View Full Version : Hunting

November 30, 2001, 01:20 PM
I wanted to ask you guys your input about this.

I am new to all of this. I am originally from NYC and I am now in Michigan. I got a Moss Persuader for my birthday and gave my wife a Moss 500 for her birthday.

We have been pondering hunting. I think we have two concerns:

1)I am not sure I can kill an animal. We have two kittens and I love animals. I think my wife would have a hard time as well

2) I believe once you kill the animal then the real work beings such as gutting it.

What do you all think?

Michael :cool:

Dave McC
November 30, 2001, 01:47 PM
Dressing out critters is a nasty chore, but soon over. I can dress out a deer in about 10 minutes, but that takes practice. Best to go with someone who knows and that can direct you.

The field dressing kits sold in gunshops contain a pair of latex gloves, a pair of long,to the shoulder, plastic gloves, maybe a heart and liver bag, and some disposable wipes. A good sharp knife and you're all set. A few paper towels and a jug of water are nice to have, but not essential.

As for the killing, obtaining one's meat without middlemen means one has to slay the critter oneself. It's not something we enjoy, but it's something we don't mind doing.

The up side is that one gets superior meat, less fat and cholesterol, and the same sort of feeling one gets growing our own vegetables and eating them. I pride myself on feeding my family the old fashioned way, and treat all the critters that hit the table with respect. The Food Chain is not a pyramid, it's a wheel.

Sunday after next, we'll have venison sausage with breakfast, and sometime before that we'll have the last piece of venison from last season's bounty. All the critters here get humane and near painless deaths, and nothing gets killed w/o good reason.

Those kittens are predators, as we are. Predators needs prey to eat, prey need predators to keep their numbers in check, and the key word in this is, BALANCE. Here and now, I hunt deer in areas that are heavily overpopulated, up to 110 deer/sq mi. The few that I take, humanely and quickly, die so the others live without overbreeding and starving.


November 30, 2001, 05:29 PM
I've been a guide and outfitter for awhile, and a hunter long before that. You're right, the "easiest" part of the hunt is pulling the trigger. The hard part of the shot is getting to the right location, staying still, taking only a good shot, being aware of the environment surrounding the animal should the shot go astray: Backdrop, rocks, water, etc.

If you are a carnivore, a meat-eater, (hamburgers, steaks, bacon, Colonel Sanders), then the butchering is out of sight and mind. A hunt brings you closer to the process of converting living animals to meat.

It's not gruesome. On the contrary, it's probably alot less gruesome than the slaughterhouse.

The proper shot and the proper treatment of the carcass is a worthwhile experience. And fresh venison is hard to beat. I hunted for years with a half-blind old man who endured the hardships for the camraderie of a hunting camp for the week. He only took one shot in the 7 years I went out with him. Yet he kept coming back every year.

Take a good hunter safety course, read a few good magazines and give it a try. Your cats won't miss you.

November 30, 2001, 06:10 PM
Just watch out for those wild prions, guys...aka chronic wasting disease, the outdoors version of mad cow...

Not kidding either. A good friend saw a deer at a butchershop in WI, looked like it came from Biafra...

And you canNOT cook it out

Dave McC
December 1, 2001, 07:48 AM
CWD hasn't hit here yet. A hunting MD I know says the best thing to do with ALL wild meat is to freeze it at about 0F for at least a month to kill off all the nasty stuff.

Most freezers that sit on fridges don't get that cold, but chest and standup frezers can be set to that level.Mine is.

December 1, 2001, 07:59 AM
If you haven't gone before, I'd make sure my first hunt or two was with experienced hunters. Make sure to watch closely during the field dressing, maybe ask to get your hands in it on the second one.

All the books and pictures in the world don't help the human memory. There are a couple things to watch out for in field dressing, and a cut or two in the wrong place, or at the wrong depth, can ruin the best part of the carcus. It's not hard to dress a deer, but it's easier to learn hands-on.

(heheee - this subject brings me back to my first dressing experience when I was 13. I remember sticking the knife in the gut to the hilt and opening the entire cavity. What a mess that was!! Not to mention, by the time I was done, I had contaminated about 80% of the meat by the time I dragged it back to the house.)

Cavè Canem
December 1, 2001, 11:13 AM
Only been hunting once. Shot a squirrel, had it stuffed, havn't gone hunting again.

I dont think I could shoot a deer or any other wild animal unless it was attacking me or a loved one.

I prefer my meat from the store. Call me a softy or whatever, its just the way I am.

Dave, nice post BTW.

December 1, 2001, 12:51 PM
Dave McC, if freezing destroyed prions (the corrupt proteins that cause mad cow, Jakob-Kreutzfeld, New Variant J-K, , mad cow, and CWD, these diseases would have been eliminated years ago...

Happy to hear that MD is free of this plague. I guess we're at far greater risk with store-bought meat here in Californicate, as so much of it is imported from May-hee-co.


Dave McC
December 1, 2001, 01:43 PM
Thanks Rom. To make up for our lack of of CWD, etc, we do have Lyme's. And in these overpopulated areas, it runs rife. A couple of friends have had rough times with it, and most folks I know have had the vaccinations. I haven't, my docs are worried about side effects, with all the stuff I take to keep me alive and mobile. Currently,I have 12 separate prescriptions I take.

I know a couple health nuts that took up hunting just to get "cleaner" meat. And I've been in a few slaughterhouses. I'll take game,thank you.

CC, some of us hunt, some don't. It's a lifestyle choice, and no great merit attaches to being one or the other,here and now.

I do know that when I'm out, uh, predating, I feel more in touch with the world. It's our oldest job, and small wonder it feels like what I was meant to be.

Decades ago an SO accompanied me on a hunt. She had never understood why I hunted, and while it didn't bother her per se, it bothered her that she lacked understanding. So she followed me along a forest trail as I slowly stillhunted. The Red Gods smiled, and I took a doe that day, at a range of mere feet. As I started to dress it out, she said something like...

" I've known you for 5 years or so, and never have you looked so content and at ease as right now". She skipped watching the dressing, but helped the dragging.

December 4, 2001, 12:33 PM
Decades ago an SO accompanied me on a hunt. She had never understood why I hunted, and while it didn't bother her per se, it bothered her that she lacked understanding. So she followed me along a forest trail as I slowly stillhunted. The Red Gods smiled, and I took a doe that day, at a range of mere feet.
I tried this once. She wouldn't stop talking. Next time I take her, it will probably be for waterfowl or something less noise critical.

December 4, 2001, 01:20 PM
just a health tip to all:

freezing will not kill the organisms that make you sick. if the organisms can't be cooked out, then the meat shouldn't be eaten.


December 13, 2001, 09:55 AM
I appreciate all the responses.

I don't think my wife and I can do it.

We both love animals.

Why would I want to kill a deer? They are beautiful creatures.

I want to stress that I am not putting down anybody for hunting.

Are there any mean and/or nasty creatures that people hunt? My wife and I may be able to do that.

Thank you,
Michael :cool:

December 13, 2001, 10:31 AM
Taliban and Al-Queda.:mad:

Dave McC
December 13, 2001, 10:57 AM
It's your choice, Michael....

Lots of food is beautiful, including deer. Think of a cherry tree in blossom, or a field of wheat waving in a breeze.

All of those still life paintings we were bored with in Art Appreciation 101 had food in them, right?

And animals are not ever nasty and mean. People are sometimes. Animals just ARE. Any qualities we assign them are projected by us.

BTW, I assume you skip all kinds of meat,cheese, butter, eggs etc, and wear no wool,down, leather and fur, correct?

No slam, but sometimes people do not think things through.

And, while we bred, fed, altered,etc, beef cattle, G*d made the deer. I'm inclined to think He's the better designer(G)...

December 13, 2001, 12:05 PM

While I realize that people kill cows for food, I still don't want to be the one doing it.


Fred Hansen
December 13, 2001, 12:28 PM

Are there any mean and/or nasty creatures that people hunt? My wife and I may be able to do that.

As Boris49 and Dave McC pointed out, the only truly mean/nasty creatures are two legged (homo sapiens). All other animals merely are what nature intended them to be.

Try going hunting with someone that is experienced. You don't have to kill anything unless you decide you want to. I have two sisters, one will not go hunting, the other goes, but won't kill anything. She even carrys the gun all day long. She has a great time even though we both know that she isn't going to shoot anything. We just have fun.

Get in touch with your inner caveman.;)

Dave McC
December 13, 2001, 01:15 PM
Your call, Michael. If you'd like to read up a bit on this question, I recommend "Meditations on Hunting" by Ortega Y Gasset. A quick sound bite from same....

"One does not hunt in order to kill, one kills in order to have hunted"...

December 13, 2001, 03:37 PM
Just to add a little to this very informative discussion. I say informative because I too am interested in hunting. I plan to go on a first hunt with a buddy that is very into it... fortunately he is also a Wildlife Manager (game warden) so he knows all the ins and outs...

Prions are crazily-folded proteins, not organisms. As mentioned you can't kill 'em, but I don't believe that they are present in any other matter/tissue except that which is encountered in the brain... thus, if you use a butcher that you know isn't messing with brains, you should be fine, no?

Even the people in Papua that chewed on their dead relatives didn't get prions unless they ate the brain matter.

Fred Hansen
December 13, 2001, 05:18 PM

Close but no cigar, I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I believe that prions can be found in most nerve tissue as well. I know for a fact that the common practice of halving animals by sawing lengthwise down the spine is a way to create "contamination". CWD is present out west where I hunt, so I no longer cut into the spinal column. It is easier to filet the meat off and not add the weight of the bones anyway. Win-win.

December 14, 2001, 04:27 PM
Give it a try. There is more to hunting than the kill. Sit out there and enjoy the simple life of no phone, pager, car noise, etc. Something stirs in you when you are out there being the predator, blending with your enviorment, getting back to the basics of life. my wife went with me for the first time this year, just her and me. I believe that she now knows why I love it so and has stated that she wants to go again. It was a cold,wet, miserable day and she still enjoyed herself. She felt her pulse rise and her heart beating faster when we had doe's coming around us. She now understands. I hope you will give it a try so you can understand also.;)

December 15, 2001, 09:16 AM
While I realize that people kill cows for food, I still don't want to be the one doing it.

Michael: No disrespect, but you're what I call a "contract killer." The blood is on your hands all the same if you financially support any company that sells meat,cheese, butter, eggs, wool, down, leather, fur, etc. Do you feed those kittens? I'll bet there are meat products in the food.

Just because you didn't pull the trigger doesn't make you any less culpable. You know, when you hire a hit man to kill somebody else, the police still take you to jail.

If you're going to eat meat, you ought to be able to gather it yourself. Moreover, if you hone your hunting skills, you'll be giving that animal a more humane death than any slaughter house would provide. Are you familiar with how these places kill cows, pigs, and chickens?

That said, I totally agree with most here that hunting is more than killing. You gain so many appreciations--from the awe of nature to greater respect for the animal you're hunting. You also gain survival skills that are never worth losing.

Animals are animals. And while they all have their individual idiosyncracies, don't mistake these traits for human characteristics. That's called projection. We have the ability to reason, and along with it comes the responsibility of stewardship to the animal populations. One of these responsibilities involves maintaining populations such that they don't starve to death. That's why the Wildlife and Game Associations do so much more to protect animals than any misguided PETA soul.

The fact that you've "pondered" hunting tells me that you might really want to face this responsibility. Either way, you're still complicit in the death of animals in some way. Please don't be guilty of both projection and denial.

My two cents. YMMV.

December 17, 2001, 09:39 AM
Guyon I never said that I consider it morally objectiable or repugnant if anyone goes hunting. In fact, I am not putting down hunting.

All I am saying is that I am not sure that is what I want to do it.

I know people kill cows for beef. Does that mean I necessarily want to do it for fun? Not necessarily.

Perhaps you guys are right. I haven't done it so I really don't know.

I think our difficulty is that if we (my wife or I) shot a duck I don't think we would be happy to see the dead duck.

Guyon, if we had to hunt for food we would do it. That isn't the case though. It's for sport which is much different.

Once again, I am not putting down anyone that does hunt.


December 17, 2001, 12:53 PM
Hey Micheal...

I understand your viewpoint even though I don't necessarily share it. You're right; there is more immediacy to an animal's death when you pull the trigger. And in this world of highly compartmentalized specialization, that immediacy is something that few meat-eaters have to face. Many of them don't really want to. And they subtly repress the fact that they support deaths to animals far more cruel than a well-placed hunting round.

We live in an age that has gotten away from basic traditional skills. Many people in this country, left to their own devices, wouldn't know how to grow food, hunt, build shelter, start a fire from scratch, etc. And while science and technology march us toward increasing specialization, it's a shame that people don't get to connect to the world in a more basic, honest manner. I'm not talking about the world of cocktail parties, Christmas bonuses, and politics. I mean the more important world where trees move rhythmically, the wind blows its message through the leaves, and all God's creatures participate in nature's cycles.

Micheal, it isn't so much about sport for me, and I really think that most hunters don't kill out of some sort of bloodlust. It's about the total experience of engaging in nature in a way that harkens back to a more primitive, simple way of life. We live too fast in this world. And hunting is one way of slowing down to nature's pace. Along the way, you begin to see the wonder of nature's patterns, you respect the skills of the animals you hunt, and you have the satisfaction of knowing self sufficiency.

I don't have to hunt either. There's a corner market just down the street. But if I ever do HAVE to hunt, I know that I have those skills--from scouting, to stalking, to making the shot.

I am much the same in other aspects of my life. I am a "do it yourself" kind of person. Rather than bow to a society that says you call a specialist for a given job, I roll up my sleeves and learn to do it myself. Hunting is part of this attitude for me. Because I've done it, I know the skills are there if I need them. And that brings me peace of mind.

Well, this reply got long. Anyway, it's a decision you have to make for yourself. And I wish you the best in making it.

December 17, 2001, 02:00 PM
Well said, Guyon.

December 17, 2001, 02:33 PM
Those overpopulated deer are dangerous to the environment and may kill innocent children when they wander in front of a minivan.

When one hunts one finds a pathway to a more primal existence

After about 3 hours of still hunting and seeing nothing, you can convince youself that there a better things you could be doing.

Then you hear a twing snap & 110 percent of you being is concentrated on your local patch of the cosmos. What do i see? IS that movement a leaf twisting or a deer? Can i hear something else? did i imagine that sound? Can i smell deer?

I have a hard time getting buck fever at the grocery store.
In the field, the adreniline kicks in and you get really intense when mr. food source saunters by.

December 17, 2001, 03:38 PM
What about the danger of drunk hunters?

I have heard several stories lately of people who nearly got shot because there were drunk hunters shooting wildly.


Dave R
December 17, 2001, 04:16 PM
"What about the danger of drunk hunters? "

I believe the dangers from drunk drivers are a greater risk. Hunting can be very safe if you follow the rules.

If hunting is not fun and/or satisfying, don't do it. If you don't know whether you could/would or not, you might try it. Bring a camera, too. If you decide you don't want to kill, you can at least get a good picture or two. I know several hunters who "camera safari" as hunting season approaches. That's how they scout the territory and decide where to hunt. And polish up their skills.