The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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"You are hunting if your moral compass is steady and tells you, you are hunting."
Photo Credit: Ben
I had an interesting exchange with Zack, also known as Dukkillr, at his blog The Daily Limit, in his post The “Facts” About High Fence Shooting?!?. It wasn't exactly a discussion of the pros and cons of high fence, preserve, or game ranch operations, but it was a discussion none-the-less.
Zack hails from Kansas, a wonderful state of grain and beef, a quintessential breadbasket if you will. It is also a place where hunting pressure is low, and the deer get big. It is on a major waterfowl flyway, and through the efforts of Ducks Unlimited and any number of conservation organizations, affords its citizens some of the best waterfowling in the nation.
We also exchanged an e-mail, on my part to clarify my points and what I thought were a couple of inaccuracies in his description of our discussion Game Reserves, Preserve Hunting, High Fence Hunting, What are the Facts? Though I appreciate Zack's commitment to traditional hunting I wanted to clarify some points of our disagreements.
Zack says, "I eventually finished the piece and when I was done I couldn’t find a single fact. There were some quotes… a few opinions… much pontificating… but no facts."
I agree with most of that, especially the pontificating. I love to pontificate, elucidate, and prognosticate. There is only one small point of contention...
There were plenty of facts.
Fact #1: "One of the laws of capitalism is that things exist because there is a market for it. Obviously there must be a market for it."
Fact#2: "I'm sure many of the same hunt tactics are used that are acceptable in 'fair chase'. Sitting over water, over food plots, over bait, or even on trails."
Fact #3: "The real fact of the matter is that "all" legitimate and licensed preserves must have a veterinarian validation of the herd before transport, and also another veterinarian validation before introduction of the herd into the preserve."
That's just three for starters.
Now, in Zack's post he continues with an explanation of what fair chase isn't. I am, for the moment, going to ignore his insulting comment on what kind of person hunts on a preserve. First of all, it is unseemly, but it is also unprofessional, and gives a bad impression. He didn't seriously mean it, but if an outsider was looking it over, that is what they would take from it.
He does give an example of what isn't hunting, and I am taking his word on it, as I didn't see the show, but it is an example which I whole heartedly agree with him on.
What I was hoping for was that Zack would include what he thinks fair chase is. Well, to be fair he did say,"Hunting is pursuing wild game in their own environment." But that isn't enough to explain why High Fence operations cannot provide a hunting experience. Nor does it explain what fair chase has to do with hunting. Not that I don't understand the definition of "fair chase", but the discussion revolves around ethics and hunting. Fair chase is a concept that is separate from hunting and ethics.
Going on; I would like to point out that I did not dismiss CWD. I just pointed out that it, in and of itself, is not a reason to condemn high fence, preserves, or game ranches. There's plenty of brucellosis in wild and tame herds, tape worms, parasites, ad nauseum. That is the state of affairs. How we manage these threats is what is important. When a law is broken by someone transporting animals illicitly, then it becomes a law enforcement issue. It has nothing to do with xyz ranch that has been scrupulously abiding by the letter of the law.
Zack, unfortunately brings up an example that doesn't quite make a convincing argument in his favor. We could make up examples that are ludicrous, but we are talking about the practical realities. Private enclaves aren't pig lots, and private enclaves can provide wonderful hunting experiences.
After I responded in Zack's blog I emailed him, and in that exchange he commented, "My initial post was designed primarily to show an objection from myself and hunters like myself who simply do not share your, "if it's killing it's hunting" thesis."
I think that has bothered me more than anything else.
Nowhere did I even imply that "if it's killing it's hunting." Quite the contrary, I spent most of my effort, my thesis if you will, in explaining that only the person in the field can decide for himself if he is hunting. Where Zack and I seem to be missing each other, is that in my judgment, the moral imperative when you are defining the hunting experience, revolves on the person's belief system. Hunting is not just pulling the trigger, it isn't humping the hills, it isn't the bow, flintlock, or levergun.
No, not any of that. What it is though, is the experience. Hunting is the experience. Whether you sit in an elevated blind and shoot a beanfield rifle, our set up for turkey in a spot that you know is going to produce, or wait to ambush ducks by an open piece of water, you are hunting. That is, you are hunting if your moral compass is steady and tells you you are hunting.
I am hoping that Zack will weigh in here at the Chronicles, I've sent him an e-mail inviting him over. Y'all know me, always room at the campfire...
Photo Credit: KronhoffAnd behind the wood shed...
The Ethical Question, Hunting or Shooting
The High Fence Discussion Continues
The Hog Blog: Hunting Ethics Vs. Logical Debate
Albert A Rasch™
Member: Kandahar Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...
Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert was actually a student of biology. Really. But after a stint as a lab tech performing repetitious and mind-numbing processes that a trained capuchin monkey could do better, he never returned to the field. Rather he became a bartender. As he once said, "Hell, I was feeding mice all sorts of concoctions. At the club I did the same thing; except I got paid a lot better, and the rats where bigger." He has followed the science of QDM for many years, and fancies himself an aficionado. If you have any questions, or just want to get more information, reach him via TheRaschOutdoorChronicles(at)MSN(dot)com.
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