Shepard here, today I want to chat about hunting ethics. I am not a hunter, however I teach rifle lessons to help prepare hunters for an ethical kill. I eat red meat from the grocery store, my wife’s hunt and at restaurants. I respect my friends Dayna, Gina and Marc in their vegan preferences, however I am currently a happy, even if overweight and unhealthy carnivore that enjoys eating taste animals. I acknowledge that red meat from commercial operations is not good for me and that there are some good points made by those in the vegan community.
The health benefits of eating wild game meat are incredible, it is SOOO much better than factory beef. Jackson Hole blogger Gloria Courser makes great points about the wonderful aspects of hunting. Most of the instructors on our team hunt for their food, and most of my Wyoming friends are hunters. I respect this practice very much, if it is done ethically. My personal definition of the ethical taking of an animal is almost immediate death. From “bang” to the end of the pain and terror the animal experiences ought to be a VERY short amount of time. Call me a bleeding heart, but I don’t like to see any animal suffer, whether a dog, coyote, mouse, deer or human. Killing animals is a sad thing in my opinion, even though perhaps necessary for my lifestyle, especially with my nice new CCW belt.
I do not like hearing hunting stories any more than I would enjoy hearing an enema professional talk about their latest adventure. I do NOT want to hear the details. Back in the late 80’s I worked for taxidermist Ross Berlin and every hunter had to tell their story, many about how far the shot was and how surprised they were when the animal went down. It bugged me then and it bugs me now. Hunting whitetails back east is very different than mule deer out west, and I respect the knowledge and dedication many hunters put into their craft.
These are 5 minutes worth of my thoughts after a recent hunting story I heard.
In my opinion, ethical big game hunting is far more ethical that eating commercial / factory beef. I believe that enemas are probably good for a person from a medical standpoint. There are many detailed chemical processes at a sub atomic level that occur during maggot’s consumption of vomit. I just don’t want to hear about stuff that does not interest me and in many cases saddens or disgusts me. This just might make me a hypocritical coward. Dunno.
I encourage all hunters to practice their shooting skills. Train hard so that you can make an ethical kill according to YOUR standards. Speaking of which, what are YOUR standards? How far away are you willing to “take a shot” from a kneeling position with frozen fingers in a 20 PH wind? Have you been lazy and only practiced shooting off a bench? What size group can you shoot from various field positions at 100 yards, 200 yards and 300 yards? How much bullet drop does your bullet have at 400 yards and how much wind drift occurs in a 15MPH half-value wind?
Yes, I want you to train with our shooting instruction business, but if money is tight, you can still get great info on YouTube, you can dry fire practice in various positions and you can prepare yourself.