It was windy and cold today but I had a good feeling about this evening due to the wind dyeing down.
As I was climbing my stand ladder a button buck came out and started eating apples. I was making lots of noise due to just arriving and getting setup with a backpack and a rifle on my back that still needed to be loaded. I was shocked to see that before I was even sitting in the stand I had a deer at the apple pile.
I took some photos of him eating apples and posted them on my facebook and I had lots of experienced hunters saying "take him", and "what are you waiting for"... but my ethics told me not to shoot him because in my eyes he was just a fawn...
I said "no" and that I would wait for something with more meat to offer allowing this little guy to grow up to feed a family next year.
It didn't feel right to me but I feel really good about leaving him eat his apples and walk off into the woods with a full belly.
No more deer came out today but even if I knew I would not get another buck to shoot at today I would still have made the same decision.
I have heard so many stories of first time hunters getting all worked up and shooting the first thing they see but I didn't have that feeling at all. I felt calm and satisfied with just getting to see one eating my apples.
I'll wait for the 6 pointer that I have been seeing on my trail cam.
I'm curious as to what other people's thoughts are and what they would have done. Did I make a good ethical decision or was I a fool to let that meat walk off into the woods?
Regardless of what people feel I should have done I only care about how my decision made me feel but it would be interesting to hear the comments.