Wildlife Management - Game Management
by Aldo Leopold, 1933, excerpt from the book Wildlife Management, Chapter XVI.
Game Economics And Esthetics
Hunting for sport in an improvement over hunting for food, in that there has been added to the test of skill an ethical code, which the hunter formulates for himself, and must live up to without the moral support of bystanders. That the code of one hunter is more advances than that of another is merely proof that the process of sublimation, in this as in other atavisms, is still advancing.
The hope is sometimes express that all these instincts will be "outgrown." This attitude seems to overlook the fact that the resulting vacuum will fill up with something, and not necessarily with something better. It somehow overlooks the biological basis of human nature, - the difference between historical and evolutionary time-scales. We can refine our manner of exercising the hunting instinct, but we shall do well to persist as a species at the end of the time it would take to outgrow it.
Greek leader, Xenophon asserts:
"Men who love sport will reap therefrom no small advantage...it is an excellent training for war...Such men, if required to make a trying march...will not break down;...they will be able to sleep on a hard bed and keep good watch over the post entrusted to them. In advance against the enemy they will...obey their orders, for it is thus wild animals are taken...they will have learned steadfastness;...they will be able to save themselves...in marshy, precipitous, or otherwise dangerous ground, for from experience they will be quite at home in it. Men like these...have rallied and fought against the victorious enemy...and have beaten them by their courage and endurance"