Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Hunting Essence

In our discussions have we answered any questions, and if we have what do we accomplish through our answers or failures? I was wondering about that question, whether our discussions have any true purpose and not self-stroking of our egos, when I popped over to Eric’s blog (Fair Chase) and read his thread, “On the role of physical effort in Hunting.” The essence of what I read is an implied agreement that for hunting to be hunting there must be some effort expended to get the game. That is, I believe, a fundamental principle of hunting. Can sitting in a blind and waiting for game be considered an expenditure of effort? I think it can but not when the game comes to the blind because it has no choice. If a feeder or bait is placed in front of the blind then the effort expended is lost. But what about the effort of planting a feeding plot right in front of a permanent blind? Isn’t caring for the plot through the summer an expenditure of effort?
In every discussion that I’ve read I find myself returning to the same principle I offered in January:
Ethics = Skill U Nature.
In so many of our discussions we seem to be focusing our questions on the actions of the hunter and I think we’re in agreement that the hunter needs to employ skill, which includes restraint and effort in the hunt. Isn't calling or camouflage part of effort or is effort only the more physical, as in deep woods hunting?
Nature is insuring that the game has every opportunity to employ their natural defenses to avoid the hunter. Suppose we take that concept farther along and deal with what is included in Skill and Nature. Here’s a start:
Skill = Marksmanship, stealth skills, calling skills – what else?
Nature = Sight, hearing, camouflage, speed, stamina – what else?


Eric C. Nuse said...

I think you are on the right track about the balance of the hunter's skill (including the technology that makes up for lack of skill) and the game animals ability to avoid becoming prey. The complexity of this equation defies easy solutions and pat statements. Everything is changing and moving all the time. What makes sense in this moment can be totally off base the next (or over the mountain).
I'm thinking the best we can do is help folks realize they have choices, to identify what is the problem with deciding and then giving a framework for making ethical decisions.

Galen Geer said...

Thanks Eric.
Whenever I've talked with individual hunters about ethics they want it made easier to understand.