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Old October 8, 2000, 07:21 PM   #1
jbgood
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Having reviewed the B&C rules and visited with several other hunters, I'm still confused as to what constitutes "fair chase". Most of my hunting experience has been in Texas, where hunting styles are often controversial -- huge ranches are high-fenced to control deer herds, feeders are used to lure deer out of the brush, hunters are driven around in specially designed, high-seat vehicles to spot game, etc. Not that everyone uses these techniques, but they are used and they are used by some people that I know and respect.

So, -- without getting into all of the controversy over the ethics of one style or another, and who's right and who's wrong -- can anyone out there give me a simple and straightforward description of "fair chase"?
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Old October 8, 2000, 09:09 PM   #2
Fisher
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Jbgood. I believe it has more to do with the hunters themselves than anything else. I myself do not like to use the method of driving deer. I prefer to still-hunt and let the deer come to me. This does not mean that using the driving method is a bad or undesirable method. It is just how I personally like to hunt. As long as no laws are broken and the animal is taken humanly the method of taking the animal is strictly up to the hunter.

Taking the animal serves many purposes. Crop or range damage control, herd size management for over population issues and also putting food on the table. The department of Natural Resources at least here in Ohio strictly over sees how game is taken. There are public meetings that all people can attend to voice their opinions concerning any issue having to do with hunting. So the question to your answer is that the public, hunters and non-hunters a like have the chance to set policy if they so choose when it come to how game is taken.
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Old October 9, 2000, 08:21 AM   #3
muleshoe
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Fair chase? True fair chase would mean that you use absolutely no tools to give you an advantage. So strip down "buck" naked and chase them deer down and kill em with your bare hands. Would be quite a sight on opening morning.



------------------
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Old October 9, 2000, 12:03 PM   #4
dongun
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I found this on the B&C Club webpage:

FAIR CHASE, as defined by the Boone and Crockett Club, is the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.

HUNTER ETHICS
Fundamental to all hunting is the concept of conservation of natural resources. Hunting in today's world involves the regulated harvest of individual animals in a manner that conserves, protects, and perpetuates the hunted population. The hunter engages in a one-to-one relationship with the quarry and his or her hunting should be guided by a hierarchy of ethics related to hunting, which includes the following tenets:

1. Obey all applicable laws and regulations.

2. Respect the customs of the locale where the hunting occurs.

3. Exercise a personal code of behavior that reflects favorably on your abilities and sensibilities as a hunter.

4. Attain and maintain the skills necessary to make the kill as certain and quick as possible.

5. Behave in a way that will bring no dishonor to either the hunter, the hunted, or the environment.

6. Recognize that these tenets are intended to enhance the hunter's experience of the relationship between predator and prey, which is one of the most fundamental relationships of humans and their environment.


[This message has been edited by dongun (edited October 09, 2000).]
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Old October 9, 2000, 12:17 PM   #5
dongun
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I also found this on the scoring sheet. By the way the scoring sheets are available at Boone-crocket.org under their Big Game Records link.

For the purpose of entry into the Boone and Crockett Club's records, North American big game harvested by the use of the following methods or under the following conditions are ineligible:
I. Spotting or herding game from the air, followed by landing in its vicinity for the purpose of pursuit and shooting;
II. Herding or chasing with the aid of any motorized equipment;
III. Use of electronic communication devices, artificial lighting, or electronic light intensifying devices;
IV. Confined by artificial barriers, including escape-proof fenced enclosures;
V. Transplanted for the purpose of commercial shooting;
VI. By the use of traps or pharmaceuticals;
VII. While swimming, helpless in deep snow, or helpless in any other natural or artificial medium;
VIII. On another hunter's license;
IX. Not in full compliance with the game laws or regulations of the federal government or of any state, province, territory, or tribal council on reservations or tribal lands;

[This message has been edited by dongun (edited October 09, 2000).]
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Old October 9, 2000, 07:38 PM   #6
jbgood
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Thanks, guys. You have given me some good food for thought. I especially like the notion of respecting the animal being hunted and the environment in which we (prey animals and hunters alike) live.

And, speaking of respecting our prey. . . Muleshoe, I'm not sure that my getting "buck naked" would qualify as fair chase. I don't think I've ever seen a game animal laugh, but I am fairly certain that the sight of me running through the woods naked would make any critter darned near hysterical. Being weak from laughter would surely render then easy pickin's for any unscrupulous hunters who might be around!

[This message has been edited by jbgood (edited October 10, 2000).]
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Old October 10, 2000, 04:21 PM   #7
Art Eatman
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Remember that most of the very high, deer-proof fences in Texas are to keep deer OUT, not in. When pastures are improved with better grasses/herbs/forbs and water supplies, the habitat is then more attractive to ALL deer in the area. So, to control the population to the carrying capacity of the range, "stray" deer are kept out. Many of the pastures with high fencing are well over 1,000 acres...

In a lot of the serious brush country, there is almost no way to ever see a deer except from a high tower, or from an elevated seat on a vehicle.

Many of the ideas of "fair chase" must vary with the terrain and vegetation...

Regards, Art
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Old October 10, 2000, 06:45 PM   #8
jbgood
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Thanks for the comments, Art. I have hunted in the Texas hill country for a lot of years, and have been fortunate to spend some time in the South Texas brush, as well. I understand the issues of high fences, tower stands, and so forth -- although I am not sure that many people from other parts of the world do. I'm not really into judging others on how they legally take game, but I am interested in hearing what others consider fair chase.

It seems to me that "fair chase" varies according to conditions, surroundings, and heritage. So, I get a little confused when people start complaining about the techniques used by hunters hundreds of miles away. I'm just interested in hearing what others consider the "high road" of hunter ethics.

Thanks, again, for the posting.
JBGood
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Old October 11, 2000, 11:38 AM   #9
Art Eatman
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JBGood: Another couple of areas to compare: In Maine, I've read that the best hunters prefer to hunt when there is a lot of snow. They can track and try to out-think the deer. They can also judge size. A lot of that country is thick timber.

Florida has a lot of thick timber. Unless the ground is pretty damp, stalking is very difficult. The average city guy just doesn't have the time to learn how to walk and stalk, so the common method is to sit in a tree stand. Most shots are well under 100 yards. I have done some walking and stalking around the swamps near Blountstown, along the Appalachicola River in the Florida Panhandle. It's fun, and can be quite productive, but I have a bunch of years in learning how to be real quiet when I move...

I've noticed that more than a few west Texas ranchers are a bit startled when I speak of walking and hunting for my mule deer. I'm about halfway ashamed about my last deer, shot with an '06--at aboput 30 yards...Well, not really; he "ate real good".

, Art
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