Some hunting philosophy

Rich Coyle

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Aug 14, 2013
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4,501
Location
Grants Pass, Oregon
I just finished reading about a successful first time hunt. The writing was good and entertaining. He wrote he finished with a head shot to finish the doe antelope. It reminded me of one of my hunts.

Four or five pages of attacks followed about how posting the photo of a head shot doe displayed a lack of respect for the animal. It was late in the last day of doe season. I was walking back to the pickup when the doe stood up on the other side of a large rock no more than twenty-five yards from me. Only a couple inches of neck and its head were exposed to me.

I don't understand the "lack of respect" or the "reverently harvested the meat". To me they are food. I don't respect them anymore than a potatoe. I enjoy watching them more than watching potatoes grow, though.
 

rammac

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Oct 28, 2010
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SW Montana
Would you post a picture of a potato?
If you didn't see any difference between a dead animal and a potato then why post a picture of your trophy animal? Posting a picture of something that you've killed is simply a brag, an opportunity to show everybody what you've done. That's OK with me but let's be honest and acknowledge that most people post pictures of their harvest to make themselves feel good about what they've done and get public acceptance. They feel like they need to brag a little because it was a lot harder to take that animal than pulling a potato out of the ground. I'm sure that most anybody that posts a picture of an animal that they've killed thinks a lot differently about the animal than they do about a potato.

I don't think that it's a matter of snowflakes or modern attitudes, there have always been those that respect all life and those that don't. I think that a life is a life, regardless of it's species. The reality is that most of us eat animals so there are people that kill animals, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't respect the fact that we've killed something that actually had an awareness of it's own existence.

Even most ranchers and farmers will tell you that they feel some empathy and sympathy for the animals that they have to put down or slaughter, but they recognize that that is a part of their livelihood, they accept it as a necessary part of their life.

On the other hand, most hunters hunt only for the sport or trophy, very few actually hunt because they need the food. If you kill for fun then I think that you should feel some kind of awareness and responsibility for having taken a life. Personally I think that anybody that feels no sympathy for taking the life of an animal is morally or psychologically off a little.

I'm 64 years old and I hunt because I like the actual process of figuring out what and why the animals do what they do and I justify the kill by making sure that I harvest every bit of the animal that I can. My making use of that animal's meat is the least I can do to justify having taken it's life. It's also why I'll pass on any shot that I don't think is reasonable, I don't need to kill an animal to eat, I can always go to the store and buy some meat. I don't need to kill some animal to feel important. Older age and having experienced war has made me appreciate how important any loss of any life is.
 

Muddyboots

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Feb 7, 2013
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Michigan
We all kill animals period. Hunters have direct hand in it. Going to supermarket you are killing the animal from your actions to feed your family. So posting a pic of your perfectly cooked steak is disrespect for the steer? You cannot differentiate the value of a wild animal life versus domesticated animal. To do so is a greater disrespect for any animals life.
 

Rich Coyle

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Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
4,501
Location
Grants Pass, Oregon
Would you post a picture of a potato?
If you didn't see any difference between a dead animal and a potato then why post a picture of your trophy animal? Posting a picture of something that you've killed is simply a brag, an opportunity to show everybody what you've done. That's OK with me but let's be honest and acknowledge that most people post pictures of their harvest to make themselves feel good about what they've done and get public acceptance. They feel like they need to brag a little because it was a lot harder to take that animal than pulling a potato out of the ground. I'm sure that most anybody that posts a picture of an animal that they've killed thinks a lot differently about the animal than they do about a potato.

I don't think that it's a matter of snowflakes or modern attitudes, there have always been those that respect all life and those that don't. I think that a life is a life, regardless of it's species. The reality is that most of us eat animals so there are people that kill animals, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't respect the fact that we've killed something that actually had an awareness of it's own existence.

Even most ranchers and farmers will tell you that they feel some empathy and sympathy for the animals that they have to put down or slaughter, but they recognize that that is a part of their livelihood, they accept it as a necessary part of their life.

On the other hand, most hunters hunt only for the sport or trophy, very few actually hunt because they need the food. If you kill for fun then I think that you should feel some kind of awareness and responsibility for having taken a life. Personally I think that anybody that feels no sympathy for taking the life of an animal is morally or psychologically off a little.

I'm 64 years old and I hunt because I like the actual process of figuring out what and why the animals do what they do and I justify the kill by making sure that I harvest every bit of the animal that I can. My making use of that animal's meat is the least I can do to justify having taken it's life. It's also why I'll pass on any shot that I don't think is reasonable, I don't need to kill an animal to eat, I can always go to the store and buy some meat. I don't need to kill some animal to feel important. Older age and having experienced war has made me appreciate how important any loss of any life is.
rammac,

I hope this year goes very well for you and the Lord bless you and your family. Thanks for taking the time for such a lengthy post.

Your post reminds me of Mark Twain's statement about scientists. He said something like, "Scientists can make such a wholesale lot of conjecture from such a trifling investment of facts." You assumed I posted a photo of a "trophy". One year I decided to hunt for a "trophy". I wanted a blacktail with antlers wider than the ears with four points on each side. While glassing with 8X binoculars I found a buck with horns wider than the ears. But I couldn't make out the number of points. I switched to my scope and started turning up the magnification. The second I saw four points on each side I fired. Then I checked the magnification setting: 12X. So much for binoculars being as good as a scope.

The reason I posted the photo of the head shot doe had nothing to do with "trophy". In fact I titled it "High velocity impact" because I was using one of my wildcats. It fired .257" 85 grain bullets at 3,919 feet per second. The attack came because I didn't "at least put the eyes back into the sockets." And yes I hunt for the sport. Just like the vast, vast majority of hunters. I will go so far as to post all trophy hunters hunt for sport. It's like ol' Socrates said, "The boys throw rocks at the frogs. But the frogs die for real."

The only "mount" I have is a Corsican sheep. My wife wanted one for interior decorating our small apartment. I took her to Sportsmans Warehouse. She looked at the Dall, bighorn sheep, and others but didn't like them. Finally she saw one she liked. With a little research I discovered what it was and where I could get one. The hunt was still fun even though it was a high fence hunt on 4,000 acres. One mile has 640 acres for reference. It was truly a "free range hunt" as far as my experience went because I had to glass and then follow up on it. But it was still sport for me.
 
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