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Old July 23, 2007, 07:02 AM   #1
Art Eatman
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Trophy Hunting, Revisited

Let's leave out the issue of wasting meat. That's illegal, anyway. Or, as in Africa, meat's not wasted. Got an extra four tons of elephant meat? You'll find plenty of help, almost immediately.

So, first off, let's sorta work at a general consensus of what the very term means.

To me, it's basically the effort to find and kill a record-sized head, and in what we call fair chase. Forget the pen idea. Forget the thieving poacher who sneaks into someplace like Yellowstone. I see it as an effort to legally and ethically kill only a Boone & Crockett sort of animal. Sorta like going for an Indy-car ride instead of SCCA and Showroom Stock Sedan.

IWO, Part 2, as long as the meat is eaten, what difference does the motivation make? (If you know what you're doing in the processing and cooking, it's gonna taste good.) If the hunter is willing to go to the extra effort, passing up lesser animals, who cares?

Or am I missing something, given my view of just what is trophy hunting?

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Old July 23, 2007, 08:14 AM   #2
ConcealCarryNY
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I totally agree with Trophy Hunting as long as it is done within established rules and regulations of the state or province. Some may say that it is immoral but I guided when I was younger in Quebec up near Ungava Bay and almost ever person we guided had been life long hunters who saved and scrimped to have a hunt of a lifetime. All the "game preserves" and fenced in hunts are rediculous but if you save the money and do the work to locate and hunt down that trophy animal in its natural habitat you deserve that fine rug/mount.
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Old July 23, 2007, 08:27 AM   #3
lockedcj7
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If you have the skill, patience, luck, time and ability to hunt a wild trophy animal, more power to you. I don't care if you eat the meat or not but someone should. If you don't like the taste of it, give it to a family in need or donate it to a food bank. As Art said, "wanton waste" is illegal in every state that I know of and generally makes hunters look like dirt.

Trophy hunting only doesn't appeal much to me. I like being able to take a mature buck now and then so I'll often pass on the does, spikes and four-points but there are also times that I don't. I do have a problem with people who think they are somehow superior human beings because they will accept nothing less than a B&C or P&Y animal. IMHO, there is nothing more noble than shooting an animal (of any size) and using it to feed your family.
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Old July 23, 2007, 08:28 AM   #4
FirstFreedom
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Art, with all due respect, I think you *entirely* miss the point. Wasting the meat *IS* the issue. That was my point, and that is what "pure" trophy hunting is - wasting the meat. Sure, we can all ethically trophy hunt, and utilize the animal as well. I don't think anyone here thinks that that's immoral (well, maybe 0.5% of folks). But in my poll before you closed it, 6 out of 9 people voted that it's OK to waste meat! I was one of the 3 that voted it was wrong/immoral. Which is a sad commentary really, IMO. But if that's where people's feelings on the matter are, what good does it do to ignore the issue, instead of address it? There's nothing wrong with discussing trophy hunting in general - great subject. But the specific issue I wanted to bring up is where people's present-day opinions were/are on trophy hunting for trophy hunting ONLY's sake. The REASON I ask it is because the TV shows and other hunting-related influences seem to emphasize so highly the trophy aspects. And the specific catalyst for the thread was a hunting show on the Outdoor Channel where ol' boys bag a bighorn sheep, and the next scene shows them packing out of the high country, and one of them has the head of the animal on his pack, and there is NO MEAT on either guy's backs. It's wrong, but evidently roughly 67% of TFLers think it's OK. That's a real problem, and ought to be addressed. In fact, if it is illegal (I'm sure in most states it is illegal, if not all), then that's a big problem which ought to be discussed. Now, if people were offerering their opinions as to whether it's ok in countries where that is legal - and there are some, I'm sure - then that's not an illegal discussion. It's still immoral. I'm trying to demonstrate the bad influence of the hunting shows on tee vee.

Quote:
Some may say that it is immoral but I guided when I was younger in Quebec up near Ungava Bay and almost ever person we guided had been life long hunters who saved and scrimped to have a hunt of a lifetime.
ConcealedCarryNY: And did all of them pack out the meat of the animal and use it or give it to the needy? And what is the legality of not doing so in Canada?

Last edited by FirstFreedom; July 23, 2007 at 02:55 PM.
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Old July 23, 2007, 11:07 AM   #5
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Unfortunately the canned hunt is getting more popular among the wealthy. I have a life long friend that was a great and successful homebuilder but no more. He can make more money with far, far less effort and liabilty raising deer and selling them to the canned hunt folks- and yes, Art, this is in your Great State. Land is also being taken out of cattle production by the tens of thouisands of acres and turned into large canned hunting areas. I fail to see the difference between a large trophy buck that is inside a 1000 acres patch or 100 acres patch. But that's where hunting is going in South Texas. One of the largest in the world ranches just sold off several hundred thousand acres to a bank. The bank will be stocking the pinwheel pastures with record size bucks for their customers to enjoy. But on the bright side, they also hire quite a few folks to care for the deer and to trap/kill varmints like bobcat, hogs, coyotes,etc that might endanger any of their "crop". To give you an idea, the most expensive buck taken this last year in South Texas cost the man $18,000. He didn't clean it, didn't take the meat, but got back on his Lear jet and went back home after shooting the deer. I'm sure he will treasure the mount when it's ready. Regardless of your opinion about trophy hunting, it's become a rich mans game in Texas and the ethics are slimy at best. While I enjoy shooting, I'm not so eager to let anybody know that I hunt anymore.
Oh yeah, in regards to the meat, the game folks are giving the meat to the local churches for folks that otherwise wouldn't be eating. At least the meat is being used.
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Old July 23, 2007, 11:28 AM   #6
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I (we) try to manage the herd where I hunt, and that usually means taking does or "cull" bucks. I think the does taste better myself. I wouldn't mind getting that shot on a 150+ buck, but he's going to get several seasons of breeding in first if I have any say in the matter (which I don't really). The hard part is hunting 150 acres. The heavy racked deer don't just stay on our land and the neighbors like antler. That being said, I don't mind trophy hunters. I mind the people who take 2 and 3 year old 8-10 pointers. Goodness, give them a couple years to spread their seed and mature. I am assuming all meat is eaten.
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Old July 23, 2007, 11:54 AM   #7
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I have a problem with any hunt where a man pays to be taken to a known trophy.It's great if you scout and find him or even stumble on him yourself.I mix my deer with beef fat and grind it up anyway most of the time,and can't tell a lot of difference between a "trophy" or a doe.And ,I always use my meat,squirrel ,rabbit ,duck,elk,whatever.But ,I am not going to have a sanctimonius heart attack if somebody runs in to deer of a lifetime in a place where they can't get the meat out,and takes the shot.One needs to understand that deer are a nuisance here.I have seven strands of electric fence around my garden just to have some beans and sweet corn.There were twenty four deer in my neighbors soy beans a couple of evenings ago.My cousin is a tree farmer and has to shoot several each year to keep them from girdling all his trees.I know I feel the same moral obligation to use the meat,but I am not going to judge the other man unless I think he is killing just cause he enjoys it.I have met a few people like that and have no time for them.

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Old July 23, 2007, 12:11 PM   #8
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Art, I should say that you're missing MY point. YOUR point(s) is/are well-taken.
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Old July 23, 2007, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
I have a problem with any hunt where a man pays to be taken to a known trophy
Quote:
I am not going to judge the other man unless I think he is killing just cause he enjoys it
ZeroJunk if I understand your post correctly you are against anyone paying to hunt a trophy in a game preserve\ranch\farm even if the meat is being used but you are ok with people shooting wild animals and not using the meat. That seems a bit backwards to me. I have no problem with the farm shootings\hunts (whatever you want to call it). This is the U.S. and we are free to use our property to make a living (so long as we are not harming others). By property I mean our land and animals. The people who raise deer to sell to "hunters" to shoot in a pen are no different than the guy who raises cattle or pigs to slaughter. Alot of people think that because they don't hunt the animal in traditional terms that it is wrong. These hunts are so that the person can buy a trophy. It is there money and they are entitled to spend it how they see fit. I don't trophy hunt. I enjoy the hunt not the kill. I use the meat from everything I kill and I say shame on that person who doesn't. Even if the deer are pests they are still useable. If a person is concerned with the deer eating their plants then they should construct a barrier so that the deer can not get to the plants. If it is legal to kill nuisance deer in your area then the very least you should do is donate the meat to someone that can use it.

I want ot make it clear that I am not attempting to argue with anyone on this point or pick on ZeroJunk. I am simply pointing out my opinion on the subject. This subject can quickly turn to arguing as some people feel strongly about canned and trophy hunting one way or the other. I simply think that no matter the situation hunting for the head of a wild animal and wasting the meat is wrong (if you own the animal it is your property and so if you wish to waste the meat that is not my concern). Hunting for a head and using the meat seems just fine by me as they are simply choosing the animal they want rather than shooting any acceptable deer.
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Old July 23, 2007, 02:07 PM   #10
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I guess I've got too many of my own problems to worry about what others are doing. Family, career, job 2, graduate school, etc., keep me pretty busy. As long as people are obeying the law and being safe, who cares what they do? It is not my job to impose my morals on others, that is the job of their parents.

It's okay to leave a prarie dog, rabbit, skunk, snake, coyote, etc., where it lies, but not deer, elk, moose? If you are one to take home and eat EVERYTHING you kill, then I could see your gripe. But I'm guessing most (if any) actually practice that method.

Hypocritical if you ask me. I have never shot what most would call a trophy, but they were all trophies to me. I was happy and proud to have had the opportunity to be in the greatest country on earth and doing the thing I loved the most. Game birds and game animals are skinned, cut up, and eaten/frozen.

But no, I have never taken home a pd, rabbit, snake (never killed one except on the highway), coyote, etc. I have never done anything illegal (that I'm aware of) and keep safety at the utmost of importance. I choose to not eat those animals, as do 99.9999% of all of those who shoot these animals. Does taking home deer meet make you more righteous than taking home coyote meat?

I have a lot of respect for you Art, and have learned bucko-mucho from your posts over the last several years, but, Art, I voted in the poll and chose the right/neutral/none of my business option. Ban me if you wish, I don't want to be on a board where my ideas aren't wanted.
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Old July 23, 2007, 02:25 PM   #11
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Dustoff,I tried to make it clear that I am not judging anybody.But,it bewilders me that anybody would want to be taken to an animal just so they could shoot it.They are not hunting,they are killing something that somebody else hunted at best.At worst they are killing something that somebody simply grew there from birth to be killed.

Unless you are a vegetarian,you benefit from pen raised animals substantially.But,you don't go shoot a cow in the pasture and call it hunting,and mount it's head over the fireplace.

When FF was talking originally about trophy's I was thinking about the ones that you work sometimes years to find on your own.The ones that most hunters will never see.If you ever accomplish this on your own,the meat will be a side thought.Paying for it would be meaningless to me.
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Old July 23, 2007, 02:57 PM   #12
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ConcealedCarryNY: And did all of them pack out the meat of the animal and use it or give it to the needy? And what is the legally of not doing so in Can
We packed out the meat and boxed/flash froze it. I saw guys from other outfitters get into a whole mess of trouble for showing up at the airport with two big racks and a set of tender loins. Did we take every little scrap? No but we took out the hind quarters, front shoulders, back straps and inner loins. But when you have to hump meat in a pack frame for a mile thru the tundra wearing hip boots you don't sweat the rib meat. The big ones are never close to the boat.
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Old July 23, 2007, 03:00 PM   #13
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ZeroJunk if I understand your post correctly you are against anyone paying to hunt a trophy in a game preserve\ranch\farm even if the meat is being used but you are ok with people shooting wild animals and not using the meat. That seems a bit backwards to me.
Those were my thoughts exactly. Eating the meat is paying homage to mother nature, and to the bounty of the great outdoors, and thus, to waste the meat is wrong and disrespectful to mother nature UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE (in my opinion - except for pest/varmint control), even if it's the biggest [deer/moose/Himalayan spider monkey] ever known to man. Period. Nourishing our bodies with the meat sanctifies or purifies the transaction, if you will, at least in my book. To do otherwise is wasteful, unnecessary, selfish, egotistical, and wrong. The REASON for the hunt of big game is the getting back to nature, communing with ourselves, nature, and our friends, and part & parcel of that communion is partaking of the sustenance provided by the prey. The trophy is merely an incidental bonus. If you take a trophy without eating the meat (or giving it to the needy), then you've betrayed the very reason for the hunt in the first place, and thus the trophy is utterly meaningless and devoid of any purity or fulfillment (to me, anyway).

Thank you.

As for shooting on a canned hunt, this is NOT what this thread is about. It's an interesting subject, and one that we've discussed many times in the past and will again in the future. But animals on canned hunts are NOT, by definition (to me), a "trophy", as I define that word. It cannot be a trophy because it didn't involve "real" hunting in pristine fair chase areas. So since those animals are not "trophies", and we're discussing "trophy hunting", as I define it, then that is not part of the discussion. I'm talking about trophies out in nature in fair chase, whether or not it's ethical under any circumstances, to leave the meat for the buzzards and such.

Now, as for canned hunts. Regardless of whether I or anyone else on this board sees any point to them, they are more or less harmless since they are really mostly indistinguishable from FARMING. Nothing wrong with farming, so therefore nothing wrong with shooting an animal in a high-fenced area. Again, provided you use the animal's meat. NOW, if one is shooting for so-called "trophies" (to them) only, wasting the meat, AND doing so IN a canned hunt environment, then oh man, that's a double whammy, and those guys need a good public caning to set them straight.

P.S. Plus, eating the meat is downright delicious!

P.P.S. In the areas where deer overpopulation is a real concern, and thus the argument is that this is pest control, I still have a problem with it, because there are doubtlessly needy people living somewhere in those areas, and nearly doubtless that the state wildlife dept. has some sort of hunters-for-the-hungry program. So take it to the processor, pay the $25, and let them give it to the needy, if you want to hunt. Just my .02 on this....
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Old July 23, 2007, 04:27 PM   #14
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How many here watch the hunting shows on the outdoor channel?

I used too until I started noticing the amount of emphasis they all placed on the size of the horns to the point of ignoring everything else about the animal and the hunt.

FAR, FAR, FAR to much emphasis is placed on the size of horns or other features of the animal to make me more than a little uncomfortable.

Many people seem to think if it's not a certain size, sex or dimension it is not worthy to take and I find this fascination with measurement dissappointing to say the least.

My young nephew visited recently and had oppurtunity to take his first big game animal, a whitetail doe.
The neighbor, whose attention to horn size borders on fanatacism, seemed dissappointed that he would even shoot a doe.
What should have been praise for the young fellow was borderline condescending.
This gentleman is in his 60's and should know better... guess not.

Anyone here ever browse a copy of Texas trophy hunter?

It is not about the experience anymore, it is all about mine being bigger than yours and this attitude is very regrettable.
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Old July 23, 2007, 05:39 PM   #15
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First Freedom, a few months ago you were shooting turtles.I am glad to see you have evolved.


As far as trophys go,I have killed some nice deer but not what I would consider a trophy.I know they are there because I see them 100 yards away during bow season etc.But, an old buck except during the rut is 100 %nocturnal and in the wild are very elusive.I am not going to make some case against trophy hunting to make me feel better because I haven't spent the time or am not smart enough to get one.There is a reason why they are traditionally sought after.It's because outside of the canned hunt they are hard as hell to kill.Canned hunt trophys are just a lie,whether to yourself or whoever you are showing the mount to.
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Old July 23, 2007, 06:29 PM   #16
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Every year my buddy and I get drawn for rifle, we pledge to hold out for "a big one", but we are both meat hunters and take what we come across. It is hard when your limit is 1 deer a year to worry much about horns when the freezer is empty.
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Old July 23, 2007, 07:20 PM   #17
FirstFreedom
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Turtles are pests/vermin, so I view that different. Maybe I'm being inconsistent on that, but I see it differently.
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Old July 23, 2007, 10:56 PM   #18
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ZeroJunk,
Quote:
Unless you are a vegetarian,you benefit from pen raised animals substantially.But,you don't go shoot a cow in the pasture and call it hunting,and mount it's head over the fireplace.
I would gladly go to the pasture and shoot a cow if it insured that I got a really good steak. Not so sure my wife would like a mounted cow head in the den though. By the way I have no animals mounted in my home, as I said I don't trophy hunt.

Quote:
It's okay to leave a prarie dog, rabbit, skunk, snake, coyote, etc.,
Stinger, Not sure about everything else but rabbit is good eating. You should take some home the next time you kill one and cook it up.
Quote:
Hypocritical if you ask me.
I am not a hipocrit either. I do eat everything I hunt. I don't hunt skunk, snakes, prarie dog, or coyote. It seems that these animals would be pests and I can say I would not eat them, I also would not kill them unless I had to. If I want to shoot just for the fun of it I go to a range. The great thing about living in this wonderfull country of ours is that if you are free to do as you want (as long as its legal). If you want to handle your pest control with a rifle and it is legal then by all means do so. My opinion is that if I hunt for and kill an animal I should eat it. This is what I will teach my kids. You and I simply have differing opinions on the subject (I suspect our opinions aren't really that different). I would ask though that before you resort to calling me such things as a hipocrit next time you ask if I really eat all that I hunt first. As I siad I really do eat everything I hunt for and I don't hunt those species I don't want to eat. You are entitled to do so if you wish, just isn't for me.
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Old July 24, 2007, 01:54 AM   #19
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My opinions of "trophy hunting" and dependant on the prey.

I have no problems with hunting prey animals that are in no danger of extinction. I also have no problem with trying to find the biggest one with the largest rack.

I would prefer all hunting be for the purpose of obtaining food but since predators are few and far between these days someone needs to keep the numbers down. So, alot more hunting is needed than what is neccesitated by the need for meat.

I do not at all approve of hunting wolves, bears, elephants, lions, cougars, or other predators...mainly for two reasons.

1. I think that natures balance has already been terribly upset and taking more predators from the game is only hurting the natural order. You have removed a link from a chain that is already severely weakened.

2. I just hate the macho attitudes of most big game hunters. They are IMHO usually guys that are insecure with their own sense of manhood and feel like they have proven something by taking down a large animal. All they have really proven is they can pull a trigger from a safe distance. It takes almost no skill.

I have been a hunter since I was a kid and I can tell you that, as my grandfather used to say, the hunt is 20% skill and 80% luck. I have seen experienced hunters come home empty handed while the newbie bags the game way too many times to think otherwise.
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Old July 24, 2007, 02:50 AM   #20
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I'm a meat hunter who has gotten lucky a few times, but my father was a dedicated trophy hunter back when Africa was wide open. He did not just hunt Africa, though. Scandinavia, Alaska and Canada, the far east, middle east, large chunks of South America, most of europe, ect... I think the only continent where he never shot some hulking beast was antarctica. I went along for the ride quite a few times and I have to say it was a hell of a lot of fun.

When you get right down to it, some people are stupid for a big rack. If it gets them into the woods, I can't knock it.

Some people are humorless about it and I don't understand that mindset at all, but they can hunt any damn way they want to hunt as long as it's legal.
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Old July 24, 2007, 09:58 AM   #21
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I do not at all approve of hunting wolves, bears, elephants, lions, cougars, or other predators...mainly for two reasons.
I sincerely disagree with that statement for a few reasons. I think hunting predators has to take place to keep the balance or the tags out there for deer, elk, and moose will severely decrease as the numbers decrease. This will bring a lack of revenue to the States and will increase the cost of tags, thus making hunting a rich mans game even more. This will give more reason to seek hunting on game ranches and more incidents of canned hunting and thus giving more ammunition to the anti-hunting crowd.

What happens when there isn't enough game for the amount of predators? By hunting only the traditional game animals and not the predators we are upseting the natural balance even more. If we allow hunting of small game, pronghorn, deer, elk, and moose we have to approve and allow hunting of predators.

Livestock owners have the right to protect their herds. Predators are opportunistic and will take out the easier prey; domesticated animals will always be easier to kill for them than wild game. Hunting of predators gives the Ranchers and Farmers a tool to protect their investments.

As far as hunting elephants, lions and other dangerous game in Africa it has saved some animals from extinction in various regions. Making the animal a profitable one for the villages instead of a nuisance has stopped poaching in a lot of areas. It has been proven that countries in Africa that allow hunting have more animals than the ones that don’t. The hunter gets his trophy; a percentage of the trophy fee goes to help local villages as well as most of the meat harvested from said animals. This way the villages see the animals as an asset and will protect them.

I don’t think any true hunter wants to see an animal species become extinct from what he/she is doing. But by being selective by taking animal past prime or only mature animals they are doing their part to maintain a healthy balance in the herds. This means taking wounded or sick animals as well to maintain the herd’s health and end the suffering of the injured animal.

As long as the person who is trophy hunting and being ethical about it I see no problem in hunting for trophies. For me being ethical is hurry up take your pictures then take care of the animal, harvest all edible meat before taking the trophy from the field. Show the animal the respect and care that it deserves, and if you don’t eat it donate it to someone who can use the meat. If we as hunters will do this then there is nothing wrong with enjoying a nice trophy on the wall.
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Old July 24, 2007, 12:57 PM   #22
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taylorce1

Show me some numbers to back up any of those theories you just gave. That is all just bull. Elephant huning and making it profitable has not stopped poaching. Armed govt troops have done that. Shooting poachers on sight have done that.

As far as a lack of prey, that has just not been a problem except where human intervention has destroyed habitat. Seems like the way to solve that problem is to stop destroying habitat, not just kill all the displaced animals.
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Old July 24, 2007, 01:01 PM   #23
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taylorce, to expand a little bit on your thoughts there, with which I agree:

I think we have to draw a distiction between areas where there ARE apex predators such as cougars, wolves, & bears, and areas where there are NOT any predators capable of taking down full-grown healthy ungulates (in the mideast and southeast parts of the US).

In those areas where there are no apex predators (which is of course due to humans over-hunting them in decades past, deer can and do become a nuisance, in need of population control. In those areas, I would definitely be against apex predator hunting.
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Old July 24, 2007, 01:18 PM   #24
Art Eatman
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FF, what we have here is a difference in word meanings. I think you're using "trophy-hunting" for what I'd call (to be polite) criminal behavior. Certainly, IMO, immoral and/or unethical behavior. I don't want to even be acquainted with anybody who'd focus solely on the size of the head and ignore any and all other considerations.

Again, I see trophy hunting in the context of the B&C rules and within the law.

Again, I think there is a difference between what we call game animals, and the pestiferous non-game animals such as predators and prairie dogs.

People are as much a part of ecosystems as are non-human animals. To pretend otherwise is, IMO, irrational. We compete with coyotes, for instance, if we're concerned about quail. Our goats compete with deer for browse. We modify land for our farming and our cattle, so people in cities merely by their existence are affecting ecosystems--indirect though it may be.

Hunters--with today's systems of controls--generally affect only individual animals, not entire species. As with all people's varied wants and wishes, some hunt primarily for the meat. Others hunt for trophy-sized animals in order that they are more challenged as to the difficulty.

We regularly talk of the positive value of meeting and overcoming various challenges. Why not in hunting?

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Old July 24, 2007, 01:28 PM   #25
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FF, what we have here is a difference in word meanings. I think you're using "trophy-hunting" for what I'd call (to be polite) criminal behavior. Certainly, IMO, immoral and/or unethical behavior. I don't want to even be acquainted with anybody who'd focus solely on the size of the head and ignore any and all other considerations.
I think I agree with you to an extent. I personally do not care if a guy decides he is only going to shoot the biggest deer he can find and let all others pass when he goes hunting so that he will have a keepsake after the deer has been consumed. I do have a problem with people that go out exclusively to come back with a trophy.
Quote:
People are as much a part of ecosystems as are non-human animals. To pretend otherwise is, IMO, irrational. We compete with coyotes, for instance, if we're concerned about quail. Our goats compete with deer for browse. We modify land for our farming and our cattle, so people in cities merely by their existence are affecting ecosystems--indirect though it may be.
Enviroments, such as the world we live in, are not constant. People seem to ignore that fact. All biological/geological models will eventually show a "reboot phase." Enviroments usually find a balance that exists for the majority of their existence but eventually a "catostophic element" is introduced or evolved into the enviroment. This catostophic element usually destroys the enviroment very quickly. It can either be by killing the flora or fauna of the enviroment's food source, killing them outright through predation or disease, or simply altering the enviroment in a negative way and decreasing it's ability to repopulate itself.

The question is..do we as humans want to be a beneficial part of our enviroment or do we want to be that catastrophic element?
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