View Full Version : Ethical question for hunters

Harry Callahan
February 28, 2007, 08:48 PM
Hey guys. I'll first start off by saying that while I love to shoot I do not hunt. I suppose I would if I lived back in the 1800's but I don't and rest assured I would hunt if I was hungry enough. Secondly, I don't have a problem with hunting, as long as it's done in a manner that respects life, isn't wasteful, is humane, and as long as the hunted is eaten and the body isn't stripped of head, horns, etc., and the rest is left to rot out in a field somewhere. To me that's not the spirit of hunting.

Another question. Why would anyone try taking a very long shot where there is a good chance the animal will not be killed outright, or perhaps have a limb blown off only to have the crippled animal limp away only to bleed to death?

Please understand I'm not out to flame anyone and maybe alot of you think I watched "Bambi" too much as a kid, but believe it or not I think I would have an easier time killing an animal of the 2 legged variety(for a good reason, of course)than an animal. Help me out with this.

February 28, 2007, 08:59 PM
I imagine is has a lot to do with influences as a kid, and where you live and grew up. Move west 500 miles or so, pick a small town, get to know the local shooters. Stay two or three years, get into outdoor activities, go fishing etc. then see how you feel about it.

February 28, 2007, 09:34 PM
....Why would anyone try taking a very long shot where there is a good chance the animal will not be killed outright, or perhaps have a limb blown off only to have the crippled animal limp away only to bleed to death?

An ethical hunter would not take a long shot unless he knew his equipment and skills were capable of putting the animal down.

February 28, 2007, 09:39 PM
I'm not sure if you are trying to make a statement or ask a question, but there is one question that I can see, about taking a long shot that has very little chance of a clean kill.

Well, IMHO, taking a long shot with very little chance of a clean kill is simply stupid, lack of experience, or both. As simple as that.

I think that there is a lot of reason for hunting, but it comes down to the love of the act of "hunting". Yes, we like the meat, but for the amount of time/money you spend on a hunt, you can "buy" yourself some serious good food, so that's not the reason, at least not "the" reason. For some who hunt in groups, it's the love of commaraderie. I know quite a few people who get together once a year to go hunting together with friends/family.

Then others hunt to kill pests/varmints.

Some hunt for trophies....which I'm not particulary fond of, but to each his own.

I'm not sure if that answered your question, but I'm sure that others can chime in with a lot of reasons.

February 28, 2007, 09:54 PM
I am a lifelong avid hunter raised in Indiana, where shotgun is mandatory for whitetail. So hunting is up close. I am also a bow hunter ,again, up close hunting.

But throughout my life I have lived and therefore hunted in PA, CA, IL, OH,CO MN,TX and Germany.
Some of which allowed Rifle. I have hunted various game including Elk, Proghorn in which traditional thought requires long shots. I went along with the accepted techniques of long shots at first and found it to be of no challange. I actually quite hunting for some period of time. When I resumed, I hunted how I knew, scout, setup, still ,close, hunting. I found that I was just as successful, and regained that feeling of excitement. So I imagine that the long shot is a factor of environment how one is raised and perhaps not had the close hunting experience.
As for the second part, I have had that experience, and whatever the reason that necessitates taking a life it is in no way easy,you think about it at sometime everyday it is to say the least regretable, to state the obvious one of the most horrible experiences a human must endure.

February 28, 2007, 10:13 PM
It's hard to explain why we hunt to someone who doesn't do it. I grew up doing it, so to me it just seems a natural thing to do. When I've gone game hunting, I've eaten what I've shot. Nothing better than a roasted wild duck, wild goose, or wild rabbit. My late grandmother made the best hassenpfeffer, but sadly her recipe was lost.

Game animals, IMHO, taste just so much better than farm-raised ones. If you haven't tried one, you'll never know.

I'll agree that it's hard to justify the cost compared to going to a grocery store and getting your meat there. Several thousand dollars worth of firearms, wet weather gear, and the like... well, there aren't many of us doing this to save money.

Hunting is also about spending a day in the field with a family member, friend, or just any other hunter.

I don't hunt just to collect trophies. I've never done that, and I'm sure I never will.

Vermin, OTOH, like rats, I've killed just to get rid of them and let the lower rungs on the food chain ladder have a feast on them.

I don't know if this helps explain it to you, but it's my two cents worth.

March 1, 2007, 12:21 AM
and as long as the hunted is eaten and the body isn't stripped of head, horns, etc., and the rest is left to rot out in a field somewhere.
Well, Harry, in every state I know of, that's illegal. I know, lots of people think that's what trophy hunters do, but it is patently illegal. And I also know that it is how anti-hunters portray hunting, but it doesn't work that way. It's called "wanton waste", meaning you wasted the meat from the animal for no good reason, and it will get you fined and your hunting rights suspended.

I know a few "trophy hunters" who travel to many states every year to hunt, and although they have numerous mounts in their home, they also have freezers full of meat. They hunt hard to collect prime specimens, and pay for the privilege before (dollars), during (physical exertion), and after the hunt (taxidermy fees). I don't know that that is less ethical than someone who spend thousands of dollars on any other hobby. It's what they enjoy.

March 1, 2007, 11:54 AM
What might be considered a "long shot" is based on the experience of the shooter, experience with the firearm, and knowledge that the caliber is sufficient for a clean kill at whatever range a shot is taken.

Long shot..... reminds me of the saying when you take a gamble and call it a "long shot". Taking 500 yd shots with a rifle when you are only a barely acceptable rifle shooter at 100 yds would qualify as a long shot and would not be acceptable for me. However, if you routinely practice at longer ranges and a hunting opportunity presents itself, take the shot as it may be a long distance shot, but it is not a "long shot".

Hunting is an obvious extension of the shooting sports. Some start as shooters and some start as hunters and become shooters. Varmint hunters frequently are both hunters and shooters. You can't generalize really. The shooting sport is open to those that use a wide range of firearms, calibers, and quarry whether it be a paper target or animal.

Most varmints (coyotes, fox, wood chucks, prairie dogs, etc.) are frequently not eaten. Some are hunted or trapped for their fur. Game animals (deer, elk, moose, etc.) are frequently eaten and if you do not have a use or desire for the meat, you should probably not be hunting the game animal. The only exception that comes to mind on a game animal is a bear as they are typically not eaten. Generally, herbivores are typically eaten and carnivores are not.

March 1, 2007, 03:09 PM
Sometimes when hunting distance can be deceiving. I shot my deer at 560 yards this last hunting season, and until it was all over and done I didn't have a clue it was that far. I practice a lot with my rifles, but if I had known the distance on this buck I probably would have passed on the shot. I will say that a great deal of luck was involved in me making this shot. Conditions were ideal as there was no wind to speak of and the deer was silhouetted on top a hill with a full broadside shot.

I shoot my .270 a lot for a hunting rifle, I probably reload 3-400 rounds during a year for it. I have a pretty good load worked up that gives me 3100 FPS of MV with a 130 grain SPBT. I have taken a few coyotes at ranges beyond 400 yards and until my deer this year my longest shot to date was a 250 yard shot on an elk using 150 grain Partitions.

That shot was probably beyond my capabilities on any normal day and like I said I was lucky. I feel that depending on my rifle that I'm using will determine my range more than anything else. I feel that my .270 is an excellent 300 yard rifle and without much work is a great 400 yard rifle, but to exceed 500 yards is pushing my abilities a little too much to say I'll cleanly take an animal most of the time.

There are probably more marginal shots taken inside of 200 yards than outside of it. Most game animals are taken at less than 200 yards, and I'll be the first to admit that I've made a bad shot or two on game animals. I always try to get as close as I can before I make the shot it is just that sometimes it isn't possible to close the gap.

As far as only hunting for a trophy that doesn't bother me as long as the animal is properly taken care of. This means the animal is properly harvested and the meat is donated to someone who will use it. I'll be hunting bear in AK and it is cost prohibitive to ship all the meat home so most of my bear will be donated to whoever needs it.

Art Eatman
March 1, 2007, 03:11 PM
A mediocre shooter trying for Bambi at 500 yards is about like the guy who sez, "I luv ewe, darlin', and we'll get married, really we will, but first..."

Hey, at some point ya gotta look in the mirror.

But I guess some folks are too danged dumb to know right from left, much less right from wrong...


March 1, 2007, 04:35 PM
Hunting is a tradition where I live. Where I live is real rural and rugged. People had it rough through out the years and had to survive the best they could. Some still have out houses and live the simple life. If you are a native male to the area and you don't hunt then there could be something wrong or you are an import to the area. Up until a few years ago time had forgotten my homeland and it was still like the old days. Out of state and city people discovered the mountainous terrain and beauty. They moved in on the mountain tops and the price of land went out the roof ( 60,000 per acre in some places). Alot of those imports, I call them, are against hunting and shooting. They post their land against hunting and think they own the county. They tried to escape the city life after 911 but they don't have a clue about good country living. If they don't like the way I was raised and the things I do, then they can kiss my big toe . I can hunt, fish, run a trot line....a country boy can survive.

March 1, 2007, 05:14 PM
Hey Harry,
You asked, "another question." What was the first? To answer your question, as a general rule most of the folks I hunt with wouldn't take a shot they were unsure of, but, to be perfectly honest on one occasion I did and I think everybody has if they have been hunting very long. In any sport people test their abilities beyond their capabilities. In hunting though I don't believe it happens very often. I have hunted most of my life and have lost two deer that I shot with a rifle. Both times it just about made me sick. Both times I got friends of mine to come and help me track. I can't tell how many times I've went out and helped other folks track. So with all that said I'm sure most folks have taken unethical shots at one time or another but I'm satisfied even with an unethical ( which is a nice way of saying stupid) shot most hunters or woodsman would do all they could to recover the animal.
Last of all I have never lost a deer that I shot with bow. Both of the deer I lost were shot within 50 yards. I have shot several deer out to 250 yards. Go figure.

March 1, 2007, 05:19 PM
Hey, and welcome. There's room for everyone in the world of guns and shooting. You don't have to be a hunter or even agree with hunting just don't tell me its wrong. I don't hunt with people who are unethical, we eat what we shoot and don't take shots that are behond our skill level- not the same for everyone. Bottom line, if you don't feel comfortable shooting an animal, don't let anyone bully you into it. but if you think you might like hunting, join a hunting club with members your age and give it a try- you might find a life long passion you never knew you had.

The Gamemaster
March 1, 2007, 07:08 PM
Harry Callahan
Senior Member

Join Date: 01-01-2006
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 174 Ethical question for hunters


Hey guys. I'll first start off by saying that while I love to shoot I do not hunt. I suppose I would if I lived back in the 1800's but I don't and rest assured I would hunt if I was hungry enough. Secondly, I don't have a problem with hunting, as long as it's done in a manner that respects life, isn't wasteful, is humane, and as long as the hunted is eaten and the body isn't stripped of head, horns, etc., and the rest is left to rot out in a field somewhere. To me that's not the spirit of hunting.

Another question. Why would anyone try taking a very long shot where there is a good chance the animal will not be killed outright, or perhaps have a limb blown off only to have the crippled animal limp away only to bleed to death?

Please understand I'm not out to flame anyone and maybe alot of you think I watched "Bambi" too much as a kid, but believe it or not I think I would have an easier time killing an animal of the 2 legged variety(for a good reason, of course)than an animal. Help me out with this.

Well Harry, I guess you have a point.

You have seen the side of the slob hunter that is just out for the head and the antlers and the trophy books.

There are people out there like that , that stresses too much importance on size and mass and not enough on the meat that the animal will provide.

I belonged briefly to a forum that was for long distance shooting.

I left and deleted it from my favorites list when I read a story that was beautifully written, that told the story of a couple of guys that went out and shot a Elk at 700 yards. Their story was that they couldn't get any closer and they had to shoot that Elk at 9 Am in the morning.

Goes on to tell how they got jelous when they were scoping the Elk at a range of over 2000 yards from the side of the road and 2 other hunters stoped their vehicle and looked with a pair of cheap field glasses.

They were afriad that the other hunters were going to scare their Elk away before they got a chance to set up and shoot it at 700 yards away.

It probably wouldn't have took much more than a short 4 wheeler ride to get within 300 yards of Their Elk.

The story goes on to say that they took a range finder, ballistics computer and also a digital camera - to shoot a Female Elk and also a piece of white paper and a sharpee marker so they could make a sign to brag how far away it was when they shot it.

My point is, when I go hunting I take a box of shells and a can of soda or some water - if it is in a area where there is no drinkable water. A couple of candy bars and a knife and a rope and a small piece of carpeting to sit on while I watch for deer.

So someone that does not have the bare essentials - food, clothing, shelter.

But does take junk out into the woods, just to make a reputation for themselves is not the same class of hunter as I am.

Hunting season is over, but next year, if you want. I will take you hunting and show you what it is all about. I cannot guarentee you that you will get anything. But if you pay your due's, chances are that you will be successful.

Hunting is not about getting. It is about the time spent in the field and the people that you spend it with. Sometimes as small a effort as a wave to a farmer along the road or offering to help a farmer or fellow hunter is more rewarding than just sitting in a pen at a game farm and shooting a animal.

With more and more land becoming posted, and the city dwellers comming to the country with their city ways. Is some of the things that is ruining the sport. Lack of private land to hunt and extreme pressure on public land is making more and more people fustrated with the politics of hunting.

March 1, 2007, 07:33 PM
It was said in an earlier post but the part of hunting I enjoy the most is the hunt itself. My very favorite days of 2006 were spent hunting Elk. I saw several but none legal to line up the sights on (spike only area). Still I enjoyed ever second of it, even the worst of the weather and the strain of miles of hiking.

Another reason I hunt is that is that it is an affirmation of life. I accept that my existence depends on the death of other creatures. I believe that one more fully appreciates the life sustaining protien sitting on one's plate if that said one is directly responsible for it being there. A death occured. Getting a hamburger from the drive-thru completely disconnects the consumer and little if any respect is given to the creature that gave its life for it.

What is more ethical or cruel? Harvasting an animal in the wild where it lived free and in harmony with nature that is honored by its hunter or buying meat of an animal that lived confined in a stockyard to be systematically slaughtered without respect during its life or afterwards.

In my experience most hunters feel some remorse when an animal is taken. I do but I also feel more connected to the web of life than at any other time. Any elation is tempered by a little sadness. I feel a connectin to the creature I killed and to my creator.

I enjoy hunting practice. Scouting, conditioning, shooting, study... I enjoy the rewards of hunting; adventure, freedom, tastey protien, memories, heretage....

The logical unemotional part of hunting for me is that there is a limited carrying capacity for any chunk of ground. Only so many critters can thrive there at any one time. I know that hunting is a tool that keeps things balanced. Too many Elk, damage to habitat which lower carrying capacity and more difficult for the population to sustain itself. Hunting allows for populations to remain stable and healthy and mitigates cyclic over and under populations.

Probably not a good answer but it was the best I am capable of at this time.

Harry Callahan
March 1, 2007, 09:05 PM
Good stuff, guys. I was hoping you would explain it to me in a way that made sense, and you did. I'm also happy to hear that all of you seem to really respect your quarry, understand that taking an animal's life is not trivial, and are real sportsmen. Maybe this cityboy will try hunting one day. We'll see.

March 1, 2007, 10:21 PM
Harry, try a hunting trip sometime. If you don't like it you don't have to go back.

March 1, 2007, 10:31 PM
Harry your alright,,

I thought perhaps we were being baited, that happens here.

I know I like to hunt, my dad took me shooting when I was so young he had to hold up the gun. As a kid I read hunting and fishing Mags all I could and did all that I could from BB guns at a young age.

I took hunters ed. and got my hunting license when I was 12 and Dad took me deer hunting that year. We went deer hunting together last fall. I am 58 now and as I was talking to him today we got to talking about how lucky we have been as we have spent many hours together over the years, hunting and working together mostly in the mountains. There have been times in the past I had shot so many deer that the thrill was gone and the only reason I went was because my Dad wanted to. I have never been sorry we did. Now days I look forward to next fall with anticipation of another hunt with him.

The elk I killed this year I was with a buddy that has been my friend since I was 12, and we were together when he got his deer, more good memories. To me there have been times it was a thrill to shoot some animals and still can be. But the best memories of all are times spent with my Father, friends and family.

I hope the bug bites you and you get in on some of this with your loved ones or friends.

Fat White Boy
March 1, 2007, 11:31 PM
My dad started taking me hunting rabbits when I was about 5. At that age, i knew to stay out of the way and could keep up. I started my son at about the same age. He passed his hunter safety course when he was 9 and has been hunting with me ever since. I had the good fortune to teach him about living in the woods, taking care of himself, being responsible with firearms and above all, to respect nature. The greatest childhood memories I have are the hunting and fishing trips I took with my dad...And now the memories I have of hunting trips with my son have been added...Priceless Memories.

Art Eatman
March 1, 2007, 11:33 PM
I have a bunch of antlers nailed up around the garage. Some of them go back forty years. I can pretty much tell you what kind of day it was, who was with me, what pasture, all that sort of thing. All the piddling details of that particular hunt.

I occasionally wonder if anybody will remember me, forty years from now. :D


"Your only immortality is in the minds of your friends and family."

March 2, 2007, 01:28 AM
your questions.
Its not the kill that we are after, we do not want to cause needless suffering, trying to shoot beyond capabilities is not what we try for, it the reading on sign to put us close to an animal travel route especially when in new territory.
Having hunted is SE michigan and running the hunter sigh-in at my club. I have come to the conclusion that the deer are either suicidal or died LOLROFL.
Guy sight-in with 30-06 @ 100yds, I tell him a second target is up @200.
He fires on the 200 and can't believe the drop in impact or runs out of the ammo using and switch bullet weight and wonders why he missed.
do you know that in Sweden the hunt clubs have mandatory marksmanship level to hunt or you don't get a license.
Show up at a gun club asking for help learning to shoot, you'll know who to listen to and who not.

March 2, 2007, 12:07 PM
1. As an animal lover, I feel ya.....I too could more easily shoot a violent attacking human than an animal. Having said that, there is a place for hunting, and I am a hunter. I feel a bit bad about shooting bambi, but it needs to be done, and it's in our primitive instinct to do so - it's the natural order of things. I do not have any feelings for birds of any kind though.

2. The vast majority of hunters should most definitely NOT take very long shots. The vast majority of hunters should not even try a shot over 250 or even 200 yards. That's a loooong ways, and not easy to hit the vital zone under ideal conditions, let alone field conditions. Having said that, the key factor is not necessarily the distance, but the skill and ethics set possessed by the hunter in question. For example, I have a buddy who told me a story of how he blew the front leg off of a deer - was he at 300 yards? No, more like 30 or 40 yards. He is just a slob hunter who didn't properly check his rifle zero. The story makes me sick to my stomach. But it's the totality of the hunter's skill, judgment, and set of ethics that matters. I can make a better shot at 250 yards than he can at 30 yards, because I make sure to sight and re-sight my rifles. I also use loctite on the rings, for example, to make sure they don't work loose - I tell this same buddy to do this, but he doesn't listen to me - just an example of one of the little things that comprises the entire set of ethics. Another example, he doesn't study anatomy diagrams of animals. I've told him numerous times WHY the 2 Elk he shot with a .50 cal muzzleloader got away, that he never found - it's because the vitals are farther forward and lower than on a deer - I tell him but he doesn't listen to me. And I've never even been elk hunting! But it's still quite evident to me what happened when he describes what he aimed for on the broadside shot: "just right in the middle of the torso". :banghead: Sure, it's his dumb ass that comes home without an elk, but it's the animal that suffers from a gutshot or liver shot. So the key is, being an ethical hunter and making a clean, quick kill. Unfortunately, it seems that most people around here are NOT ethical.

3. The reason for the desire to hunt is natural instinct, connecting with nature, having a good time alone or with friends. The best *justification* for it, other than meat, which is a very weak justification if you think about it, is population control. Population control is a very valid and important idea, and the main good rationale for hunting. In today's society, there are very few hunters, relative to the past centuries and milleniums before us, and combine this with the fact that the way in which we clear land for farming and the creation of suburbs, creates ideal conditions for ungulates to thrive and overpopulate, which causes a variety of maladies, most notably the spreading of disease resulting in large killoffs, depredation of crops, and deer-vehicle collisions, which kill and injure thousands of people every year. There's good reason that the wildlife department issues tons of extra depradation permits every year, on top of the regular licenses sold - because we have a strong interest in controlling the numbers of ungulates out there to manageable levels.

March 2, 2007, 01:24 PM
The fellow who buys the hosue and has to get rid of all those antlers will ;)

March 2, 2007, 01:28 PM
Please understand I'm not out to flame anyone and maybe alot of you think I watched "Bambi" too much as a kid, but believe it or not I think I would have an easier time killing an animal of the 2 legged variety(for a good reason, of course)than an animal. Help me out with this.

I usually hunt I do not waste the meat. One time I was on a farm crow hunting, but that was pest control to help the farmer.

Honestly I don't get "Buck Fever" and take a risky, long distance shots. I actually get mad at myself and feel sorry for the animal if it is not a clean, quick kill. Hunting is actually very good for the enviroment and the animals themselves. Hunting keeps the animal population in check, since so few predators exist. It prevents overpopulations were animals like deer can forage an area bare, then stave to death. It also slightly reduces auto accidents.

Funny thing is for the longest time, I was creeped out by guys like you. I was a long time hunter and gun owner, but only a few years ago did I buy weapons just for self defense. There are some gun owners out there that never hunted, never get into target shooting or other firearms sports, that don't own a weapon for its historical value or collectability. They simply own a collection of firearms geared soley toward killing their fellow man. Don't get me wrong, I believe in the 2nd admendment and the right to defend yourself, but to feel bad for killing and eating a wild animal, while millions of domestic animals are slaughtered daily, yet your not going to feel bad for the shooting a human being who maybe 10 or 20 years ago was a human child with hopes and dreams , but due to a variety of factors winds up being the Bad Guy breaking into your house to steal a TV or some poor enemy soldier that is just following orders.

March 2, 2007, 03:21 PM
Get a copy of "A Sand County Almanac" and read it on a crisp fall morning with the sunrise warming your face. If it doesn't stir something in your soul, nothing I say will matter. I won't bother with the wanton waste or long shot question because you've gotten some great answers to those. My self imposed limit is 300yds but only then if I have a perfect shot. I have a 400yd range at my house and I practice regularly at those distances.

For me, it's not about the killing or the thrill of the chase, the commeraderie of camp or the meat. For me, it's about peace and solitude. I've seen some amazing interactions between animals and some of my most memorable hunts were ones where I didn't see a single game animal. Most people will never take the time to sit for hours and wait for the woods to settle down unless they hunt. Most people will never get up before dawn, shower with unscented soap, paint their face, etc. in order to get as close to animals in the wild as we do. I've had Hawks land three feet from me in a tree. I've watched an Owl catch and eat half a dozen mice in an hour. But it's about being part of nature, not just a spectator. I feel a deep, spiritual connection with the land and with the creatures of it. If I enjoyed killing, I'd buy a chicken farm.

I also like sports where there is no referee. It's up to you to do the right thing. You have to decide for yourself where your morals and principles are and then stick to them. I've only been stopped by a Game Warden a few times in my life so it's not fear of getting caught.

"Then on a still night, when the campfire is low and the Pleiades have climbed over rimrocks, sit quietly and listen for a wolf to howl, and think hard of everything you have seen and tried to understand. Then you may hear it--a vast pusling harmony--its score inscribed on a thousand hills, its notes the lives and deaths of plants and animals, its rhythms spanning the seconds and the centuries."
-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

March 2, 2007, 03:35 PM
Plenty of days of seeing nothing, freezing my butt off, being stung by wasps, bitten by ants, nearly bitten by coyotes, covered with chiggers, rained on, sunburned, and various other mitigating factors have erased any second thoughts from my mind on taking game animals as the opportunity presents within the given legal and ethical parameters. Of course paramount is not taking shots I'm not 100% will be well placed and effective so that there is as close to zero suffering as possible (and I hate to track and retrieve), but other than size and bag limits observed it's not even a question whether to hunt or not to hunt. For me the priorities are #1 outdoors, #2 culture/heritage, #3 challenge, #4 fellowship and family and #5 food.

March 2, 2007, 05:50 PM
I'm gonna step outside the bounds here and try to be honest (I'm not saying you people aren't). I'm a hunter. I hunt for fun, period.

I don't hunt for meat. I use the meat and/or sell the furs from the animals I kill but neither offsets the cost of my hobby. I would be $$ ahead if I quit hunting and just bought my meat at the store. The finacial ##'s just aren't there. It's cheaper to buy.

I don't hunt to help keep animal populations at a healthy level. It is, however, an added benifit of my hobby. I've seen disease kill more critters than I ever can.

I don't hunt to spend time in the great outdoors. I can enjoy the outdoors by hiking and taking pictures. You will not find me out in the great outdoors without a gun and/or a fishing pole. Again, spending time in the outdoors is an added benifit to my hobby and I dearly love my time in the field.

Overall, I can go out hiking/canoeing with friends and family and enjoy the outdoors and the felolowship. It doesn't take hunting to enjoy the reasons many of you list as the reasons you hunt. So what is left? What is the difference between hunting and hiking with a camera? The Kill.

So, I must enjoy killing. Going out and bagging a rabbit, squirrel, pheasant or a dear is fun. Seeing a coyote do a faceplant at a dead run because I made a great shot it is fun. Bragging about the ## of raccoons we have killed this season while waiting in line at the fur buyers is fun.

In an overly PC world many hunters try come up with PC ways to explain to the non-hunting culture why we hunt. I'm tired of running away from the answer. My hobby has many added benifits but without the KILL it isn't hunting. If I didn't enjoy the kill, I'd start packing a camera.


P.S. While I never like to see an animal suffer I won't lose sleep over it. I make good shots and always try to bag my quarry. If I mess up I try for hours to recover the animal. I use the fur/meat on "most of the critters I kill. That is the ethical thing to do. But in the end, they aren't people, they don't have a soul. They are a critter and thats it. I feel no remorse.


March 2, 2007, 08:00 PM

"Plenty of days of seeing nothing, freezing my butt off, being stung by wasps, bitten by ants, nearly bitten by coyotes, covered with chiggers, rained on, sunburned....."

Man, you sure know how to have fun.

March 2, 2007, 08:09 PM

"What is the difference between hunting and hiking with a camera? The Kill."

Reminds me of a very un-PC longtime hunting partner of mine.

Every time I have deer hunted with him and we are game-less by about 9:30 in the morning, he'll say "It's already 9:30 and I haven't killed anything all day".

Never fails to make me laugh.

March 3, 2007, 03:30 PM
Well Harry, I think you just needed to grow up 50 miles from Chicago. I live straight across the lake from you in Berrien County, MI. (look east and wave). The problem with living in the city is that one is so removed from nature. You can walk a short distance and buy everything you need to survive. This comes at a price. The price is people become removed from where everything comes from and how it's obtained. Nobody wants to know how a hotdog's made, they just want one Chicago style. Nature becomes an abstact object, only to be seen out of an SUV window or experienced on National Geographic.

Humans are somehow removed from nature in thought and discussion. Why? There are a couple billion of us on the planet. Whether you live in a city or a mountain top, face it, we are all a part of nature. You eat. You breath. You crap. You die. Just like every other animal on this planet. Paying someone else to kill an animal for that steak, then questioning those who do their own dirty work is kind of an oxymoron.

Smoke Screen
March 8, 2007, 12:44 PM
Most of the posts here, I agree with. Some opinions I do not. Hunting has been a tradition in my family since the days anyone can remember. From providing food for the table during the Civil war, to providing food for the family during the depression, to current days, hunting has been a part of my family's heritage. I have no problems at taking a long range shot if I feel I can make the kill. But, having said that, I do not pop off at an animal just because its close or sitting there. I've been hunting with some who have. I remember growing up in Southern California and hunting with a friend who wanted to shoot a roadrunner. Yea, the real kind. I begged him not to. I said, "What are we gonna do with it? We have no reason to shoot one!" I used the term "we" to influence him into thinking that he was affecting someone other than himself. Well, he shot it. :mad: and guess what. I didn't talk to him the rest of the day, and he felt like crap. He apologized later on and said he wouldn't ever do that again. To my knowledge he hasn't. Some people just want to kill for the sake of taking a life. I say there has to be a purpose.

That purpose, whether it is population/varmint control, meat, or whatever, needs to exist IMO to make hunting ethical. Having said that, I am a strict varmint hunter. I hunt predators and animals that have grown to large in number or are otherwise threatening peoples livelihoods in one way or another. I have been big game hunting several times, but as of right now, it just doesn't do it for me. Also, I am a graduate student and don't have the time or means to keep meat. That might change later on, but for right now I answer the calls of ranchers and the states to help them with control. I have recently been reasearching a great deal on how to stretch and take pelts from the coyotes I hunt, so I purchased a smaller caliber rifle to decrease pelt damage and will sell my furs to help support my hobby.

And it isn't always about the kill either. I have been coyote hunting 4 to 5 times in the last 3 weeks and guess what I've bagged? JACK SQUAT!! True, I've been testing different areas out, but at the end of the day, its just good to be outdoors and breathing fresh air. Honestly, I don't think I would have been able to make it this far in my education were it not for the release and self meditation I have deriven from the simple goodness of hunting.

March 8, 2007, 08:34 PM
Well, LK, of course you are right - there IS an instinct to just kill stuff, and I do in fact enjoy killing stuff, for better or worse (actually, I enjoy killing birds of all kinds and various rodentia - with deer, I wouldn't say I enjoy the kill, but I do enjoy the thrill of the kill, if that makes sense). So you're right - we shouldn't kid ourselves. Yes, it's about being out there, back to nature, fresh air, buddies, relaxation, singular focus, and all that....but it's ALSO about killing stuff, to be perfectly honest. That's the instinct our creator gave us - at least gave to me. Or perhaps it's that I had a bad childhood and have a lot of anger issues - I dunno. One or the other. Or both. :)

However, I'm a little different in that I would lose sleep potentially if I knew I wounded a deer, but didn't recover it, whether it was the result of an ethical or unethical shot. It would bother me a lot.