The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 17, 2002, 03:42 PM   #1
Jack Straw
Senior Member
Join Date: July 26, 1999
Location: Georgia
Posts: 362
Do you like killing?

The other night Ted Nugent was on Sean Hannity's radio show promoting his new book (Kill It and Grill It -- a cookbook). Sean's producer, some hypocrite named Flipper, is against hunting and would support laws outlawing the consumption of meat even though she eats free-range chicken. Her discussion with Ted brought her around to this conclusion: "You just like to kill things". I've heard it and you most likely have too. Ted responded that if he just liked to kill he would open a chicken farm so he could kill animals daily and by the thousands. To me his answer was logical and appropriate, but somewhat incomplete. So I began thinking about it (again)...

Do I like killing? My initial response is "No". But the more I think about it that answer comes from a knee-jerk reaction; I'm supposed to say I don't like killing animals...what kind of person likes to kill animals??? Deep down I feel differently. I don't kill for the sake of killing, if I did I would open a chicken farm and...well, what Ted said. But killing, in the context of hunting, is something that I do enjoy. Honesty compels me to say so. Does that make me some sort of messed-up, sick, mentally ill or despicable person? I certainly don't think so. I think most people are basically good and will shy away from that which they see as bad or, even worse, that which they see as evil. I have never had the slightest thought that when I kill an animal I am doing something bad, much less evil. And contrary to what my wife will say, I don't view myself as mentally ill in any sort of way.

So how do I respond the next time I hear that question? Well to the person asking me over their plate of (place the name of your favorite dead animal on a plate here), it will be easy to point out the reasonable and logical points even though it may not be enough to cut through the emotional smog clouding their thought processes. That is, they pay someone to kill animals where as I am willing to do it for myself. Their dead animal has been killed just as dead as mine. Neither animal will care what the motive was: "I paid someone to kill you because you are tasty and I was hungry" or "I enjoyed a great morning in the woods which included killing you". Dead is dead.

To the hardcore vegan anti-hunter this question is meant as an attack on my character, not as an honest question. My response to them is: "Will you hurry up and pass the mint jelly? My lamb is getting cold."

To myself I say, I like hunting and sometimes that involves killing. I enjoy the whole package that is hunting and I don't feel bad about it. I like that it is a part of me and the fulfillment and satisfaction that it adds to my life.

What are your thoughts? Do you like to kill?

Okay, spring cleaning is done. The cobwebs have been swept away. I hope it doesn't rain all weekend; I would love to catch a few crappie to go in the frying pan.


PS. Didn't Jeff Cooper have something to say about being honest by saying that he (ie...hunters) like to kill?
Jack Straw is offline  
Old May 17, 2002, 05:14 PM   #2
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Posts: 65
i have often pondered this myself. i have to admit that yes, i like to kill. i think that is founded mostly in the fact that if i ever HAD to kill, its nice knowing that i could. im talking about animals mainly but of course killing animals repeatedly would make you less likely to hesitate on the trigger in a self-defense situation. maybe. anyways.... im sure that a lot of people just enjoy the rush of power you get when you kill an animal. that concept seems pretty simple.

i shot a rabbit in my garden today. i was justified in doing this because they eat my garden up. if i didnt kill rabbits i wouldnt have a garden. but i must admit, right before i pulled the trigger on my henry, i thought to myself "you picked the wrong garden pal" LOL funny or sick, i dont know which.
the war on drugs is a war on freedom, waged against american citizens.
Camshaft is offline  
Old May 17, 2002, 07:47 PM   #3
Join Date: May 11, 2002
Location: Montana
Posts: 31
Good question.
After I read it, the answer was easy... yes I like killing! Not just for the sake of it. I enjoy every aspect of hunting, being in the mountains, the sloitude, matching my skills and wits against those creatures I'm after, but my favorite part is the moment when the weapon fires and I see the reaction the animal has when it 's hit. If that makes me whacky, then so be it !
God help me, I do love it so!
You can't shoot fast enough to make up for a miss!
mountainman454 is offline  
Old May 17, 2002, 08:14 PM   #4
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,635
For me, "like" is not the correct word. "Satisfaction" is probably much better. It's a mix of things: The culmination of a successful hunt/stalk, tied to the knowledge that I've succeeded in meeting a challenge. There is also the knowledge that there will be venison on the table. There is also an awareness that I am connected to thousands of generations of hunters before me.

That form of varmint hunting wherein one safeguards a flock, a herd or a garden is more like ordinary pest control, except that it's coyotes instead of roaches or fleas.

Calling up coyotes and shooting them in the absence of guarding flocks is a moral judgement. I'm saying that I had rather have more quail and rabbits than if the coyotes' numbers were not controlled.

There is no moral aspect to food, absent cannibalism. The vegan is no more "pure" than the hunter. God/biology/whatever made us omnivores and predators, by physique and in our psychology.

For a vegan to imply a moral value to food is to say that animate life has a higher moral value than inanimate life. For even a trivial amount of consistency in the argument, then, a rat is superior to a Sequoia.

For a human omnivore to harumph against hunting is to not realize that hunters and gardeners are the only do-it-yourselfers in the matter of acquiring food. Any other method, any other time, we're merely hiring somebody else to do our scut work for us.

Seems simple enough, actually...

, Art
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old May 17, 2002, 10:57 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: May 31, 1999
Location: Exiled, Fetid Swamp, DC
Posts: 7,548
i like eating
"O tell the Lacedomecians to damn the torpedoes."
BOTR, Chapter V: Some Monsters
dZ is offline  
Old May 18, 2002, 03:29 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: December 27, 2001
Location: Upland, indiana
Posts: 406
For a vegan to imply a moral value to food is to say that animate life has a higher moral value than inanimate life. For even a trivial amount of consistency in the argument, then, a rat is superior to a Sequoia.
That is a great quote Art. If you don't mind, I think I'll use it in my next debate with a vegan.
Christian, American, Heterosexual, Pro-gun Conservative. Any Questions?
James Madison: The Constitution preserves "the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
Mark Douglass
DadOfThree is offline  
Old May 18, 2002, 05:55 AM   #7
Al Thompson
Staff Alumnus
Join Date: May 2, 1999
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3,611
I think the biggest thing the anti's miss is that everything dies. Several of the folks I've spoken with seem to have the idea that critters check into an old critters home and check out peacefully.

Do I enjoy killing? As Art says, it's not the culmination of the hunt, rather it's a critical piece of the mosaic. I do get satisfaction with a clean kill.

God put our eyes on the front of our heads for a reason.

Al Thompson is offline  
Old May 18, 2002, 07:04 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: February 2, 2000
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,324
Art's got this one pegged - killing an animal while hunting implies that the hunt was a success. No killing means the hunt was a failure. We all like to be successful, but few people enjoy failing.

On the other hand the old saying - The best day at work isn't as good as the worst day hunting (or however you heard it last) is still quite true...
What part of "... shall not be infringed..." don't you understand?

My site - stop by n see what I'm all about... Yes, there is gun stuff.
yorec is offline  
Old May 18, 2002, 07:38 AM   #9
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,635
Yorec, your comment "No killing means the hunt was a failure." is true, but only in a rather narrow context. If one is hunting specifically for food, it is indeed true. No doubt about it.

Consider, however, the larger context of just being out and about and away from a city. Watching various critters. All that "fresh air and sunshine" part of the deal.

Add in campfire cooking and coffee and the bull sessions around the firepit.

And the only paperwork comes in a roll.

, Art

Dad, it's open season on anything useful I ever come up with...
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old May 18, 2002, 07:50 AM   #10
Join Date: March 3, 2002
Location: sacramento
Posts: 74
The responsibility of hunting is the humane thing to do for game animals. PETA whackos will never describe the cruelty of watching a doe and their fawn starving to death. That is what exactly would happen if animals were not harvested. The decimation of land, crops and disease keep me in check with the importance of eradicating vermin. Except for vermin, I will never shoot it, if I'm not going to eat it. That is the responsible and moral thing to do.

Don't forget what the acronym of PETA is:

Preparing and Eating Tasty Animals
maze51 is offline  
Old May 18, 2002, 08:17 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: February 2, 2000
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,324
All true Art -

There is so much more to a hunt than just whether it was a success or not! That was what I was trying to imply with the "best day at work" thing. Any time you can get up and the hills and stock a deer whether the deer goes on to do his thing or wether I'll be eating venison next winter really isn't the defining factor in the value of the hunt. It is the hunt itself that is most valuable, not the harvest.

Guess that's why I kind of feel cheated whenever I fill my tag on opening morning...
What part of "... shall not be infringed..." don't you understand?

My site - stop by n see what I'm all about... Yes, there is gun stuff.
yorec is offline  
Old May 18, 2002, 03:39 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: March 25, 1999
Location: KS
Posts: 1,558
What most non-hunters fail to realize is that very very few animals in the wild die a natural death, they die of starvation, disease and predation or become road-kill, most meet their end in violent ways.
Even if an animal does live to a ripe old age that means it's gotten old & slow its eyesight and hearing are impaired and it is a prime target for predators.
I don't believe that animals feel pain in the same way we do. Have you ever seen a cat or dog that's just been neutered? They are up and around licking their wounds and going about their business. If they were to lay around feeling sorry for themselves like you and I would no doubt do in the same situation they would be on the dinner menu for some predator.
As far as enjoying the kill, It doesn't bother me but my goal on a hunt is not to kill everything in sight just for the thrill of killing. If For instance if I'm hunting turkey watching the squirrels, racoons and other critters going about their daily routines is a bonus.
"I don't mind it when stupid people say stupid things. Stupid people should be encouraged to say stupid things, that way we always know who the stupid people are." ~ Ted Nugent
Sisco is offline  
Old May 18, 2002, 06:07 PM   #13
Member In Memoriam
Join Date: November 29, 1999
Location: west of a small town, CO
Posts: 4,346
Couple of the best-ever hunts I did didn't entail the killing of the animal (all fair-chase in-the-woods deals ... ). I touched a doe deer once (she did freak!) & caught a desert/Gambel's quail by hand (& then let it go fly away). Too rich! & can easily say that these were some of my best "hunts" 'cause of the experience (skill-set, et al) of it all. "Critical piece of the mosaic" indeed. (I like that)

But, I do too hunt for food, something the Polaroid pix at 15' just doesn't account for. I like to eat wild game, I like every aspect of the hunt - the solitude, the barest of breezes that can make every difference, every sight, smell, nuance & the final shot.

Machette in hand & hacking my way through a pen of "free-range" chickens don't appeal to me in the least. Guess I'm a compassionate killer.
labgrade is offline  
Old May 18, 2002, 06:15 PM   #14
Ed Brunner
Senior Member
Join Date: October 11, 1998
Location: Natchez, MS, USA
Posts: 2,562
The Veggie Folks

apparently don't see vegetables as the living things they are.

Very narrow.


Ed Brunner is offline  
Old May 18, 2002, 07:52 PM   #15
Member In Memoriam
Join Date: November 29, 1999
Location: west of a small town, CO
Posts: 4,346
Nice touch, Ed, & something I meant to mention.

When harvesting a veggie, don't you drag it out screaming from its roots - killing it & as some "scientific experiments" have shown that plants respond to music/feel pain, et al?

How could killing a more defensiveless plant be better than killing anything that has a network to elude?
labgrade is offline  
Old May 18, 2002, 10:53 PM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: October 28, 2000
Posts: 1,060
Put it this way, I don't mind killing my own dinner at all!

Still, several times I have dry fired at a game animal when it was in a WAY lousy place to get the dead one out of!
Zorro is offline  
Old May 19, 2002, 05:00 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: December 20, 2001
Location: Ohio
Posts: 364
Pretty much all I get to do is varmint control around the farm. But I'd have to say that no I don't "like" killing, it just doesn't bother me. I do understand the value of life, but I feel justified for shooting what I do, and I enjoy practicing the skills involved in getting the kill. Not just anybody can get that perfect instant drop head shot or hit a flying bird, and not just anybody has the skills/ senses to know when something's there and how to trap it or stalk it. It makes you feel good when you pull it off.
I would feel the same way if I had time to go hunting for food.
Fix it right the first time...
Use Baling Wire !
redneck is offline  
Old May 19, 2002, 06:43 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: July 25, 2001
Location: Colorado
Posts: 504
I enjoy very much ,in fact live for, the stalk and the completion with a great shot and a clean kill. there is very little in this world that makes my heart jump like spotting that animal you've been looking for in every concievable nook and cranny for the last 7 days. And then actually begining the last and most ceribrial portion of your hunt.
As I grow older the actual killing part has become less important than the knowledge and ability to find that critter and view him. There have been many times that I've let dozens of Elk go for various reasons. Not big enough, not enough day light left to far and steep for a safe recovery ETC ETC. But all this waiting for the right moment and the right critter just makes success AKA the kill all that much more sweet.
I take my girls put on "hunts" all the time and our measure of success is spotting game and then seeing how quite we can be and how close we can get.
I guess in a nut shell I love every aspect of the hunt. the comraderie the challenge of the logistics the country side good horses a baying hound being outdoors with your most loved rifle in your hands, having the confidence in your survival skills and woodsmanship to go anywhere and make it out again. Sharing all this with my family and knowing that when the moment of truth comes you will be able to squeeze that trigger and put your bullet right where you need to and conclude yet another great season with meat on the table. With all that being said some of my most memoriable hunts were failures as far as the killing part went but the effort and the experience and the people and the country were so great that it didn't really matter if we made a kill or not.

Hunting is not a sport or a job it's a life style to me. I do love it so!
H&H,hunter is offline  
Old May 19, 2002, 08:09 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: February 27, 2002
Location: Silverdale, Wa
Posts: 356
Blood makes the Grass Grow!

The only time I really regreted killing something was at age 14, when I blasted a robin to heck and back in my backyard with a BB Gun. That feeling left me knowing that I would never be able to go on a safari to Africa, killing something just to say I had done it.

The first time I shot an Elk, I was a bit sad afterwords. But, as I worked my way through a freezer full of steaks, burgers and jerky, I felt better.

The first time I went hunting and came back empty handed, I felt even lousier. Yes, it was a blast being in the woods, and not on a submarine, but, I didn't feel successfull.

Strangly, when I went fishing a couple of days ago, I didn't feel sad at all. Is it because an Elk is cuter than a halibut or a cod?

As for those spiders in my house...yes, I enjoy flushing them down the toilet. Bwahhh Ha Haaa!
"Get a shot off fast. This upsets him long enough to make your second shot perfect"
"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity"
-Lazerus Long
priv8ter is offline  
Old May 20, 2002, 05:39 AM   #20
Dave McC
Staff In Memoriam
Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
I don't like killing. I just don't mind it when it's for what I consider a good reason.

As fot the PETAphiles, by and large they're citiots who haven't taken a step off pavement in years. Look in the next car you see with a "Meat is Murder" bumper sticker.Chances are about 50-50 the upholstery is leather.

All life above the single cell stage feeds on other life. Death is the part of the process whereby life moves from one organism to another.

A vegan who lives naked in a cave other critters do not use, eating only stuff that falls off trees that other critters do not want, may have some validity in decrying our consumptive lifestyle. None of the strident fanatics I run across qualify.By and large they're just cultists who have a power addiction, compulsing them to make everyone do what they do.

Ever note that no vegans get harassed in the grocery store for skipping the meat section?

Ever note that no little old ladies in polyester costs get paint thrown on them by radical trappers?

Ever note that no vegans get dragged into the woods by militant hunters and MADE to kill something?

Ever note that no vegetarian restaurants get firebombed by the more fanatical members of the American Beef Producers?

And did they ever note the teeth in their heads, the big ones on the front corners of their jaws with the huge roots?

They're made for eating meat....
Dave McC is offline  
Old May 20, 2002, 09:31 AM   #21
Join Date: May 13, 2000
Location: Darn Near Canada
Posts: 46
maze51 & SK: right on!

labgrade: excellent point, and very true. Well regarded research has shown that plants do exude all sorts of chemicals upon "harvest" to "warn" the others.

Lots of well meaning people have never taken the time to understand ther basic facts of life as they relate to hunting. Everything dies eventually, but because people don't identify animals, like deer, as individuals, they fail to realize that the deer they see year after year aren't the same animals. The one they saw last year probably died of starvation, or was hit by a vehicle. In either case it probably wasn't a "nice" way to go. Contrasted with a quick and clean death by a well placed shot, either by firearm or by bow, I know which one I would choose.
As for the killing, I have to admit that I like it least of any part of hunting, but I still do it. Just killing for the sake of killing, with no purpose, is another issue, and one that each person must reconcile with their own moral center.
--Mike From Iowa
MikeFromIowa is offline  
Old May 20, 2002, 05:44 PM   #22
Johnny Guest
Moderator Emeritus
Join Date: August 28, 1999
Location: North Texas
Posts: 4,124
Some excellent comments in this topic area - - -

I almost have to write, "Yeah! What Art said." Maybe this is partly becaused I've been out in the wilds with him, and done a lot of visiting with him, and in my mind, can HEAR him saying that stuff, without the slightest embarassment. The fact that he echoes and expands upon my own thoughts on the subject don't necessarily make him a top-shelf philosopher, but it doesn't hurt his qualifications . . . .

When Elder Son and I returned from our first elk hunt in Colorado, a co-worker asked me, "Did you have a successful hunt?" I replied something like, "We really did. Saw some beautiful country, met some very nice folks, and had long discussions with my son. We didn't fire a shot, but it was a very good hunt." Certainly I would have preferred to have filled two freezers with elk meat, but I wouldn't take for the trip.

Jack Straw, perhaps LTC Cooper did write something of the sort. He is a pretty prolific writer. My personal favorite of his writings about hunting is his quote of Ortega y Gasset, from On Hunting: "One does not hunt in order to kill. One kills in order to have hunted."

Great discussion, all.

Johnny Guest
Amendment II ensures the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Blog: Expert Witness
Johnny Guest is offline  
Old May 21, 2002, 08:19 AM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: July 31, 2000
Location: Middle Peninsula, VA
Posts: 1,550
What’s been said pretty much nailed it for me but I’ll try to add one thing.
Although I don’t "enjoy killing", I do enjoy a job well done. Hunting is a very natural and right thing for me and since killing is part of hunting, I consider it a duty to try to make the animals death as quick and humane as possible.
People have already mentioned the opportunities to kill that most hunters have passed up. Many hunters have also had it go the other way, the one that was hit too far back, or the trail was lost on a fatal hit. Although the animal was killed in these examples, the folks that I know not only don’t enjoy them, the suffering or waste sickens them. That’s not the sign of someone who "just enjoys killing".
griz is offline  
Old May 21, 2002, 09:19 AM   #24
Jack Straw
Senior Member
Join Date: July 26, 1999
Location: Georgia
Posts: 362

Good point about the agony that follows a misplaced shot not being a sign of someone who "just likes killing"

Actually good points from everyone. And I appreciate your indulgence to my venting. Sometimes my marbles get to rattling around too much and I have to pour them out somewhere before I get a little crazy. Hmmm... maybe this is what my wife is talking about.

Jack Straw is offline  
Old May 21, 2002, 09:25 AM   #25
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,635
Seems to me that the gist, the consensus, of all the posts here--and of the vast majority of all hunters I have known--is that we don't enjoy killing just for the sake of seeing something die.

There is a purpose to any killing we do, whether it's food plus the mix of all the other factors previously mentioned or predator control or some equivalent.

I believe it's fair to say that to us, we're part of nature--not separate from it. I believe we have a feeling for tradition, a connection with not just recent generations of ancestors but those of the far-distant past.

There's an old joke, "I feel sorry for folks who don't drink or smoke, 'cause when they get up in the morning, that's as good as they're gonna feel, all day." I have the same attitude about those who haven't hunted or who are against hunting. They'll never have a handle on life itsownself, 'cause they don't really understand death.

You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:40 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09441 seconds with 7 queries