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Hard Work and Hard-Earned Knowledge

March 1, 2011

I had intended to mention Sean Fulton’s accomplishment back when he made the paper on February 11th, but I got side-tracked.  It had slipped my mind until Sean showed up today to give the program at the Black Hills Sportsmen Club meeting.  As it is, I’m glad I heard him speak before talking about him.

I was impressed at reading about a fellow taking a full-grown mountain lion at 30 yards with a bow and arrow, but after hearing the story first hand and learning more about the archer, I am left pretty much at a loss words. 

Fulton is not your usual hunter.  He’s pretty much the counter-part of the ski-bum, that is to say, he lives his life in such a way as to enable him to be in the backcountry as much as possible.  Consequently, he did not come by his lion easily, or out of dumb luck.

He has been studying lions in the Black Hills for a number of years.  This year he reckons that he put in at least 100 days scouting, tracking, and photographing kills, scrapes, and lions in order to identify core areas and establish ranges.  At present he admits to having located 40+ spots where he can stand with a reasonable expectation of calling in a lion.

I went away from Fulton’s presentation with a huge respect for what he has had to do in order to learn about lions and their prey to be successful.  His taking the lion was in a sense just incidental.  While I have no desire to kill a lion, I do covet Fulton’s knowledge and field-craft. 

“I’d already got a nice lion (in 2009), so there was no point in me chasing another lion with a gun. I’m an archery hunter, and I’ve always wanted to take one with a bow. To hunt mountain lions is already hard as heck; it is one of the hardest, stupidest things I’ve ever done. If I can do it, why not do it with a bow? I feel like I’m a more ethical hunter when I hunt with a bow.”  Sean Fulton to RCity Journal.

And today Sean allowed as how he wants to increase the difficulty next year and hunt with a long bow.  Apparently the compound bow doesn’t afford sufficient challenge.

— Margadant

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 1, 2011 5:01 pm

    Serious question (not being a smart-ass). Are crossbows legal? I was always curious about how we arrived at using a bow and arrow, rather than a spear, atlatl or even jumping forward one step to the crossbow. I think I understand using a long bow. It’s rather like of the muzzle-loader of primitive weapons, but taking a primitive technology like the bow and then high-teching the bloody hell out of it always seems a little wacky. (Don’t get me started on fish-finders.) Does making something more difficult make it more ethical? Maybe. I’ll have to think on that for awhile.

    I put variations of these questions to a friend who is a dedicated bowhunter. His answer was something like, ” ‘Cause that’s what people use”. ???

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