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     This video speaks poignantly about why I hunt.  It’s a connection with everything around us, about being given a gift from the forest spirits for the health of my family, friends, and loved ones.  It has nothing to do with bragging rights, antler size, sport, or any other stupid reason humans attach to it.

    I took a trip late this past summer, out to Wyoming to spend time with a friend.  While I was out there, we went up on the hill together, to talk with the spirits, and learn how to listen to them better.  3 days with no food or water, I saw everything and nothing.  I did a lot of praying, greeted the sun coming over the mountains every morning, had times where it was so quiet all you could hear was your heartbeat and your blood flowing, endured rain, hail, unrelenting sun, incredible wind gusts – had a hummingbird visit me at night at ten thousand feet as the moon was rising, watched the clouds go by, and prayed more – for my friends, for my family, for people I didn’t know, for everything around us.  I came back down off the hill, hopefully more thoughtful, with a clearer mind and heart.  When we got back to my friend’s house, we arrived just in time to have the JW’s stop by and try to tell us about god. I don’t think they wanted talk to him like we had just done.

     A few days later, as I was heading back to Salt Lake to catch a flight back home, I had four golden eagles come to say goodbye – sitting on the snow fence next to the road within a half mile of each other, watching me as I passed by in the car to leave that part of the country.  My heart still yearns to go back, and I will again this summer – family in tow.

     Strange and wonderful things I don’t understand happened to me after I came back.  For the next month, I was woken up right before the sun rose over the horizon, whether I wanted to be or not.  This happened every morning like clockwork – you could set an alarm by it.  This lasted till the day of the next full moon.

     So when I had a dream about how my deer hunt was supposed to go that year, I didn’t find it very unusual.  I was to hunt in an old way – purify myself by ceremony before going out to hunt, and withhold any food until my animal was taken.  Certain things also happened, I was to use my grandfather’s rifle, and until I completely figured this out, I couldn’t find any bullets for my rifle – although they were practically falling out of the sky for his.  Also, I was to hunt in a different spot this year – make a shooting stick from a sapling, and wrap it red cotton cloth – and stay out there all day.  I didn’t ask many questions.

     In the end it took 3 days for me to get my deer. It was a tough weekend, with really unseasonably warm weather, and blustery winds that would build and crescendo into large, violent thunderstorms.  I was glad to be hunting a power line break out in the middle of an overgrown field – I could hear trees crashing down in the forest all around me at times.  It was very late that morning on the 3rd day, as another storm was brewing, when I finally had my chance – a small deer, 200 yards away – walking after his friends whom had come flying across the break at a dead run only minutes earlier.  There were only a few seconds to spare, he would not stop – my shooting stick held me steady and my sight picture was perfect as I took the shot.  I saw him kick in the air through the scope as the rifle kicked me in the shoulder and came back down, one step forward and he was gone into the thicket; completely invisible.  

     I steadied my nerves, thanked the spirits, and had a smoke.  I kept praying that my shot was good, that his suffering would be quick, and that I could get him back in order to honor him properly.  My heart sank when I went to where he had been walking; there were hoof prints, deep marks in the ground where he had jumped, but no blood.  I searched his trail for about 80 yards, crawling through the thicket, looking for any sign, anything that would give away his location – a few footsteps were all I found.

     With my heart even lower, I went back to camp – and resignedly ate a bowl of chili, and hunkered down while another raging thunderstorm blew through.  By the time I had finished my chili, the storm had passed, and the sun was back out – it was time to head back out to my blind.

     I sat there for a good little spell, maybe an hour or so after getting back, all the while the insistence in my head said for me to go look for him some more.  Finally I couldn’t stand it any longer, the flash of a deer laid out exactly like the one I had taken 3 years prior, lying in a small clearing down along the edge of the tree line of that field was burning itself into my consciousness.  I resolved to go quietly walk along the edge of that field, heading into the wind – to keep a look for anything that might be there, and to look for my quarry.  I walked slowly, moving when the wind moved, taking my time – and I walked straight to my deer.  He was laying there exactly like he had been in my mind, right along the edge of the field.  I quickly went to him and offered my prayers again, this time with tears of thanks.

     He now sits in my freezer, him and another deer from later that fall – packaged and wrapped and frozen – prayers are offered in thanks every time I thaw a part out and we sit down to eat another wonderful meal – his medicine passed on to my family and friends as we finish out the cold winter – doing our best to honor his sacrifice, and the sacrifices we make to each other.  

     With a humble heart, I will keep trying to do better.

Originally posted to MusicFarmer on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 05:47 PM PST.

Also republished by Liberal G Club and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Migwech. (18+ / 0-)

    The video is from a Wisconsin Ojibwe. I appreciate the sense of gratefulness and the sense of connection to nature and to the human community. I appreciate the sense of gravity in taking a life.

    Its a good model for non-native hunters like myself.

    Peace, Love, and Canoes!!!

    by OldJackPine on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 06:09:27 PM PST

    •  myself too... (14+ / 0-)

      With so many bad snuff hunting videos out there, when this one came across my facebook feed, I felt it's parallels to how I'he always felt when going out to get my meat, and with my story this year. I like to think that my Indian friends are helping me to stay on a good path. Besides, antler stew tastes terrible!

      We can NOT pretend to be a democracy when we have secret laws, with secret courts, with secret verdicts, with secret prisoners, in secret prisons!

      by MusicFarmer on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 06:54:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for this! (11+ / 0-)

      My granddaughters are Odawa, but live here in Alaska. I do not hunt anymore, but as long as it's for subsistence and game is respected and never wasted, I have no problem with it. Their dad and myself agree they should learn to shoot and hunt if they wish. The older girl expresses an interest in archery. I want their heritage on both sides of the family to be a part of their future.

      We have a social compact with animals. Domestic or wild, they deserve dignity, respect, and a humane life and death.

      "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

      by CanisMaximus on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 10:01:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, thanks (8+ / 0-)

        I too hunt, and learned to do so from Native American teachers and mentors not only as a way to feed the people but as a way to connect ourselves to the cycle of being, which includes life and death.  

        I respect vegetarians, especially those who are consistent about their reasoning.  I share much with them, especially in my disdain for factory farming animals, which is to proper hunting what high fructose corn syrup is to "corn."

        My mentors taught me to hunt only according to traditional values.  Cruelty is not part of it.  The animal has a spirit and dignity.  When we kill, it is with gratitude and obligation to the animal's spirit to sustain the earth for the future.  We do not waste anything.  We do not kill for sport.  We test ourselves in the process, and use hunting to transmit key values of stewardship for the earth and for people.  

        It worked to keep things in balance for many thousands of years before we started living on the borrowed time of fossil fuel agriculture.

    •  The hunters in my area desecrate nature (12+ / 0-)

      I hate the hunters who inhabit my neck of the woods.

      I live in a very rural area, and during hunting season the woods become littered with beer cans and cigarette butts, beef-jerky wrappers, and other assorted trash.

      Worse is the bloody leavings of chopped off legs, piles of entrails, opened and mutilated carcasses, and other unwanted animal parts they leave around.  I guess the hunters take whatever cuts of meat they want and leave everything else behind to sweeten up the forest.

      It's not their backyard, so they treat it like a toilet.  I see no connection to nature nor any respect for nature's gifts in this behavior.  I see only selfish thoughtlessness.

      The end of hunting season can never come soon enough for me.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:29:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We have problems with non consumptive users (5+ / 0-)

        in our forest lands here. Campers who leave good and garbage and dirty diapers in primitive camps. Hikers who think nothing of blazing new trails and whacking down undergrowth to experience a new path. The worst of the ORV people, I hates them.

        That is not to say that all hunters and anglers (I fish) are good citizens but I find that it is a fairly even mix. Some people are dirty, non respecting assholes. Some aren't.

        When I go off to fish a river I carry a bag and pick up what I find, lots of old line that traps birds and lead sinkers. Juice bags and beer cans and cigarette butts. I bring back all I can to camp. We clean the camp when we arrive and leave it clean.

        I take only the fish that we eat. If one of us catches a big one a picture will do, mid sized trout are perfect for breakfast or dinner. Nine times out of ten the left overs from cleaning the fish feed the seagulls that are always around.

        I don't like the kind of hunters you mention but I bet you have campers that are just as bad. Like I said, some people are just assholes.

        And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

        by high uintas on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:08:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sadly, I would not comment on "clean" hunters (8+ / 0-)

          In truth, those who use the woods and leave no piles of refuse would not be noticed by me.

          So there will never be a comment from me about hunters who pick up after themselves.  One messy hunter casts a shadow over ALL hunters, respectful and otherwise.

          In my neck of the woods, there are a number of neighbors like myself who enjoy walking in the woods and some of us carry bags with us to remove the garbage we find.  It is not uncommon for me to be walking and see my neighbor and the following conversation will occur:

          ME: whacha got there?
          FRIEND: couple beer cans.  and you?
          ME: some fast-food wrappers.  Didja see that bag of garbage left at that camp-site?
          FRIEND: yep, I'll get that one on my walk tomorrow.

          It is up to us in the neighborhood to police the crap left behind by those hunting nature-lovers.

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:43:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  just like we do with the piles of clothing and (0+ / 0-)

            backpacks and such from the migrant trails....

            Some areas look like a second hand clothing store....

            I actually have a couple nice jackets and sweaters and several backpacks I've found out in the desert....As well as a birth certificate found in a backpack......I keep it to remind me how hard some have it when my life sucks......

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 09:44:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  agreed. the diarist is definitely part of hunting' (0+ / 0-)

        one percent.

  •  I go hunting with my camera. (12+ / 0-)

    Not much sport in shooting a poor unsuspecting animal that has enough problems surviving without people shooting at it.

    •  I other words, I prefer my meat wrapped I don't (8+ / 0-)

      want the responsibility of killing dressing and preparing it myself...

      Unless you are Vegan, then that is at least a consistent spot to be....

      Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
      I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
      Emiliano Zapata

      by buddabelly on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 06:44:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So I guess everyone should go hunting (7+ / 0-)

        Imagine how crowded the woods will be when the entire populations of LA, NYC and Chicago show up to kill their own food so they can be "responsible".

        Doesn't sound like a particularly great idea for showing responsibility.  

        •  If they can afford the out of state tags and win (11+ / 0-)

          the draw, more power to them...

          You do realize in the west at least, game is managed by tag drawings and the take is very limited?

          While in the east, the Whitetail are literally overrunning many places, just like hogs in the south.   People taking to calling them rats with antlers and getting tired of the car accidents they cause and the yards they destroy.

          Many eastern states could use a much higher take and lots of states are rapidly increasing the limits as the deer are exploding.

          We are the last apex predator, like it or not.  To eat meat yet denigrate hunters is a hypocritical position as I'm sure you understand....And if we don't hunt them they will starve to death after stripping their environment of everything remotely edible....unless disease gets them from too high a population density first...That was the point, not that everyone must hunt, just if you eat meat, don't claim some moral victory because you take pretty pictures and buy your hamburger at Von's....

          This year with the extreme cold in the east, at least there will be a break from the horrendous tick infestations that had happened recently.....So bad they drain an animal to death....and carry Lyme to boot.

          Unless you claim there is some moral superiority to feedlot cattle and chickens bred to grow so fast they must be slaughtered before they outgrow their organs and sicken and die......and if so, please explain because imo, a wild animal that lived and bred had a much better life than a feedlot steer.....and it's life ends quicker with less fear and moving it around from place to place...Deer is browsing, bang, deer drops if you did your job right...If not, you track deer till you find it as the diarist pointed out.  Just part of ethical hunting.

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 10:53:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, more heartless douchbags is just what a... (5+ / 0-)

          wilderness area needs...

      •  There are many local farmers in my area (3+ / 0-)

        some grow beef, pork, chicken, and llama from what I hear; many are certified organic; many are successful commercially

        Slaughter is usually on-site; some are known for the good living conditions for the animals, but of course anything is good compared to feed lots

        There are many, many backyard farmers also, seem like everyone has chicken now, but lots of people grow some animals for themselves and family and neighbors

        Not everyone can, should, or should have to, hunt, even if they eat flesh, I've known people that were so morally pure as to eat only that which they themselves killed, but that didn't last long (and thanks HJB, your observation is pretty accurate, slob hunters come in a lot of demographic backgrounds too, and frequently don't eat eat what they kill, even Native American, well at least that's what some Sioux friends were telling me about)

        Finally, vegetarian is meatless, vegan is no animal products including milk and egg, the first is easy, and recommended for your health and the health of the planet, at least cut down to infrequent meat, maybe a few times a year even the second is much harder

        Your conclusions are unwarranted

        •  on sight slaughter is illegal for sale here. Also (0+ / 0-)

          the cost factor for free range anything is insane unless in the top 10% and organic on top is even worse.  It isn't that they don't want to hunt, it's the denigration of those who do that I object to as I think you know...

          Hunting is a viable method of game management with the added bonus it fills the freezer...Win Win.....

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:16:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  what's wrong with (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        roadlion, greengemini, LilithGardener

        having others prepare your food for you, If they are compensated for it? Did you build the computer you are writing on? Division of labor is part of how our society works.

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:49:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Carlos Hathcock's (7+ / 0-)

    life story about hunting snipers that were hunting him is marvelous at many levels.

    I don't quite see hunting an unarmed animal the same as hunting a sniper intent on killing the hunter.

    Suddenly, it dawns on me, Earnest T. Bass is the intellectual and philosophical inspiration of the TeaParty.

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 06:35:00 PM PST

    •  Well, it isn't the same thing...on many levels (6+ / 0-)

      One major difference is that no one eats sniper.

      "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

      by DaveinBremerton on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:18:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Canibals still exist...more respectable than... (0+ / 0-)

        hunters as well...at least snipers firing back have a reasonable chance of downing the hunts...

        •  Wow.... (0+ / 0-)

          Really? You could just avoid hunting diaries instead of posting crap like that.  

          •  Or Massconfusion could express (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            i saw an old tree today, Piren

            their thoughts and feelings.

            I don't mind hunting.
            Be much more interesting if the hunter would take the prey down bare handed...

            How's that for thoughts and feelings?

            Suddenly, it dawns on me, Earnest T. Bass is the intellectual and philosophical inspiration of the TeaParty.

            by Nebraska68847Dem on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:20:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  after reading a few of your comments that are kind (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buddabelly

              of anti hunting I peeked at your profile and as you suggested looked for your name on Facebook. Opened the very first entry I came to. Big combine, nice looking hog. Obviously you enjoy hog hunting. You're joking with most of these comments aren't you?

              “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

              by ban nock on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:50:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Why, so the animal suffers more? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kasoru

              So the animal is in fear while a person strangles or cuts the life out of it?

              "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

              by Texas Lefty on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 08:06:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  only animal I've heard of hand hunting any more (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kasoru

                is feral hog with a knife and those folk are the same mentality as the guys who jump off cliffs with wing suits and "fly" through holes in rock faces, and free climbing vertical faces and other various and assorted "extreme" activities.

                I don't need that much excitement ever and from knowing hogs, there probably isn't a whole lot of fear, at least not with a big Boar hog or hell a mature sow..... but there will be a whole lotta pissed off pork........and if the hunter isn't good and careful, they might be pulling a tusk out of their femoral artery.....

                Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                Emiliano Zapata

                by buddabelly on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 08:35:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  nah, I've seen knife hunting for hogs with dogs (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kasoru

              and there's no way in hell I want that near a boar...

              I've raised hogs including a pet barrow that hit about 750 or so before he died...6" tusks....not near my femoral arteries thank you....

              1895SS 45-70......

              Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
              I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
              Emiliano Zapata

              by buddabelly on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 09:48:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I can see where you might idolize Jeffrey Dahmer (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buddabelly

          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

          by DaveinBremerton on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:12:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Its not sporting unless they shoot back (5+ / 0-)

      That's why I don't hunt.

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:22:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you mean to tell me you don't understand the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elkhunter, Kasoru, high uintas

        difference between killing a human and another species? I thought better of you and I'm afraid you have a misunderstanding of most hunter's motivations.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:47:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think its sporting when the sides are equal (11+ / 0-)

          Actually I don't know the difference between killing a human being and an animal all that well because the only animal I ever killed was a rabbit in a survival school  in Panama. we had to kill it, skin it and eat it raw. Sorta spoiled my taste for rabbit for ever after. I didn't consider that a sport

          I have nothing at all against hunters and wish them well. I know enough of them to know they have more than one motive, some good, some not so much.
          I tried hunting deer once and gave it up for having too much empathy for the deer (I'm a bleeding heart liberal, trapped in the body of an assassin) I tried hunting ducks once and decided I had enough of sitting in cold holes with guns during the war.
          I guess you could say the war made me lose all desire for hunting

          My aversion to hunting personally  comes from my participation in the Vietnam War as a lrrp. (Long Range Recon Patrol aka Rangers) The enemy had special units trained just to hunt people like me and they and other enemy did do that, trying to kill us. So I actually know what its like to hunt and be hunted and I assure you from my own experience that the thrill and sport of hunting depends entirely on which end of the gun you are on.

          Sorry you think that's such a definitive statement but it is my opinion on it based on not inconsiderable experience with the lethality of firearms.

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:44:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  thank you (5+ / 0-)

            that's a remarkable comment, it's very open, and open-minded

          •  we'll just have to agree to disagree (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joy of Fishes, exlrrp, andalusi

            I was taught to value all human life, and I consider human life to be more treasured than say shooting ducks.

            “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

            by ban nock on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:35:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •   I value human life also. (0+ / 0-)

              But I'll definitely put a bullet into someone where I wouldn't shoot an animal. As I said, I still practice doing it, at human shaped targets. And I'm a liberal Democrat.
              I know there's a lot of RKBA folks doing exactly the same thing.
              Here's something else I learned real well in Vietnam: When you know your life's real cheap, so's everyone else's.

              Peace!

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:52:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  BTW (4+ / 0-)

            I am a fairly good pistol shot if I do say so myself---at least better than average. I practice maybe every month (I live in a forest)
            I shoot at human body shaped targets set to proper height for humans, not animal shaped ones-- horrors---might I be the only one? Is that  a bad thing? I sorta see it as Outstanding Success In Grasping The Concept re: pistol shooting myself but I could be wrong, probably should shoot at pictures of fuzzy bunnies. No I don't see much difference

            (PS---in that survival school they showed us how to take the skin off in a way that you could make it into a glove!! No fooling!  I'll be glad to show any sportsman this trick if you want to come over and bag a few around me (there's oodles of them) get two, a left and a right)

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:40:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  But the diarist and others don't hunt for sport, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joy of Fishes, jorogo

        they hunt to be part of, immersed in, the cycle of life. Some of us have no intention of being embalmed with poisons and buried in hermetically sealed boxes, away from the earth and all those creatures that will return us to the building blocks which will build other lives after us.

        I agree with you that it's not 'sporting' unless they can shoot back, but to be engaged with the circle and fully part of it with dignity and respect, understanding that all life is sacred and not taken lightly, is not sport, it is a living, (and dying), philosophy.

         And if we're dumb enough to be out and inattentive and allow a cougar or bear to take one of us, then that's something to accept as another way we are also part of that circle. None of us would blame the predator for eating us.

        There is so much guilt for so many horrible things done by our species that I think a lot of people look for ways to be without sin, I think that's what vegans are going for. So they hold themselves apart and deny that they are part of the living and dying and think it will re-make them innocent. I'm not at all sure it works that way. From what I've seen, those who try so hard to be without sin tend to get really self righteous towards others who don't share their philosophy.

        That's a generalization, I'm not directing that at you, exlrrp, you just got me started. ;-)

        peace

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
        ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

        by FarWestGirl on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:13:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks for the smear! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FarWestGirl

          i have been vegan for decades, and i have nothing but respect for hunters like this diarist. we all find the sweet spot on the food chain we need to, and harvesting deer is not that different than harvesting broccoli, which also feel pain.

          being vegan is a choice that doesn't always involve sentimentality, though it does for many.

          i do it so there are more animals, what happens to them is not in my control.

          factory farming is obscene, hunting with consciousness a totally different ball o' wax.

          why? just kos..... *just cause*

          by melo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:55:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry you missed the part 'That's a generalization (0+ / 0-)

            not directed...'. I had no intention of smearing, broadside. In fact I agree with everything you say, aside from the implication that I was smearing people, wholesale.

            I'm generally a live and let live' type and I have sincere respect for those who live their beliefs, whether or not I agree with them.

            Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
            ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

            by FarWestGirl on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 10:49:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  We always start our meals with thanks (17+ / 0-)

    to those who nourish us.

    Thank you, Deer.
    Thank you, Earth.
    Blessings, MusicFarmer.

    "Sometimes when things are beautiful, I just want to fall down." - begone's 4-year old grandson

    by bwren on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 06:38:38 PM PST

  •  I usually do rabbit, rabbit stew is mighty fine on (10+ / 0-)

    a cold night...So warm here this winter, the bots never died completely and the possibility of liver flukes kept me from any rabbit this year...next year will be cold enough to safely harvest rabbit here....

    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
    Emiliano Zapata

    by buddabelly on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 06:45:57 PM PST

    •  its been cold enough here. (9+ / 0-)

      The coldest I can remember in the last 20 years at least. I just never see enough rabbits around to think about taking one home. Which is a shame, because my wife can do downright delicious things with rabbit. Need to find a rabbit farmer around here, lol!

      We can NOT pretend to be a democracy when we have secret laws, with secret courts, with secret verdicts, with secret prisoners, in secret prisons!

      by MusicFarmer on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 07:08:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  we have tons, both cottontail and Jack rabbits (6+ / 0-)

        both make a good stew, I really can't tell much difference taste wise between the 2....

        My buddy keeps me in Javalina jerky which is also great...I might just get a deer tag next year, the sections between my house and the border almost always have walk up tags left as people are too scared of the smugglers to hunt my area....

        I live here, I ain't skeered....and there's some nice grass fed mulies over the Sierritas in the Arivaca area.....and now I have a bow, a inline muzzleloader and my new 35 Whelen so I can hunt all three seasons....

        Really tempted to do a Texas hog hunt....I see ads here all the time for 3 day hunts guided for hog, 2 big ones and as many under 50 lbs as you can harvest for about 2oo bucks... there's a couple high fence ranches where the hogs are taking over and the money is in the exotics, Ibex, antelope, etc.....That isn't much for a truckload of pork....and that's perfect game for the Whelen or the 45-70 either should DRT a hog, even a big one.

        I really want to use the Whelen with my own 250g hardcast gascked fp semi-spitzer  built the gun from a bare receiver, cast my own bullet and load the round...I'm getting there on the DIY thang, just need to fnd a lb of RL-15 as it's about perfect for the 35 with hardcast.....great velocity with minimal to no leading in a good bbl......

        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
        Emiliano Zapata

        by buddabelly on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:47:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My big time hunter buddy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buddabelly, FarWestGirl

          wanted to do that. He's the guy I would run to if the zombie apocalypse came around, dude is a life long hunter and really good at it. He decided against it because the costs were too prohibitive, getting there and getting the meat home. It would probably be easier for you.

          And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

          by high uintas on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:15:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  just one state over and I think if I drove at (0+ / 0-)

            night, I could just pack the bed with meat and ice and hightail it home...should be about 8 hours max....

            I need to watch the classifieds and call next time it pops up....I'm pretty sure this High Fence Ranch was in West Texas Hill Country.....

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:10:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I remember the first time I had (7+ / 0-)

      rabbit stew..

      Went to a friends house and culled some past prime show rabbits. Lady was nice enough to let us take a few home for stew. Even better than venison stew :)

  •  Something primal (15+ / 0-)

    happens hunting. Senses sharpen, awareness is effortless you know were you are and what's happening all around. It's they way we should be at all times, but few manage that. There is a serene confidence that comes from a good stalk, just knowing you can do it. Some of the best days hunting are the ones you come up dry, no meat but lots of beautiful ground covered. Lots of things seen and thought about that  wouldn't have been noticed while just on a walk. I could claim native blood, but it's too mixed with the blood of other hunters. I don't pray, I am not at all spiritual, but something within me rises when I take the trail in pursuit of sustenance for my family.

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. Sam Clemens

    by Wood Gas on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 07:18:30 PM PST

    •  You're doing what evolution programmed you to do (6+ / 0-)

      simple as that :) There is room for satisfying one's instincts, as long as they do not rule you.

      I don't hunt because I can't aim for beans -- we're talking "NRA representative in Texas said that maybe I shouldn't own a gun" levels of fail.

      But I am very much pro-hunting as long as it's done safely.

      I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

      by spiritplumber on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:45:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is the same with river fishing (7+ / 0-)

      The first time I did it I tapped into a part of myself that I didn't know, had never met. I will always remember that. When I fish a river I am...shit I don't know how to describe it, but I am relentless.

      And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

      by high uintas on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:17:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hear you. (6+ / 0-)

        River fishing has got to be the most satisfying kind of fishing there is.  I do way better casting for salmon in Puget Sound, but every October I find myself slogging my way up the Tahuya River, engaging in the mostly frustrating endeavor of trying to get a coho to take a small bit of yarn and a plastic bead.  Once in awhile I connect with a 12 pound salmon in a stream better suited to half-pound trout.  Even more rare is getting the fish onto the beach.

        I can remember fishing and gold panning the Lewis River with my mother and stepfather.  We were way better fishermen than prospectors although we did find enough gold to keep it interesting.  When we set the pan aside, we'd cast small spinners into the pockets behind midstream boulders.  Native cutthroat or the occasional steelhead would flash from out of nowhere and smack the lure.  We grilled a lot of fish over the campfire in those days.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

        by DaveinBremerton on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:21:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  There are many different ways of hunting and (11+ / 0-)

    many different hunters. I'm always happy to hear people enjoyed themselves and finding meaning in the hunt.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:03:51 PM PST

  •  I don't hunt anymore, let alone own guns (15+ / 0-)

    but feel that I do understand what you are offering in this diary.

    At one point, I realized it was too much of a sport for me - and, that felt entirely wrong.  Despite my appreciation of what the deer and fowl meant to me in the larger cycle of life on this planet, I didn't want to feel satisfaction in even a properly executed killing of another animal if my sustenance or safety were not at issue.  But, that was me and they remain the issues as I see them.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:11:04 PM PST

  •  I didn't really like the part in the movie where (3+ / 0-)

    the dude talked about the deer as a "he" and clearly had killed a doe.

    And then there was all of the footage of rifle hunting in areas that I've actually been to, and could never find sight lines far enough to safely use anything but slugs.

    Strong on visuals, the content was so so, and the believability was definitely below average.

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:50:26 PM PST

  •  All that spiritual introspection and reflection, (8+ / 0-)

    yet you still ended up killing an innocent creature for no conceivable purpose.

    Hope it made you feel better.

    I did it by swearing off meat, decades ago.

    •  animals are neither innocent nor guilty (10+ / 0-)

      projecting human attributes onto animals is called anthropomorphism and not a great way to get a realistic take in the issue.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:51:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ... but they're SENTIENT. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Paragryne, Piren, ThatSinger

        ... like humans who, in case it blew right past you, are animals, too.

        When did it start for you? Setting fire to neighborhood cats?

        Your hypocrisy is noted.

        •  StillAmused I take great offence to the suggestion (9+ / 0-)

          that I set fire to neighborhood cats. That's simply a horrible thing to say. Until we can interact in an atmosphere of mutual respect we simply can't have a conversation. I'd really appreciate it if you would refrain from addressing me in the future until it is in the form of respectful dialogue. Thank You for your consideration in this matter.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:05:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're right... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            profundo, Piren, ThatSinger

            We simply can't have a conversation.

            "I finally had my chance – a small deer, 200 yards away – walking after his friends"... "my sight picture was perfect as I took the shot.  I saw him kick in the air through the scope"... "I kept praying that my shot was good, that his suffering would be quick".

            Lotsa enthusiastic graphics about the kill (Seriously, "a small deer, 200 yards away"?). TWO HUNDRED FUCKING YARDS? TWO FOOTBALL FIELDS? Responsible hunting or competitive target practice with a scope?

            ... and the "cat" thing was hyperbole.

            Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

            •  ... (8+ / 0-)
              TWO HUNDRED FUCKING YARDS? TWO FOOTBALL FIELDS? Responsible hunting or competitive target practice with a scope?
              Two-hundred yards on a moving target with a 4 second window to get into position, make the decision, and take the shot.  That takes a bit more skill than you think, this wasn't spray and pray.  It was a far different  scenario then bench resting a rifle at the range.  That was as difficult a thing to do as arrowing a deer at 30 yards, and I've done that before too.  My friends out in Wyoming will often take elk at anywhere from 600 to 1200 yards.
              Lotsa enthusiastic graphics about the kill
              I don't know where you got enthusiastic, but I was telling a story - that often requires descriptors to help share the picture. I actually left a whole lot of details out, so as not to encumber the flow of the story.  I honestly wrote this for myself so that I can remember it more detail in a few years, and decided to share it with a few others that might appreciate the story, and show that not everyone is a slob hunter out there.  Next time, I'll just save the damn thing in Word to "My Documents" and be done with it.

              We can NOT pretend to be a democracy when we have secret laws, with secret courts, with secret verdicts, with secret prisoners, in secret prisons!

              by MusicFarmer on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:52:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Understandable reaction given the nature of.... (8+ / 0-)

                ... some of the comments.  Posting about hunting in a forum like this is bound to draw attention from people who are against hunting.  But there were many more here who appreciated your sharing your experience  and understood  the deeper meaning.  Focus on them.

                Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

                by Joy of Fishes on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:07:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Ethics? We don't need no steenkin' ethics! (0+ / 0-)

                "There is nothing illegal about shooting at a running whitetail deer over 600 yards away (with a rifle) or trying to down a bird flying over 100 yards high or shooting an arrow at an animal that is out of his or her effective shooting range. It is certainly unethical and only a poor sportsman would try it.

                "The ethical hunter knows both the limits of his or her equipment and their shooting ability and always tries for a clean quick kill."...

                "The big game hunter makes every possible effort to avoid wounding game, and if that is the case, all further hunting is stopped until the game is found.  He or She will even abandon hunting to help another hunter find wounded game."...

                "It is the ethical hunter who gives a friend the advantage for getting a good shot and who likes the odds in his hunting slanted in favor of the game hunted."

                * my emphases

                http://home.comcast.net/...

                ... but, of course, you prayed for that risky, distant 'target' and have no idea whether the deer suffered extensively in the hours before you, with Divine guidance, ultimately found it — dead.

                You must be very proud.

                •  dbad (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Joy of Fishes

                  You make a lot of assumptions that simply aren't true, while your superiority clearly cushions you in that quarterback armchair of yours.

                  With a wound that left no blood trail, yet still hit vital organs, and bled out internally, I recovered that deer in 2 1/2 hours. You don't push a deer that is wounded, you give them time to lay down, otherwise they may run for miles on adrenaline. Any decent hunter knows that.

                  After a half hour of finding no sign of a hit, I went back and ate lunch for an hour, when the rain quit, I sat in my blind for an hour. That doesn't mean I was actively hunting, then I went a different way to search in the direction he most likely went. I've been hunting that ground for 20 years. I walked right to him.

                  You're two inches from a tr for being a dick, go shit in someone else's diary.

                  We can NOT pretend to be a democracy when we have secret laws, with secret courts, with secret verdicts, with secret prisoners, in secret prisons!

                  by MusicFarmer on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:38:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You answered everything except (0+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hidden by:
                    MusicFarmer

                    the substance of my comment... citations on ethical hunting.

                    I guess holding out for a closer, more certain shot was out of the question, eh?

                    Think I'm a "dick"? Go fuck yourself, and click away. When you have no real answers, I suppose your only satisfaction is to 'hide' the question... the next best thing to long-distance sniping.

                    Cheers.

                    •  no...you earned it (0+ / 0-)

                      And if you were capable of civil discussion, then sure, I would be more than happy to refute your subjective opinion regarding the ethics of the distance of my shot and my skillset in doing so, but alas, your not worth my time or energy anymore. A t/r for dbad. Have a nice day!

                      I'm done talking to you.

                      We can NOT pretend to be a democracy when we have secret laws, with secret courts, with secret verdicts, with secret prisoners, in secret prisons!

                      by MusicFarmer on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:42:32 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Equating hunting for food for one's family.... (11+ / 0-)

          ... to setting fire to the neighborhood cats is beyond the pale and uncalled for.

          Good for you if vegetarian or vegan diet is your prefernence.  This does not work for everyone, and for some it isnt even an option.  

          Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

          by Joy of Fishes on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:13:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I've started and stopped myself (6+ / 0-)

          several times now from HRing your comment. It really is uncalled for and insulting to the commenter and the diarist.

          But I'm not going to HR it because I think it says something about you and, for that reason alone, should not be hidden.

          One earns credibility by making credible arguments and engaging in honest discussion, not by hurling churlish and childish insults.

          Try again.

          Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

          by mikidee on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:28:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  too bad too late to TR, keep thy offensive (0+ / 0-)

          and disgusting remarks about fellow Kogs elsewhere...

          Maybe next time I'll see it in time.

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 09:53:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I only shoot guilty pheasants (11+ / 0-)

      Those that have been convicted by a jury of their peers.  That way I can be as sanctimonious as you.  

      When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

      by Sun dog on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:43:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  its conceivable purpose (6+ / 0-)

      was to feed my family and friends, as well as myself.  

      It didn't make me feel better, but I am an omnivore, I have canine teeth in my mouth, and I like to eat food. I also like having the responsibility of knowing where my food came from, that's why I put in large gardens too.

      I'm happy for you to have sworn off meat, its a shame your ancestors didn't do the same...

      We can NOT pretend to be a democracy when we have secret laws, with secret courts, with secret verdicts, with secret prisoners, in secret prisons!

      by MusicFarmer on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:31:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It sounds like you hold yourself much higher than (4+ / 0-)

      those who have not. I don't personally have any use for that sort of self aggrandizing sanctimony and I don't see anything positive or healthy in it. I see it as an excuse for displacing your discomfort onto others.

      You made your decision, for whatever reasons you made it, and you're welcome to have done so. But disparaging people and displacing venom and bile towards others who don't feel as you do, or haven't made the same decisions you have is so very... Teahadist.

      I was vegetarian for almost 7 years because I felt I didn't need to kill to eat. I returned to eating meat because I came to feel it was unhealthy to try and hold myself above and out of the circle of living and dying. I felt it was an unhealthy denial and out of balance. I am part of the earth, and one of her creatures. I eat other living things, plant & animal, to survive and maintain my body, and my body will be eaten and go back into the hopper when I am done with it. I am grateful and respectful towards all the life forms that I ingest on my way.

      It seems to me that you've manufactured a wonderful pool of people that you can automatically feel superior to. Some people need that.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:50:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are good and solid reasons to hunt. (8+ / 0-)

    Feeding your family when no other resources are available. Culling herds when overpopulation depletes resources. Hunting and killing a dangerous predator who is killing your livestock and/or threatening your community, if there are no other options (rehoming etc). Other reasons.

    I respect the native ways. I am inordinately proud of my Cherokee heritage, and I respect the ceremonies and the beliefs of the poster.

    However, unless there is a need for hunting, ultimately it is nothing more than killing for sport, killing for thrills, no matter how what romanticized rhetoric in which it is wrapped.

    I freely acknowledge my own hypocrisy in standing up against unnecessary hunting when I eat meat (prepackaged, from animals raised and slaughtered in inhumane, often brutal conditions). If I had the strength of my convictions, I would become vegan or at the very least vegetarian.

    But I always come back to Harlan Ellison's rant about hunters and their Robert Ruarkian garbage about "almost falling in love with the beautiful creature and nearly weeping when he blew its brave heart out of his chest" (paraphrased, not quoted, but pretty close). The rhetoric, no matter how it is phrased, does not justify or exalt the slaughter.

    You can find other ways to get close to nature without killing nature's magnificent creations. Sorry, I don't buy it.

  •  MusicFarmer (8+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this incredible insightful diary.

    I could not hunt, but when I buy the little bit I buy, I try to at least make certain it is at least honored in it's life. I can't guarantee it, but I am sure the ancesters and the animal kingdom honor my giving every effort.

    I too thank the animal, for it's sacrifice and I ask that it's suffering or any irreverence of it's time here be washed from its akashic records and ask for the forgiveness. I am thankful each time for the nutrition it allows me to sustain. I think I would prefer vegetarian, I just havent gotten there with a huge need to keep enough protein and I haven't learned how to get that yet from all veggie.

    I'm often considered way out there... and well, yes I take honor in that label then. I do not really hail from these parts I am sure, my views seem to have been with me since I can recall being alive.

    I honor your diary, and the work you are doing within to continue to learn and grow and make contact and understanding with all that is.

    my gratitude.

    •  All this romanticizing.... (7+ / 0-)

      .....makes it sound as if you have a guilty conscience. It's like the rhetoric carved on a war memorial about "the grateful dead."

      Human or animal, the dead are just.... dead. If we find ourselves talking to them, it's to quiet our own uneasiness, not theirs.

      I appreciate the arguments given by some commentators above about the loss of other predators and thus the necessity of human beings keeping down the numbers of deer and other animals. That's quite good enough of a pragmatic reason to justify hunting. When you make it sound like a religious ceremony, then I have to wonder what the smoke-clouds of "spiritual" rhetoric are hiding.

      "They bash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago volume 3)

      by sagesource on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:37:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I appreciate (4+ / 0-)

        Your point of view, sagesource,  thanks for sharing it. I don't know what the romanticizing part really means.
        My connection is simply different with the animals, I suppose. It is how I see things and feel I understand.

        It is for all of us an individual journey.  

        I grew up hunting, was taught to shoot at a young age for both defense as well as how to hunt. I understood it then and now. We hunted to have meals on the table, just as we grew and canned and froze our veggies and berries and fruits, jams and jellies.  

      •  sagesource (4+ / 0-)

        If you remove the "romanticizing" label and just do it, hunt or fish like I do then you realize that there is a part of every human that responds to it in a very primal way.

        It is almost psychedelic, you enter an altered state of consciousness while focused on the hunt, it goes back to your lizard brain and it's a transformative feeling.

        I didn't grow up hunting and used to make all kinds of nasty comments about it, I was totally anti gun and anti hunting. mr.u loved to fish and I would go with him and just enjoy nature.

        He talked me into joining him in trying to catch an fish, I was in my 30s them. I felt the tug of a fish, one that I was trying to coax out from under the bank where I just knew he was at, and boom! I felt what I'm talking about. It is very primal and primal things feel very spiritual.

        I hope I made sense in my comment to you, it's early for me and I'm still drinking my first cup.

        And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

        by high uintas on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:29:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't see it quite as spiritually as the diarist (13+ / 0-)

    but I do think that there is a much greater appreciation for the meat on your table if you are the one putting it there. There is a much deeper recognition of what is involved when you are the one up to your elbows in entrails after you were responsible for the animal's death, something that you will never feel if the only meat you ever eat comes out of shrink-wrapped styrofoam trays. The same could also be said for anyone who raises their own chickens or other meat animals.

    I do not hunt for sport. There is no "sport" involved in taking an unsuspecting herbivore at 200 meters with the pinnacle of modern firearms technology. It is merely a practical way of putting free-range, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat on my table.

  •  when I was a kid growing up in rural PA (11+ / 0-)

    I hunted regularly--my family was poor, and whether we had meat in the spaghetti sauce usually depended on how good a shot I was.  Squirrel, rabbit, pheasant, deer, groundhog--we ate them all.

    Once we no longer needed it, I gave up hunting, though I still do target shooting.

    Today, the only hunting I do is with a camera. I take only photos and leave only footprints.

    And as an avid backpacker I avoid the woods during hunting season so I don't get shot by some dumbass city-slicker with an expensive rifle who thinks he's a hunter.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:43:30 AM PST

  •  I don't hunt anymore (15+ / 0-)

    I don't want to do the work of field dressing, butchering, cutting and wrapping, freezing, making jerky, etc. It's been 11 years since I last killed a deer.

    Prior to that, I had hunted for about 50 years, perhaps 52 if pheasants and ducks are included. Used to fish a great deal too. Because of the places I've lived, it has been possible for me to kill moose, elk, and antelope in addition to other small game animals. Elk was my favorite venison.

    At no time in those years did I ever pretend for an instant that I was acting out some "quasi-religious" sacramental event. I was killing animals in order to eat them. I served in the Marine Corps, and it was a family joke that my efforts were not hunting but killing because if I could see it, the critter was food. For family reasons, I practiced archery for a few years--it's just slow and wastes time better spent on other things.

    I don't think it's a good idea to romanticize hunting and killing. My wife for most of those years was part Indian (yeah, I know 'native American') and neither of her 2 ancestral tribes made any mumbo-jumbo about killing animals. My daughter and her boyfriend hunt on the res because they both enjoy jerking and drying an entire deer, and they eat the jerky like candy.

    Is it Kipling? Jungle Book, "You can kill in order to eat or to avoid being eaten."

    I try not to judge people, but judging a diary and the ideas in it is not judging the writer. Killing is something humans do, a great deal, and I'm uncomfortable with the belief that it is a religious experience. Hunting is just a way to acquire cheap and easy food that is very, very good to eat.

    Now where's that Costco card--Friday's a good night for steak and 'taters.

    We're all just working for Pharoah.

    by whl on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:50:18 AM PST

  •  If you eat meat, some don't, but if you do (16+ / 0-)

    you should understand that someone killed a living creature for your turkey club or double cheeseburger or lamb stew.  And hunting or slaughtering your own raised meat puts the truth directly in your hands.  It's inescapable.  There is blood involved.  There is death involved.

    I eat meat.  I am unwilling to pretend meat is something manufactured out of oatmeal and soy and molded into steaks or kabobs and wrapped in a plastic machine and spit out into a styrofoam tray at a grocery store.  

    I don't hunt, but I have lived on farms and slaughtered sheep, and I allow hunting on my land.  My neighbors hunt for food.  Many people out here in rural western Mass hunt to provide meat for their families, because some of our small towns have the highest poverty rates in the state.  I know a number of people who eat fresh road kill (when the word is out that a recently dead deer or beaver is on the road in the cold months, someone is out there quickly to gut it and take it home to eat).  Lots of folks out here raise eating chickens, and sheep, and rabbits and goats.

    We have a massive over-population of white tail out here, and a huge spike in lyme disease for humans and for dogs.  I'd rather people eat the local white tail than pay a grocery chain for factory meat killed and packaged and shipped in from the West.  

    If you don't eat meat, then I get why this is appalling on so many levels and you have my respect.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:00:04 AM PST

  •  Why hunt? (5+ / 0-)

    I believe the real reason you hunt is that you enjoy killing animals

    •  I do enjoy killing animals just like other (3+ / 0-)

      carnivores, to deny it would be to deny what makes me a human just like those who have never hunted. As in many things though the motivations and rewards are never simple. There's also the fact that animals are food.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:12:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Food chain (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock, Paragryne, Quackerz

        I guess everything is fair game in the food chain.  A bullet is definitely a better way to die than being torn apart and eaten by another animal.  Sometimes I wish I weren't so evolved.  Being an animal lover is heartbreaking.

        •  there are alternatives to hunting v feedlot meat (5+ / 0-)

          at least a lot of alternatives in my area, please see my notes above

          it's a food web, not a chain, we don't sit at the top and rule (even global statements about anthropomorphism are ignorant of ecology and nature)

          any meat, and for many reasons not more than once per week, should be a blessing... complaining about being tired of some meats smacks of gluttony

          I hate these false dichotomies people bring, they aren't very progressive nor well thought our diaries

      •  Humans are the only carnivores who "enjoy" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        profundo, Piren, LilithGardener

        killing... sorry... and I use the term "humans" loosely... every other carnivore kills out of instinct and/or need, not for pleasure and/or sport...

        Baby, where I come from...

        by ThatSinger on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:32:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  ThatSinger I'm sorry but you've totally worn out (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kasoru, Tominator

          any chance of us having a conversation with your inappropriate comments and disruptiveness the other day. You should probably direct any comments to others or to the diary itself.

          Thank You.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:00:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  At the risk of anthropromorphizing, heck no (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FarWestGirl

          Look at those videos of an orca pod playing with a seal on a block of ice. Or a cat playing with an animal (say a mouse or a lizard or even an insect) that got into the house.

          •  Instinct... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            profundo, Piren

            either learning hunting skills or practicing... not at all like "sport" hunting...

            Try again...

            Baby, where I come from...

            by ThatSinger on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:45:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They're sentient (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FarWestGirl

              Cats and orcas are intellectually sophisticated enough to feel pleasure, and they clearly enjoy hunting.

              "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

              by DaveinBremerton on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:34:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, they "clearly" enjoy eating... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Piren
                Cats and orcas are intellectually sophisticated enough to feel pleasure, and they clearly enjoy hunting.
                How is that possibly quantifiable?

                Baby, where I come from...

                by ThatSinger on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:53:58 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Joy can't be quantified, yet we recognize joy (0+ / 0-)

                  Like jazz or pornography, we know it when we see it.

                  "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

                  by DaveinBremerton on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:58:05 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  In HUMANS... (0+ / 0-)

                    how can you say animals "clearly" enjoy hunting unless they do it when they're not hungry? They're either hunting for food or simulating hunting to learn or increase their ability to hunt... there are NO verifiable instances of animals other than "humans" hunting for "enjoyment", sport or pleasure... it's not "fun" or "enjoyable" for animals, it's life and death...

                    It's like saying animals "enjoy" sex because they appear to be enjoying it (for the most part) while doing it... they're not making love or getting laid, they're procreating...

                    As for the commenter's quote:

                    I do enjoy killing animals just like other carnivores
                    Mark Twain said it best:
                    "Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to."

                    Baby, where I come from...

                    by ThatSinger on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:25:50 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There you go again... (0+ / 0-)

                      Up-thread you said

                      ... but they're SENTIENT.
                      Now you deny the sentience of predators--including killer whales which are among the most intelligent of the earth's creatures.

                      And, judging by the enthusiasm with which my dog humps legs, he very likely enjoys sex...he sure as hell isn't trying to create little Boxer / Levi's hybrids.  He's doing it because he gets off on doing it.

                      The hypocrisy in your argument probably escapes you.

                      "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

                      by DaveinBremerton on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:25:12 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I have no idea who you're quoting... (0+ / 0-)

                        but it wasn't me...

                        I literally never typed those words:

                        . but they're SENTIENT.
                        YOU wrote here:

                        http://www.dailykos.com/...

                        They're sentient (1+ / 0-)
                        Cats and orcas are intellectually sophisticated enough to feel pleasure, and they clearly enjoy hunting.

                        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

                        by DaveinBremerton on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:34:06 PM PST

                        I have not used the word "sentient" in this or any other thread... either link to the comment where I wrote that or retract...

                        The incoherence in your "argument" obviously escapes you...

                        Baby, where I come from...

                        by ThatSinger on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:12:59 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Here ya go, Dave... (0+ / 0-)

                          I did your work for you... you're welcome...

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          ... but they're SENTIENT. (2+ / 0-)
                          ... like humans who, in case it blew right past you, are animals, too.

                          When did it start for you? Setting fire to neighborhood cats?

                          Your hypocrisy is noted.

                          by StillAmused on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:33:04 AM PST

                          Your ability to discern the difference between "StillAmused" and "ThatSinger" obviously escapes you...

                          I'll accept the crickets as your apology...

                          Baby, where I come from...

                          by ThatSinger on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:52:46 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm pretty sure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MusicFarmer

          dolphin ain't human.
          Cats also kill a LOT of other animals apparently just for fun.

          •  See comment above... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Piren

            those are instinctual behaviours, either learning or practicing hunting skills...

            There's no evidence they "enjoy" it as the commenter himself stated:

            I do enjoy killing animals just like other carnivores
            It's not "just like other carnivores"... they may "enjoy" eating, they may even derive some stimulation from the hunt, but the notion that any other carnivore "enjoys" killing or kills "for fun" is not supported by any scientific fact...

            Only a certain subset of "humans" actually "enjoys" killing things for sport...

            Sorry...

            Baby, where I come from...

            by ThatSinger on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:50:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The way I see it, his enjoyment derives from (0+ / 0-)

              fulfilling his hunting instinct. So by your argument, its perfectly ok.

              •  Enjoyment is not instinctual... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Piren

                all other mammals kill solely for the purpose of eating and/or mating and/or defending territory...

                There's not a shred of evidence they do so for "fun" or "enjoyment"...

                They certainly don't keep "trophies"...

                Baby, where I come from...

                by ThatSinger on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:56:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  'Enjoyment' is a chemical feedback loop in the (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Joy of Fishes, buddabelly

                  brain. And it is present in all animals to one extent or another. It's how behaviors that support life and the species are reinforced and perpetuated.

                  Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
                  ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

                  by FarWestGirl on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:06:04 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Right... other carnivores enjoy eating... (0+ / 0-)

                    they've instinctually learned to kill for that purpose... to eat, not for "enjoyment" or "sport"... there's no scientific evidence that any species other than a subset of human "enjoys" killing for killing's sake...

                    For that matter, there's only one other species of primate that actually engages in intentional murder... chimpanzees...

                    But killing for sport is exclusive to a subset of homo sapiens...

                    Unless you have scientific proof otherwise...  

                    Baby, where I come from...

                    by ThatSinger on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:19:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Right. Generally, fulfilling an instictive drive (3+ / 0-)

                    produces enjoyment. Nature generally supplies both carrot and stick.  Don't eat, you get hungry and your stomach hurts.  Eat, it's a pleasure.

                    As for "there's no evidence animals enjoy killing" -- that's a truly weird stance.  if you're around your dogs and cats a lot you get to know when they're enjoying something.  One dog I know definitely enjoys hunting chipmunks, though she's well fed and doesn't need the meat, and definitely no human has encouraged this behavior.  Some cats enjoy hunting and killing things.  They have no idea, of course, that the creature they hunt is feeling fear or pain -- they are acting out of their instincts and exercising their abilities and it feels good.

                    THe commenter is just blindly asserting that a reaction he/she feels would be awful doesn't exist.  Not a highly reliable form of argument.

                    --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

                    by Fiona West on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:11:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Right... instinctual hunting... if not for food... (0+ / 0-)

                      for practice... killing for territory, killing for purposes of eliminating mating rivals...

                      Instinct is not enjoyment, unless you're trying to make the case that humans aren't capable of more sophisticated perceptions...

                      The notion that humans are "just like other carnivores" being the reason humans hunt and kill for sport presupposes that humans are no more evolved in thought and actions than animals and have no choice... we both know that's nonsense...

                      If an animal is not hungry, it rarely wastes the precious energy it takes to hunt, stalk and kill and when it does, more often than not it's to hone their skills... the concept of any other animal "hunting" for the sheer "enjoyment" of it as described here is preposterous...

                      Baby, where I come from...

                      by ThatSinger on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:36:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  ::sigh:: 1st boyfriend had a silly lab who used (0+ / 0-)

                        go out and catch lizards for fun when no one would throw sticks for him. He'd catch them, toss them in the air and chase them when they'd come down and try to escape. Lather, rinse, repeat until the lizard quit playing with him. Or died, whichever way you want to look at it. Then he'd go find another one to 'play' with. He had plenty to eat, so he had the spare energy to play, his play just happened to kill another 'innocent' creature as a byproduct. And he didn't even eat the damned things, they were toys to him, that's all.

                        And a lot of domestic dogs, abandoned in the country to 'be free' and 'live naturally' discover how to kill livestock, because of the survival pressure, and find they enjoy the hunt and kill, and cannot be rehab'd to forget that rush if they're lucky enough to be re-homed. They may have plenty of food, but if the opportunity presents itself, a percentage of them are going to indulge that feedback loop and kill whatever triggered the behavior.

                        Humans can understand the implications of their actions causing death, whereas a dog gone feral may or may not make the association, so we do have greater responsibility for our actions, but all the lizards that Paul's lab played to death were still dead, regardless of his intent or lack of it.

                        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
                        ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

                        by FarWestGirl on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 11:07:46 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  ::sigh:: You haven't offered a shred of evidence.. (0+ / 0-)

                          that those behaviours are anything but instinct...

                          Interesting that you'd include the point I've been making all along in a feeble attempt at rebutting me though...

                          To wit:

                          Humans can understand the implications of their actions causing death
                          Which makes this comment:
                          I do enjoy killing animals just like other carnivores
                          particularly repulsive... and inhuman... I'd like to think we're different from other carnivores in that regard... apparently some of us aren't...

                          Baby, where I come from...

                          by ThatSinger on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 11:25:02 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Petty, picky point; we're not carnivores, we're (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ThatSinger

                            omnivores, designed by evolution to be so.

                            And I actually agree with you that-

                            I do enjoy killing animals just like other carnivores
                            is, at the very least, distasteful, and does indulge a primitive, animalistic aspect of human nature. We can choose to wallow in that aspect of our heritage or train ourselves to minimize it in pursuit of a higher, or at least more refined, consciousness.

                            That lab and other animals who 'play' other creatures to death, more than once, are demonstrating an initially instinctive behavior that gets reinforced by the feedback loop (reward), and becomes a habit. Some of them exhibit actual bloodlust, some are just uncomprehending of the consequences of their actions.

                            Not really sure what you would accept as 'evidence', I'm assuming that nothing outside of your own experience would do, given your responses.

                            Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
                            ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

                            by FarWestGirl on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:19:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We agree on far more than we disagree… (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            FarWestGirl

                            This in particular:

                            And I actually agree with you that-
                            I do enjoy killing animals just like other carnivores
                            is, at the very least, distasteful, and does indulge a primitive, animalistic aspect of human nature. We can choose to wallow in that aspect of our heritage or train ourselves to minimize it in pursuit of a higher, or at least more refined, consciousness.
                            I apologize if I came off trying to appear like I'm an animal behaviorist… Clearly I'm not and I don't think it's necessary to quibble on that point... we clearly agree on the most important point…

                            Baby, where I come from...

                            by ThatSinger on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:59:28 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  One of the reasons I've been coming back to DKos (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ThatSinger

                            all these years, civilized discussions. :-)

                            Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
                            ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

                            by FarWestGirl on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 01:54:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Humans are not carnivores, we're omnivores. Our (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joy of Fishes, buddabelly

          teeth and digestive systems are consistent with that designation.

          And you obviously don't have much exposure to animals if you've never seen felines playing with prey. I've seen dogs do it as well, but more rarely. And I've seen raccoons, foxes and bobcats get into killing frenzies and obliterate a dozen chickens or more in a yard once they get going and leave them laying there after they eat parts of one or two. Nature is red in tooth and claw. Real animals aren't all sweetness and innocence.

          Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
          ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

          by FarWestGirl on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:03:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Basic Lack Of Knowledge About Pretty Much Anything (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joy of Fishes, buddabelly

          As Adam says on Myth Busters - "There's your problem, right there."

          Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

          by bernardpliers on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:37:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  oh bullshit, watch a cat with a rat sometime, they (0+ / 0-)

          are enjoying the hell out of the torture they put the critter through before killing and discarding as they aren't hungry just having been fed...

          Chimps literally go to war......killing is part of living....

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 10:02:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  killing is not what makes you human. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        You can observe a lot just by watching. - Yogi Berra

        by kayak58 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:55:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And I don't always (4+ / 0-)

      Need to have 'adult relations' with my wife for the purpose of procreation. I do it because that's fun too.

      You best believe it does

      by HangsLeft on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:18:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't hunbt either but (10+ / 0-)

    I wish you'd come down and solve my fox-chickens-cat-snake-mouse groundhog problem here.
    You can even borrow my old 30-40 Krag.
    A fox killed all my chickens this winter, and he is too wiley to trap. I only see him in the day time, going down the middle of the street like he owns it.
    I don't want mice in my feed shed because they attract rattlesnakes, and when I tried to trap the fox I got a cat accidently instead. Now there is no cat to keep mice out.
    They groundhogs were tearing up my corrals but the fox killed them or chased them away. If I shoot the fox I will have a Biblical plague of goldang groundhogs.
    Now I am building a fortified chicken house but I guess I won't be able to let them run around outside because of the dang fox. A big beautiful red one. It is not scared of any dog in town, big wiley thing. I am against killing him but I wish he'd move away, I think. Maybe.
    On top of that, coyotes are pooping in my driveway now, not a problem yet.
    This nature thing is sure complex.

    I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

    by old mule on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:11:48 AM PST

    •  That's why the pit bull was bred up. (0+ / 0-)

      A Puli does the same job with less risk to humans and farm animals. Same for the Ridgeback though they tend to run off.

      You need a dog that knows why it's there. Cats on farms always know what to do.

      Don't feed the dog too much, skip a day here and there and it'll take care of its share of ground hogs and other rodents.

    •  Mule, bury your fences deeper. I know it's a pain (0+ / 0-)

      but you can also tilt your fence tops away from your pens.  A lot of work, I know.  Pigs eat snakes.  Not a great suggestion. but one to try.

      Cat rescues in my area relocate feral cats as barn cats.  

      A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. ....Steve Martin

      by Piren on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:18:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anatolian shepherds, Maremmas & Kuvasz are all (0+ / 0-)

      bred to guard farmyard and livestock from exactly those sort of hazards. Might look into some of them.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:08:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  To be truthful, when you raise animals, or even (5+ / 0-)

    hunt for your meat requirements as we have, and do, I have personally found that we eat less meat as time goes on.  We could never go without that important source of life's protein 100% and although I also supplement with organic soy products and legumes, the desire for it's taste and need is not one that can easily be given up by us.  I respect Vegan and Vegitarian folks as that diet is also incorporated into our life style as well:  it is healthy and delicious if you get the hang of how to prepare them and how to make sure you receive the proper nourishment in terms of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.

    I do not know why this is, but that is my experience.  

    “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:00:41 AM PST

  •  Thanks, that was a great explanation (6+ / 0-)

    of the good reasons to hunt.  It's why I used to love hunting, and why I've stopped.  

    I stopped hunting because it seemed that I was the only one hunting for the reasons you so eloquently describe.  The woods are filled with "slob hunters" who leave a trail of trash and dead animals wherever they go.  The last time I hunted, I came across a dead porcupine and a dead coyote on the same day, both shot and left to rot in the field.  That was it for me, I can't deal with such wanton killing.  

    This was in MI, which is a pretty redneck state.  Maybe there are true hunters in other areas.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:58:46 AM PST

  •  Hunting seems too much work to be spiritual (7+ / 0-)

    Or maybe sitting in church isn't enough work to be spiritual.

    Washington State being anything but flat, my typical hunt involves a dawn sneak-fest up the side of some ridge, trying to simultaneously climb, stay silent, pay attention, and not break a sweat.  Night-time air is still falling downhill so I can at least control my scent.

    Mid-morning finds me on some ridge-top bench or saddle.  The winds shift with the morning sun so anything coming up from below can't pick up my scent.  A shot here means dragging or packing game straight down the way I came up.

    Come afternoon, I descend into rising wind.  Always scanning in the stop-move-stop-move sneak called 'still' hunting.

    Paying attention is the hardest part.  It's the moments when I'm not attending that I usually see game--or at least the aft end of game as it darts out of range before I can get over being startled.

    On those occasions when everything--wind, noise, game, and attention span--come together, I make a kill and the work begins.  Packing myself plus a hundred pounds never ceases to be anything but difficult.  I do my own processing, which is a weekend endeavor of cutting and wrapping.

    In the end I have a winter's worth of meat that, unlike the crap from the grocery store, actually has flavor and character.  Spiritual?  Not really.  Worthwhile?  Definitely.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:49:10 AM PST

    •  truth is... (6+ / 0-)

      you can make it whatever you want.  My personal belief is that just going to church, a meeting, or praying every once in a while isn't enough, my spirituality is derived by actually doing something, especially for others - the more work it is, the greater the reward. Kind of like putting my money where my mouth is. Did I make it harder on myself?  Probably.  I choose to do that.  I can become the cynical, mindless phone-staring zombie that doesn't give a crap, only in it for the antler size and bragging rights, calls it a sport, and feels no remorse over killing.  But that's not me.  My innate curiosity has me digging deeper to find greater meaning.  There are too many people out there that think they can buy their spirituality, and it doesn't work that way.  This btw, doesn't apply to just hunting, but everything I do in life.  Hunting just becomes an extension of that.

      We can NOT pretend to be a democracy when we have secret laws, with secret courts, with secret verdicts, with secret prisoners, in secret prisons!

      by MusicFarmer on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:20:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The paying attention part is the spiritual part (8+ / 0-)

      I hike thru my woods all the time. I own 85  acres, but hunting is the one time I really get to sort of be one with my place, see who all lives there and what's going on because when you set for a week in the woods, not moving around much your conciousness expands.

      When I first start out my mind is noisy and I'm thinking to myself and I probably won't see it unless it' stumbles across me or I hear it.

      By the third day I'm seeing movement 100 yards out and it's a leaf falling out of a tree and hitting the ground.

  •  You are probably worn out by hearing this, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatSinger

    but if it's sport or even for meat for your table, baiting with hormones, using dogs, mating calls, guns with scopes - whatever, does not make it sporting.  Remember bumper stickers in the 70s saying "Support your right to arm bears?"
     Bless the animal?  I don't believe it blessed you. Ever felt the pain of a gunshot,  lingering till hunter finished you off? Ever fished and pulled a fish out of the water, a hook in its mouth, gasping for air, or worse, getting its gut pulled out because it ingested a hook?  Cull the herds?  Nature will take care of its own. We killed the natural hunters.  Let the balance take care of its own.  

    A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. ....Steve Martin

    by Piren on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:37:49 PM PST

    •  Why the fascination with "sporting"? (10+ / 0-)

      Hunting isn't an MMA cage fight and I don't hunt to "win" anything.  It isn't a competition.

      I generally agree with you on the use of bait, mating calls, dogs, and hormones, but I hunt in a state where most of that is illegal anyway so for me it's kind of a moot point.

      As for scopes, while I'm capable of 200+ yard shots with open sights, I use a scope even at ranges under 50 yards because it is precise and ethical hunting calls for precision.

      Have you ever seen the animal that your agriculture displaced, starving to death in the winter because you ate all their food?  Or the animal that got driven off its range so someone could build the subdivision where your kids bought their house?  Like it or not, admit it or not, if you live, you kill.  You may kill by indirect means and you may not feel accountability for the killing, but you do kill.

      "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

      by DaveinBremerton on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:13:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting response, Dave, and thank you. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MusicFarmer, kayak58, bwren, jorogo

        I, too, live in Western Washington, in South Snohomish county.  When I moved here, the area was mostly farmland. I don't even recognize it now - McMansion developments all around us where the yards are the size of postage stamps and you could borrow sugar from your neighbor through the window.

        But I digress.  I own several acres and have been offered obscene amounts of money from developers.  I decline.  That said, I cannot control agriculture or development.  I can only control what I have.  I do what I can not to kill.  I am on a first name basis with county planners as the developers, for example, release dirty, stinking wastewater that dumps into our stream which empties into a wetland.  

        I admire you in that you are precise and make clean kills.  I believe you are the exception rather than the rule.  Yes, if we live, we kill, but causing suffering is inexcusable.

        Speaking of using dogs, our friends east of the Cascades have, over the years, and at times win the privilege of treeing bears and cougars in order to kill them.  I doubt these creatures are consumed by the hunter.

        A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. ....Steve Martin

        by Piren on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:03:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  To be lacto-vegetarian like my PROUT friends on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MusicFarmer, ban nock

    the one hand, or like this author a killer of wild animal bodies for food on the other, either is vastly more ethical than a factory farm Big Mac scarfing middling "Western diet" eater. "Wild game" at least lives a free life. Until I am willing to be a vegan, which is the most ethical lifestyle, one hand or another will be better than piddling around as a middling. Life is complex. Bacteria die as I type this. Animals eat each other. We are animals. The earth is going to die. I am going to die. Killing is done by militarized regimes including the U.S. with no recourse or consent by the targets. How fucked up is that?

    The mystical nature of this diary strikes me as delusional, but then again, almost every Sunday I consume the mystical bread and wine.

    Thanks for confusing the hell out of me.

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:19:19 PM PST

  •  "Admit it Frank you're not here for the hunting" (0+ / 0-)

    I love that joke.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:47:41 PM PST

  •  Is hunting not in a steep decline? (0+ / 0-)

    As a rural kid, my brothers and I hunted rabbits and squirrels. Looking back, we did it in part because our grandpa approved, as did our peers. There are three of us brothers.Only one still hunts a bit, on his own land. I think I lost all interest after Vietnam. The hunter lucked out on the draft, and didn't have to join up.
    If that peer and grandpa praise thing still works, I'd imagine there will be fewer and fewer hunters. It isn't cheap, it is uncomfortable, and from where I now stand, it has no appeal. As previous posters say: What is "sporting" about it?

    •  No. It has experienced a very noticeable increase (0+ / 0-)

      over the past 5 years according to the census.

      I won't make judgements about things you do which I don't understand

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 10:37:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Partly right (0+ / 0-)

        If I read the US  Fish and Wildlife stats correctly, the # of hunters in the paid license category has been declining for years. But not steeply, I am incorrect about that. It does seem that these fewer hunters may be hunting more often, or more types of animals, as the # of stamps, permits, etc are increasing. Or could it be that the entities issuing these licenses, stamps and permits are finding more types of hunts to issue these for-pay documents, as revenue enhancement?

  •  Hunting overpopulated animals, where natural (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    predators have been eliminated, seems as reasonable a way to cull a herd as any other. I like venison, and other game I've tasted.

  •  Very nice film. Nt. (0+ / 0-)

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:20:15 PM PST

  •  Beautiful Diary! (0+ / 0-)

    Amidst all the quite reasonable clamour for gun control, I'd like to take this opportunity to say that never has it crossed my mind that we should restrict or prevent hunting for food.

    If I thought I could put 100lbs of venison in my freezer, I'd jump at the chance.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 08:42:43 AM PST

    •  Ok. you should have lots of pork on the hoof there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg

      feral hog is some tasty pig and as they are so damn destructive, it's a win win, you get meat, one less hog to destroy a farmers fields....

      Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
      I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
      Emiliano Zapata

      by buddabelly on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 10:10:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  what about hunting for conservation? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 10:38:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I leave the planning of that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        to those who are experts in the field.

        I know culling is necessary, and I know our poor practises have caused that necessity.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 11:11:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  notice my sig line? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          twigg

          Wildlife biologists plan and regulate hunting for conservation purposes other than just culling and most decidedly not as a result of poor practices. Often they encourage people to hunt a species to moderate the huge and erratic swings in population densities that can affect many other species including humans. Often they maintain a certain level of hunting just because they wish for humans to maintain a familiarity with hunting the particular species in a hedge against the time when they wish to vastly increase take to modify population size. Humans are creatures of habit, and if people get out of the habit of hunting  a certain species it's hard to encourage them to renew the habit.

          Biologists also use hunters and trappers for basic scientific data. Number and sex of take, age, they even collect samples.

          The most basic tenet of hunting in the US is that it is done for a reason. A close look at most every species and method of take will rest on a solid base of reason, even if it is not readily discernable to the lay person.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 11:30:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I said ... I don't object :) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock

            By poor practise I simply meant things like ... too many deer as a result of killing all the wolves and changing agriculture to a system that means deer have more food than they can eat.

            That kind of thing.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 11:35:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  humans are the only species to ever exert much (0+ / 0-)

              population pressure on the whitetail, mule deer are in a steady decline anyway. When humans and changes in weather or invasives killed off most of the mega fauna in the Americas 10,000 years ago the whitetail population exploded pushing all the way out to the blacktails and interbreeding with them creating the mulie. Native Americans, and then Anglos were the only effective check on the population. Whitetails thrived in the presence of both wolves and mountain lion.

              I think the suburbs have done more to increase deer populations than agriculture. Suburbs will support far more individuals of a species for a given area, and no one wants wolves and mountain lions in their back yards though I'd be happy to see that day.

              “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

              by ban nock on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 11:55:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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