know 100% what your shooting at......once the bullet leaves the barrel you are fully responsible for the consequences......


Pretty solid take here. Any 'pressure' to take an animal these days is strictly self-inflicted. Don't make the mistake of a lifetime for the tiny glory of killing a game animal.


[Linked Image]

https://web.archive.org/web/20170223065011/http:/www.rrdvegas.com/silencer-cleaning.html
Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: Texas Dan] #8339042 08/02/21 05:15 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 809
E
Erich Online Content
Tracker
Online Content
Tracker
E
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 809
we were just always taught to not take a shot unless it was a clear shot at well identified target. we didn't shoot at deer obscured in the brush where there would be doubt as to what we were shooting at or doubt as to something that would obstruct the path of the shot. if we couldn't take a clear shot, we didn't shoot. I'm baffled sometimes at the incidents that folks have, truly they must have been in a hurry or just very little experience.


Outdoorsman
Re: Reasonable Doubt [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #8339058 08/02/21 05:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,025
D
Dalroo Online Content
Veteran Tracker
Online Content
Veteran Tracker
D
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,025
Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted by Pitchfork Predator
It's not complicated......we are not hunting to feed our families anymore.....there is no excuse not to make sure you know 100% what your shooting at......once the bullet leaves the barrel you are fully responsible for the consequences......


Pretty solid take here. Any 'pressure' to take an animal these days is strictly self-inflicted. Don't make the mistake of a lifetime for the tiny glory of killing a game animal.


^^THIS^^ Mistakes happen when in a hurry or under pressure. One of the benefits I see hunting in an AR county is it is very necessary to get a strong comfort level in the size of the rack of bucks. When I am hunting and a buck appears, most of the time I will not even shoulder my rifle until I've watched him long enough through binocs to estimate the spread, etc. There have been bucks that moved through that were probably shooters, but due to the length of time I take to get comfortable, I've missed the opportunity. I am fine with that as I would rather be very sure of my shot, than to hurry and make a potentially costly mistake.


Dalroo
Deep in the Heart of Texas
No matter where you go, there you are...
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

© 2004-2021 OUTDOOR SITES NETWORK all rights reserved USA and Worldwide
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3