March 22nd, 2012 07:29 PM
Question to hunter
I'm in a wierd middle ground. I tend to be the guy who feels bad about shooting bambi. While most hunters are respectful of wildlife, I know to keep my feeling to myself, because I feel bad for the critter. At the same time, stewardship is a relevant responsibility, and I fault no one who hunts and does not give a second thought to the taking of an animal's life (in an ethical manner). Frankly, the other hunters have the moral high ground on me, as a person who can feel what I feel, and put it aside and still do what I do, has no moral argument to stand on. I do enjoy the challenge of hunting, stalking, and surviving the elements.
I do not believe it is wrong to take an animal's life, but I also can't help what I feel. This year I tried chasing them to others, but deer are far more intelligent and / or intuitive vs my skill to drive.
I found hunting interest was waning in my extended family (nephews). So not wanting this great tradition to end (a long history of far better hunters then me), I took the banner, and my nephews (all but one) have responded. Those before me loved with a passion hunting. I had to do them right, and pass on this tradition. It is now once again at the front of family interests. They have no uneasy feelings when it comes to taking their prey. I'm happy I simply passed on the tradition, and not my baggage.
Now every year, I'm out there enjoying the planning (blind building, food plots, etc), practice with the firearm, the chase, the hunt. I don't even mind the butchering, as I find it communal task, and like doing my part.
But when it comes to the kill, I have no joy in it.
So anyone out there with some arm chair advise?
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March 22nd, 2012 07:52 PM
I would agree to a point with your stance. I love the thrill of the hunt, the overall challenge, and the great outdoors. I love deer jerky, too. But when it comes to shooting the deer, I do feel a little bad for the fella. Overall it will never stop me from hunting, but I think it's the respect for life no matter the shape that gives me that feeling. Of course once the cross hairs are on, the only feeling I have for that short moment is recoil.
March 22nd, 2012 07:54 PM
It natural to feel bad about it (at first at least), but it is a part of life. Animals kill animals people kill animals... sometimes animals kill people... circle of life ^^
Edit: This is also the reason I don't hunt. I can't stand to see animals be in pain. The only thing I'm OK with is catching fish, lots and lots of fish :D
Last edited by Burns; March 23rd, 2012 at 11:12 AM.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable- JFK
March 22nd, 2012 07:58 PM
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball. Meaning if you don't like the kill, don't do it. You already know you can if you have to.
March 22nd, 2012 08:27 PM
There are cultures that have practiced thanking the animal for its sacrifice so they could live. If that isn't a way of acknowledging they felt bad for taking an animal's life I don't know what it. There is a reason these cultures used every possible part of the animal. If someone didn't have at least a little remorse for taking a life, I suspect it may lead to indiscriminate killing.
You are just fine!
"Gun Free Zones" is where only criminals carry guns.
March 22nd, 2012 09:11 PM
I don't hunt, but I know I'd have a very hard time shooting a deer. I don't find it wrong to shoot a deer for a good purpose (food). But I know if I ever had to, I'd have a hard time. There it is, standing there, minding it's own business, a living, breathing creature with real feelings and emotion. And then, BOOM! Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine if there was a higher species that hunted us! Again, I'm not against hunting, that's not what I'm trying to say. But I can feel for the animals. Can I shoot in self defense? You betchya. Can I shoot in desperate need for food... yeah of course. But anything beyond that, It would be hard for me. And I understand people hunt them for their meat. But that's by choice. Very few people are forced to hunt. I'm not, therefore I don't. I shot a squirrel awhile ago. I felt bad for days.... and I hate squirrels.
March 22nd, 2012 09:33 PM
I'm not sure that any real hunter has much, if any pleasure in watching an animal die. It is a sad thing to watch.
Its really not a natural act to kill anything and anyone that takes pleasure in watching something take its last breath is a warped human being. Those that feel nothing at the taking of a life, need to find something else to do.
I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
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March 22nd, 2012 10:12 PM
I have taken many deer over the years, it seems that the longer I watch them before shooting, the more I get a sad feeling. But when you consider the death that awaits them by natural causes, like losing all your ability to chew because your teeth are worn out, so you slowly starve to death or get run down by a pack of coyotes, and eaten alive, a bullet to the neck and dropping like a sack of potato’s don’t seem all that bad.
What I do feel really bad about is tracking someone’s deer and not finding it.
March 22nd, 2012 10:28 PM
The conservation that comes through hunting builds stronger animal herds overall. As hunters we also have a responsibility to kill in a quick humane manner. The revenue generated through hunting also pays for habitat for game and non-game animals. I have killed deer and elk and though it saddens me I know my family will eat some of the best meat on earth.
Those who feel nothing when killing are worth keeping an eye on.
March 22nd, 2012 11:00 PM
I can relate somewhat to what you are saying. I grew up hunting from a very young age. It was just part of what our family did. I killed more than my share of animals over the years. When I moved to Wyoming was thinking elk was on the agenda. Then I kinda realized I just didn't have the desire for the kill part of the hunt any longer. Still do a lot of competitive shooting and spend a good bit of time in the outdoors doing other things, but hunting just isn't one of them. Have had several coyotes in my sights in the last few years and never can just pull the trigger on them. Enjoy watching them beat feet over the next ridgeline more than I would seeing them dead I guess. Now my city slicker wife has decided she wants to hunt and this last year was her second season and she harvested a nice cow elk. She was pretty pleased and I was extremely proud of her, and it is eating real good (as a matter of fact had some this afternoon). Maybe she will talk me into going out with her in the future and that's probably the only reason I would hunt again at this time.
"Those who would give up essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety" -Benjamin Franklin-
NRA Endowment Life Member
March 22nd, 2012 11:14 PM
In hunter ed classes we go over the 5 stages of hunter developement.
Shooting Stage: You simply want to get a shot off at something in the woods. It might not necessarily be the best shot.
Limiting Out Stage: You want to fill every tag you are issued during the year. Sometimes no matter what the consequences.
Trophy Stage: You want the big pretty animals, passing up game that isn't mature or doesn't measure up.
Method Stage: You are more concerned with how you make the kill. You are challenging yourself.
Sportsman Stage: It is about the experience. You are more focused on the companionship and experience instead of making the kill. These people are great mentors to new hunters.
It appears that you have reached the Sportsman Stage. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If every hunter reaches that level the world would be great and there would be no need for game wardens. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling bad about making the kill, or even having no desire to make the kill. If you enjoy what you are doing and help new hunters carry on the tradition, great.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
March 22nd, 2012 11:19 PM
OP there is nothing wrong with not wanting to kill a deer. There is also nothing wrong with helping out your fellow hunters. I have a friend in VA that hunts all of the time but only shoots birds. He goes deer hunting with us but just puts on drives or sits and keeps us company.
He enjoys the outdoors and the challenge but just doesn't want to shoot. It's not a big deal. Live how you want to live brotha!
It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.
March 22nd, 2012 11:58 PM
I would not call it joy. More like an accomplishment. For years my family has eaten mainly venison. There have been years we did not even buy ground beef or steak in the grocery store. It's nice to be able to provide that. In the end, the only difference is who kills what animal. I prefer knowing that the I am the person responsible for the meat my family is eating from the time it hits the ground until it's eaten. I process my own too.
If you choose to go out and enjoy the experience without harvesting anything, that's your business. Do what you enjoy about it.
I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!
"Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun. And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son." Josh Thompson "Way Out Here"
March 22nd, 2012 11:58 PM
Those that like to kill animals and either torture or butcher them, commonly end up serial killers... as they feel nothing about it.
So, you are on a good path. 10,000 deer a year die here every year from getting hit by cars. So, you shooting one is not hurting the population, and you may save a car. Just never turn into one of the scumbag poachers who will shoot you just in order to shoot the deer and shoot indiscriminately and as many as they can. ...... those are the types I run into on our land.
So, I hunt the hunters that are hunting illegally on our land.
Back in the ole days..... my grandfather would shoot out all 4 of their tires and thru the battery ..... and then leave them a note that if they would like to come and talk about it, he would be looking forward to it, and otherwise stay off the land. No one came to talk to him. Only one idiot returned in the same vehicle.... 3 times. The Sheriff's response to the guy's complaints was ... "he can shoot anything on his land that he wants to .... now where was your car ? " .
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."
March 23rd, 2012 10:56 AM
Humans have feelings - they seem normal to me. I hunt and have also raised animals to butcher and eat, mostly chickens. When butchering saturday comes and a dozen chickens are going in the freezer, I try to separate myself (mentally, emotionally) from the actual killing. Its like I'm a robot for that part of the process. If not, I get too worked up/sad, etc.
I take no joy in the actual killing, but do receive much satisfaction from the entire process, raising, processing, eating.
I'm glad you've passed on a great tradition to your family. I have some great memories of hunting w/ my dad and brothers as a youth, and hope my kids to have the same.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. Albert Einstein
"People in Arizona carry guns," said a Chandler police spokesman. "You better be careful about who you are picking on."
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