If someone is uncomfortable with the idea of hunting, they shouldn’t hunt and they shouldn’t be pressured to hunt.
But to condemn hunting and hunters as being immoral or unethical and to insist it be stopped is highly problematic.
This really is a social issue about hatred, intolerance, prejudice and discrimination.
Hunting is no more or less moral and ethical than buying meat from a supermarket or raising ones own livestock for food.
In this day and age, we are detached from the realities of where our food comes from. It is acceptable to pay someone to kill the cows, pigs and chickens we purchase at the supermarket. It is also acceptable for a person to raise their own livestock for food. However, if I choose to hunt non-endangered animals during a legal hunting season, observing local laws, some will claim that I am no different from a violent criminal.
Hunters are not evil or maniacal. I have never met a hunter who “killed for the thrill” and left the carcass behind. I have never met a hunter who hunted endangered species or didn’t observe local seasons and laws. This does happen from time to time and it is called poaching. Poaching is illegal and is very much frowned upon in the hunting community. To compare hunters to poachers is like comparing shoppers to shoplifters. To compare hunters to poachers is like saying that all men are rapists.
As far as whether or not hunting is humane, I can only say that a hunter is highly motivated to make an accurate, humane kill shot to the vital organs. This is both for the sake of the animal and for the sake of the hunter. No hunter wants to make an animal suffer needlessly, and it is not in the hunters best interest to wound an animal that runs off, is panicked and difficult to locate for a second shot. When compared to cougars, wolves, alligators and other predators, the human hunter is perhaps the most humane hunter in the wild. Isn’t it more humane to be shot from a distance unexpectedly than to be chased down and eaten alive?
claim that game animals are defenseless and non-threatening. Cows, pigs
and chickens are defenseless and non-threatening, but it is acceptable
to pay someone to kill them so that we can eat them. Game animals on
the other hand, can sometimes be very threatening. More importantly,
game animals have very strong defenses. Their senses of smell and
hearing are exponentially more sensitive than our own and these senses
are used to aid in their survival.
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Here is an
example to illustrate this point: As humans, we are able to pick up a
scent in the air from about 3 feet away. Dogs, about 30 feet. Whitetail
Deer, 300 feet. A whitetail deer in the wild is an expert at using the
wind strategically to survive and will run away the instant it smells
or hears anything that is foreign. It is extremely difficult to sneak
up on a game animal in the wild.
Some raise the
point that hunters have killed off all of the natural predators and
this is our self serving way of making hunting neccessary. This is a
twisting of the facts. The facts are that as more and more wildlife
habitat was developed for humans to live on, instances of predators
attacking people, pets and livestock increased. This led to calls for
liberal hunting seasons and bag limits on predators. That is why their
numbers have been depleted. Did the hunters kill these predators? Yes.
But the hunters were not the problem. In this instance, encroachment
and development was and still is the problem. We are all to blame for
It is inaccurate to imply that hunters are unconcerned about depleting the resource. To the contrary. If we want our grandchildren’s grandchildren to be able to hunt (and we do), we must be proactive about preserving and maintaining habitat for wildlife. Hunters are conservationists.
Every year millions of hunters dollars pay for wildlife management. The Pittman- Robertson Act collects an 11% excise tax on firearms and ammunition and a 10% excise tax on handguns. These dollars are used to help government agencies purchase and maintain millions of forested acres known as Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s) which are enjoyed free of charge by hunters and non hunters alike.
work is also done by volunteer organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation ,
Pheasants Forever ,
and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Hunters spend a great deal of time and money to preserve, maintain and
protect wildlife habitat. Hunters aren’t the enemy of wildlife.
Development is the enemy of wildlife.
are convinced that hunters are motivated to hunt because it gives them
pleasure to watch an animal suffer and die. This could not be further
from the truth. In fact, I would like to make a request of those who
feel this way: Please do not make assumptions about the
motives of hunters.
Many people who have never been exposed to hunting or who do not understand or agree with hunting make this assumption and this simply is not the way it is. If you are unsure about this, please ask questions of the hunters you know. Ask what hunting is to them. Ask what they get out of hunting and whether or not they hunt because it gives them pleasure to watch an animal suffer and die.I have hunted all of my life and I grew up in a rural area where most of the people we knew hunted. I also work in the hunting industry as a booking agent for hunting trips. I speak with hundreds of hunters every year and I have spoken with and known thousands of hunters over the course of my life. Do I know everything there is to know about hunting? Absolutely not. But, in the course of interacting with all of these people, I have never once come across a person who hunts because it gives them pleasure to watch an animal suffer and die.
One area of
this debate that deeply troubles me is that this is a very serious diversity
issue. How is comparing hunters to murderers
and criminals different from racial/demographic profiling or stereo
typing? This sort of thing is a prime example of hatred, intolerance,
prejudice and discrimination.
It is unnacceptable to speak or act hatefully toward demographic groups based upon their race, religion, gender or sexual preference. But somehow it is ok to categorize responsible, law abiding citizens who hunt and own firearms as violent criminals.
When it comes to hunting, there are three categories of people:
Hunters (people who hunt)
Non-Hunters (people who do not hunt, but accept that other people hunt)
and Anti Hunters (people who feel that hunting is immoral and unethical and condemn hunting and hunters)
What is hunting to you?
I value all feedback and may be reached by email at: email@example.com