Photo credit to the QDMA.
This last weekend I had one of the toughest interviews I’ve had to date. It was thought provoking, questionable and down right confusing. The interesting part was this interview had nothing to do with a job! It was an interview to get accepted into a suburban hunting group that helps manage deep populations within city limits. I read the group’s mission statement, knew the overall interests of the group and was even referred to the group by one of their current hunters. I thought I was ready for this interview!
The next 90 minutes or so stood the test of time as being some of the toughest questions that really had my mind shifting. Was I rattled? Yes at some points. At others, not so much. My favorite was tell me about your gear! Whew, knew that one!
Here were the most interesting of thoughts. The goal is to harvest doe deer because they are the direct connection to higher populations or lower populations. When the question comes up, “would you shoot a buck if he entered followed by 2 does?” Of course not, I would shoot the does is my answer and with full regard for the goal of the group. However, the interviewers would never truly believe such an answer, would they? Is that the wrong answer now or the right answer? Wow, what a mind game, especially after every one of them said shoot the buck! What?!?!
Another question comes up. Are you ok with shooting a doe that is pregnant? “Well yes, I have had that happen before but very early on in the gestational cycle.” Mind you, not many places in the country can you hunt deer while they are full blown pregnant in the late spring. Yet, here in VA you can because of kill permits within the city. Well, what about a doe that is about to pop any day now and it would drop a 9-12 lb baby? “Eh, honestly, I don’t think I would shoot that deer. Too close and I wouldn’t feel good about it morally even though I know what my job would be for this group. Again, I sit there and question myself. “Is that the right answer?” “How the heck am I being perceived?” “Am I a softy?” “Do I want to be a softy or a stone cold killer?” Every one of these thoughts are coming and going through my mind. I have to say that at the beginning of the meeting, I was told to feel comfortable and get to know the guys. By the end, I felt hyper critical because of how I answered my questions, yet I felt strongly that I answered them with integrity and truth.
The details that were brought up in the questions were remarkable yet not many hunters would ever experience these situations depending on where they live or lived, what times of the year they hunt or have hunted, nor would they have certain situations due to never being able to hunt deer out of season. It took me 2 days to really think about how I answered things and realized that everything is alright regardless of what happens. Do I truly want to get involved with this group? Absolutely! Would I be upset if I didn’t? Yes, but I would try again at a later date to do it again. Would I feel remorse for my answers? Absolutely not. I know that how I answered these questions was true to how I felt for those situations that were presented at the given time. Could these things change? Absolutely, because the one item that changes everything could be the smallest of variables.
For example, what if I only had one doe in front of me with 2 small fawns behind her. Would I shoot the doe or the fawns. Well, the doe technically but I like the meat of a fawn better than an old doe. #Truth.
Now, what would happen if there was a doe with 2 fawns and I knew there were small kids coming straight towards me from 100 yards away. Would I shoot at all or would I shoot the doe? Again, no way to truly answer this beside the hypothetical and my answer would be not to shoot at all because I don’t want the small kids to walk over and see a dead animal in someone’s front driveway. But maybe, I would shoot the fawn and take care of business before the kids get there depending on their speed. Can you all see my conflict?
Overall, my message today is to think about all the details that are entailed with your potential hunt. You might have crazy scenarios that could occur and completely blindside you like this interview. Crazy things do happen in the woods and the more you think and prepare, the better off you will be. Most importantly, stay calm because only you will decide how you will answer the calling at that moment in time.
Scout, Hunt, Repeat
Written By: Alex Gruin