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  #1  
Old 09-28-2012, 7:25 AM
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Default Is Trophy Hunting immoral?

Question for you hunters out there--

I've been a firearms enthusiast for some time now and really enjoy all aspects of it-- shooting/cleaning/gunsmithing/reloading. The one thing I have never tried is hunting and I would really like to have a better understanding of it in case I ever needed to hunt to procure my own food.

The only problem is, I occasionally catch the random hunting program on TV (e.g. MidwayUSA's Choose Your Weapon) and something about it just doesn't feel right to me.

I am *not* a liberal-- I absolutely support hunters' rights and am not in favor of any further legislation to limit them given that it's already under assault here in CA. Still, there is something that just seems wrong about watching a grown man, armed to the teeth, with a professional guide, waiting for the biggest, strongest animal just to shoot it dead from a few hundred yards away and then gloat over the body.

I understand that most hunters do use the meat and skins from their kill, and also that hunting goes hand in hand with conservation in many cases (thinning the herd, as it were), but if that is really the goal then why kill the biggest and most impressive of the species and not the lame, sick, or weak?

I have nothing but the greatest respect for those who use their self-sufficiency and ingenuity to procure their own food and resources, but seeking out a trophy kill just for the thrill of it seems immoral and wrong to me. Maybe growing up in liberal CA has tainted my perspective-- Am I missing something?
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Old 09-28-2012, 7:35 AM
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I don't trophy hunt,but no, it is not immoral
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Old 09-28-2012, 7:52 AM
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Most trophy hunters hunt the old and about to pass. Deer, the big racks are either at the prime or about to pass it. In a few years that deer will die. Same with Big horns, they don't reproduce after a certian age but their horns will continue to grow making them trophies.

Trophy hunters usually don't shoot anything they see, they are very selective on what they want and usually its what I described above. Other then that, its not immoral to hunt just for trophy. Like you said, each hunter supports conservation of the animal so 1 is taken so 2, 3, 4 may produce and thrive. If not then none is taken and all will perish.
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Old 09-28-2012, 7:55 AM
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I love this one. Don't have enought time to do my full responce just yet but I will say this. If we had more trophy hunters, we would all be better hunters and more game would be in the field. Explanation to come later.
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Old 09-28-2012, 8:01 AM
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Not if someone eats it. IMO.
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Old 09-28-2012, 8:03 AM
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I'm a meat hunter, a trophy is a bonus. Nothing wrong with trophy hunting though. With that said what you discribered isn't hunting. Paying someone to find game for you and put you in the right spot at the right time, so you can shoot it and call it your own. Might as well stay home and have delivered to your doorstep already cooked.

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Old 09-28-2012, 8:12 AM
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Trophy hunting creates a market for a product. That product being the game persued. Just as with all markets, demand drives production. With an increase in demand the production of animals goes up. Trophy hunting is what has lead to the conservation and resurection of many species of animals. People brought these animals back, increased, or set aside lands in order to make sure there are animals to hunt. If there was no money in hunting them there would be no great effort to save them. If there was a demand for hunting condors, I can almost guarantee condors would not be in the sad state they are now. As it stands today, there is no monetary value to saving condors, just a monetary loss, so the programs to save them are very poorly managed, under funded, and attract people who are not business minded (production driven).

On the flip side, beef is a very popular commodity, so is chicken. It is by no accident that cattle and chickens are now one of the most succesfull animals on the planet and inhabit every continent other than Antartica.

Hunting for meat in today's world is largely more expensive than simply buying farmed animals. Therefore, the demand and monetary funding for hunting is purely one of sport and trophy. Species such as elk, bighorn sheep, deer in parts of the country, some waterfowl species, and others owe their resurgence in numbers due to the demand placed on them by market hunters. Just look at private ranches who cater to trophy hunters. They have very healthy animals and populations for the specific game, and coincidentially, the habitat preserved for that particular game also benefits the other animals who utilize that habitiat.

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Old 09-28-2012, 8:17 AM
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Originally Posted by henmar77 View Post
I'm a meat hunter, a trophy is a bonus. Nothing wrong with trophy hunting though. With that said what you discribered isn't hunting. That paying someone to find game for you so you can shoot it and call it your own. Might as well stay home and have delivered to your doorstep already cooked.

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I highly doubt that it costs you less to go hunt meat than it does to go buy a chicken at the store. My guess is you are sport hunting and utilizing the meat.

What we consider a trophy differs for all of us. I usually shoot the first legal buck I see during a season becuase I like the meat, but I am well aware that it would cost me far less to use the local grocerie store. The persuit of the game is what is fun, the meat is a bonus. That is why most people today do it, for fun. Finding a mature animal just adds to the challenge, thus increasing the sport. Additionally, finding a trophy animal is like earning a 1st place prize at any other sporting event. It gives added meaning and a goal to reach which further increases the enjoyment of the sport.
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Old 09-28-2012, 8:41 AM
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On the moral side of the argument, how can you say that shooting an animal becuase it is a trophy is imoral, but shooting an animal becuase you are hunting for meat is moral? In both cases the aniaml's meat is being utilized, however in the case of the trophy, so are the trophy parts. What if you are out hunting and two game aniamls present themselves? Are we to shoot the smaller of the two becuase it is imoral to take the larger animal? Obviously that makes little sence both from the sporting aspect (we want that blue ribbon trophy) and from a meat aspect (we want more meat so we shoot the larger animal).

Are we not supposed to be proud of the game we have taken? To the uninitiated hunting may seem like it is easy because we have tools to help us. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As a species we are extreamely handicapped physically. Our evolutionary advantage is our brain which we utilize to make up for our physical handicaps. Even with the best and most moden equipment, sport hunting can be a challenge. In areas where game is very difficult to find, elusive, or wiley, smaller animals are usually considered a trophy (even if not in the traditional sense) by most hunters. In areas of abundance or ease, hunters are naturally more selective of their quarry, choosing to select the more challenging animals which happen to be trophys. In either scenario, the hunt is a challenge where the hunter was able to find (finding is the largest challenge in hunting big game -somethign non hunters seem to be unable to comprehend) a physically superior animal and take them. That is something to be proud of, but untill you have hunted you can not understand how difficult and how much skill must be aquired to sucessfully take a trophy animal.

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Old 09-28-2012, 8:51 AM
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I do not have a problem with hunting, or hunting trophy game.

However, if you gonna have a picture of you and your big buck... make sure it IS A TROPHY!

Had this guy at Home Depot the other day go "hey John, look'a this big buck I shot!" - It was a fork no bigger than the size of a GREAT DANE fer krimanny-sakes!

Trophy is trophy, not trophy is NOT trophy! - Poor kid... what was I supposed to do... so, I go "geeeee... "NICE BUCK!"

It was embarrassing...
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Old 09-28-2012, 8:56 AM
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I think meat hunters are immoral
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Old 09-28-2012, 8:56 AM
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There are several aspects of making a hunting show that distort the actual experience of hunting. For one, when they are filming they only show the most exciting parts of the hunt. They do not show the hours, days, or even months worth of time looking or waiting for a trophy animal and developing a place to hunt. This left out time can make the hunt seem easy. The other big thing that happens in these hutning shows is they deliberaetly choose areas that have an abundance of game and/or they hunt game farms. This must be done becuase they can't pay a camera crew that charges a small fortune for many unneeded hours to beat the bush with the hunter or sit in a blind for 5 days waiting for a trophy animal to walk by. Many of the places that they hunt and film are not the average hunting experience or environment. They are in fact, very unusual and special in many cases.

This creates a false reality for the viewer, one that is dissaciciated from actual hunting experiences. This must be done to provide entertainemnt. Many hunting shows are about as real as the major reality shows.
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Old 09-28-2012, 8:58 AM
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I think meat hunters are immoral
Because they are poaching game out of season with inadequate weapons and killing anything they can regardless of age, sex, or numbers?
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:03 AM
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Originally Posted by chicoredneck View Post
I highly doubt that it costs you less to go hunt meat than it does to go buy a chicken at the store. My guess is you are sport hunting and utilizing the meat.

What we consider a trophy differs for all of us. I usually shoot the first legal buck I see during a season becuase I like the meat, but I am well aware that it would cost me far less to use the local groceries store. The persuit of the game is what is fun, the meat is a bonus. That is why most people today do it, for fun. Finding a mature animal just adds to the challenge, thus increasing the sport. Additionally, finding a trophy animal is like earning a 1st place prize at any other sporting event. It gives added meaning and a goal to reach which further increases the enjoyment of the sport.
never said it did. However, since you mentioned it, i calculated the cost once. Since i only hunt public land, the cost is about the same as purchasing meat at the store. Although since this is also my hobby of mine, and I dont actually buy venison i buy beef, i Dont really see how there is a comparison in the first place. Theres hunting, and killing. What OP described is just killing.
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ZirconJohn View Post
I do not have a problem with hunting, or hunting trophy game.

However, if you gonna have a picture of you and your big buck... make sure it IS A TROPHY!

Had this guy at Home Depot the other day go "hey John, look'a this big buck I shot!" - It was a fork no bigger than the size of a GREAT DANE fer krimanny-sakes!

Trophy is trophy, not trophy is NOT trophy! - Poor kid... what was I supposed to do... so, I go "geeeee... "NICE BUCK!"

It was embarrassing...
Obviously you have never hunted SoCal. that is a trophy here, big bucks are rare.
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ZirconJohn View Post
I do not have a problem with hunting, or hunting trophy game.

However, if you gonna have a picture of you and your big buck... make sure it IS A TROPHY!

Had this guy at Home Depot the other day go "hey John, look'a this big buck I shot!" - It was a fork no bigger than the size of a GREAT DANE fer krimanny-sakes!

Trophy is trophy, not trophy is NOT trophy! - Poor kid... what was I supposed to do... so, I go "geeeee... "NICE BUCK!"

It was embarrassing...
Sliding scale though John . I have yet to shoot a deer, first time I get a legal buck in the cross hairs its down, even if its just a forky.

Now after 3 or 4 years I might be more selective bu I am super excited to get my first deer and probably won't shut up about it for months.

I have done this with ducks already. My first duck was a female gadwal, not to imppresive, but IT WAS MY FIRST HUNTED ANIMAL EVER!!!!!!!!!!! I told everyone. Now its needs to be a really nice one like the canvasback last year for me to get excited over 1.

And on topic, even people who soley trophy hunt like I want to do when I go to Africa some day, or to Argentina, those animals taken are processed and the meat used by someone. Nothing goes to waste.
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:14 AM
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First off, television hunting shows are crap. I won't watch any of them. They do not represent the true difficulty that hunting really is.

I'd like to consider myself as a trophy hunter. In my definition a trophy hunter is extremely selective. Meaning he is willing to pass on game most others would shoot. He kills less game than most and spends more time in the field than others. The trophy itself dosent dosent represent the biggest horns or the biggest tusks but the most difficult of the species to harvest. Of course these animals have big horns, size ect. They got that way by being smart, evading predators and hunters. These animals are the best of the best and if a person decides to dedicate their hunting pastime to these particular animals then they will have to be a better hunter for it.
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:16 AM
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There can be a case made for both sides.......It also depends on your definition.

I believe trophy hunting is this....letting smaller animals grow and trying to shoot the largest animal I can in a given year. I also believe that shooting management (bad genetics, etc.) animals is part of trophy hunting. It's maximizing the quality of the heard through selection....that's my opinion.

To some trophy hunting is shooting just for the mount....I don't have a problem with giving meat away to needy like most do in Africa and South America.....but I do have a problem with taking the cape and leaving the rest to rot....which does happen.....and that's what gives trophy hunting a bad name.

I'm not a big fan of "meat hunting" depending on the definition....of course I eat the animals I kill which is delicious BTW but shooting the first legal thing that walks by hmmm.....I have friends that do it and that's fine but shooting anything that walks that's legal really isn't my idea of a good time. Everytime I see a 80 lb. one year old fork it makes me imagine what it could of been if given a few more years. Not saying I haven't shot a small animal before..but it's just my opinion.

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Old 09-28-2012, 9:26 AM
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Seems to be an argument of symantics. If one is purely hunting for a trophy, not needing or caring about the meat or conservation of the species; then I think it is wrong. Maybe it is just my perception, but when I hear of "trophies" I think of animals that are rare and aren't thriving. I think of big game in Africa, Alaska, etc. Hunting for animals just to hang their exotic pelt/head/rack on your wall or to brag about it (hence the term trophy, right) just doesn't seem right to me. A native Alaskan bringing down a polar bear or clubbing a harp seal is much different than a rich dude from Texas flying to Wyoming to hunt a prize Elk.

I don't necessarily think it should be stopped. I thing the regulations serve the purpose, but I don't personally think it is cool.
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:34 AM
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I think a trophy is a personal level that you can place on a game animal,Is a 4x4 shot out of your apple orchard a better trophy then a 2x2 you hiked 15 miles for on public land?? To me if you are ok with taking a game animal there should be some level of respect for the qualities that animal has. Otherwise you are just killing to be killing.And do you really want to just kill an animal that does not have some level of trophy quality?
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:34 AM
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Not if someone eats it. IMO.
Ding-Ding!

We have a winner.
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:35 AM
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Did nobody read any of my posts? To long to read?

Some of the responses afterward seem to completely ignore both what I and bigboar stated, or what I was saying went right over their heads.

At moto4fun, two questions, how do you know that game in Alaska and Africa is rare and/or endangered? That is an odd asessment to me.

What motivation do you think people have for saving said rare and endangered species? Lets take two species that are/were on the brink of extinction. How is the condor doing? Is it trophy hunted? What about the american bison? It was once hunted for meat to near extinction. Now it is persued as a trophy and raised as a farm animal for meat. Which is fairing better? What about the wood duck? It was nearly wiped out by meat hunters. Trophy and sport hunters brought it back form the brink. Now it is one of Americas most common ducks.

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Old 09-28-2012, 9:36 AM
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First off, television hunting shows are crap. I won't watch any of them. They do not represent the true difficulty that hunting really is.
You make a great point. Secondarily, they are probably why many non-hunters think hunting is as easy as they do. Most think we just hop out of a truck, when we see Bambi and BANG! (with a "high-powered" rifle of course)
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:39 AM
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What you see on TV is about one tenth of one percent of the hunting that occurs in this country. Almost all those animals are managed in some form or another to produce a trophy for that high priced shooter/hunter that has the money. In that aspect the animals, environment and the general hunting community as a whole benefits.
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:40 AM
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Henmarr7, I don't know about you but just this year alone, without gears, I alone have used $1,800 on hunting...and Ive gotten 1 bear. That's an expensive bear. The hunting season only began, haven't included the out of state hunts either. 1 full grown cow can be purchased for 700-800. I can get 2 cows for the price of 1 bear. If I get the medium cows, I bet I can purchase 4! Hahaha.
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:43 AM
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Originally Posted by therealnickb View Post
Not if someone eats it. IMO.
Why must we eat it? Many animals die and are killed and not eaten, but for some reason, regardless of the numbers or abundance of game, it is imoral to shoot an animal and not eat it? I kill lots of rabbits and ground squirrels every year and don't eat the meat. Am I immoral? What makes a deer more valuable than a squirrel? There are several reasons deer are more valuable than squirrels from a sporting and poluation aspect, but what about the meat itself? What makes the meat more valuable? I know the meat is not wasted on unclaimed animals. Other animals use it. Scavengers exist becase predators do not eat everything they kill.

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Old 09-28-2012, 9:49 AM
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Why must we eat it? Many animals die and are kileld and not eaten, but for some reason, regardless of the numbers or abundance of game, it is imopral to shoot an animal and not eat it. I kill lots of rabbits and groundsquirrels every year and don't eat the meat. Am I immoral? What makes a deer more valuable than a squirrel? There are several reasons deer are more valuable that squirrels from a sporting and poluation aspect, but what about the meat itself? What makes the meat more valuable? I know the meat is not wasted on unclaimed animals. Other animals use it. Scavengers exist becase predators do not eat everything they kill.
This is simply my opinion based on my value system, but I don't view the eradication of vermin species or destructive non-native's the same as I do "hunting". Despite the fact that many of the same skills & tools are involved, one is a means of collecting resources, the other is usually a means of protecting resources.

As for predator species (cats and to a degree bear), I chose not to hunt them but don't begrudge those who chose differently.
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicoredneck View Post
Why must we eat it? Many animals die and are kileld and not eaten, but for some reason, regardless of the numbers or abundance of game, it is imopral to shoot an animal and not eat it. I kill lots of rabbits and groundsquirrels every year and don't eat the meat. Am I immoral? What makes a deer more valuable than a squirrel? There are several reasons deer are more valuable that squirrels from a sporting and poluation aspect, but what about the meat itself? What makes the meat more valuable? I know the meat is not wasted on unclaimed animals. Other animals use it. Scavengers exist becase predators do not eat everything they kill.
I get your point about pests but the OP was asking about trophies. I'm going to assume you don't have a lot of rabbits & squirrels mounted in your den.

Nothing wrong with downing a sick animal or shooting pests IMO.
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:52 AM
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Further point:

When I see the word "sport" in regard to hunting, I cringe a little. It's difficult for me to elucidate why, but Holly Heyser does so very eloquently in this piece here:

http://norcalcazadora.blogspot.com/2...f-comment.html
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Old 09-28-2012, 9:54 AM
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I support any and all legal and ethical hunting (there are probably illegal hunting methods I would support in some situations). I do agree with bigboarstoper, more trophy hunters would mean more game.

Look at it this way, more people would hold out for a big buck then more small deer would grow into mature bucks which would make for a higher production rate.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:12 AM
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Just to be clear, I do utilize the meat of big game that I kill. I do this not only becuase I like game meat, but I recognize that it would be wasteful to not claim the meat after all of the time and expense that went into collecting it. It is simply against my nature. However, I do realize that if I did not claim my meat that something else would. It would not go wasted, just that it would be wasted for human consumption. I have killed many squirrels and rabbits in areas where they could not be considered pests and never used the meat. If you do not find that imoral then how can the taking of a legal number of game aniamls and not utilizing the meat be considered any different?

If a trophy hunter only takes his trophy parts and not the meat, he is wasting meat for people, but not biologically. A trophy hunters is bound by law to only taking a certain number of animals in a season. If the hunter does not claim his meat (assuming that is legal someplace), he is causing no more harm to the game animals population and providing a food source for the local predators and scavengers. The only moral crime he has committed would be one of wasted personal resources. In most areas, it is a crime to not claim the meat of game aniamls.

Last edited by chicoredneck; 09-28-2012 at 10:40 AM..
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:14 AM
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tony270 tony270 is offline
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IMO as long as mans laws are followed it isn’t immoral because I believe God gave man dominium over all the animals on earth, but we are still required to follow mans laws.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:38 AM
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Absolutely not unethical if you do it with a spear or knife!!!
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glug View Post
I have nothing but the greatest respect for those who use their self-sufficiency and ingenuity to procure their own food and resources, but seeking out a trophy kill just for the thrill of it seems immoral and wrong to me. Maybe growing up in liberal CA has tainted my perspective-- Am I missing something?
So, would you rather kill something young, that hasn't had a chance to breed? Doesn't it make more sense to kill the older, more mature animal, to make room for another to take the dominant roll? Would you feel the same amount of pride in taking the little spike that is hanging around with mama, or in the wary old buck that tests your skills? Another way to look at it, when you shop, do you buy the little shriveled up tomatoes, or do you go for the largest, healthiest looking? Does that make you a 'trophy shopper'?
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:17 AM
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chicoredneck chicoredneck is offline
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Lots of good points in this thread by posters.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by tony270 View Post
IMO as long as mans laws are followed it isnít immoral because I believe God gave man dominium over all the animals on earth, but we are still required to follow mans laws.
Tony, I always think this everytime I see these type of questions. Sorry, I a young man with "Old school" christianity beliefs.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:50 AM
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I am a trophy hunter, i hunt my arse off, at the end of the season when opportunity arises and my chances are getting slimmer, i will take a meat buck so i can cook that food for my family and enjoy a type of meat that i can't get anywhere else legally in this state. I pass on smaller animals right up to the point where i see a little tag soup brewing.

I will not share a picture of a deer that is not mature or unique and brag about it. Its just a meat buck.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:54 AM
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From what I am learning in my first two months in this state though, every buck is a trophy buck with success rates so low.

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I am a trophy hunter, i hunt my arse off, at the end of the season when opportunity arises and my chances are getting slimmer, i will take a meat buck so i can cook that food for my family and enjoy a type of meat that i can't get anywhere else legally in this state. I pass on smaller animals right up to the point where i see a little tag soup brewing.

I will not share a picture of a deer that is not mature or unique and brag about it. Its just a meat buck.
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:07 PM
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From what I am learning in my first two months in this state though, every buck is a trophy buck with success rates so low.
Thats not true. The success rate is low because few hunter know how to hunt or are to lazy to really get out and research the species and what their habits are during certain times of the year. I have been successful in A zone every year for the last 20 years.
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:13 PM
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I kind of figured as much. I was told by many people that there weren't any deer in the area of D-3 I was hunting last weekend, and in just 3 hours I saw 10 deer.

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Thats not true. The success rate is low because few hunter know how to hunt or are to lazy to really get out and research the species and what their habits are during certain times of the year. I have been successful in A zone every year for the last 20 years.
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