View Full Version : "Bloodties: Nature, Culture, and the Hunt"
February 17, 2000, 01:31 PM
I have been thinking about this book for a while now, I was going to recommend it to Coinneach when he first posted "should I"but I thought it might get lost after the thread got a little length. In light of several of the discussions that have gone on lately, I would recommend this book to all, especially those that are new to hunting, or would like to do something different from the hunting they are used to. It came out several years ago, and was written by Ted Kerasote. It might be a little tough to find. For those of you not familiar with the author, he has written for a couple of outdoor magazines, and is pretty well respected. This book looks at hunting from several different perspectives, from subsistance hunting in the arctic, high dollar trophy hunters, the author's own hunting, and he even entered the "lion's den" and spent some time with the head guy from one of the big anti-hunting animal rights groups. Some of you may remember this last part as an excerpt was printed in the mag Kerasote was working for at the time. Especially interesting, is the "mini-ride" theory on environmental impact, that is often used to "prove" a liberal point of view, but when seriously examined, blows the animal-rights, vegatarians out of the water, and shows just how screwed up they are. Different parts of this book will piss-off just about just about everybody, but it will make you think.
February 17, 2000, 02:08 PM
Bergie, thanks for the recommendation. I'll look for it locally or order it.
"If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance."
-- Samuel Johnson
February 17, 2000, 04:34 PM
The last 20 years have brought many changes in American culture, among them a widespread belief that animals should be granted moral rights: protection from
cruelty, from laboratory testing, from the destruction of their habitats. Some advocates argue that protection from hunting should be added to the list. Ted
Kerasote provides a lively rebuttal in the pages of Bloodties, a book that takes us into the homes of hunting cultures in Greenland as well as into the
mausoleum-like palaces of wealthy trophy hunters in America. Killing for food, Kerasote argues, constitutes an honorable activity, while collecting heads to
mount on a living-room wall is indefensible. People on either side of the hunting debate will find much to think about in this well-written book.
February 17, 2000, 11:24 PM
I need to get the book, sounds great. In recent years I have gone from killing for food to killing for heads. A most reprehensible act according to many. However, my taxidermist, hunting buddies and the guides and outfitters I associate with would disagree. Afterall, considering the real cost of big game hunting, buying chicken is cheaper.
Here is some food for thought. John Q. Meathunter is elk hunting. Two bulls step into an opening 50 yards from his truck. In fact he can drive to the spot. The first bull is a little old rag horn with three on one side and four on the other. The second bull is a magnificent 6X6 that will easily score 380 BC. John kills the 6x6 and throws the rack in the rafters out in the garage. How honorable is that? Criiter is dead, stolen from the gene pool, and not even mounted for future generations to admire.
February 18, 2000, 12:01 AM
I was not raised in a hunting household. However, a neighbor hunted and am I damn glad he took me under his wing. There is nothing better than eating meat that you brought home!! The only thing better than the meat, is if you have an awsome set of antlers to show off with your dinner! Meat hunting is honorable. So is trophy hunting. The only exception is the slacker who knows he could never walk the steep hillsides or compete mentally with the game animal, and so poaches the critter when he sees it standing by the side of the road in January. That is not a trophy hunter. Most trophy hunters that I know pass up several animals per hunting season, and don't take an animal at all. Trophy hunting requires the most self-discipline. If I wanted cheap meat, I would raise a hog!
February 20, 2000, 11:39 AM
if you want cheap meat, it would be cheaper to buy a hog than raise one! ;) Last year, around here anyway, the joke during pheasant season was that several farmers were allowing hunters access on the condition that they take a hog with them after the hunt!
I bought this book several years ago, and have lent it to my brother-in-law (only took 8 months to get it back), and my brother (who has had it for over a year now). It seems that anybody that reads it wants to hang onto it. If anybody is passing by Alliance, NE, could you stop and get it (along with The Art Of The Rifle) and send them to me??? ;)
The Amazon review doesn't quite get Ted's take on trophy hunting, in the book he remains quite neutral and nonjudgmental as he is presenting the cultural views of the people involved. The actions of SOME of the "trophy hunters" are IMO nothing more than poaching, and are used to demonstrate the extreme to which trophy hunting can be carried. He also presents the actions of SOME "meat hunters" in what could be called a less-than-favourable light, at least according to my personal standards and the way I was raised. That is what the book is about, the relationships between man and nature, demonstrating the cultural beliefs of the participants and the society in which they live. What is okay in some societies may not be in others. While it may be argued that nobody in the U.S. or any other "civilized" part of the world today needs to hunt to survive, the anti-hunting herd is deliberately shutting themselves off from a part of the true nature of man and the world in which we live.
February 20, 2000, 06:07 PM
Coinneach: Another good book is "Meditations on Hunting" by the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset. Jeff Cooper recommends it highly; it speaks to the overall hunting ethic...It's one of those books best read through and then re-read slowly, a chapter or part of a chapter at a time.
I've always joked that the reason I don't go to Africa for elephant hunting is that "I can't eat a whole elephant". Really, this is beside the point, since no meat is ever wasted in Africa.
I support game laws such as Colorado's non-waste idea, where it is an offense to kill a game animal and take only the head. At the same time, however, this is not truly a "waste" in that something will eat the carcass--bear, buzzard, wolf or coyote.
Kerasote's writings are well worth the reading. Anybody who provides food for thought is worthwhile, I think, and I've enjoyed his works.
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