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Kevin

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During the summer, Peaches told me I should get a blog. Well, I didn't. But I am a contributing writer on Notre Dame's liberal-leaning "Lefty's Last Cry". The conservatives get their own campus publication, and we're relegated to a blog, but hey, it's a start.

http://www.leftyslastcry.blogspot.com/

:coolio:

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  • 3 weeks later...

In an attempt to understand, I am posing a question here in a sincere fashion - NOT because I wish to start any sort of war of words, because I know this can be a heated topic. That said...

What is the attraction of hunting deer, elk, wild turkey, etc.? I get that people eat the meat they kill, so the end result is not my question. More specifically, what is the enjoyment and challenge of stalking and ultimately killing an animal with a high powered rifle, when its only defense is to run?

With racing cars, bungee jumping, parachuting, etc. it's adrenaline. With hiking, biking, swimming, or sports, it's exercise/competition. I just don't get the hunting thing.

And please don't bring up the issue of "it's better than factory meat" or that sort of thing, because again, that's not in question...

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I've always wondered about that too. My whole family is into hunting, but I could never do it. I went deer hunting ONCE in my life and I had a deer sighted in, but couldn't pull the trigger. My dad says that it's the feeling of being able to provide for his family. My brother says it's the thrill of the hunt.

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Maybe because it is difficult to track a deer/elk/rabbit or whatever you are hunting? I have no idea. I have never been hunting, nor do I think I ever will. I do enjoy shooting, but that is not news to most people here. I actually like the more sedate pass times. I get enough adrenaline flowing at work.

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I've thought of this, and I come from a hunting family, big time. Intellectually I think it has a lot to do with the hunt .... we are essentially animals ourselves, and carnivores. I think maybe the whole food chain/survival of the fittest comes in. We are the top but we are basically defenseless, no claws, teeth, no speed, etc. So we've got rifles. Plus the hunt itself. Animals are smart. Up until the whole shooting point, it's all about outsmarting the animal, and don't for one minute think that's easy. I think there is a sense of satisfaction there.

But here's what I know. Hunting is usually a family thing, passed down through generations. It's a bonding thing, and a maturity thing in families, and not just for the men. Lastly, in many areas it's a necessity. Deer, most especially, breed and populate certain areas to the point of danger. It's unfortunate, but the herd does need to be thinned. Deer can cause a lot of havoc, sometimes deadly accidents, and wreck farmers crops.

Anyway, that's what I know, and what I think.

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My father was an avid hunter in his younger years. I know he loved the thought of introducing his only son to deer hunting.

He took me out once when I was pretty young. We stood there, very still for a long time with no deer to be seen. I then asked Dad this fateful question, "Hey Dad, isn't it kind of stupid to stand here in the freezing cold waiting for a deer to walk by?" There really was no answer to the question, however, it relieved me of ever having to go hunting again.

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Lea grew up where I live now so she understands this. A lot of people in my area hunt for food. If you can kill a moose or an elk you have a lot of food for winter. I think hunting satisfies some primal urge left over from the days before grocery stores. There must be something primally satisfying to see that you have over powered a beast. Personally I agree with Ron's assessment, but some people like standing out in the cold, being in nature, etc.

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My father liked to hunt. We've discussed it. I have known and spoken to trappers as well about their avocation. Though I have done neither, I do understand the attraction of going out of doors with the mission to find game; which afterall has been genetically stamped into mankind's psyche since the dawn of existence.

It isn't so much the slaughter of animals (which many non-hunters find to be the reprehensible aspect of the activity,) but the communing with nature; the camping, wilderness orienteering, tracking, return to vestigial solitude, etc. Even though the majority of times most hunters are unsuccessful bringing home game, the attraction to get out in nature once more is very compelling for those reasons.

It is like fishing. Many who abhor hunting, think nothing of asphxyating as many fish as they possibly can in one afternoon. Of course it is not the execution of fish that is the attraction so much as the relaxation and quiet time beside a still lake on a warm day, or the beauty of Fall foilage skirting a running stream.

Most hunters and trappers I have known care more about and do more to protect the natural environment, including monitoring wildlife populations, as compared to many "civilians" who regale those hunters as perhaps being somehow unconscionable.

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This reminds me of a quote by James Anthony Froude: "Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow-creatures is amusing in itself."

Unless it is for legitimate reasons such as for food or other necessary resources, I just don't see the point of hunting (or fishing for that matter). You can experience and enjoy nature without putting a bullet or arrow through a part of it. I understand people might find the hunt exciting and challenging, but is the kill really justified and necessary? Perhaps the reasons are rooted in tradition or culture or its just another way people attempt to dominate and control something.

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