The Hunt is On!

I grew up in the South, where hunting is a rite of passage. Parents and grandparents take children out in the crisp, cold air and teach them to kill animals. Then the animals are processed and eaten. Hunting was all about providing food for the family.


And today, many men and women still hunt to put food on the table. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that. Most of the hunters who hunt for food are more concerned about the environment and nature than you probably are. And I think a deer that gets a chance to live a life free and in the woods is much more fortunate than the chickens and pigs that are slaughtered, cut up, and put into those nice, neat packages you get at the local grocer.

But what we call the “sport” of hunting isn’t just about feeding the family. In Idaho this past weekend a “hunting derby” was held, and hunters were awarded prizes for the killing the largest or the most animals. The animals hunted? Coyotes and wolves.

In the UK on Boxing Day, many people turned out in support of the fox hunts, in a move designed to force the Tory government to repeal the ban on fox hunts. Fox hunting in the UK consists of people on horses following dogs as the dogs hunt a fox and then kill it.

And what purpose do these types of events serve? Will those coyotes, foxes or wolves provide sustenance for a family? No. They are hunted for fun. For a prize. To show off in front of others.

Photo by Blaine Eckberg, from US Fish and Wildlife web site.
Photo by Blaine Eckberg, from US Fish and Wildlife website.

There are those that would pay for the privilege to kill an animal that has lived its entire life in captivity. Or those that would pay to kill an endangered animal such as a rhino or elephant.

In my mind, that is not hunting. That is senseless killing.

At least most poachers of rhinos and elephants do so to provide for their families.

If you eat meat, you have the blood of animals on your hands. So no point in getting down on those that kill their own. But those that kill to try to prove something? You’ve proven nothing to me but that you have little regard for anything beyond your own nose. 

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on hunting.

34 thoughts on “The Hunt is On!

  1. My dad used to go on hunting trips a couple of times a year. Even at a young age, I had no desire to accompany him to kill animals. I will say that what he hunted was brought home as food. I also agree with you that animals are better off living their life free and then killed by a hunter than caged and slaughtered. My biggest problem with hunting is that in nature, predators weed out the weak and thus make the herd stronger, while humans kill the strongest and leave the weakest alive to reproduce.

  2. We have a problem in my area with coyotes who have been attacking and killing family dogs. Small live stock, and they are over populated. I can go for a walk on my property but even with walking my 2 dogs I need to take a walking stick or bat just incase we run across a pack which are becoming blatant in the day time. In my state the hunting of coyotes is highly regulated and it is for the benefit of the farmer and safety of our family pets. Friend of mine has goats which are penned with a tubing gate she watched as a pack ran the outside of the fence to frighten the goats till one came to close to the gate where the smallest one was able to get a hold of one of the goats literally with its teeth grab the tail hold on as it thrashed to get away it came closer to the gate where another grabbed hold with its teeth. He stopped it by shooting in the air . We have a need in our area. My friend has goats for their income for the milk and meat

    1. So my question is: where is the coyote’s land and hunting territory, and where are the animals they hunt to eat? If humans are grabbing up all the land, what do you expect these animals to do?

      I don’t see killing these animals because they are trying to survive. The farmer lost one goat. So a coyote ate it instead of the human.

      1. Actually where I live it is has been farm land which have stayed in families for at least 3 generations. Granted as the children of these families came along each received a parcel to farm an live on. This where I live is a corner of a farmers property.
        There hunting space is wide open. They as I said in my comment are flourishing to the point of over running and dying of starvation. Which is also a possibility. Also over crowding breads disease as with any species. As far as hunts I have mixed feelings. I do believe the Farmers have there rights to protect their own as I do to protect my 2 girls. I do not worry so much for my goat because she is housed close to the house and thus far they have not come to near.
        A neighbor who has lived here for all of her 50 years opened her curtain In the morning and there was a couple near her front porch.
        In the natural way I think this will be taken care of because recently we have had sightings of a cougar, if there is one there are more I just hope somewhere down the road we will have another issue all together. The thought of looking up to be sure one is not near is a little daunting.
        We also have brown bear in the area and they seem to be doing fine as well.

  3. Excellent post, yes I have no problem with hunting to provide food. My Dad would regularly snare rabbits, Rabbit was our staple diet when we were kids… I am so glad that the Fox hunts got stopped here in the UK… living in the countryside as a child, we would often see the hunt and hounds around and about… The Poor Fox being ripped apart for sport…. Now the hunt followers a scent trail, which is much better, But Foxes are still slaughtered and shot… A friend who lives near a farm told us a few months back how the farmer was complaining of his crops being eaten and over run with rabbits.. Our friend said, ” Well if you had left the foxes alone, Nature would have created the balance”
    I agree totally with you on the abhorrence of hunting for the sake of it especially Big Game Hunting… Here we have Grouse and Pheasant shoots at designated times of the year.. Most of these shoots are done on estates of wealthy land owners, Dukes, or Lords… and the birds are bread especially for the sport.. But at least these are eaten as game birds..

    We as humans have upset the balance of nature, and often those who are hunters like you say do it because they were brought up to it especially in the USA where gun laws are different than here in the UK… Here everyone needs a registered licence for a gun, and even on a farm, shotguns etc are checked and have to be in a locked cabinet when not in use.

    In an ideal world I wish there was No animal shot or maimed for the sake of some-ones whim that it felt good to kill something… We then wonder when people take aim at another Human being as they shoot them with no reason…

    What is it with our Human Nature that makes us want to destroy! Devour! and Conquer ???

    Happy 2014 to you Jen, and much love to all the four-legged xxx Sue

  4. Hunting is not familier to our area and it’s very rare to hear about people hunting…but I don’t agree with people who hunt animals just for fun. It’s human’s ego and arrogance……..I wish there should be some law about this cruel thing….

  5. Here is where we completely agree. If you hunt it–hunt fairly–which is basically bow and arrow, or spear. Then, if you kill it–eat it. Use all of it. because IT is actually a he or a she, a mother or a father, a daughter or son.

    Better yet. Eat nuts. Beans. Tofu. As a gal raised in beef-eating MT–I am a mass of contradictions on this, but have eliminated most meat from my diet–still eat cage-free eggs–and recently eliminated (sadly) all Pacific ocean fish (fukushima)

    Cheese is my sticking point. It’s inhumane because of the way dairy cows are treated.

  6. Growing up in Philadelphia, hunting was not a sport my family was ever involved in. Our house was always full of pets and we learned to love and care for animals. It was the same with my children. I am not a vegan but I support humane treatment of all animals. Killing for the sheer joy of killing is something I cannot understand.

  7. Well I am a total hypocrite because I eat meat . I just cannot get my head around hunting, I do love animals and I hate to see hunting of any type…. sorry I am English! we are mostly wet! xxx

  8. Well, as Morrissey says: “Meat is murder” or as Henry David Thoreau says: “The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.” So many wise words have been spoken by very wise men like Gandhi, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain… but still we don’t change. It just doesn’t make sense.

  9. I agree with your opinions on hunting, and though I grew up among a bunch of jerks who shot anything on sight, those I know today who hunt are serious, skilled and respectful, thought there are still jerks out there. “Sport” hunting, or “exploitation hunting”, is not “hunting” at all, nor is it a “sport”.

    And we’ve just flipped back over 100 years in environmental evolution. In 1900 Frank Chapman founded the Christmas Bird Count to counter the “Side Hunt” held at Christmas where teams of hunters would split up and go out to shoot just about anything they found, mostly birds at that time of year, and pile up the dead animals to see which “side” had the biggest pile, and they won. Chapman knew bird species would never survive that kind of killing, especially with the industrial era developing more and more land out of habitat. The “Side Hunt” was not banned, but it fell from favor as more and more people favored the environmental movement, which in time led to the Endangered Species Act.

    So this is what happens when a species is no longer endangered. You get to shoot it again. Great idea.

  10. I dislike hunting because I have never seen how aiming a high powered gun at an animal is in anyway a test of prowess against the animal. That said…I have friends who hunt [for the freezer], and they are much more concerned with the environment than many others I know. For me as a vegetarian, I am often amazed at the 1. cruelty of the way we raise meat for people to eat, and 2. the waste involved in raising this meat. If the land used to raise crops to feed those poor animals who are raised in cages was instead used to crow crops to feed people there would much less waste, the land would be better for it, and so would people…humans eat way too much meat.

  11. Don’t elephant poachers kill almost entirely for the tusks, even now? It’s more about the sale and the money than meat.

    1. They do kill for the sale of tusks and horns, but they kill for money to feed their family. And trust me, they make very little off their efforts. It’s the middle men who make the money. That’s why there have to be alternative ways for these people to make a living. Otherwise, we’ll never end poaching.

  12. I am on both sides of the hunting thing…..I think hunting for sport is ridiculous! But hunting for food… much as I may not love that idea, you are right in saying a lot of hunters do care more about the environment then most of us do……so hunting for food….not all in all terrible. Part of the world.
    Hope you had a good Christmas and wishing you a very happy New year!
    ((husky hugz))
    “love is being owned by a husky”

  13. You really said it correctly… for those who hunt for MEAT… like our dad does… TROPHY hunters are an embarrassment. My dad knows all the Trees in the woods… and how they should look in each season… He alerted the authorities when he saw Damage caused by Emerald Ash Borers… That will help stop the progress of the insects… REAL hunters ARE aware and DO care. THANK YOU fur telling both sides.

  14. I do not know how to do private conversations here. Please understand I do not mean anything bad by my comments. I DO not wish ideas to stop HERE. I am not very good at articulating my ideas. I also believe we need a balance. Gosh I wish there was more conversation understanding each others needs. I have to admit I am new to both sides. How do we do private message and learn from each other. Everyone is so careful now it is hard to share without being personal

  15. I just don’t want to be shot when I’m hiking in the woods. I’ve eaten venison. I don’t think it’s more humane to let the deer die of starvation in the winter when thinning the numbers lets the survivors have enough food, especially when many people do like venison. I don’t like so many guns readily available. I don’t like the idea of every teenage male getting a 22. There just aren’t that many teenage males I would trust with a 22. I don’t like school shootings. I don’t know any better than anyone else how to resolve many of the conflicting interests, all of whom have valid points of view. I do wish people would use their heads and only use guns in a safe and responsible way and keep them locked up the rest of the time.

  16. Agree with what you wrote. Never been able to wrap my wits around killing for sport. And, what does it do to offset the environment and the natural order and way animals interact in nature?

    Wishing you and the gang Happy New Year. Love from Paulette and our gang

  17. There’s killing and then there’s hunting. Actually we know few who hunt now – we can afford the grocery store – and cleaning/preparing game is time consuming.
    Trophy hunting is bizarre
    Hope your new year is full of warmth and joy.

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