Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

My Hunting Season Adventure at The Cabin

Last year, I decided Hunting Season in Montana would be a yearly tradition for me. It all started a couple years ago when I was talking to my Dad about his yearly hunting trip. He hunted a lot when we lived in Montana (early 70s - 1990) and continued this tradition when he moved to Oregon. I figured it'd be a good opportunity for some father/son bonding and asked him if I could join him one year. We soon realized we had the perfect Hunting Oasis at The Cabin and should make it a yearly tradition.

My Dad lived in Oregon for 20 years, hunted every fall with his buddy Wayne, and retired earlier this year. Shortly after retiring, he moved to Montana to start building his "retirement cabin" (with running water and indoor plumbing). My Mom, kids and I joined him in July and made some good progress on finishing the foundation.

This weekend, shortly after working all night, missing a flight, and discovering the New Belgium Hub at DIA, I arrived in Missoula for this year's hunting season. Because I arrived at midnight, we decided to spend the night at a hotel near the airport. The next morning, we woke up and drove 2 hours to the Swan Valley. We arrived at The Cabin, started the heat stove and began unloading the truck. After being there 15 minutes and starting to settle in, my Dad started to talk about where the deer usually roamed. He pointing down by the garden and mumbled "They usually come out of there..." As he was talking, I looked out our kitchen window and say a huge buck. My heart leapt into my throat.

I shouted "GO!" and my Dad quickly responded with "NO! It's yours!" I said "It's been 20 years, YOU go!" and off he went to grab his rifle. Seconds later we were out on the porch and he was trying to find the beautiful 4-point Whitetail buck in his scope. The buck quickly disappeared behind the woodshed and outhouse and didn't appear again until he was almost on the front road.

When the target walked across the road, I whispered loudly "Go, GO - get him!!"

Shortly after a shot was fired that dropped him from our view.

My Dad scrambled off the porch, trying to reload at the same time and jamming his rifle. "Get the other gun!" he yelled (because a deer is rarely done after the first shot) and I ran into the house to grab some bullets and the other rifle. By the time I made it back out to the front yard, another shot was fired. My Dad turned to me and said, "He's gone."

I thought, "WTF?!" I thought for sure he'd got him on the first shot. Turns out, "He's gone" also means "He's dead". The picture below illustrates my Dad's impressive accomplishment.

Dad gets a 4 point buck! First deer in 20 years.

After that, we both walked back to The Cabin to put our rifles away and got ready to haul it back.

As I was returning down the road to the deer, I spotted a good-size mountain lion on top of the hill. I didn't see its face, but saw enough of it to realize I should be carrying a rifle with me. A short sprint back to The Cabin and before I knew it, I was back by the deer, guarding it from any predators.

For the next couple hours, I learned how to gut a deer and enjoyed my Dad's overdue success. Congratulations Pappy - it seems you belong in Montana after all. ;-)

P.S. Today is my parents' 37th Anniversary. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! You make marriage look both fun and easy. I hope you have fun cutting up all that meat!

Posted in General at Nov 16 2009, 09:43:44 PM MST 26 Comments

What did you do with the deer after killing it?

Posted by Ale on November 17, 2009 at 04:20 AM MST #

We hauled him over to the barn and gutted him out (also known as field dressing). After hauling his guts away and washing him out, we hung him up high so the animals couldn't get him.

According to my grandfather, it's good to hang them for several days to let the hide soak out the gaminess of the meat. My Mom arrives at The Cabin tonight and they'll start skinning and cutting him up tomorrow.

Posted by Matt Raible on November 17, 2009 at 06:14 AM MST #

I always wonder why people go hunting. You have a gun, they don't. You know you're hunting them. They don't. A real challenge.

You're a useless soul. I wonder how many people that hunt would actually do it if the animals they hunted had guns...

Posted by Jim on November 17, 2009 at 07:37 AM MST #

For many people in Montana, hunting is not a sport. The hunting season provides many families meat for the entire year. Just check the average salary for a Montana family and you can see why hunting is a necessity. The local food banks also get much of their meat from hunters.

Don't be so quick to judge when you don't know the situation.

Posted by Bob on November 17, 2009 at 09:43 AM MST #

Don't be so quick to judge ? And how do you my situation? Given that Matt is a well known IT guy, who travels around the world, I feel pretty safe in saying he does it for 'sport'.

His dad was also a Director before retiring. But, I'm sure he's doing it out of necessity. Yeah, I'm really convinced of that.

What kind of person shoots an animal, only to run "into the house to get more bullets" while the animal is in pain.

While I don't agree with hunting as a sport, at least you need to be humane. From what I read, Matt and his father didn't display that characteristic.

Posted by Jim on November 17, 2009 at 10:08 AM MST #

You're a useless soul. I wonder how many people that hunt would actually do it if the animals they hunted had guns...

Wow - those are pretty strong words. A useless soul - really?!

Re: deers with guns ... when you're driving down Highway 83 in the Swan Valley and a deer jumps in front of you - they might as well have a gun!

Re: being humane - we were as humane as possible. My Dad told me to run in the house to get more bullets (to ensure it was dead) b/c his rifle jammed. Luckily, he was able to fix it and get a 2nd shot off shortly after. There's a good chance we killed it on the first shot since it hit the deer in the side of the head. For good measure, my Dad made sure and slit its throat with his hunting knife.

Tough to win with the non-hunting crowd - last year folks were mad because we shot and missed. This year, you're upset because we were dead on.

Posted by Matt Raible on November 17, 2009 at 11:47 AM MST #

I can't speak for Montana, but in other parts of the world hunters serve as population control where the population of natural predators has been reduced in the ecosystem by humans.

Prevents disease and whatnot. I don't have a problem with hunters if they eat what they kill.

Posted by Matt Shannon on November 17, 2009 at 11:57 AM MST #

Wow - those comments are petty and harsh.

Here locally there are hundreds of severe car accidents due to the deer overpopulation.

I must say "Jim" is ignorant and clueless. i would normally feel pity for those who are ignorant - but a pompous ass to judge others without merit reeks of - well I'll just leave it there.

Simply said - all that you have is either farmed or mined. Hunting according to the law is both honest and respectable. I applaud your efforts.

Thanks for the nice story.

God bless and good luck.

Posted by Greg Bloodworth on November 17, 2009 at 05:44 PM MST #

very sad photo

Posted by dick ruble on November 17, 2009 at 07:55 PM MST #

"Ignorant and clueless", "pompous ass" - I based my judgements on Matt's own words. Not sure how that makes me ignorant. But, you seem to have make some judgements about me. I wonder how my life will ever be the same.

If you want to use the law - "Hunting according to the law is both honest and respectable" - I'm sure you agree with all the laws of each state in the US. For me, just because it's a law, doesn't make it "honest and respectable".

I have seen coyotes shot in the ass by 'hunters' and heard them squeal in pain. I have seen a goat get shot multiple times with an bow/arrow only to keep walking until it slowly died. I wonder how many 'hunters' think those are ok situations.

"pompous ass to judge others without merit reeks" - how are my conclusions without merit? You stated that without backing up YOUR words. I stated, and quoted, directly from Matt's blog. I read Matt's blog fairly regularly. Was I wrong in assuming Matt and his Dad did it for 'sport'. I'm sure they eat what they kill, but I'm also comfortable in stating they don't need to do it to make a living. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Was I wrong in stating "into the house to get more bullets". That's a direct quote. Maybe Matt and his Dad's actions were humane given more information like "slits it's throat" and "there's a good chance we killed it on the first shot". Will have to rethink that. But, based on the information from the initial blog entry, I fully stand by my conclusions and statements.

"We were humane as possible" - Sounds like you should be more prepared next time.

It's funny how when you call someone out, providing direct quotes, you're attacked. I guess Matt has quite a few 'Yes men' in his life. I wonder how many people will respond to this blog that don't agree with Matt's actions. I'd bet everyone that responds will agree with Matt and everyone will think I'm "pompous ass". How will I ever sleep now.

I think Matt is an excellent IT guy, but I don't agree with what he did. Maybe there should be a law that states you need to agree with the blog poster otherwise you'll get called a "pompous ass".

Posted by Jim on November 17, 2009 at 09:18 PM MST #

Jim, now you are hiding behind what Matt said in his blog. Your first comments were directed at hunting in general. You wondered "why people go hunting". I responded that many people need it for the food. You said it wasn't a "real challenge". If you are doing it for food, does it have to be a challenge. You never did respond to my comments other than becoming upset "that I didn't know your situation" and changing your argument.

It is funny how when you call someone out, providing direct quotes, you're attacked.

So are you against hunting in general, like YOU stated in your first entry, or are you against people with money hunting.

Posted by bob on November 18, 2009 at 12:52 PM MST #


I was going to post and warn Matt not to talk about hunting because most of the West / East Cost IT crowd is anti-gun / anti-hunting.

Jim is proof!

I'm just glad to see other folks coming to Matt's defense.

Posted by Gary on November 18, 2009 at 11:15 PM MST #

The only reason I even read this post was because I was hoping I'd see some silly little weak man say something like what Jim said, and I did, and now I get to laugh and make fun.

Jim, you are a tool, and I'm absolutely positive you have no rational basis whatsoever for your assertions. Under what worldview does one find the ability to both A) believe that a soul exists and B) justify saying someone like Matt's is useless because he killed what amounts to a big rat with hooves?

Not only are you a spectacularly weak pansy who any woman with any interest in having and raising anything close to well adjusted children would reject out of hand, you are also fantastically and entertainingly stupid. Congrats on the BOGO!

Posted by Bryan on November 20, 2009 at 12:23 PM MST #

Gary... "most of the West / East Cost IT crowd is anti-gun / anti-hunting" Feel free to own as many guns as you like. Doesn't bother me at all. Use them in self defense is fine with me as well. I live in the beautiful state of Colorado (same as Matt). BTW, Colorado is not "west/east coast". But, at least you got my name right.

Posted by Jim on November 21, 2009 at 11:32 AM MST #


"I'm absolutely positive you have no rational basis whatsoever for your assertions"

Actually, I used Matt's words/action as one of many experiences for my rational basis'

Was happily married for 14 years before my wife died of cancer. Couldn't have child due to my wife's condition.

"Matt's is useless because he killed what amounts to a big rat with hooves"

I see you agree with me. It's not really a sport to kill a big rat with hooves. Apparently Matt and his father have low expectations of themselves to feel so proud that they actually took the time to take a picture after this accomplishment. Killing a 'big rat with hooves". Wow Matt, you should be really proud.

Posted by Jim on November 21, 2009 at 11:38 AM MST #


Not hiding. Right here watching all of Matt's groupies come out of the woodwork. "In general" I don't believe that killing is a sport. I think Matt and his Dad do given they took the time to take the picture. Could be wrong though.

I understand that some people do it for food. But I wonder how many of those same people can't grow/plant food. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. If you have some information to show that most hunters hunt for food to provide for his/her family and they NEED to do it, please feel free to pass that information along.

I think "in general" most people go hunting for sport. Some (maybe most) eat what they kill. But, as I stated, I don't believe Matt was humane given the information in his initial blog entry. Maybe Matt and his father need to be more prepared next time. My hunch is most hunters would have issues with "having to run into the house to get more bullets". But I could be wrong.

I don't think it's asking too much to be humane. But, given you seem to be leaving that information out of your argument, I assume that's not too important to you. So, we'll agree to disagree.

Posted by Jim on November 21, 2009 at 11:49 AM MST #

Jim... I'm not a groupy of Matt's, I just think you're an idiot. Now, you've demonstrated simple reading comprehension is not an asset you possess, given the fact that somehow you came up with the bizarro world conclusion that I agree with you in any way.

"Actually, I used Matt's words/action as one of many experiences for my rational basis' "

This doesn't make any sense at all. Simple question. What philosophical or religous worldview do you subscribe to that simultaneously makes the claim that A) the thing called a 'soul' actually exists and has intrinsic value and B) also, at the same time, definitively declares that thing called a 'soul' becomes 'useless' once the owner of the soul kills a deer?

I'm assuming your answer is going to be... "There isn't one, this is just Jimism, what I believe." See the problem here dimwit?

Posted by Bryan on November 21, 2009 at 05:51 PM MST #

Bryan... So, according to you, I'm a "dimwit" and an "idiot". But, you're asking me a couple questions? Totally hilarious. If you really think I'm a "dimwit"/"idiot", why bother? That makes a lot of sense.

You see, I don't ask you questions because I don't care about your opinion. that's the difference between us.

You'll excuse me but I'd prefer to not waste my time trying to explain my point of view since you feel I'm a "dimwit"/"idiot". Don't see how we will agree no matter what I bring forth. So, it's just not worth it. I'm sure there's a million things we disagree on. If you don't feel a soul exists, no problems here.

It's totally hilarious that you would take the time to ask me questions, given your opinion of me. HA. Yeah, and YOU think I'M the idiot.

"I'm not a groupie of Matt's" - Yeah, I'm convinced of that. Sure.

Well, I'm off to Key West and then to the Rich Web experience. Had fun with the exchange. Maybe I'll see you at the Rich Web.

Posted by Jim on November 22, 2009 at 08:27 PM MST #

Wow... good thing it was too cold to fish up at The Cabin! I can hear it now...

"... and how would you feel if the tables were turned!! What if the fish left cheeseburgers and beer with hooks in them?!" ;-)

Matt, thanks for sharing your story (even though hunting isn't my thing). I've always enjoyed the personal stories interspersed with the technical ones (still waiting for an update on the van! :-D). Please don't stop just because Jim is trying to use your blog as his soapbox.

Jim if you're still reading this... lay off the expresso!! Dude, he's just sharing a story. He's one of several hundred thousand people who went deer hunting over the past few weeks. He's not advocating everyone hunt and in no way is he trying to make a political statement about it. If you want to find like minded people who think hunters are "useless souls".. go hang out with the PETA folks. If you want to get into it with hunters, go trolling on the NRA's, Ducks Unlimited, etc and have at it.

But, please... do it there and not here.

- John ( Official "Matt Groupie" Member #107 - since 2005 )

Posted by John on November 22, 2009 at 10:11 PM MST #

Not only a dimwit, but a coward as well by virtue of the fact that you're unwilling (and likely unable... this is the dimwit part) to engage and defend your view.

You un/dim-wittingly hit on something noteworthy though. That is, you admit up front your view of what Matt and his father have done is nothing more than your opinion. I never once said I didn't believe that souls exist and humans posses them. I, in fact, do believe that to be true. That being said, I also believe in objective morality, whereas it seems clear your view of morality is simply subjective and based off of nothing more than your feelings, which happen to be quite weak and pantywaisted. The whole point your feeble brain has been missing up to this moment is if the morality you're espousing is based on nothing more than your opinion of what's wrong... who the hell cares?

It'd be identical to me getting offended because you like brustle sprouts.... you see... I don't like them at all, and by your (dimwitted) reasoning, this means it's bad and wrong for anyone to like them.

I just beat you up and stole your lunch money, intellectually speaking.

Posted by Bryan on November 23, 2009 at 08:47 AM MST #

Dear Jim you really have a good heart but if you are not vegetable man you are eat some meat then the rules that should apply that if any one kill , hunt any animal he should do his best to minimize as possible as he can the minimize the pain for the animal

Posted by ibrahim on December 02, 2009 at 02:26 AM MST #

Man, i admire your technical skills, but hunting for fun is a stupid thing.

Posted by Juan on December 02, 2009 at 01:05 PM MST #


While you don't win the award for Biggest Tool to comment on this post - DimJim has you beat there - you're a close second.

Posted by Bryan on December 02, 2009 at 02:13 PM MST #

Million to Juan - he has no brain.

Posted by Grego on December 08, 2009 at 03:45 PM MST #

As an avid hunter, I must say I don't know of anyone in the hunting community that would agree with Matt's actions.

As for all people on both sides (mainly Jim and Byran), it seems you are passionate about this issue. But, we can all do without the naming calling.

Posted by Jules on December 12, 2009 at 11:31 AM MST #


I am a big fan of your work (I have been using appfuse for about 1 1/2 years). This post of yours wants me to give you a big +1 for other aspects of your life. I myself don't hunt, but I respect all who do so in a responsible manner like you do. I do carry legal (with CFP license) which saved my life on one occasion, and am very pro-2nd amendment. Being originally from Canada, living in the UK for five years I greatly appreciate what happens when people let the spineless twits of the world decide only the government be allowed to carry firearms. Too bad it is the government (doesn't matter which country) which causes 99% of the innocent deaths in the world. Just look at the last century.

I normally wouldn't put in a political comment on your blog, but the minute I saw the "hunting" header I knew the twits would come out of the woodwork and I want you to know other techies do support you on this.

Posted by gnuphie on December 12, 2009 at 11:45 AM MST #

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