Mathias Outdoor bush craft & survival tips and tricks
The Age Old Qestion Between Hunters, & Non Hunters
How does it FEEL to kill one that has NO intention of killing you and EVEN does not have capacities to match your tool and make it a fair war?
This is the exact questioned posed to me by one of my social media contacts.
This is not a new question. Infact it has been a discussion between non hunters, and hunters for decades.
I do not mind people posing the question to me, however I have seen this questioned asked so many times in the past & I do think it’s a fair question.
I have seen it answered by many hunters in the past. Hunters that do not have the same beliefs and morals that I have myself. I’m not saying my beliefs and morals are right or wrong or better or worse than another persons, just simply, different in some cases.
Also I do think this is at the very least, a version of a question one should ask themselves if they decide to get into the activity of hunting and or fishing?
Also I have seen people that have asked this question to me before that are perfectly ok with Fishing, but not hunting, or maybe they recreationally fish for “SPORT” but are not ok with commercial fishing and it’s values. “What’s the difference”? You are still taking a life, no? It is either one or the other, your either ok with taking an animals life, or not, (in my personal opinion).
I know how this sounds, so I’ll elaborate. I’m not OK with people that that kill solely for pleasure, or that kill and waste, or even solely for “sport” and I’m definitely not ok with hunting illegally such as poaching, especially when it’s for monetary gain. Like Elephants in Africa are poached and their Bodies are discarded so the poacher can make money from its tusks, or when sharks are killed for their fins only and in mass quantities, again the bodies are discarded. I am completely against this kind of behaviour. And it’s not hunting or fishing in my opinion it should not be in classed in the same category. I think some people classify all hunting and fishing or killing of animals the same way and do not distinguish between them.
So my answer to the question posed was exactly as follows!
This is the ongoing debate of hunters and non hunters throughout our recent history. Same discussion can be had for fishing too. It’s all hunting.
However my response to this is as follows.
Throughout human history, humans have survived through hunting and gathering. It is only in recent history that we as a society have turned to grocery stores as a means to collect our foods. (As I’ve written before.)
I believe hunting to be a dying skill set that humans have relied upon since the beginning of humanity.
I also believe that there is something to be said about having the skill set to be able to go out and harvest your own food in the wild, opposed to relying on farm raised foods.
When I think about it, I FEEL it’s much more of a humane way of of putting food on my table. Not only because of the time and effort it takes in harvesting animals. These are animals that have had a free life to roam and live the way I believe animals should live. Opposed to eating animals that have been raised in tight quarters. And then mass slaughtered for human consumption.
The time one takes to be able to put food on the table even in this day and age and with all the advanced technology (or tools), FEELS like a much more interactive, way to put that food on our table, not to mention it also makes me FEEL a much stronger connection to the animal itself.
In comparison, going to a store and purchasing a piece of meat that I have had no connection with what so ever.
The fact is I personally do both. Mostly, I do buy my food at a store. But I can tell you this.
When I eat a meal I have worked hard at harvesting myself, (compared to a meal I’ve had no connection with), when an animal that is on a plate in front of me, I do not enjoy the meal nearly as much as one I have harvested and prepared personally.
A personally harvested animal is one I know all about. I know where it came from, it’s habitat, the foods it ate, it’s predators, the rough age of the animal, and I can personally select a specific animal. Not to mention I can also harvest the animal in a way I know my family will enjoy at home. When I get one in the store, I know nothing about that animal at all? Where it came from (other than the sticker that’s on the packaging) but I have no idea of how that animal lived it’s life, or the medicine and or injections it was fed, or the food it ate, or if it was field raised or kept in a tight box it entire life or how it was killed.
Like I said I eat both, more because society dictates what I am allowed to harvest in the wild and if I harvested all my meats it would be a full time job anyway just in order to feed a family.
You asked how does it make me feel to KILL, or take the life of another living creature.
Well to be honest the Killing itself is not what hunting or fishing is all about. It’s much more about the connection with the animal and feeling like I still have the skills and instincts of humanity at a primal level. The kill is always sad, and personally every time I take the life of an animal In order to feed my family I have always given thanks to that animal for giving its life, something I have never done for store bought meats.
Also animals are raised and used in captivity for so many more things than just foods they are raised and slaughtered for clothing, makeups, soaps & creams, and so many things I am not or cannot rather name them all.
When I harvest an animal I try to use every part of it as best I know how. Hides are given to my local native community so they are able to make clothing & crafts out of it to either wear or sell at the reserve, meats are harvested and stored in our freezer and handed out to friends in the area that appreciate it. And the remainder carcasses are put back itnto the area where I harvested the animal to begin with, for scavengers like coyotes, birds of prey, & insects to have their own feasts of the animal, not to mention the ground itself will get nutrients from whatever remains. Plus the bones before they are completely decayed will house an array of plant and animal life. I know not all hunters do this but it is one way I show my appreciation for the animal and the land it came from.
I have no idea if the meats in grocery stores treat their animals the same way or not. I’m not educated enough. (Of course that doesn’t stop me from buying their meats tho) maybe it should until I know what is done with the rest of the animals bought there. Lol.
Anyway like I said at the beginning. This is the question non hunters have been asking hunters for decades now and it’s a very legitimate question. Each person have their own views on the subject and these were my personal views. I do not mean to upset people with my posts and this subject of hunting and fishing is a topic of controversy for so many however I am a hunter and fisherman, it is and has always been in my blood and helps define me as a human and an individual.
(This was not in my original response) I will never feel the need to apologize for being a hunter, angler, or gatherer. Infact I’m proud to say that I am.
I have made a living for half my life and raised 2 boys from fishing. It is an activity I hold deer, and has been a way of life for me, so I do respect wild life and it’s management. However if it is a topic of displeasure to anyone. I completely understand why they would not want to read my posts on these subjects.
Because hunting is not a means of survival for me at the moment in my life it is an activity I follow all the rules set out by our government to help control the populations in our wild life management areas.
Oh also one other point about the tools used in this day and age compared to what was used many years ago. Our technology available to harvest animals are deadly accurate these days which I also feel is much more of a humane way of harvesting animals. The KILL is much more efficient then it ever has been and many more animals harvested now are less likely to just be wounded and never to be seen again. Infact I think it is the hunters responsibility to make sure they are using a weapon that will get the job done, and done fast. This will help allow the animal not to suffer. So to answer the part of your question about using a tool designed to take their life and doesn’t give them a chance. Well to a point, you are right. However, the better the tool used the faster it will be and the less suffering for the animal. However hunting is a tough activity and animals have all kinds of natural senses that will give them all kinds of advantages in the field, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, try to go and take some pictures of a deer in the wild, (not a populated area where they are used to humans and their scent. And try to get within 20 yards of it which is the average distance a hunter needs to be, in order to take a safe and precision shot. It’s much more difficult than just seeing a deer or any wild animal across a field and taking a picture of it with a zoom lens.
I do not take this activity for granted, (ever)
I hope this helps answer your questions. Also right, or wrong, I’m not asking for anyone to agree with me, these are only my opinions on the question asked
End of answer.
Ok so after re-reading my answer I realized that I made a mistake and could have elaborated on this answer a bit more. Infact I could honestly go into this for much longer than this blog post but figured It’s a question I should be able to answer myself If I am to consider myself a hunter, angler, and gatherer. (Which I do)
I said I have never gave thanks for my food except when I’ve hunted and harvested an animal. Well that’s not true.
1st- I grew up as a Catholic. During all dinner meals it was a customary for our family to say (Grace) this was a prayer, thanking GOD for the food he has provided in front of us. The prayer went something similar to this.
“Bless us O lord for these gifts, which we are about to receive, through thy generosity, & through Christ our Lord, Amen.
So this prayer was in-fact giving thanks for the bounty of foods placed in front of myself and the family. I cannot deny that I believe that to be a good value in life, to be thankful for what we have, and I think I should begin this in my life again.
It was not giving respect to the animals that gave their lives, like I do when I hunt, but a general acknowledgement that we all need to be thankful for what we have, every single day.
Like I said, I have heard this question many, many times and thought it should be added, with my thoughts and answers to my own blog posts.
Contrary to what many anti-hunting people believe, legal hunting practices actually benefit area ecosystems and habitats. An overpopulation of animal species leads to food shortages that dwindle prey populations and overwhelm the local ecosystem.
Out of control animal populations can often impact agriculture in the area as well, as they take over the land humans rely on for their operations, hence the reason for controlled hunts.
Regardless of what people believe, the fact remains hunting has many benefits.
Such as the financial benefits alone. All the money collected by hunting dues, fees, licensing, tags, ect.. by our government goes back into wildlife management. It pays for our conservation officers, restocking programs, for the science that is ongoing of our natural ecosystems. Where do people think the money comes from to be able to do all those wonderful things we do for our wilderness and wildlife? It’s the hunters and anglers that pay for it all. Which in turn creates jobs and also industry. Why does anyone think that Cabbalas, or Bass Pro, or any of those stores exist to begin with? If it were not for hunters and anglers those stores would not exist today.
most hunters do eat what they kill. Game meat is an excellent source of organic nutrition. When you hunt, you’re harvesting locally-grown, free-range meat that is better for the health of you and your family and supports local communities. There are also a lot of game meat donation programs throughout the country that help distribute excess meat from individual hunters to homeless shelters and other food assistance programs. I myself have distributed game meat to homeless shelters in the past. And they are always very thankful to have my donations.
And lastly When food sources become scarce in nature, usually over the winter months. Animals become more susceptible to disease as their immune systems weaken. Throughout the winter season, this disease can spread rapidly to other species including to humans and can significantly impact different wildlife populations. As hunters venture into the field typically just prior to the colder winter seasons, the risk of rapid growing diseases,diminish significantly due to the fact hunters don’t only hunt their prey but eliminate other predators that potentially bring the diseases and other harmful Parasites to begin with. Such as coyotes. Just my 2 cents.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. And If what I wrote offends you. By all means, although I thank you for reading my work by no means feel obligated, it won’t offend me.