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Author: Subject: Yes, I'm a Hunter -- Here's Why

Universal Peach





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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 09:44 AM
First of all, I'll admit that even though I don't hunt anymore, I'm still supportive of thoses that do and of hunter's rights. Maybe it's because I grew up Southern, maybe because I lived in a rural enviroment were things such as hunting and fishing were as natural as working in a tobacco field, maybe because my father was in the military and taught me early on about firearms, firearm safety and how to hunt and maybe because deep down inside I liked being out in fields and woods away from everything.

Anyway, here's a good article from yesterday's Washington Post by Fredrick Kunkle, who's a reporter for the Washington Post on why he hunts. I'm sure quite a few of us can see ourselves in this article. Btw, I was going to post the story about the 8 year old girl shooting the first bear of the season in Maryland this year, but didn't because no doubt the PETA crowd that's among us would have gotten extremely upset. Nevertheless, I still think one the best things a father can do for his sons (and daughters) is to take them hunting and fishing and camping and hiking as it is in many ways it the best way to learn about nature and the importance of it and preservation of natural things.

Yes, I'm a Hunter -- Here's Why
Like Father, Like Son, It's in My Blood

By Fredrick Kunkle

Sunday, October 30, 2005

There is nothing like the feeling you get while gazing at an animal you intend to kill.

Your heart pounds. Your hands tremble. Your guts churn with a mixture of exhilaration and fear. The animal might be moving slowly through the forest, unaware of your presence, or it may be standing still looking at you. Time speeds up.

Afterward, you wonder: Was this jittery wave of emotion about ensuring that the first shot be accurate, that every care must be taken before the trigger is pulled to avoid missing or wounding an animal? Or is it because every hunter, down to his bones, recognizes something elemental and primal in himself as he prepares to engage in a deliberate act of violence, to purposely cross a well-established psychological boundary?

I have hunted ever since I first followed my father into the woods in western Pennsylvania when I was 8 years old, and I still love it. I hunt even though my love of hunting puts me at odds with the world that I inhabit today in Washington's suburbs.

Friends and colleagues express surprise, and often disgust. So I seldom talk about hunting, at least in this part of the country. I don't usually admit that I even own guns. But last week, after the news reports about 8-year-old Sierra Stiles killing a bear on the first day of the season in Western Maryland, I couldn't avoid the subject. It was the talk of the office and local talk radio, with some people suggesting that allowing such a young child to participate in the hunt was a form of child abuse. When I heard about young Sierra's feat, my first reaction ran toward skepticism. A third-grader killing a bear? Two shots to the chest? Well, hats off to her: I know how hard it is to hunt such large prey, how easy it is to do everything right and yet fail to make the kill. I didn't bag my first buck until I was 16.

Whenever I do tell people that I hunt, they often want to put me on the spot. They want to know how it's possible for a person who has attended college and lived in New York City and Washington, who plays violin and attends the symphony, who is raising three smart and sensitive girls -- all of whom, like their mother, are opposed to hunting -- can engage in something so primitive. They want to know how anyone can participate in a sport whose central aim is killing. Hardest of all is to explain why a blood sport should bring such pleasure, and even a kind of spiritual rebirth.

And the truth is, no matter how much excitement there is during a hunt, at the moment of the kill, I have always felt remorse. I have walked up to a buck as he lay dying, horrified at the blood, the gaping wounds, the terrible reflexive gasps. I have felt the strange sensation of mercy and disgust that comes with administering a coup de grace.

And then I go out again.

This is not easy to explain. Although I eat what I kill, that is not why I hunt. The truth is, almost nobody in this country can honestly say he needs to hunt to eat. Partly, I hunt because of tradition, having accompanied my father, my grandfather, my uncles and now my brothers. But that is not the only reason. I have abandoned other family traditions. As for my father, he no longer hunts. He just does not like it anymore. (When I go out, my girls tell me that they're rooting for the deer.)

No, the reasons why I hunt go deeper than tradition, much deeper. For me, hunting is nothing less than a ritual, connecting me to a past that stretches from my father to his father and to countless generations before him. There is no other reason to hunt today, except as ritual. And like all rituals, it is grounded in customs as regular as the phases of the moon, and observed in practices that invite solitude and fellowship.

Every hunt places me in a specific time, and against the timelessness of nature. And although killing is essential to the ritual, it isn't the most important element. If it were only about the kill, then I wouldn't hunt. If the prey didn't have a chance, if the killing were easy, then it wouldn't be hunting. It would just be ritualized death.

True, for too many people who call themselves hunters, the first day of deer season is merely an excuse to run amok in the woods. For me, when autumn comes around, the very air seems to smell of hunting. A blade of sunlight slanting low across a newly harvested field on an October afternoon is enough to rekindle memories of other fields and hunts.

I think of my grandfather's electric skillet heaped with potatoes and rabbit meat, or the elaborate pancake breakfasts served up at a hunting camp for two dozen people. I think of the endless hands of pinochle or cribbage, the bad jokes, the shared rites. Though I have never seen this, I have heard of hunters whose faces were marked with blood after their first kill. At our camp, when a hunter missed a shot at a buck, wise guys would cut a piece of fabric from his shirttail.

I can still remember the goofy stuff, such as the time my uncle and one of my brothers laid bets about who could shoot a hunting cap tossed into the air. My uncle was dead-on. My brother cheated, blasting my uncle's hat after it landed in the weeds.

But I remember the more solemn moments, too. I think of the time my father spent teaching me one of the best ways to hunt, the way I still prefer to hunt, the supreme art of the hunt. He called it Indian hunting, and it meant moving stealthily through the woods in search of animals, instead of just waiting for them to come to you. To do it, you immerse yourself in the woods.

You take a few steps at a time, perhaps 10, and then stop. You move tree to tree. You move into the wind, so that animals cannot detect your scent. You glance at the ground, note where sticks lie, and plant each footstep carefully to avoid snapping twigs. You become aware of the softest noise, the faintest sign of movement. Hours pass while you cover little ground. You pray for rain, knowing the wet ground and the sound of the water on the leaves can conceal your footsteps. Your heart jumps when you see a deer, a bit of a deer, a flick of an ear or a moving shadow. You focus on moving every part of your body with deliberate care, even resisting the urge to swivel your head quickly in the direction of a noise. You focus your mind on focusing. You learn the limits of your control.

As ritual, hunting summons a part of us that is unconscious and instinctual, and within a context that reaffirms a reverence for nature, and reminds us of our place there. Instead of burying these impulses, hunting revives and engages aspects of human existence that modernity would like to wish away or anesthetize. It reawakens us to nature's truth: To live is to be a part of the cycle of life that demands that other living creatures must die. Native Americans recognized this when they sprinkled corn pollen on a slain deer's snout in a blessing that demonstrated their awareness of life's circle. Hunting is a way not merely of acknowledging death, but engaging it.

Last year, one of my brothers and I spent several days hunting together. On the first morning, we awoke before dawn, fried eggs, brewed coffee and then walked in darkness along a 50-year-old strip mine into a stand of trees. Powerful winds snapped branches as we shivered and watched. But the wind was so fierce, we saw nothing. When it was light, we began to Indian hunt, and still we saw nothing.

As we walked the spine of a windswept ridge, however, a bright white object caught our eye on the brow of a hill more than 500 yards across a valley. I thought it was the bleached limb of a dead tree. But my brother saw something different. He saw bone.

We were looking at the antlers of a huge buck. All we could see was the animal's head because it was bedded down in what we call a slashing -- a place that had been clear-cut by loggers years earlier and then had grown back as an impenetrable tangle of brambles, grapevines and dead logs. His enormous silver-tipped ears looked like satellite dishes as he turned his head from side to side. The buck had chosen a spot on the point of the hill that gave him a panoramic view of the valley. We realized he had been watching us as we walked along the open ridge.

I sat down and peered through the powerful scope on my 7mm magnum rifle, realizing the deer was virtually out of range. It was possible to make a shot, but I was much more likely to miss or merely wound the animal. So we agreed that my brother, who was carrying a .44-caliber carbine without a scope, would try to get closer so he could make a clean kill. I would stay and watch and signal him from across the valley if the animal escaped before my brother could get close.

Snowflakes came curving out of the sky as we split up. The distance was so great that it took my brother about 15 minutes to walk briskly from the ridge to a gas line that ran 50 yards behind the thicket where the buck lay. Then my brother began to move very, very slowly, as my father had taught us, through a thicket of brush. To his advantage, he would be moving into a strong wind, which would prevent the deer from detecting his scent and help cover the sound of his footsteps.

My eyes watered as I squinted into the blowing snow, and my fingertips ached with cold, as I followed his painstaking progress. Nearly an hour passed as my brother moved through the thicket step by step, and the deer swept his massive rack of antlers from side to side looking over the valley. At last, I could see that my brother had closed to fewer than 25 yards from the buck.

Kill him, I kept thinking.

Then, suddenly, I saw the buck turn those huge radar-dish ears toward my brother. Somehow, the deer had become aware of the threat, and he appeared to be focusing all his senses in my brother's direction. Seconds ticked by. And then the deer suddenly jerked out of sight, gone, just like that, as if he had dropped down a hole.

I signaled my brother that the game was up. After we rejoined, we marveled at the fortress-like bed that the deer had made. We wondered how he escaped so quickly and quietly that my brother did not even know at first that he had fled, how he had managed to penetrate the thicket with those huge antlers.

My brother said he had come so close that he could see the animal's rump through a small opening in the brambles. But he could not see all of him, and he could not see the antlers. That's why he didn't shoot.

So the buck got away. Yet, to us, it was one of the most memorable hunts we have ever had. And we are already preparing to hunt that buck again.

Author's e-mail:

kunklef@washpost.com


Fredrick Kunkle is a reporter on The Post's Maryland staff.

 
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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 10:00 AM
I'm a Hunter .......Skier ! Ooops wrong thread.......carry on.

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 10:27 AM
ah, what the hell, here's the bear story. Pretty impressive, I was thinking when I first read it "do I even know anybody that's ever gotten a bear, and truth is, can't think of anybody".

Girl, 8, Credited With Year's 1st Bear Kill
2 Rounds Did In the 211-Pound Animal, Third-Grader From Western Md. Says

By Nelson Hernandez
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

MOUNT NEBO, Md., Oct. 24 -- There's a new hunting legend in the mountains of Western Maryland.

Born to the woods, she's 4 1/2 feet tall and 8 years old, with a shock of light brown hair and a steady trigger finger that put two bullets into a black bear's chest cavity Monday, according to her and her father and granduncle, who were hunting with her. State officials backed the claim by Sierra Stiles and credited her with the first kill of Maryland's second bear season since hunting the animals resumed after a half-century ban.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources officials, waiting to take measurements and tissue samples from the bears at a wildlife management center here, shook their heads in amazement at the news that the first hunter to bag a bear was a third-grade girl from Kitzmiller, on Maryland's border with West Virginia.

Sierra recounted here how she shot the 211-pound bear from 50 yards away with her .243-caliber rifle. "I was scared," she said, then paused for dramatic emphasis. "Because bears will eat anything!"

With evidence that the bear population has rebounded after nearly being wiped out in the early 1900s, Maryland is allowing hunters to kill 40 to 55 bears this season. This is up from a haul of 20 bears last year, when hunters met the quota in one day. The season is likely to last a few days longer because of the higher quota and abysmal weather: It was raining, then snowing, Monday in Western Maryland.

Early on, the hunt did not appear very promising: At least one hunter quit because of the weather, and animal rights advocates in bear suits protested in front of the natural resources headquarters in Annapolis.

Then at 9:50 a.m., Sierra, wet and shivering, arrived at the Mount Nebo Wildlife Management Area with her father and granduncle in a red Ford F-150 pickup. They backed into a small garage, and game workers hoisted the bear's carcass out of the truck's bed with a hanging hook.

Donald Stiles beamed as his daughter, dressed in hunters' camouflage with a fluorescent orange vest, told how she skipped school to shoot the male bear.

After winning one of 200 bear-hunting permits granted by lottery this year -- and acing the required safety test with a score of 98 -- Sierra recalled being rousted out of bed by her mother at 4:58 a.m., wolfing down a bowl of cereal and heading outside, to a field on her granduncle's farm. They waited two hours in the bush under a steady, cold rain.

"I was dragging," Sierra said.

It got a bit brighter as the sun glowed sullenly through a thick blanket of clouds, she said. Sierra's granduncle, Robert Harvey, saw a dark shadow in the distance, but he didn't know what it was. Her father thought it was a bear.

"I froze up," she recalled. Regaining her composure, Sierra stood behind a tree, waiting until the bear was about 50 yards away, she said. Then she took careful aim and squeezed the trigger. The bullet struck the bear behind the shoulder. Unfazed by the rifle's light recoil, she said, she ejected the casing, reloaded and fired another round.

It hit. The bear ran about 150 feet before collapsing.

"I was really, really, really happy," Sierra exclaimed. "They won't eat now. They won't eat a thing."

She described her feat to a group of natural resources officials and reporters at the Mount Nebo center. Harry Spiker, who manages the hunt for the natural resources department, said he had no doubt that Sierra shot the bear. He said he'd heard lots of tall tales from hunters and had learned to distinguish the credible from the inflated.

If Sierra seems like a natural, it's probably because she is. (Jeff Foxworthy please note, yet another "you may be a redneck if...") Her father remembers carrying her out to hunt raccoon with him when she was 1 month old. But even he's never killed a bear, and the only bears Sierra had seen before Monday were in zoos.

After a trip to a taxidermist, she'll be able to see one all the time: She plans to take the stuffed bear home.

The Humane Society of the United States, which has urged Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) to ban bear hunts, expressed concern Monday over the age of the hunter and noted that the first bear killed last year was a young bear.

"Governor Ehrlich is personally responsible for exposing young children and young bears to this cruelty," read the news release.

But hunters who came later, hauling bears of their own, were astonished by Sierra's feat of marksmanship -- usually bears will start to run too fast for a hunter to get off a second shot. And the bears weren't lulled into complacency by the 51-year moratorium, said Paul Peditto, director of DNR's wildlife and heritage service.

"Bears perceive humans as a threat, period," he said. "They don't know the difference between a human who's just out in the woods and someone who is hunting," viewing all as a possible danger to their feeding area.

So how did Sierra make the shot? "I'm fast at everything," she explained.

"I can't imagine the pride," said Tim Kvech, 31, the second hunter to bring in a bear. "My daughter's 9, and I can't do that."

The third hunter to come in -- and the third to arrive in a red pickup -- was Tera Roach, 23, a Reisterstown, Md., native. She had trapped two bears in Maine, but the bear she shot Monday, a 147-pound female, was her first bear kill in Maryland.

Hearing of Sierra's feat, Roach said, "That's good to see any kids out there, especially girls."

"The ladies are taking over," Peditto observed. "And it's a good thing."


[Edited on 10/31/2005 by cleaneduphippy]

 
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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 10:49 AM
There is a program called Catch-A-Dream that works just to give terminally ill kids the "hunting" and outdoor experience they dream of that Make-A-Wish prohibits.

http://catchadream.org/

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 10:51 AM
I shoot lots of things in nature......with my camera I don't dislike people who hunt, they have a right to do so. So long as they're careful and don't commit an SUI (Shooting Under the Influence) I'm an animal lover so naturally, I couldn't bring myself to kill any of the little critters.

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 01:01 PM
Our capacity for violence exists. Therefore, it is difficult to view it as good or bad, per se. Some forms of violence might be ultimately justifiable. I would like to see people be more thoughtful about it and the ultimate impacts on its subject, as well as the one perpetrating the violent act.

I am not sure an eight year old is really emotionally mature enough to decide on their own and really be able handle an act as killing such a magnificent creature. So I can understand those who view it as a form of abuse. I remember, as a child, on some of those long hot summer days, thinking about such issues when playing in front of my house. You know, deciding whether or not to flatten the ant cruising across the sidewalk. Although sometimes I would go ahead and squish it, I never could come up with a justifiable reason. The ant was just going about its business and who am I to interrupt it in such a final, random way? And for what purpose? Sure i had that power, and of course nobody really cared, but it still activated my conscience.

I do enjoy fishing a great deal. I always do my best to catch/release. I really regret it when I don't set the hook properly and the fish ends up swallowing it. Once in a while we'll keep one of the fish for dinner or breakfast. But I would much rather have the chance to do battle with it again. I don't know, some might say I'm extremist. But why be a party to the destructon of any life if there is really no justification? It would seem one could find other ways of getting an adrenaline rush. Oh well, to each his own.

Do any hunters ever hunt with tranquilizers, instead of bullets? Seems they could accomplish the same thing.

Peace.

Erik





[Edited on 10/31/2005 by CEEJ]

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 01:06 PM
quote:

I am not sure an eight year old is really emotionally mature enough to decide on their own and really be able handle an act as killing such a magnificent creature. So I can understand those who view it as a form of abuse. I remember, as a child, on some of those long hot summer days


She was hunting on a family farm. The increased bear population in western maryland
has hurt the corn farmers arround here.

She understands. In her own words:

quote:

"I was really, really, really happy," Sierra exclaimed. "They won't eat now. They won't eat a thing."



She has better understanding of what she is doing then do you for sure

Peace
John

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 01:17 PM



She has better understanding of what she is doing then do you for sure

Peace
John



John -

Your statement is confusing to me. What is it that you believe she has a better understanding of?

Peace.

Erik

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 01:24 PM
quote:
quote:


She has better understanding of what she is doing then do you for sure

Peace
John



John -

Your statement is confusing to me. What is it that you believe she has a better understanding of?

Peace.

Erik



That she was killing a predator on her grand uncle's farm that is taking corn and profit from her family.
And is happy to do it.

Why do you think a eight year old can't grasp that concept?

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 01:27 PM
Culling the Bear population so crop damage is decreased. One thing about kids growing up on a farm they are taught at a young age the economic implications and effect on their livilihood of crop damage caused by geese, raccoons, skunks, deer, bears, you name it.




[Edited on 10/31/2005 by Peachypetewi]

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 02:29 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:


She has better understanding of what she is doing then do you for sure

Peace
John



John -

Your statement is confusing to me. What is it that you believe she has a better understanding of?

Peace.

Erik



That she was killing a predator on her grand uncle's farm that is taking corn and profit from her family.
And is happy to do it.
Well hallelujah!

quote:
Why do you think a eight year old can't grasp that concept?


I didn't realize that bears were such big corn eaters.

Anyway, my experience with eight year olds is that they tend not to take joy in killing anything, period. And I didn't say the eight year old is unable to grasp any concept. I was confused by your statement, not hers. My post expressed my thoughts and opinions on the matter at hand. It was a reflection of my feelings on the matter, not hers. So to suggest she somehow had a better understanding of my viewpoint was confusing. Thus, I sought your clarification.

I do question the emotional/psychological impact on a child of wielding the power of life and death over such a magnificent creature. Some might believe it is the best thing in the world for her. I, however, personally disagree with that viewpoint. One thing I am certain of is people can always justify their actions for one reason or another. Those ants were on my sidewalk, after all, without my permission. That was justification enough to squish them, and in that instance I had the power and I didn't need justification anyway, so what did it matter?

Certainly there might be a good reason for controlling the bear population in Maryland. Whether having eight year olds carry out the policy is the wisest thing? I doubt it. That's all. I will state my primary point again; I wish people were more thoughtful about their use of violence in our culture.

Peace.

Erik





[Edited on 10/31/2005 by CEEJ]

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 02:39 PM
quote:
I will state my primary point again; I wish people were more thoughtful about their use of violence in our culture.

Peace.

Erik



Seems to me she was competely thoughful of her actions and views about bears.
Seems to me that is what you are still missing.

She scored a 98 on her hunting safety test. She took down a bear running away with
a great shot. Seems entirely appropriate that she was more tham qualified to
shoot a vermin on her family's farm.

I don't think corn farmers agree with your view of " magnificent creature."

Farmers have other ways of dealing with bears besides the sanctioned hunts.
It's called diggin a hole.

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 03:21 PM
quote:
quote:
I will state my primary point again; I wish people were more thoughtful about their use of violence in our culture.

Peace.

Erik



Seems to me she was competely thoughful of her actions and views about bears.
Seems to me that is what you are still missing.

She scored a 98 on her hunting safety test. She took down a bear running away with
a great shot. Seems entirely appropriate that she was more tham qualified to
shoot a vermin on her family's farm.

I don't think corn farmers agree with your view of " magnificent creature."

Farmers have other ways of dealing with bears besides the sanctioned hunts.
It's called diggin a hole.
I believe all life has a purpose beyond which I am really qualified to understand or judge. I believe that doing violence against anything effects me negatively. It becomes a more difficult issue when it comes to matters involving self defense. I do act in violent ways and will do so to defend myself. It is strange, that when I do, however, some part of my soul and conscience regrets it.

You are correct that farmers have a more practical, straight forward perspective on this matter, I am sure. Maybe you have a much better sense of this and maybe the eight year old does also. That is fine, good for you both. I just view it differently. I do find it interesting that you choose to refer to the bear as "vermin" and I am sure there are other derogatory phrases you could come up with also. Sort of like labelling our enemies "terrorists", in a way. It likely makes it easier to perpetrate violence against it.

Peace.

Erik

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 03:29 PM
I used the term "vermin" in contrast to your "magnificant creature"

It's about perspective.

The Deer eating my tomatoe plants are vermin, even if they are pretty and graceful.

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 03:33 PM
I think it's kinda odd....we prohibit kids from doing so many things for saftey reasons, but allow them to handle guns?? I think that's a bit more dangerous than allowing them to do lots of things that are considered neglectful.

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 03:37 PM
quote:
I think it's kinda odd....we prohibit kids from doing so many things for saftey reasons, but allow them to handle guns?? I think that's a bit more dangerous than allowing them to do lots of things that are considered neglectful.




Once again:

She scored a 98 on her hunter safety test.
She was with her father. She showed she is a crack shot.
What is the problem with all that?

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 04:21 PM
Have to agree with you John. Sue, there's nothing wrong with teaching children how to be responsible around firearms and that includes their use. Apparently, young Sierra learned her lessons well.
 
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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 05:09 PM
Exactly.

Who determined that firearms are evil?

It's the intent of the user that determines what happens.

There is nothing wrong with giving this child an oppourtunity like that.

Damn sad that it is not socially acceptable to give a kid a BB gun anymore.

Due to my hip problem, I elected to forego bow season this year.

But I will be out there opening day with my shotgun.

Maybe this year I'll get something better than last year's rabid raccoon.

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 05:13 PM
quote:


Maybe this year I'll get something better than last year's rabid raccoon.


It was a badger

 

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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 05:17 PM
I rescue animals and I kill animals, everything evens out in the wash.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 05:22 PM
quote:
quote:


Maybe this year I'll get something better than last year's rabid raccoon.


It was a badger


We don't have badgers in Skaneateles.

Or wolverines.

Hedgehogs.

Porcupines.

Elk.

None of those.

No wild space monkeys either.

Sorry.

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 05:24 PM
quote:
Exactly.

Who determined that firearms are evil?

"People that don't want you to have one."

It's the intent of the user that determines what happens.

"I've so many times wanted to be at a juror in a trial against a firearms manufacture. I'd beg the lawyer who filed the lawsuit to get the gun to just dryfire, no ammo, just have it pull it's own trigger and cause the hammer to fall on an empty chamber. Then I would be more likely to believe that guns themselves are evil."

There is nothing wrong with giving this child an oppourtunity like that.

" In the south, it's still one of the rites of passage of becoming a human. You learn not to kill discriminately, just for what you need to eat, and to defend yourself and property."

Damn sad that it is not socially acceptable to give a kid a BB gun anymore.

"It is around here. The kids are encouraged to help us keep down the squirrell population.
Most of the older folks get the tree rats and cook them. That is, those that the cats don't jump on before the kids can get to them."

Due to my hip problem, I elected to forego bow season this year.

But I will be out there opening day with my shotgun.

Maybe this year I'll get something better than last year's rabid raccoon.

"I hope you get something with a little more meat on it. Good Hunting"

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 05:37 PM
quote:
I used the term "vermin" in contrast to your "magnificant creature"

It's about perspective.

The Deer eating my tomatoe plants are vermin, even if they are pretty and graceful.


In my opinion, all life is magnificent. Yes, even those ants I squished. Deer that eat tomatoe plants are doing what comes naturally to survive. I respect that, and don't view it as a justification to erradicate them. Your perspective almost seems to imply that the deer are consciously doing something to you (i.e. eating your plants) and i don't really understand that. There are probably other ways to protect the plants, but erradication of the deer (as if you could erradicate all of them) is probably one of the simplest, and I would further argue, thoughtless ways of addressing the situation. Again, I wish people were more thoughtful about their use of violence in this culture.

BTW, turning this discussion into a debate about firearms obfiscates the real issue of the role of violence in culture. People always have some means to do violence at something else. Whether it is a gun, a stick, a voice, a rock, a fist, or a nuclear explosive, is immaterial to why people so easily rely on violence and extreme aggression to attempt to solve problems. In situations involving relations of power, use of violence is often a rather desparate, last-resort effort to exert control. Use of violence often comes from a perceived position of weakness, not strength. I guess that makes sense, from a hunting perspective, since, despite his ego, man will and can never exert any real control over nature. Ahab always goes down with that white whale in the end and really only accomplishes his own sad, self-destruction.

Peace.

Erik






[Edited on 10/31/2005 by CEEJ]

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 07:33 PM
Back in about 1977 I was in college in central Wisconsin. A friend of mine took me up to Florence Wi very far up in the in the NW part of the state. It was early February there was roughly 3 1/2 feet of snow on the ground. We went snow shoeing back in an area down a logging trail and after about 2 miles came upon a deer herd of about 15 deer. What was odd is that only about 2/3rds of them could garner up the strength to run when they saw us. The other 5 were exhausted from starvation. Too many deer. It just confirmed what I already knew. We need to harvest deer because there isn't enough food to sustain them. It is sinful to let that meat rot out there and not utilize what is available to us. Actually Itake 2 deer a year and prefer eating venison to beef. Less fat content, more lean, more healthy for you.

I don't consider my hunting violence. I consider it responsible, educated management of a wildlife resource that left unchecked will over populate and die off from disease and starvation. To not hunt is irresponsible wildlife management.

[Edited on 11/1/2005 by Peachypetewi]

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 10/31/2005 at 07:35 PM
Using the reasoning above about an 8 year old child proving profeciency in shooting as well as being accompanied by her parent who approves, then why is it illegal and even considered insane to let children learn to drive cars, operate heavy machinery, fly planes, etc....that's what I was getting at. Just curious.....

 

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