Friday, September 09, 2011

More thoughts on hunting ethics...

My dad was from the northeast, upstate NY near Cooperstown, and where he grew up on a farm the sighting of a single deer was quite the treat.  Later, he became a forester and part of his job involved game management.  He moved first to WV and then to VA.  He often commented on the many different methods of hunting used in the various areas and he and his professional buddies would discuss the whys and wherefores of the various seasons, limits/bans on various methods in various areas and the cultural preferences of the various regions in which they worked or had worked.

Based on all that it is my opinion that if you think you can judge another hunter who is acting within the law you're all wet.  99% of the law and regulation is written as a management tool or due to the personal ignorance and prejudices of the author and the government has done a wonderful job of establishing some of these laws as "traditional" and/or the most moral/ethical practices.  One of the reasons this is done is that in some places and for many years in many places, deer "tags" were oversold just as airlines overbook flights to get the income.  This was done by management looking for funds.  There had to be a way for the actual managers of the game populations to sneak in a control so that too many deer wouldn't be killed.  Limits were set per hunter so that all got an equal "shot" at getting their deer (for a long time that was a shot at A deer).

Deer in many areas are a pest and in others are getting pretty rare again.  All this comes down to habitat and food.  Here in Staunton the police have actually culled deer while in the National Forest the eco-religionists have prevented all cutting to the extent that there is no food for the deer and deer are much more rare than they were 40 years ago.  Deer ARE pests, vermin even, in some areas with so many that they cause tremendous damage to crops and are regularly hit by vehicles on roadways.  Now, is it better for police "sharpshooters" to kill these deer or would you prefer that hunters have an opportunity to do the culling? Which is more ethical?

Certain of those from the so-called high moral grounnd would likely approve of my use of a flintlock smoothbore during muzzleloading season (and sometimes during the regular "gun" season) but it was only recently that these were allowed while at the same time the regs permitted scoped in-lines with jacketed bullets in sabots.  A bit of a disconnect there, right.  And how many have hunted where it is shotgun only but you can use rounds that are accurate to 100-150 yards but ricochet like crazy because it is "safer"?

Let's face it.  If hunting is a management tool then it shouldn't matter how one kills a deer as long as it is done safely and, I think, the meat isn't wasted.  If management is the concern, the departments should set quotas for deer to be killed and when that number of deer have been killed the season should be closed.  You should be able to hunt with an atlatl, bow, gun, even knife or your bare hands if you like.  I think too, there are many legal things which are immoral/illegal and that there is much that is moral/ethical which is illegal.

1 comment:

Rothco Military said...

Hi, I was simply checking out this blog and I really admire the premise of the article and this is really informative. This is really informative and I will for sure refer my friends the same. Thanks for sharing.