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Discussion Starter #1
I'm of the opinion that an animal would much prefer to live and breath as opposed to becoming dinner... but that is only my opinion as look at my 4 canine and 3 feline resident air breathers... and the missuse.

There was a comment made on another thread about hunters that worry about the pain and suffering an animal goes through with our choice of weapons. I was assuming, after a little thought, that that reference was in context to bows and arrows.

Animals are predator or prey. Prey animals and predators will at some point become carrion... being fed upon by the scavenger. As I've mentioned before, animals at least don't have a littany of advisors advancing the idea of fairness into the workings of nature. The question of fairness comes up all the time with the humane society and animal rights crowd, and enters into the persona of discussion of hunting. It's a touchy subject, and you have to treat it apporpriately. What is appropriate? Good question. Beef cattle I've heard, are raised to be killed with a 22 to the forehead. Quick and humane.... humane because it is humans who created their being and their characteristics for market.

Birds have it rough... raptors to family cats. Deer... Elk, Bison even... have it rough... from Bigger Cats to Wolves. An arrow or a bullet is a simple death by comparison to being fed on while still alive. So the question I have is this... when it comes to killing animals for food or clothing, what isn't ethical? When it comes to killing for sport, what is and why would certain things not be?
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I've maybe a jaded opinion of ethics as being the manner in which you conduct yourself while in pursuit of legal enterprise.... Ethics now evolves into an interpretation of fairness. Is that fair?

Is bowhunting fair? Is bowhunting ethical? Should we be allowed to hunt with a bow an arrow just because we want to see how well we can hunt or or kill with a bow when there are much better ways to kill.... as was said on another thread.... and not my position at all.

There was a thread of proficiency.... This IS AN ETHICAL/ETHICS question of the first order.... but one that seems there is little in the way of passion for assuming so. How does that enter into the question of what does a deer want you to kill it with?

Aloha... :cool::beer:
 

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Oh what the heck I'll take a poke.

Dead is dead - I don't think they care. The two cleanest (quickest) kills I have had were a 30-06 behind the ear and a broadhead through the lungs at 20 yards - neither animal had a clue something bad happened they just cessed to be - but, I'm pretty dam sure if you had interviewed them after the fact they both would have proffered not to be dead.

The bottom line is we hunt for our own enjoyment cause it sure ain't for the cheap meat. Personally I choose to hunt with a recurve through the gun season even though it means passing on bucks that I could have taken easily with a rifle. I choose for my own pleasure to hunt with a less effective weapon and accept the limits it places on me.

I do everything in my power to make it as clean a kill as possible - I shoot something in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 arrows a year, tune my equipment as fine as it can go and limit my shots to what I am confident in. But, the fact of the matter is if I was solely concerned with not causing a deer or elk pain and anguish I would only hunt with rifles and limit myself to 50 yards or under standing broadside shots and only shoot them behind the ear.

Fact is I hunt with a bow because I enjoy it - it gives me pleasure. If I ever draw on an animal and not feel the rush I will quit right then and there - cause if you don't feel the rush you are just killing.

I don't zip - smoke - tip over - whack - or put a smack down on deer - I kill them and eat them.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh what the heck I'll take a poke.

Dead is dead - I don't think they care. The two cleanest (quickest) kills I have had were a 30-06 behind the ear and a broadhead through the lungs at 20 yards - neither animal had a clue something bad happened they just cessed to be - but, I'm pretty dam sure if you had interviewed them after the fact they both would have proffered not to be dead.

The bottom line is we hunt for our own enjoyment cause it sure ain't for the cheap meat. Personally I choose to hunt with a recurve through the gun season even though it means passing on bucks that I could have taken easily with a rifle. I choose for my own pleasure to hunt with a less effective weapon and accept the limits it places on me.

I do everything in my power to make it as clean a kill as possible - I shoot something in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 arrows a year, tune my equipment as fine as it can go and limit my shots to what I am confident in. But, the fact of the matter is if I was solely concerned with not causing a deer or elk pain and anguish I would only hunt with rifles and limit myself to 50 yards or under standing broadside shots and only shoot them behind the ear.

Fact is I hunt with a bow because I enjoy it - it gives me pleasure. If I ever draw on an animal and not feel the rush I will quit right then and there - cause if you don't feel the rush you are just killing.

I don't zip - smoke - tip over - whack - or put a smack down on deer - I kill them and eat them.

Matt
Hehe.... I'm with you there... :grin:
 

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in answer to the question posed by this thread: ME whether it wants it or not - ;)
 

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i think most critters are like me, they want to die of old age.

I dont think anything is more humane than a proper placed arrow. Been MANY deer ive shot that didnt even know they were dieing till they wobbld and fell.
 

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Big ol' can of worms you opened here. These are questions that a mature hunter thinks about though. I've always figured that a well placed arrow or bullet is a pretty good way for an animal to die compared to natures way...disease, predators, lingering injury, ect. I also think a game animal that lives a natural life and dies from a hunter has had a better life than a cow raised in a feed lot. I suspect a "natural" death is frequently a long and unpleasant affair. The emphasis on well placed in the previous sentence is really the crux of the matter you are speaking of. And that's where the ethics come in and the argument begins.

Bow hunting is fair when done responsibly IMO. I also think there are a lot of irresponsible bow hunters(and gun, but we are talking archery). I won't tell them they shouldn't take the long, low percentage shots, but I do think less of them for it. I think it is the responsibility of all hunters, bow or gun, to do their best to make good killing shots. With the understanding that there is no such thing as a no-risk shot, we should be passing the ones where the risk rises above a certain level. Hard to put a number on it but personally if I'm not pretty darn sure about things I pass.

Very, very few people in modern times truly hunt for food and probably no one reading this thread. I mean hunt for food because there is no other way to obtain it. Our ancestors or the few remaining people that live off the land would obviously have much lower standards of shot choice. In that situation it really is your survival vs. the animals survival and any opportunity would not be passed. I would think someone that is truly hunting for existence would prioritize not loosing or breaking arrows over a high percentage shot that minimizes the suffering of the animal. If you starve without a kill, your whole ethical perspective is different. Fortunately few of us are in that position.

I don't think animals have a concept of death. Fear and pain yes, but realizing they are mortal beings, no. Humans are probably the only species on this planet that actually would be able to conceive the the question "how do I want to die". I doubt a deer sees much difference in threat between a wolf and a hunter.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Big ol' can of worms you opened here. These are questions that a mature hunter thinks about though. I've always figured that a well placed arrow or bullet is a pretty good way for an animal to die compared to natures way...disease, predators, lingering injury, ect. I also think a game animal that lives a natural life and dies from a hunter has had a better life than a cow raised in a feed lot. I suspect a "natural" death is frequently a long and unpleasant affair. The emphasis on well placed in the previous sentence is really the crux of the matter you are speaking of. And that's where the ethics come in and the argument begins.

Bow hunting is fair when done responsibly IMO. I also think there are a lot of irresponsible bow hunters(and gun, but we are talking archery). I won't tell them they shouldn't take the long, low percentage shots, but I do think less of them for it. I think it is the responsibility of all hunters, bow or gun, to do their best to make good killing shots. With the understanding that there is no such thing as a no-risk shot, we should be passing the ones where the risk rises above a certain level. Hard to put a number on it but personally if I'm not pretty darn sure about things I pass.

Very, very few people in modern times truly hunt for food and probably no one reading this thread. I mean hunt for food because there is no other way to obtain it. Our ancestors or the few remaining people that live off the land would obviously have much lower standards of shot choice. In that situation it really is your survival vs. the animals survival and any opportunity would not be passed. I would think someone that is truly hunting for existence would prioritize not loosing or breaking arrows over a high percentage shot that minimizes the suffering of the animal. If you starve without a kill, your whole ethical perspective is different. Fortunately few of us are in that position.

I don't think animals have a concept of death. Fear and pain yes, but realizing they are mortal beings, no. Humans are probably the only species on this planet that actually would be able to conceive the the question "how do I want to die". I doubt a deer sees much difference in threat between a wolf and a hunter.
Well said.... but I've wonderment of one thing you said.... that animals don't know that there is mortality. Dogs pine their masters sometimes when left alone... there was a clip of a pair of dogs in Japan, one who was steadfast to another which was injured and gave comfort too. Elephants have been known to almost conduct a service for a dead calf. Pigs on the other hand, don't seem to care one way or the other, a mother bear, even a black bear, can be ferocious when defending a cub... so mortality is something I've been curious of...

Much Aloha... :cool::beer:
 

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Well said.... but I've wonderment of one thing you said.... that animals don't know that there is mortality. Dogs pine their masters sometimes when left alone... there was a clip of a pair of dogs in Japan, one who was steadfast to another which was injured and gave comfort too. Elephants have been known to almost conduct a service for a dead calf. Pigs on the other hand, don't seem to care one way or the other, a mother bear, even a black bear, can be ferocious when defending a cub... so mortality is something I've been curious of...

Much Aloha... :cool::beer:
I think there is a difference between missing someone/something and having a concept of death. I also enjoy the company of dogs, cats, and horses and have seen behavior like that. One sad example. Two of the dogs I once had had a very combative relationship, at least in one direction. The pair were a big 125 pound mixed breed we called Mack (Dane and Lab maybe) and the other was an incredibly intelligent and manipulative Sheltie named Sherman. Sherman was a third the size of Mack but had him totally bullied. He would herd him like a stray cow just because he could, not let him through doors just because he could, generally made gentle ol' Macks life miserable. When Mack died Sherman was absolutely heartbroken. He moped around the house for weeks. Unfortunatly Sherman died a few months later from cancer, but for the rest of his life I am convinced he missed Mack. While I agree animals make friends and miss them when they are gone (anybody that didn't get a little teary-eyed watching the soldiers dog...), I don't think I believe they realize their friend is dead, just not "here" any more. I think death is an abstract concept that is probably beyond any species besides humans. I'm neither a Wildlife Biologist nor a Theologian, so this is only my opinion and should not be taken as anything more than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think there is a difference between missing someone/something and having a concept of death. I also enjoy the company of dogs, cats, and horses and have seen behavior like that. One sad example. Two of the dogs I once had had a very combative relationship, at least in one direction. The pair were a big 125 pound mixed breed we called Mack (Dane and Lab maybe) and the other was an incredibly intelligent and manipulative Sheltie named Sherman. Sherman was a third the size of Mack but had him totally bullied. He would herd him like a stray cow just because he could, not let him through doors just because he could, generally made gentle ol' Macks life miserable. When Mack died Sherman was absolutely heartbroken. He moped around the house for weeks. Unfortunatly Sherman died a few months later from cancer, but for the rest of his life I am convinced he missed Mack. While I agree animals make friends and miss them when they are gone (anybody that didn't get a little teary-eyed watching the soldiers dog...), I don't think I believe they realize their friend is dead, just not "here" any more. I think death is an abstract concept that is probably beyond any species besides humans. I'm neither a Wildlife Biologist nor a Theologian, so this is only my opinion and should not be taken as anything more than that.
Yeah I know... but when one says an animal "flees for its life".... I'm wondering if they don't actually know the potential for dinner.... :grin:
 

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good comments Easykeeper. We tend to anthropomorphise animal behavior and actions. From a theological percpective many religions seem to agree that the difference between an animal and man is that the animal does not have an immortal soul and man does. Scripture teaches that only man was created in the image of God (immortal). Animals and plants, while having a soul, do not have an immortal soul - their soul dies with their body - at least this is what many religions teach - not all, but many. From a biologists view it seems that the difference between animals and mankind is the ability to reason and contemplate our own nature. Recently it seems that there is a push to imply that animals might have these abilities - just like there is a star trek like push that there is life on other planets - personally - I think this stuff is nonsense and not science - but that is my personal opinion.
 

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Yeah I know... but when one says an animal "flees for its life".... I'm wondering if they don't actually know the potential for dinner.... :grin:
But does the instinct to flee and escape pain imply a concept of mortality or is is simply a survival mechanism?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
But does the instinct to flee and escape pain imply a concept of mortality or is is simply a survival mechanism?
Please don't take this wrong... this is a legitimate question... but what is survival if not a mechanism of mortality... :grin:
 

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Please don't take this wrong... this is a legitimate question... but what is survival if not a mechanism of mortality... :grin:
Maybe survival could be looked at as a possible outcome of flight, the desire to escape pain, a consequence of fear. Mortality or death is another outcome, one that requires an ability to think in abstract terms...what is death, what is after death. I still hold to the thought that as far as we know, human beings are the only species with that ability.
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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Personally, it’s my sense that trying to frame “what a deer wants”, from a human perspective, is more than a little problematic. Deer do not “want”, as in a bigger TV, newer computer, sending their children to college, comfortable retirement, etc. Their lives are more strictly directed towards being “needs-based”, including survival and reproduction. All that any deer could “want” they already have/are...and their place in the food chain is what it is, just like all animals including us.

It also becomes problematic to relate the human concept of pain and suffering, in its totality, to other species of animals (…and especially if one has not been the recipient of a “traumatic”injury and experienced the body mechanisms that immediately come into play). Deer are subject to a host of injuries in their day to day existence, be it from predators, fighting amongst themselves, stepping into a hole while running at full-tilt, spread-eagling on ice, bouncing off cars, etc. What does not happen is the crowds gathering around with shouts of OMG!...I can’t look at that!…it’s horrible!…I think I’m gonna puke!...and other such comforting expressions, while flashing lights and sirens bear down on the scene. IMO, “drama” simply does not have its play, or place, with deer as it does with “modern man”. Deer do not live to fulfill promises or make plans for the future…but they are superbly equipped for existence on a minute by minute basis…as I, for one, am not.

I certainly do not want to drag out my part in this “discussion” (venturing into different behavioral traits of other species and such), but I would just like to point out that it is my sense that certain empathetic-like emotions and other general statements that become connected to hunting are totally apart from what the true hunting experience is all about…or, more simply put, they are totally extraneous from being helpful in the acquiring/developing skills department. And I mention this mostly because emotions are the only tool available to “those opposed”…not FACTS, or ethical positions such as “rules of fair chase”, or any other rationale that might be brought to bear of the subject. It is simply not my position to play into, or develop, a game of emotions…as it’s a can’t-win scenario.

With that said, my other concern revolves around the rather ill-conceived, IMO, use of the word “sport”. Whether or not someone’s personal view of the matter sees hunting as sport, I consider it somewhat (…to immensely) counterproductive to be parading around that point of view, in the name of all other hunters…period. “Sport hunting” belongs to the realm of “the affluent”, which only feeds the fires of those who contend our associated tax-paying interest in the management of all wildlife to be self-serving. Subsistence hunting has always been present and always will be…I find no justification what-so-ever in viewing the matter as a somewhat secondary (…or lesser) position to anyone else’s reason to hunt. Personally, I have always hunted and fished a lot harder when I’ve had mouths to feed…and when foul-weather put a stop to work on a construction site…or gotten up hours early to hunt before work…or getting home well-after dark so I could squeeze in a hunt at the end of the work day. Could I have afforded meat otherwise?...not always, but even when it was possible it certainly made life better when the money could be used for other family needs.

Anyhow…thought it was about time that someone championed the “underdogs” that will always dwell within the ranks. Kinda wish people were more in touch with their genetic predisposition to hunt and more inclined towards treating our position in the food chain with a measure of reverence...as should be afforded both preditor and prey. Being that it is what it is, and not of our making...it remains a VERY curious thing. Hunt Well, Rick.
 

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"What does a deer want.... to have kill it? "

They're not capable of that kind of thought. The don't know why they are here, or why they have to go.

As far as what I would prefer if I was a deer, "old age" would be the last way I would want to go. "Old age" is a Disney definition of starvation when your teeth are worn to the point that you can no longer chew enough food to keep you alive. There is no other dying of "old age." Everything else has other causes.

JMHO

KPC
 
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