The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 13, 2000, 12:07 AM   #1
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,540
Got to thinking during the "Canned Hunt" thread. (That's dangerous.)

Picture this: Some boys are out hunting with a "shared" shotgun--taking turns on who gets to shoot. They see lined-up doves on a tree branch and shoot. Is this bad?

Now add: This is part of supper for a widow lady and her ten kids. Still bad? Why didn't some form of public assistance provide help?

Now add: This was 1890, and shotgun shells cost a nickel each.

Fast forward to the middle 1960s. I had moved back to Austin, and was hunting on the family place outside of town. One night out of curiosity, I spotlighted around to see who was where, doing what. In one 50-acre area, I counted over 50 pairs of deer-eyes.

The bucks I killed rarely field dressed over 90 to 110 pounds. Does, 75-85. So, I got doe permits from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department; one per 50 acres. Five permits.

I shot way more than five does a year, for about four years. Lots more. Plus, any mature spike buck, and "scraggle-horned" bucks.

Bucks started dressing out at 115-140 pounds. Does over 100. Started having decent racks on the bucks.

Did I do a moral wrong? Which is better, a deer herd in keeping with the carrying capacity of the land, or lots of little deer?

Down here in south Brewster County, the size of the deer herd is limited more by lack of water than by the amount of browse. I have a water catch-system off the roof of my camphouse, into a cistern and to a water trough for wildlife. This ain't "natural". Am I doing wrong by "disturbing the balance of nature"?

FWIW, Art
Art Eatman is offline  
Old July 13, 2000, 03:14 AM   #2
Robert the41MagFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 1999
Posts: 1,233
I think we all have had our share of doing the so called wrong thing, if you even want to call it that. Whether it was shooting birds with the BB gun indiscriminately when we were kids or shooting that buck on the last day of hunting season using your hunting partners tag. I truly don't have a problem with either and everything in between. The only problem I have is with people who kill big game animals for profit and those that kill them just for the blood sport.

What you did enhanced the animal population and hopefully put food on the supper table. Nothing wrong with that.

Robert

Robert the41MagFan is offline  
Old July 13, 2000, 09:02 AM   #3
KilgorII
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
You are not going to make it through life without someone saying that you are negativly impacting the enviroment. Every situation is different and must be judged by the circumstances. I think the boys shooting the doves is fine as long as the clean and eat them. The additional facts about the widow or how much shells cost just makes it an easier decision. If someone is shooting wild animals to eat then that is acceptible in my book. My father told me a story about one of his friend's dad. This was back in the sixties and seventies. He had had a lot of heart problems and no one would hire him because of it. He had six kids and a wife to feed. So what he would do is go out and hunt meat and sell it out of his house. He had his own wildgame meat market. He used a spotlight, bait, traps, whatever it took. He got caught several times and paid the fines. They were his operating expenses. The game warden knew what he was doing and when he would catch him it was a normal thing "Caught ya agin Bob." What I am saying is that there are circumstances that to me justify questionable hunting methods. It is really hard for me to come up with a blanket statement covering this as each individual case is so different. Sorry to ramble on like that.
 
Old July 13, 2000, 09:28 AM   #4
Will Beararms
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 12, 1999
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,700
Herd Management: If the deer were shot and piled up like cord wood to rot, that's wrong. If they were dressed and used to feed families, everyone wins.

Gun sharing: A great thing teaching those young men how to fish proverbially instead of waiting for someone to give them the fish.

Watering: Providing a basic necessity that is in short supply due to the urban sprawl in my humble opinion is not unethical. In fact, it may be an act of mercy. Feeding deer allgrain from cattle troughs is another story. You are creating a false sense of security that will lead to overpopulation, something that we are plagued with anyway. To me standing in front of a feeder is not hunting. Finding deer sign in August and September aand following a scrape line while using the direction of the wind to get set up is. Driving a nervous deer through a thicket with a pack of dogs is not hunting either and 9 times out of 10, the big buck are smart enough to elude dogs anyway. I love to hunt near a group using dogs, the Big Bucks always find sanctuary on our lease.

I don't have the wealth of knowledge that Mr. Eatman has but I have been hunting by myslef since the age of seven and now I'm 36. That having been said we must look at each case on its on merits. I will say anytime a family is hungry, the laws go out the window.

To end my post I will poase another question. Suppose, you have had a great season. You've killed a nice 8-point with a huge spread and a huge body. You've also taken a big barren doe and the freezer is full. The last day of the hunt right before dusk, a large 10-point walks out. If you take the shot, you may lose him since he is partially covered by brush. Clearly there is a 50/50 chance you may only wound him preventing him from being able to seed the herd for another year. Do you take the shot?

(I will cut to the chase and tell you that I would pass on the shot.)

------------------
"When guns are outlawed;I will be an outlaw."
Will Beararms is offline  
Old July 13, 2000, 10:39 AM   #5
ckurts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 1999
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 475
Will: as to your little scenario, it seems like that's happened to me more times than I can count. Not saying that I didn't get buck fever, but I've always passed on the shot.

However, I have taken "out-of-tolerance" shots (a little too dark, into the sun, out of shotgun range) while bird hunting. It seems different, somehow. (It's probably not....)
ckurts is offline  
Old July 13, 2000, 01:14 PM   #6
BadMedicine
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 7, 2000
Location: Anchorage
Posts: 863
I'm not trying to flame CKurts, because I rationalize the same way, I've a hit a grouse that goes down in the brush and I can't find it, I get upset, I search for it, maybe an hour, but I wouldn't search until dark and then be out there all the next day looking for it like I would a deer. To us the deer seems moor important not just because of the meat or antlers, but because it's a bigger life that shouldn't be waisted. I use this little question when talking to anti-hunters..." have you ever killed an ant, or a misquito, or Bee?" when they answer...which is always yes, I tell them that they're just murdereers that are insecure about themselves so they have to go out and take innocent defensless lives (all the things that they say about hunters. They try and rationalize and say, that it's just a bug, ther're too many of them anyway, or it doesn't matter, But trust me, to the bug you just killed it does matter. a life is a life, the size of the animal don't count, all lives are the same size. I'm not trying to get all deep about not killing bugs, I squash bees that aren't even bothering me, just cuz I dont like 'em. But it helps to prove a point some times.
BadMedicine is offline  
Old July 13, 2000, 04:49 PM   #7
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,540
Will Beararms: Every deer I ever shot got eaten--"Barbecue at Art's!" was a rallying cry for a whole bunch of folks.

I will say that field-dressing a deer in August in Texas is not the most fun thing I ever did, though. If you just keep saying to yourself, "Yum! Tasty!", you might even begin to believe it...

As usual, Art

Art Eatman is offline  
Old July 14, 2000, 04:38 PM   #8
Keith Rogan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 1999
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 1,014
Legality and ethics are two different things.
Of course its ethical to shoot extra deer when they're overrunning the forage, ethical but illegal.
Its perfectly legal in some places to sit in a stand over a pile of corn - is it ethical? Maybe...

You catch a prize salmon by hooking him through the eye - the law says you have to throw him back even though it'll die, because he wasn't hooked in the mouth. It may be illegal to keep him but I think its the ethical thing to do.




------------------
Keith
The Bears and Bear Maulings Page: members.xoom.com/keithrogan

Keith Rogan is offline  
Old July 14, 2000, 06:46 PM   #9
BadMedicine
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 7, 2000
Location: Anchorage
Posts: 863
This is kinda besides the point, but in alaska if the fish is hooked in front of the gill plate, it's not considered snagged I just caught a nice 36 lb king up by wasilla a week ago.
BadMedicine is offline  
Old July 14, 2000, 11:12 PM   #10
Ron Ankeny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2000
Posts: 316
Ah yes, the age old question of "civil disobedience" has been discussed by about every philosopher since Adam. Now we call it "situational ethics". We simply assume we are all special people with special circumstances and then we develop our own ethical code around what we believe to be moral and proper.

Here is an example:

I see nothing wrong with a trophy hunter killing a 400 B&C bull elk just to hang it on the wall and then give the meat away. Indeed, I pay to have my big game processed and then give it to needy people. Yes, I hunt for sport and I give the meat to the less fortunate. This is perfectly legal, and even admirable according to some. But some of you would have me belive I am unethical and a miserable example of the human race because I hunt for sport. Forget the fact that I am feeding people and helping to manage game herds by assisting to meet management objectives. I like to hunt trophy game therefore I am an a$$hole.

Then we have the party hunters. You know, the guy who shoots his friend's, (wife's or kid's) game animal then the friend tags it. In Wyoming this is illegal and unethical and people who do this are considered "slob" hunters and are arrested. In other states the same act is perfectly legal and accepted practice. I guess it just depends on the situation...
Ron Ankeny is offline  
Old July 15, 2000, 12:46 AM   #11
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,540
ron: w/r your comments about "party hunters", I've not known of its legality. I grant you that most game wardens don't fuss if the 6-year old kid's tag is on a deer, even as they don't really believe it...But if they see Daddy shoot the deer, and it then is found with Junior's tag, in Texas it's a NoNo and an UhOh.

I grant you that some get picky about those who hunt purely for trophy-animals. It seems to me that the topmost trophy hunters shoot less than the average hunter, since they're more demanding as to quality. You've covered the issue of waste, so all that's left, really, is style. For me, since my hunting is so involved with food and yummy-tasty, it's just a case of different strokes for different folks.

One thing for sure: Anybody deliberately setting out for only trophy-book quality critters is gonna work a heckuva lot harder, shoot or no shoot, than any other style of hunter.

My family got burned out of the cow bidness early in the drouth of the 1950s, near Austin, Texas. I sorta have an attitude about land and its carrying capacity, be it deers or cows, goats or 'yotes. It is more important to me that the land and its critters be healthy than a "one size fits all" law be followed.

If that's civil disobedience, sobeit.

However, what I did in the late 1960s/early 1970s has been instituted as a program administered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department--in the 1990s. The PhDs of Wildlife Biology learned over a 30-year period what this little farm kid learned in a couple of years of drouth.

, Art

"There's no such thing as too much rain. I remember a drouth started one time, right after a rain like this one."

[This message has been edited by Art Eatman (edited July 15, 2000).]
Art Eatman is offline  
Old July 15, 2000, 02:35 PM   #12
Keith Rogan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 1999
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 1,014
Bad Medicine,

You're absolutely wrong about that "forward of the gill plate" snag being legal. Thats an urban myth (a rural myth?) and if you get caught, you'll pay the fines. I know several people that have been tripped up on that old saw.




------------------
Keith
The Bears and Bear Maulings Page: members.xoom.com/keithrogan

Keith Rogan is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08284 seconds with 7 queries