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Brad Eden

Sentiments on Killing

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Bushwood

I don't want to change the direction of the thread- yes I feel both remorse and respect for what I kill.  But I eat what I kill and I hunt for the outdoor expirience, the challenge, and the dog work. I will go on record stating that I don't favor trophy hunting.

The fact is everyone kills.  The hamburger from the restuarant, the chicken from the grocer, or the whopper from McDonalds...everyone kills, every day.  Non-hunters conveniently ignore that they kill just as much as hunters.  Some even think that hunters are strange for enjoying the kill.  

The fact is, when I go outdoors, work hard and undertsand an animals environment, I tie myself back into the food chain that we are inevitably a part of.  That gives me more respect for the animal I kill, and less guilt about killing.

I've toured the high density cow farms that feed much of our country.  That makes me feel a lot more guilty about my consuption than hunting ever will.

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NW-Gsp
This is a subject I have a hard time explaining to people who inquire or even in my own head for that matter.  I grew up a farm girl.  My Dad was a hunter as well so animals, while wll cared for and respected were part of the circle of life.   Being the animal lover that I am and always have been, many find it strange that I also kill.  It depend on the animal, I can shoot ground hogs all day with no remorse.  They are a crop farmers nightmare.  I don't care to shoot does, but have several times because of the NJ earn-a-buck program and really didn't like the feeling.  Shooting a buck is different for me, I feel pride, a thrill, but I always say a thankful prayer for each animal.  I would never take a fox, coyote, wolf, bear.  I have no problem with it (I'm married to a trapper), it's just not in my heart.  To each his own, live and let live.  Be an ethical hunter within the law and make no apologies.

I also have people ask me how I can hunt when I am an animal lover wich I always reply that If we did not have any hunters some animals will become overpopulated and would cause disease problems in some cases or starvation in others.

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MTRookie76
For me the kill is not all that important. I love to be out on the prairie or in the woods. If I do make a kill I have no guilt or regrets. I would not be able to pull the trigger on some animals, can not really explain why just some animals I like watching more than shooting. I do not have any problems with any hunter taking any animal as long as it was a legal hunt.

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gar-dog

The kill is the logical conclusion of the hunt.  It is the culmination of the process of hunting.  It gives purpose to the hunt, otherwise you are just wandering.

I like to sometimes take the moral and practical accountability for the meat I eat.  I think it makes me more respectful of all of our food and makes me feel more connected to nature and my own humanity.   Civilization has distanced us from the fact that we do eat animals.  The meat comes from a living thing that dies for us.

I believe God's order put the animals here for us to eat.  That is why animals we eat have shorter life spans and many breed every year.  They are renewable - just like the food that they eat - insects and fruit and buds, having even shorter lives.  If he did not intend for us to eat them, why would they have such short natural life spans?

I don't feel remorse for birds at all.  I just don't.   I admit when I have killed deer I have felt sad.   I am just a bird hunter these days... I respect the game and love nature and eat what I kill.   That is the way of the world.

G

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chicago0517

I've never hunted anything that didn't have feathers. When doing so, I feel it's my responsibility to finish what I started: If I shoot and hit, I need to recover it and put in on the table.

I don't throw it away and those rare circumstances that one of the dogs can't find a cripple I carry a significant amount of guilt for a couple of days. The last rooster I shot this year - last field of the last day of hte season didn't make it home with me. I still feel bad about it. I didn't do my job.

I have recently, however, gotten an itch to try a deer or elk hunt. I'm actively putting in for points to get a good draw by the time I can afford a decent rifle or muzzle loader. In those cirumstances, I could never do a 'canned' hunt and shoot even the biggest buck over a feeder. That's not fair.

That being said, if you want to do it that's your deal. Not mine. If you and your family needs the food - or if you're providing a service to others - then I even have less problem with it, if any. My need to hunt isn't truly for the food, it's the experience.

For me hunting is much less about the kill, more about the experience. But in the end, fair chase is the rule.

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North Dakota Hntr

I don't kill and I don't believe in it. I do like meat though so I go to the meat making stores. Some stores make better meat than others. Deans meat market downtown makes the best meat. They make real big beef steaks that look as real as the ones the rancher cuts off the cow after he kills it. They have done a good job making fake bones in the chicken legs to.

I don't understand why we have to have hunters or ranchers kill things when the stores are doing such a good job making it.

I don't believe in killing plants either. The stores do a good job of making vegetables too so why have farmers?

I stepped on a spider the other day by accident. It was terrible. We had some people come for the funeral. I said a few words and we all prayed.... Then I flushed.

Craig

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Dakota Dogman

Big game is meat in the freezer for us.  I don't exactly enjoy shooting a doe, but there is a little regret in it but I know my purpose is food.  Bucks on the other hand are more likely to cause me to pause, and reflect on the moment.  Something beautiful and majestic about the animal.

I personally see a difference between birds and big game.  Deer hunting done right (in my book of course) is a quiet sit as the animal comes to me, a shot, a down animal, and a moment of reflection.  Birds are a following the dog, feeling his excitement as he gets close, the thrill, fear, adrenalin boost at the bird busts out, the quick motion to get the gun on then slowing down to take my time for the shot.  The dog goes off, retrieves a warm body & I am pumped!  For me the process of hunting makes the difference.

Varmits (prarie dogs) are only fun for a while when I'm feeling red neck.  I know the need to keep the population thinned down, but their reaches a certain point where the day has lost its color.  In contrast I don't care for shooting squirls, as it is just for the pleasure of killing and (at least in my haunts) they haven't been over populated to the place where they are causeing problems.  The criteria seems to be the damage the critter is causing.  Thus I don't flinch on racoons, skunks, or feral cats, but badgers, chipmunks and squirls are different.

Growing up in livestock land, large preditors (fox up) are a problem, and are treated as such, no problem, and at times, depending on the situation, perhaps even a little celebration.

God Bless,

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sprocket

For me - the ingredients are simple:

joy of completing task

remorse for taking life

appreciation of the beauty in the animal/bird

stick it all in a blender and hit frappe

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Roost em 1st

"One does not hunt in order to kill. On the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted." Jose Ortega Y Gasset.. (special thanks to instructor Meade for correcting my earlier quote.)

He said it way better than I ever could. Yes I feel sad when I take a deer, then I show respect by what I do with the deer. I don't feel so bad with regard to feathers, I can't explain why that is. Over the years I have learned there are some hunters I disagree with. I have also learned that their own experience is just that. I try to not judge another hunter's motives or practices. Sometimes that is hard to do and I express my thoughts on what they did; I don't do this to force my own thoughts on another, rather I am forced to share what I think.

While hunting game I often find things I treasure that are not the quarry of my quest.

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UplandGuide

Well, I was a deer hunter when I was a younger fellow - killed a few over the years.  I was an avid woodchuck hunter when I was a young man....killed quite a few over the years.  Somehow the appeal for killing deer and woodchuck has disappeared.  Bird hunting (Grouse & Woodcock, mainly) over pointing dogs has been a passion for many, many years and continues to be a huge part of my life.  However, if it weren't for the dog work, if it weren't for the sudden flush and instinctive shooting, there would be no bird killing.  When my Llewellins lock up on a Woodcock, If I see it lying still in it's camoflauged security, and I see it's big eye staring at me, no way can I take the shot.  I don't want to hold that bird in my hand.  If there is a point and I flush a bird without seeing it then I can instinctively shoot....and maybe kill.....and if so, eat a wonderful followup meal.

It's not about the killing for me, anymore.  It's how I get to the opportunity to have killed.  See my signature line below.

The joy of bringing a new pup (Sydney) along and seeing her work for clients.......that's what it's all about for me.

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Seeing the enthusiasm, the passion Zack, Sydney & Jessy have for the hunt.....that's what it's all about.  For the past several days I've been trying to explain "hunting seasons" to them.  They refuse to accept the idea that seasons close!!

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WestElk

Lots of great replies, many of which I agree with in part of fully...

For me the intrigue of hunting grew out of my childhood surroundings – the woods of the Arkansas Ozarks. And though my father lost interest in hunting before I was born, I was allowed to tag along duck hunting with my uncle in the bottomland swamps of southern Arkansas. My first hunting experiences were shaped more by the thrill of getting to go, the places I would not otherwise be likely to inhabit, and the demonstration of skill I observed, than by the desire to kill something. And that relationship has stuck with me to this day. From the very first greenhead I brought down years ago (with a borrowed .410 sxs in the flooded timber), to the only grouse I managed to kill last season, I have almost always felt a twinge of remorse for killing something that would have otherwise continued to go about its own “peaceful” business. But life and death are an inseparable part of nature, and I feel a deep sense of gratitude, even obligation, to participate in the cycles that link me to the natural world. I continue to hunt (and fish) because of my desire to stay in tune with my instincts, and I continue to stop and reflect on every life I take while hunting. Is it fair? Is it justified? I think it is, but you’ll never find me hunting for sport, just to kill something and brag about the carnage later. It’s damn near spiritual to me, and I don’t take it lightly.

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Guest

Whoa....

I've gotten in alot of hot water over this one amongst those who take pleasure in killing dogs and cats, feral or not, for little reason, amongst many other critters who are performing no more than trying to go about their day, just like me..

I've been accused of being a PETA type over these issues.. particularly by the still wet behind the ears, kill, kill, kill crowd who judge their success by carcasses on the tailgate..

Suffice to say, I agree with my old friend Lee, and Captain Chartrand expressed my thoughts quite well.

Gotta' get cleaned up now... PETA meeting tonight, and Cameron Diaz is the guest speaker..

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UplandGuide

Yes, sometimes I feel like I'm turning into a mush.  I believe that working with dogs over the many years....and living with my own..........staring into their mugs...........that's what has softened me up against "just killing".

Now, don't get me wrong.....their is a place for killing in the world.  After all we are living amongst billions of humans in the world......and humans are at the root of 99% of all our problems.  It's a human thing.  Child molesters, rapists, suicide bombers, nuts, etc.....  Human beings are potential problems here on earth.  Unfortunately you just can't resign from the human race.

Oh, if humans only had the passion my dogs have for birds.  It's such a joy to watch them go about their business.....and wonderful that they include me.

Misc02182009012a.jpg

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Guest

My God....

If you hunt, in the end you kill.. If you like the IDEA of hunting, you can dress up in your LL Bean fresh from the store, stroke and polish your fancy guns, pat the head of your 18X field trial champ bloodlined mutt, drive down the road in the lastest "man" rig, and all the other things that go along with being a hunter.. But until you pull the trigger, you're just fooling yourself. The old Hemingway quote says it all and it describes my feeling on this matter to a tee.

My heros growing up were Hemmingway, Ruark, Capstick, O'Conner and others who instilled in me a deep passion for the far-flung places of the earth where exotic species awaited in vast numbers to be hunted.. deer hunting in TX held little passion to me.. Since then I was old enough to read those books, Ive always wanted to chase sheep and goats in the highest crags of the world's mountains, elephant in the steamy low-veldlt of Africa, proper hunts in the old world fashion... I never dreamed of going there and just taking pics of them.. I wanted to HUNT them!! So why would I feel remorse or sad for making childhood dreams come true?? That'd be like a lifelong golfer pouting over that once in a lifetime hole in one!!

I can't help but feeling like this thread has a big red arrow pointed right at me.. I knew better than to post a thread about elephant hunting on a board where the majority of the members are from little blue states and aren't big game hunters to begin with...and the emotions began to flow in full force on here. But I went against my better judgment and did it anyways..because I have been on the UJ for 5 years now sharing stories and enjoying the hunting trips of the other members on here. But it did just what I feared it would.. It started a pissing match of emotions and then the ethics police came out in full force.. With the other thread I started, it was mainly just as a joke to ruffle all the feathers of all the "holier than thous" that decided to come out of the woodwork with the ele hunt thread.. I guess there are a LOT of different facets of hunters I never knew were out there.. some I care to not deal with again.. kinda like dealing with an anti..

Guys, I think its time for a long break from the UJ.. There are some awesome people on here that I would love to stay in contact with, and Ive met alot of them from here over the years, but for the most part, I feel this place has become a bit stale with lop-sided opinions and points of view. I think I'll stick with the BIG GAME forums I frequent and who knows, maybe I'll stumble onto a western bird hunting forum out there on the web.. might fit in better over there. Anybody know of any??

Its a long time away from now, but you guys who are Mearns hunting regulars stay in touch with me when season starts again this fall!!

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Brad Eden

Has my sensibilities related to hunting and killing changed from the last frog shot with my BB gun when I was a kid; to the moment in time the first grouse I ever killed fell to my shot when I was a teenager; to the point when the Spike horn buck dropped in its tracks last November?

Yes.

And all the hunting and killing in between for a span of 35 years formed what I am today. When I was a keen 25 year old I never would have thought it possible that I wouldn't hunt every available second til the day I died. Up until just a few years ago the mere possibility a rauncher buck might be bedded in the green growth up high got me out of bed hours before light. Now I am likely to turn over and go to sleep half the time. The sweet reality that there was a nice brood of grouse just across the street in a nice piece of cover would torture me until I could go chase them. Now I chase them but am equally satisfied that they are just there. When the Woodcock flights were slipping in nothing could keep me from rushing home from work, throwing on chaps, hopping the dogs into the truck and hunting the last waning hours of the day. Today, I wont rush. When I first got the turkey hunting bug I was obsessed and roosted as many birds as I could in an afternoon and was there waiting for one in the morning. Now, I hunt mid morning as much as early and experience equal success.

Maybe I'm getting soft or maybe I just have changed or evolved. But I wont deny those much younger than me to go through their own keenness, their own experiences and give them my counsel if asked but give them the room to navigate their own change.

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