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Old June 10, 1999, 05:22 AM   #1
boing
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No, I don't hunt. You see, I like animals. I'm not an 'activist' or anything, but I knowingly succumb to my emotional reaction to the thought of an animal being shot when it's just trying to live it's little life in the woods.

To a certain extent, well OK, a large extent, I feel it's a pretty arrogant position to say "If I can kill it,and it's fun to kill it, then it's okay to kill it." I say (try to say, anyway), live and let live, and respect the rights of other creatures to live.

Some people at work like to torture spiders and such, pulling the legs off, and torching them with lighters, and I've 'made a scene' more than once, forcibly stopping such things when I witness them, and freeing the bugs from the tyrany of their supposed "masters"! Some of my co-workers call me The Spider Lord, and think I'm quite ridiculous. They are, of course, quite wrong.

My dad bow hunted deer for a few years when I was young, but never bagged anything. I think it was just a coping mechanism after two and a half tours in Vietnam. He soon turned into more of a naturalist/conservationist, choosing to experience nature in a low-impact, observational way, and that's what I learned from him. Most people probably hunt because that's what they learned from their families.

Now, when I say hunting here, I mean recreational hunting, not subsistence hunting or population/pest control.

Hunting to put food on the table is pure Natural Order, whether you can live on just veggies or not. Killing to survive is really what nature is all about, and nature has done a pretty good job of taking care of the world, and makes for a pretty good model of how to live.

In fact, I do eat meat! I tried the vegetarian thing at the behest of my wife and my brother, but it just didn't take. We never have meat in the house, and I don't miss it when I'm at home, but eating out, especially in the cafeteria at work, is a real vegetarian challenge.

To be sure, the animals-into-food industry is rife with horror stories, and there certainly are humane, but still cost effective ways to kill a food animal (I like the guillotine approach, myself ). But then again, you ever see lion take down a zebra on National Geographic? Or a boa constrictor suffocate...whatever it is boa constrictors suffocate? Not too pleasant, but that's the way survival is.

Am I a hypocrite? Have I sacrificed my warm-and-fuzzy principles just to have some bacon on my biscuit? I suppose so, and you can laugh if want, but it actually kinda bothers me.

Population/pest control is another one. Nature controls populations by killin' 'em off when they get too uppity: "Thou shalt not upset the natural balance of things, upon penalty of death, and plenty of it!" Seems to work.

I suppose here I should modify my position. I do hunt a few things. I have a lot of dogs, and so lots of fleas and some ticks that need to be dispatched. But these are things that actively seek me and my loved ones (animals) out in order to rob us of our vital fluids and infect us with disease! The survival/pest control clause applies. Likewise for mosquitoes, those little bastards.

In my experience, recreational hunters hunt, essentially, because they like to go out into the woods and kill animals. It's just like the camping/hiking stuff I did with my dad, except they like the killing of animals part. Few hunters I've come across seem to say "Those poor deer are gonna starve and have a really bad time this winter. Better go out and thin the herd for the greater benefit of the species as a whole."

But recreational hunting is a huge part of managed wildlife care, regardless of the motivations of any given hunter, and it's successful. Admittedly, since I've never hunted, I know little of the specifics of hunting in a managed care context, so it's up to you folks to tell me all about it.

There are seasons for hunting different game, and bag limits. How long are seasons for various animals and what are typical limits? Who decides the seasons/limits? Based on what?

I read in Jeff Cooper's Commentaries where he said something about an astronomical increase in the deer population (I think) in Connecticut (I think), and attributed it to hunting-as-managed-care. Does anybody know the specifics of this? Give me specific examples of hunting leading to healthier wildlife populations. There must be a ton of examples, of course, I've just not heard of them.

Give me all you've got on the pros of hunting.

One thing I've learned since I became interested in guns and read a thing or two about hunting is the strong ethic of Sportsmanship. That an ethical hunter only takes a shot he's sure he can make. Crippling is a no-no, and crass, to boot.

I read a blurb in a gun magazine about old timey muzzleloader hunting. The author went on about the self induced handicap of it, and the enjoyment of a challenging three day hunt with no game taken because he didn't get a sure shot. I've heard hunter aquaintances of mine talk about passing up shots because they weren't confident about getting clean kills. And Mr. Cooper has written several times about dry-firing on game, just for the thrill of the getting the shot.

I am fighting my ignorance.

In case you couldn't figure it out, I'm sorta conflicted on this issue. I'm opinionated, but my mind isn't closed. I have a lot of respect for the people on this board, hunters or not, and I don't mean any personal offense by any comments I've made here. But this thing has been nagging at me for a long time, and I had to get it out, so I apologize if it's kinda cathartic.

Whew!

-boing




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Old June 10, 1999, 06:24 AM   #2
Keeper
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I don't think there is anything wrong with your opinion. At least you can look at both sides without attacking hunters as a whole. There are some bad eggs out there that give activists reason to scream. I think more than 90% of the hunters out there are the last people on earth that want to see a species die out or wander off to die due to a poorly placed shot. I don't think a lot of people realize that tag and license fees go towards conservation and the parks that we all enjoy.

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Old June 10, 1999, 07:29 AM   #3
longhair
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boing, i'll agree w/ you on the kill just to kill thing, i am against that. unless it's pest control or attack control, i don't believe in killin' a critter unless it's gonna be eatin'. But like Keeper said, the money that hunters & fisherman pay for their license go toward conservation efforts. Left unchecked, the limited space that wildlife has left to inhabit won't support them. Also, here in Arkansas, due to the conservation efforts, the wild turkey population has increased ( not the whiskey ), they have reintroduced Elk, whose population is growing, the bear population which was once great ( Ar. was once known as the bear state), but due to over harvest years ago was almost nonexsitant, has now increased. So while I can see your point, the money that comes from the license fees actually help wildlife. I know many down here where i live that depend on what they kill & catch to feed their families. And don't think that hunters don't like animals, cause most of the ones i know do, but they are part of the food chain.

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Old June 10, 1999, 07:44 AM   #4
Larry P.
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Hey, Boing, I don't hunt either, tho I'm no conflicted on the point. I tried it and just didn't enjoy it. I could bag my limit of deer every year without leaving my deck, but find it no particular fun. Likewise there are people who do not own guns at all not out of some deep conviction but because they don't feel a need for them and don't particularly like them.

To each his/her own.

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Old June 10, 1999, 08:03 AM   #5
Ed Brunner
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The way I see it,there is absolutely nothing wrong with your position.I dont hunt much because there are a lot easier ways to get a meal.
You are honest about your ideas about killing bugs etc. Most anti-hunters and animal rights people arent.If it were the principle they would live infested with cockroaches etc and they dont.
We are animals too and the killing for food by humans in the part of nature that most of "them" overlook.
What I really disagree with is attributing human qualities to other animals.
We have had a number of cats that became part of the family. Would I kill a human to protect my family? In a heartbeat! Would I kill a human to protect my cat? NO. I might abuse the person and probably would,but that wouldnt push my KILL button.
And then there are the really strange hunters who give the sport a bad name and we dont like them either.You know who I mean.
I hope you would not have killed your co-worker to save the spider.

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Old June 10, 1999, 08:27 AM   #6
John/az2
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Heard a comedian once say <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I'm not a vegatarian because I love animals![/quote]

The first time I went hunting with my father he made a clean kill then drew his knife and started cutting. That was the end of my hunting-to-kill career, at least where cleaning entered the picture. I still varmint hunt on occasion.

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Old June 10, 1999, 09:10 AM   #7
Bruce from West Oz
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Well, I'm not sure if I disagree or agree with you.

I hunt, yes. And I can shoot and kill an animal without compunction, yes.

But I abhor cruelty to animals. I would happily see people who mistreat animals strung up by their dangly bits!

I just don't see the ethical, quick kill as "cruelty". I would rather go that way myself than cancer, emphysema or brain tumour!

I admit, 99.8% of the animals I hunt are introduced (feral) pests -- their destruction of Australian native wildlife is horrendous.

But if asked to, I will help a farmer cull the numbers of kangaroos on his property.

And I far prefer the thought of an organised shoot to poisoning!!!

But, basically, I hunt because I hunt! I am a hunter. I don't publicise the fact, but I won't back away from it either. It wasn't that long ago that a person who could hunt successfully was looked up to, particularly someone who could provide for his family and even his friends.

OK, times have changed, and I've been called (by an 18-year-old!!) a "dinosaur" for my attitudes to hunting.

So be it. I am what I am -- perhaps like the dinosaurs a dying breed.

But I'm not extinct quite yet.

B

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Old June 10, 1999, 09:26 AM   #8
rabbit assassin
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Do we ever ask this about fisherman ? of course not they aren't cute.
The bambi syndrome is in effect here. This things are animals not people.
Hunters do not hunt to kill.
I admit I don't hunt to eat, I don't hunt for feral animal control I hunt because I damn well enjoy it. I hunt rabbits mainly, they are feral animals but not a real big problem where I live so hunting has no big effect on the numbers(thats just here it differs across the country).
In Austrtalia 90% of gun owners are recreational hunters, mostly some sort of feral animals. It seems to me there is a bit of difference between hunters and gun owners in the US, in Australia most target shooters still do some hunting.

I don't agree with wasting what you hunt if it's a deer or larger animal that can be used but I see nothing wrong with hunting and yes eventually killing an animal because I enoy it. I have just as good a time with killing 1 rabbit 10 rabbits or no rabbits. It is not the results that are enjoying but what leads up to it.
I nearly fell off my chair when I read these posts here. Buy your own cow, kill it yourself cut it up and eat it. That will soon solve your ethical problems. I live in the country, I've had a pet orphaned calf, I took him for walks and everything just like a dog.
Guess where he ended up ? on someones dinner plate, we sold him once he fattened up.
Problem here is city folks, they never see animals die, get your own chooks cut the heads of yourself and pluck gut and eat them.
Im proud to say Im the president/founder of a 560 member local hunting club all who hunt for different reasons - some trophy hunters, some pig doggers(getting your dogs to latch on to wild pigs and then sticking the pig with a knife), some pig shooters etc etc
None of us hunt because we need to eat the animals, we do play a big part in feral animal control but we all hunt because we enjoy it.
Hunting would be the oldest sport known to man, Australians have a long hunting tradition (starting to break down) I will never apologise for hunting because I enjoy it, the tradition of hunting is thousands of years older than any amendment.
I say hunt because you enjoy it, do it ethically, and teach your children young. I went out shooting rabbits as a four a five year old not shooting but carrying the dead rabbits and I enjoyed it. Also buy your kids mice, rats , rabbits or guinea pigs let them breed them and let them experience animals dying on a regular basis.
That spider analogy was an insult, the mere fact of mentioning it was. 99% of hunters do the right thing.
Now for a good article on why people hunt read http://www.gun-center.com/ezine/essence.html
30 years ago no one would have asked why you hunt, it's a part of us and nothing to be ashamed of.


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Old June 10, 1999, 09:53 AM   #9
Rob Pincus
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I have nothing against "sport" hunting, if thats what you want to call it. In fact, I guess I do it. Like someone said, it would be much easier to go to the store and buy a steak... and god knows it would be cheaper.. so I don' hunt because I have to. I hunt because I enjoy it.

Boing,

There are several studies.. in fact every study that I'm aware of, that show game animals making a huge comeback over the last 40-50 years. Before hunting was "organized" and people weree required to have licenses and seasons were set, combined with that era's rapid expansion into the suburbs, game was dying off. Especially in the Northeast, NJ, CT, MD, etc.... Today you can't spit in NJ wihtout hitting a deer, same for CT. In fact, they are a problem, and a road hazard. Drive down the Garden State PArkway at or after Dusk and you'll see what I mean, they don't even have to mow the grass anymore in some places...really.. the deer are like sheep.

The best example is the NAtion Wild Turkey Federation. Remember the Pilgrims... those guys who invented Thanksgiving ;0..they hunted turkeys.. but for DECADES no one saw a wild turkey in North America. Thanks to revenue from hunting licenses and money raised by NWTF there are now established populations of wild turkeys.. BIG ones.. in EVERY state and most of Canada. There are established spring seasons in almost every state, and fall seasons in at least 20. Over the last 25 years, the Wild Turkey has made the most amazing turn around int he history of animals, I think. And now we hunt them, and they are vey challenging.. these are not domestic turkeys let loose or anything like that...these are the real deal.

I could go on, but I would rather refer you to the following sources:

National Wild Turkey Federation
Quail Unlimited
The Grand NAtional Waterfowl Association
Buckmasters
Ducks Unlimited

They will have tons of info on the positive impact that controlled hunting has, and the good that revenue from hunting does.

BTW- state Department of Natural resources have teams of bioloists that monitor populations and habits. They set the seasons and limits. One year they may want the season in teh middle of the rut (when hunting is easiest) to cull animals, the next year they may want it before the rut. Or they may sell special doe tags if the population is really strong.. there are hundreds of variations.

Hunting is fun, and it provides a service to the overall ecosystem. The former is an opinion, but the latter is a fact. If you feel that shooting an animal at 50 yards with a high powered rifle is a bit too easy, you can try it with a muzzle loader, handgun, Xbow, Compound bow, or a knife to increase the difficulty.

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Old June 10, 1999, 09:53 AM   #10
Mute
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Boing,

It's good to see someone who disagrees with what hunters do, but not vilify us all as villains of a like mind.

Although I eat everything I hunt, I don't believe that sports hunters are wrong in what they do. I think you are basing your feelings on the wrong assumption that most sports hunter hunt because they enjoy the kill. I don't believe that's true. The enjoyment comes from overcoming the challenges necessary to get that shot at the prey. The final killing is really a necessity to comfirm a sucessful hunt. Without taking that shot, you really can't say that the hunt was a sucess.

I can't tell you to change your feelings about the matter. That is a very personal issue that can only be resolved through your own soul searching.

I'm not going to say that all hunters are altruistic. There probably are some who just enjoy killing, but I believe they are the exception rather than the rule.

I hunt because I like game meat. However, I also enjoy the challenge of tracking a prey. Setting up for the shot. And testing my marksmanship. I also enjoy being out in nature. Sometimes I hunt with friends and enjoy the cameraderie.

One thing to remember is that having an emotional reaction to anything is fine. However, if you let emotions dictate how you perceive reality and then try to subject others to comply with what you feel to be right or wrong, that's when you get into a dangerous area. That is what's wrong with people like Rosie O'Donnell. She may feel strongly and sincerely about her issues, but she's strongly and sincerely WRONG.

I hope this has helped you have an understanding of why some of us hunt. Good luck in your search for answers.
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Old June 10, 1999, 10:01 AM   #11
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Boing,

I understand your conflict because it also exists in me.

What I believe is if you purposefully kill it you eat it, unless it is trying to feed off/endanger you then all is fair.

Torture is cruel and sadistic when applied to any animal and can only be justified in the most extreme circumstances(i.e. someone kidnaps your child and with holding whereabouts etc....). Probably never when applied to nonhumans- including bugs.

I also feel that if you eat meat you should at least once(if not more) kill something, clean it, cook it, and eat it to come to terms with the process. If you cannot handle this you should become a strict vegetarian. For a nonvegetarian to criticize hunting is hypocritical, for a vegetarian to do the same is not to take into account the "predator" within all humans.

Just my .02

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Old June 10, 1999, 10:53 AM   #12
Rob Pincus
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Let me say that I consider "sport hunting" any hunting that is not truly Substinance hunting.. ie- if you have the option of buying food, but you hunt, it is sport, IMHO.

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Old June 10, 1999, 10:53 AM   #13
Paul Revere
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Boing: It sounds as though you are looking for a philosophical reason why one would hunt. But this subject is much more complicated than just philosphy.

First, lets put things in perspective. Man is as important to Nature as the wind, the sun, and the rain.

The "natural order" of things, that most animal rights activists suggest, would result in the cruelest of deaths for countless animals. This natural order suggests that man should not be a part of nature, keep his hands off. But in reality, we have altered the landscape of nature. Animals cannot be left unattended anymore. In areas where this "hands-off" mentality has been put to use, wildlife species have become severely over-populated and subsequently have destroyed their habitat and the habitat of hundreds of other species who many be dependent on native plants, insects, etc. for their own survival.

One example of this mentality being carried out in legislative action has caused over-population of mountain lions in California, leaving the cats to feed upon human prey (most often children).

As modern intelligent beings of Earth, we have a God given obligation to steward these animals, not turn our backs on them. Legal hunting, trapping, and fishing seasons perpetuates healthy wildlife species and habitat. The fees collected from hunters, trappers, and fisherman, and the excise taxes collected from their equipment purchases fund approximately 95% of the conservation departments and their efforts throughout our country. These conservation efforts create a place where all Americans (hunters and non-hunters) can enjoy abundent and healthy wildlife species (game and non-game).

Any insinuation or claim that is made that hunters just hunt to kill, or that they leave their game to rot, or any other type rhetoric is akin to saying that all police officers are corrupt, or that all catholic priests molest young boys, or all husbands cheat.

Whether a person hunts for "recreation", or fresh low-fat red meat for his family, or to spend time outdoors absorbing nature's splendor, is an individual's personal choice. Much like chosing not to hunt, again a personal choice. But to suggest that an entire population of Americans give up this choice to meet the specific ideology of a small group of social engineers goes against our American way, to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. The freedom of choice. Freedom, has a nice ring to it. Another reason why Americans hunt...we are free to do so.
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Old June 10, 1999, 11:24 AM   #14
Futo Inu
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I tend to feel some of the same things as boing. I do like to shoot birds, and have no problem at all killing insects, but I wouldn't get a particularly kick out of killing bambi (maybe I would if I ever got the hunting "bug" real bad). I love animals and don't want advanced mammal species to suffer any extensive pain, especially intelligent ones like canines. I must confess that I have considered joining groups opposed to cruelty to animals and pushing for laws to impose very serious penalties for cruelty to animals violations (almost on a par with child abuse) because of all the idiots who "backyard breed" dogs and cats in terrible conditions with no regard for the health/well-being of the animals, and because of worthless scums of the earth like my ex-step-father who would come home from a bad day at work and kick the innocent defenseless dog.

I have no problem with responsible hunters who take care to make good shots and clean kills. But rednecks taking pot shots at whatever walks by bothers me, because then you have wounded animals walking around suffering. I am also opposed to trapping of mammals because of the lack of humaneness. But a more fervent RKBA supporter you will not find. This shows that the second amendment has nothing to do with hunting.

Culling herds/controlling wildlife population is indeed a valid reason for allowing hunting. And from the individual's perspective, keeping up hunting skills as a safeguard for subsistence survival in FUBAR situations, like Y2K/nuclear war, is not a half-bad reason either. People are in a superior position to animals, IMO, and animals' needs, in general, should be subjugated to our own when they conflict. BUT, on the other hand, pets like dogs, cats, and others, become just as one's own children, and I think the law should stop looking at such pets merely as chattel with no value beyond what the fair market would fetch. I think if you kill my dog unjustified, you should spend your life in jail for "murder", and I should be able to "sue you like you're OJ" for millions. Of course, you probably would not live long enough to get sued. I value my dogs' lives more than a human stranger's life. Maybe that's screwed up, but those are my values.
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Old June 10, 1999, 11:29 AM   #15
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Rob, I am agreeing with you again...

Sport hunting is just fine.

Personally, I dont hunt for or take trophies. I hunt for the meat. I dont go for the rack... I pick the fattest does I can find. But thats just me...

If I am going to pay for the tag and all the rest - I want some return on that investment.


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Old June 10, 1999, 12:01 PM   #16
Fred
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Boing,

Very interesting post! My .02 - I used to hunt. All of it was really for sport, not meat. Hunted birds, rabbits, fox, deer, etc. Really enjoyed it. Then for some reason not known to me, about ten years or so ago I just drifted away from hunting. Don't know why - didn't do it consciously - it just doesn't appeal to me anymore.

That doesn't mean I'm against it, however. For those who still enjoy hunting, have at it. For me, I now hunt them with my camera. In fact, a good friend of mine goes to Utah most years to hunt deer and elk. I go along as the "official photographer". Gets me out where I love to be, without conflicting my changed attitude about me hunting.

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Old June 10, 1999, 12:05 PM   #17
rabbit assassin
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"I think if you kill my dog unjustified, you
should spend your life in jail for "murder", and I should be able to "sue you like you're OJ" for millions. Of course, you probably would not live long enough to get sued. I value my dogs' lives more than a human stranger's life. Maybe that's screwed up, but those are my values."

Do you really believe that or was it just a bit of overkill ? I have a dog and will be sad when it dies BUT IT IS A DOG NOT A PERSON,All animals fish dog or ape should be treated with the same respect and not be treated cruelly, but if you want to eat them do so. We are starting to put human emotions on animals and that is plain wrong.
The anti hunting cruelty crodws ARE the same as the ant gun crowd, the two are connected you cannot seperate them. Putting animals lives on the same level as a humans stranger or not is one of the most disturbing things I've heard.
Ive got a dog - I shoot foxes
I shoot rabbits - I had them as pets
I bred ducks -Im going to shoot them when duck shooting becomes legal in NSW again and it will be in the next couple of years
Without going into religion too deeply I think your religious views do have an impact on your views on hunting an animal cuelty.
Metal jawed rabbit traps were banned here which I disagree with, rabbit trapping is a great pastime for many people an a great Australian tradition.
They want to ban ear clipping of cows ears - and castration of young bulls(they get over it suprisingly quickly, some don't even make a sound) - what next ? I wont be able to kick my stupid cat when he gets inside.
There is nothing that will stop all this crap, we are getting more urbanised and detatched from reality all the time.

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Old June 10, 1999, 12:11 PM   #18
Paul B.
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Boing. I hunt. I hunt for more than one reason. For me it is more than recreation. It is a return to atavistic roots. Early man hunted to feed and clothe his family. It was necessary for survival. Today, the equivilant of this is going to work for a paycheck. Strongly dissatisfying to me. So there is no need to hunt? I strongly disagree.
Recreational hunting? Lets break that word recreation down. Re create. Create what. A return to a beginning?
For many years, I hunted to help feed my family. While I earned a fair paycheck, the area I lived in (semi-remote) was very expensive. It was where my job was. My wife and I both hunted. When one of the kids became old enough to legally hunt, they hunted too. It was a necessity. But we had fun doing it. We were, and still are a very close knit family. The kids are all grown, and by choice they no longer hunt. I have no problem with this. If they have to, they know how.
There is also the excercise factor. When I lived in northern Nevada, I could go out and walk the hills, gun in hand, as recommended by Thomas Jefferson. The way my employment was set up, I could do this almost on a daily basis literally starting from my back door. Now that I live in "civilization", I no longer can do this, much to my detriment.

A second arguement. The food police, and health gurus say you should not eat red meat. Well venison from deer, elk, caribou and moose have almost NO CHOLESTEROL. It's healthy to eat them. Surprised? So why is beef bad for you? I suppose it should be part of some other thread, but I think this is pertinent.
The rancher raises his beef, and sells it to a feedlot. The feedlot fills the beef up with chemicals to fatten them up to increase profits. I won't go into the antibiotics they also put into the animals food, thats something else. The fattened up beef is eventually sold to the butcher who sells it to you.
To get away from this, you can buy a beef from the rancher. Can you? No. It is against Federal law for a rancher to sell you a beef for slaughter purposes. You need a brand inspection. Brand inspecters are paid by the brand. At the time I was in a position to buy a beef, brand inpsecters got ten cents a brand.
These laws were lobbied into effect by the big meat packers and feedlot owners.
By the way, what a rancher gets paid for his beef is pitiful compared to what the feedlot sells their fattened cattle to the meat packers for.
I have eaten meat from range cattle. I hunted coyotes and other predators on private ranches, and sometimes was given a quarter, or even a side of beef for my trouble. It did not have the fat content that you find in your grocery store beef, and if I could've gotten it tested, I'll bet there was no more cholesterol than you would find in wild game. In fact it tasted much like prime venison.
Oops! Sorry about the soapbox, but like Boing, this has been something that has griped my guts for over 25 years.
My wife and i still hunt. We prefer the special doe hunts, as the meat has, for us, better flavor.
One further point. The Kaibab forest was overhunted and the deer nearly wiped out in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The Federal government stopped all hunting, and sent special hunters in to kill off all predators of deer. The population grew exponentially until the deer had wiped out their habitat. There was a massive die off due to starvation. This was in the late 1920', early 1930's if memory serves. To this day, the Kaibab plateau has not fully recovered. Hunting is now allowed, but strictly restricted. I have hunted there several times, when lucky enough to draw a tag, but you can still see some of the damage caused by that event. (overpopulation)
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Old June 10, 1999, 12:12 PM   #19
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I'd say that the way strangers treat my pets also indicates how they'd treat me. The Kitten-Stompers aka ATF are a good example. SO, while I do not value a cat at the same time level as a friendly human, they are still a positive emotional value to me. Unknown humans are a neutral emotional value.

Hostile humans are a very negative value, and as such much less worthy than a neutral or friendly anything. Anyone initiating a hostility better be ready to get what's coming to him or to it (i.e., an aggressive dog that's out of control and dangerous and an aggressive human get the same treatment -- human with less qualms, as they know what they are doing and the dog doesn't).
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Old June 10, 1999, 12:17 PM   #20
Leadfoot
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Boing,

I, too, subscribe to your philosophy. I have respect for all innocent life.

I've been shooting since a teenager but never wanted to hunt, just punch paper. Heck, When I catch a bug in my house I release it outside.

But I would have no problem defending myself and family agaist 2 or 4-legged preditors.
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Old June 10, 1999, 12:39 PM   #21
rabbit assassin
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Just a question, what percentage of gun owners in the US are also hunters ?
In Australia I'd say 99% would say they are/were/or are going to be hunters. That doesn't mean they all hunt now but they would all support hunting and have at some time hunted.
I only know one gun owner here who isn't a hunter out of hundreds of shooters I come into contact with through political parties and target shooting and of course hunting clubs.
I just have to say Im shocked by what I'm hearing because the situation is so different here. Basically shooter-gun owner-hunter are all the same thing here(a very small percentage of target shooters are the exception).

Well Im just glad it looks like we will get a brand new shooting complex compliments of the government here anyway - as a result of the political pressure the hunters here have.

------------------
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Old June 10, 1999, 12:45 PM   #22
Destructo6
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> Now, when I say hunting here, I mean recreational hunting, not subsistence hunting or population/pest control[/quote]

The only hunting that does not fall into these categories is poaching. In 1995, California passed a moratorium on the hunting of cougars for sport, despite the fact that they are not endangered. Within a year or two, the cougar population exploded, resulting in the dramatic decrease in their prey species and many more and increasingly violent encounters with humans. One species that has been impacted most is the endangered ram (can't remember the full name offhand).

Personally, I don't hunt much. I haven't, as yet, hunted anything larger than a desert hare (big as a terrier). I see hunting as the realization that you, as a human, truly are part of the natural world. Instead of arrogantly placing oneself above and beyond the level of other animals, the hunter becomes an integral part as an animal, doing his best.

To each his own, of course.
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Old June 10, 1999, 01:05 PM   #23
Mal H
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Amazing, and I thought I was alone! I am of a like mind with boing, Leadfoot, and some others. I don't hunt simply because I don't want to. I also have respect for all life. I will put a worm back in the grass that has wandered on the driveway after a rain. Will I kill a spider or yellow jacket that gets into the house? Of course. Do I enjoy a good steak or chicken filet? Absolutely, we humans are omnivores and there ain't no getting around it no matter what PETA thinks (I've always wondered why they changed the I to an E in their name ).

However, that being said, I also have absolutely no problem with others hunting, both for subsistence or for sport. In fact I enjoy the hunting shows on some of the outdoor channels. I enjoy reading about hunting in Africa or in Field & Stream, etc. I enjoy it because I know the people doing it are having fun. I have long enjoyable discussions with relatives about hunting. They talk about the stalking and I am thinking about how they could get more distance or accuracy with a different powder or by using a boattail, etc.

So, boing, I applaud you for "coming out of the closet", so to speak. It's sort of like going out for a beer with a bunch of the guys and ordering a Coke because you don't like alcohol. Maybe that's a bad analogy, I'd always go for the beer. Feeling the way you and I feel is perfectly OK as long as we don't try to foist our beliefs on anyone else, nor look upon them as any less human or humane.
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Old June 10, 1999, 01:31 PM   #24
bookkie
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Very interesting thread. My perspective on the issue comes from being brought up on a farm. Where all animal life either earned it's keep or it was gone. Don't get me wrong we never killed anything that did not need it and we were never cruel. But neither were we afraid of going out back and whacking the head off of dinner. Even dogs had their place and had to earn their keep. They provided protection and early warning. Watched over the other animals for predators.

We did a lot of hunting. Both as a food source and as pest control. For example we always carried a 30-30 with us in case we ran across a coyote. These pesky little creatures just love to get together to feed on baby lambs and calf's. Thus reducing our source of income. Another one was ground squirrel's. They dig these nice big deep holes that horses and cows love to step in to break their legs. They also like to dig holes in our ditches letting all the water run every where. So it was our job as kids to rid our ranch of these pets.

The point of all of this... well we never did enjoy killing something and sometimes felt a little bad, but it was a part of life. You do it and go on. As far as hunting, we always had a rule, if you shoot it you eat it. Well maybe not the squirrels. I enjoy hunting. Getting out with the dog, the chase and seeing that shot is a lot of fun. But I always eat what I shoot. For the larger game of deer, I always feel saddened by shooting one, but then I remember how good it's going to taste on the dinner table. You can't find good eating like that in the stores.

So should you kill something just for the sake of killing it. No, I don't believe so. But neither should you feel bad about killing something when it needs to be done as in the case of ground squirrels or if you plan on eating it. I do have a problem with people who sport hunt and just leave the body there to rot. But these are my values and who am I to judge what another does. As long as what they do does not affect me directly, then I have no say over what they do. It's their choice and I would never vote to pass a law to stop them.

Richard
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Old June 10, 1999, 01:43 PM   #25
ctdonath
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This thread seems a good place to raise this question:

One of a vegitarian co-worker's objections to hunting is what he called the "trophy complex": seeking to kill the strongest/healthiest animal in the herd, leading to a survival of the not-so-fit. This in contrast with nature's tendancy for predators to pursue the old/weak/sick, leaving the strongest to lead and breed. Anyone here have a response to this view?
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