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Questions About Hunting & Hunters

Answering some hunting queries from a non-hunter.

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The time has come again to answer a non-hunter's questions about hunting and hunters... so here goes. These questions came from a reader who says she really wants to understand hunters and hunting, but she's been turned off by some folks who hunt, who are also jerks (my word, not hers).

"Some of my fellow church members get all into [hunting], and that to me is a shocking combination – religion and killing for recreation."

Really? Well, I have to mention that hunting is not "killing for recreation," but that's not what you're addressing here. The salient issue in my mind is that if you are speaking of a Bible-based church, hunting is a natural fit. In Genesis, mankind were given the beasts of the earth to have dominion over, and to eat as needed. Hunters are simply doing their own slaughtering, rather than paying a hired killer to do it for them in a slaughterhouse.

"Why do hunters try to kill anything they see, even if they have no intention of eating it? A neighbor who has NO livestock just shot 3 coyotes for no apparent reason. Having had coyotes as pets, I’d no sooner kill one without good reason than I’d kill a pet dog or cat."

Hunters do not try to kill anything they see. Some people who hunt are game hogs, but that is the exception, not the rule. As in every group of people, some of our members are bad news. That much is human nature, sad but true.

As far as killing coyotes, I'm all for it. I won't eat one unless I'm in dire straits and need the meat to survive, but in my personal opinion, coyotes are vermin. I know for a fact that wildlife officers and/or wildlife biologists in my area wish that more people would kill coyotes in the forest. They do much harm to game animals that folks like to watch and photograph - and yes, to hunt - and they are sly, wary animals.

Hunting them can be very challenging, and when the opportunity arises while hunting other game, some hunters (myself included) will wisely take any coyote they can get a shot at. This helps protect wild animals up to and including deer, as well as pets in residential areas.

"Why are they so pushy and in our face about their hobby? It’s gross looking at photos of disembowelled creatures hanging up in our lunch breakroom every day. Who wants to look at that while eating their salad, or to hear about how a bullet took out his liver and left a nice blood trail?"

Some people are just jerks - and it's possible that you are being a bit more sensitive than most. Just a possibility I mention, because I don't know you, nor do I know the folks who hang those photos. Hunters need to be responsible and considerate of others, for sure, and not hang photos and tell graphic tales where they might spoil someone's lunch.

What hunters want is to be left alone to do our hunting, without people giving us grief about our chosen activity... and we need to realize that if we don't want to be pushed, we shouldn't push others. You do your thing and I'll do mine, and there's no need for either one of us to get in anyone's face about it. (Continued)

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