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Game hunter

Known for big-game goals, Arnott also seeks big game

by J. Douglas Foster

Neither one can be a pleasant experience, that's for sure. But Stars center Jason Arnott was forced to pick between two very difficult scenarios to determine which was more frightening.

Simply put, which invokes more fear: Going into the corner for a puck with Derian Hatcher bearing down on you, or looking down to find a 1,500-pound moose butting his head against the tree in which you built your hunting stand?

"I'd have to say the moose," Arnott said. "But Hatch comes in a close second, that's for sure."

Arnott, for one, should know. He spent several playoff series' battling Hatcher and the Stars while a member of the Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils. And since his childhood days, he's had a passion for hunting -- whether it be for moose, elk, whitetail deer or birds.

It all started as a youngster growing up in Collingwood, Ontario, when Arnott was introduced to hunting by his father. Hunting became a way of life in the Arnott family, but not before some very strict lessons were learned about the dangers of guns and the absolute need for hunting safety.

"The rules were very strict, and that's important," Arnott said. "You hear it all the time, someone get shot on a hunting trip. It's always by accident, but it always happens and it's just carelessness. I had a great father and mother, and they both taught me not to go near the gun case ever. They always kept it locked and away from me, and when they felt I could handle it, they let he handle it.

"I had to prove to him that I could. I had to get my license and take the safety course and all that. Until a certain age, I wasn't allowed to go hunting or shoot a gun without his presence and his permission."

Those guidelines didn't quell Arnott's love for hunting. In fact, they just helped him appreciate his hobby even more. So did the first deer he killed, which he dropped at the age of 16.

After hunting for years with a rifle, however, Arnott had a bit of a revelation when he first picked up a bow and began hunting that way.

He quickly learned that the thrill of hunting could be intensified when done with a bow rather than a rifle. Plus, hunting with a bow -- which requires the hunter to be within approximately 20 yards of the deer -- certainly seems more fair to the animal as it allows its natural instincts of sight, hearing and smell to work more to its advantage.

"Absolutely, I think it's more fair," Arnott said. "Plus the rush you get -- and if you are a hunter you know that feeling of your heart pounding when there's a big buck some 20 yards from you rather than 200 yards where you see him in binoculars if you are rifle hunting. The aspect of really staying still and knowing the ins and outs of what the deer is going to do. You can prepare, but until you get in there and know what the deer is going to do, it's very hard.

"It definitely takes a lot more skill (hunting with a bow)."

Arnott began hunting with a bow about eight years ago, he said, but the length of the NHL season has only allowed him time to join his friends for a moose hunt with the bow on just two occasions.

He did come across one large moose brushing against his tree stand while whitetail hunting in Alberta, but he had not purchased a moose tag on that trip -- which meant he had to let that big one go. He said he has also come across moose in his native Canada tall enough for him to walk under with his 6-foot-4 frame.

That's the kind of animal he plans on putting on the dinner table one day, when he's done with hockey and actually has free time at home during the winter.

"I'm going to get one one of these days," he said. "It's going to take a little time , but later on in life, when I retire from the game and get more free time, I'll get a moose."

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"Absolutely, I think it's more fair," Arnott said. "Plus the rush you get -- and if you are a hunter you know that feeling of your heart pounding when there's a big buck some 20 yards from you rather than 200 yards where you see him in binoculars if you are rifle hunting. The aspect of really staying still and knowing the ins and outs of what the deer is going to do. You can prepare, but until you get in there and know what the deer is going to do, it's very hard.

"It definitely takes a lot more skill (hunting with a bow)."

:rolleyes:

Yeah...but it's a lot less freaking HUMANE! You miss with a bow you've got the poor little thing hobbled just enough so you can't FIND him/her to put it out of it's misery - poor you, probably whines about having to follow the blood trail for miles over the river and through the woods, poor delicate flower! "and then I had to carry this 2 tonned elk all the way back to my truck" - wha wha wha....

:lol:

I just don't trust bow hunters to hunt responsibly/patiently. Even the greatest guys get over-eager and screw up at some point and I just hate the thought of it. However I'll take it any day over those who say "EWE! HUNTING IS EVIL" while eating a Big Mac! :rolleyes: I far prefer hunting to mechanized farm raised poor little animals :saddevil:

Jason "Wind in his Tatoo" Arnott heeheeheehee... and his faithful Kitchenerian companion Dances with Yellow Labs...

never fear...just two and half more months and my hormones (thus ranting) should cool --OUCH! my monster kicked me -- I think she likes Stevens now that I've ditched him - hopefully she's not a jinx!

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I agree with you, PK. Hubby saw about 3-4 during bow that were hobbling around and a big buck that had the arrow still in him but he was unable to get close enough to end his misery. I think alot of people need more practice in knowing how to really use the bow. Same goes for any of them--muzzleloader and shotgun, too. Yesterday he said he found a big hole in a tree where someone obviously missed.

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