A Debate worth following 03 Dec 2013 An interesting debate on the comment pages of Pot-Shot between Gerhard Corejees en Pieter Spire is unfolding. The content of the debate is repeated here for the education of other readers and as an example how the internet can stimulate robust debate. Well done to Gerhard who took it on himself to educate Pieter on the nuances of hunting and to rationally defend hunting. Pieter Spire posted this initial post (edited) As a non-hunter, may I propose a solution to your dilemma? The key is honesty. Be honest why you hunt! I can almost guarantee that 70-80 percent of the non-hunting Citizen X will not have a problem if you are honest about why you hunt. I agree with the assertion that hunting can be seen as a natural instinct in humans as Homo sapiens had to hunt meat for sustenance and survival. However, trophy hunting poses a new set of å…Žthical justification. A common justification used is that hunting sustains the economy and brings foreign exchange into countries. While this correct, Citizen X looks beyond economic justification and focuses more on å…Žthical reasons, especially those like me that have never been å¦¬nducted into the éƒ½port of å¡—arvesting animals, which are also the wrong terminology by the way. Many people are sick and tired of hearing hunters defending hunting on grounds of å…Žconomic grounds as this elevates the hunter to a å µate keeper and a sort of a god that may choose how a particular animal may be hunted and how much may be charged for the death of that animal. Please remember that in light of South Africa's history and exploitation by European settlers and hunters, merely having the money to hunt a lion may be seen as being æ®¿rrogant? I have a number of solutions. Firstly, be honest. Tell the mature public that you love to hunt and that you derive pleasure out of the éhrill of the chase as opposed to copping out on economic grounds. A kill is a kill nonetheless. One animal's death is still a death and Citizen X will perceive it as that. Secondly, be sensitive to the feelings of others. Be careful about posting your kill on social media. Despite the å¡—ype 400 000 signatures in a couple of days reflect that the public is sensitive to hunting and that hunting photo's should be posted with caution. Please remember that there are going to be people like me. Sensitive people with sensitive perceptions about what hunting is and sensitive to the fact that our children might be exposed to dead lions while browsing around on Facebook. Gerhard Corejees answered as follows: Pieter, the effort you have made (Internet research and on Pot-Shot) to understand hunting, and hunters for that matter, is commendable! Most non-hunters have limited and/or theoretical knowledge on hunting only, and therefore a restrictive and incorrect perception of hunting. Pieter, you were bold enough to admit that you do not really understand what hunting is. Unfortunately, Wikipedea explains the term/word hunting, and not the practice itself! As such the explanation given by most non-hunters is incomplete and perfunctory; or shall I say, rather superficial. Pieter, from your referral to æœercy killings and reference to çš„ know how it feels to kill? as well as statements you have made elsewhere in Pot-Shot, I get the impression that your (incorrect) perception of hunting is dominated by the killing act mostly. I will thus endeavor to first give a brief explain of the essential elements of hunting, and then indicate to you Why I Hunt. There are 4 paradigm shifts to be made, to really understand what hunting is. What IS Hunting? Hunting can be explained as the Organized Practice of three essential process steps or phases namely, Thorough Panning and Preparation; Systematic Tracking & Location; and Humane Kill & Recovery. For the hunting process to succeed, the hunter needs to be skillful in Bush Craft (Animal Behavior & Habitat), Hunting Techniques (Tracking and Recovery), as well as Weaponry and Marksmanship (Shot Placement and Humane Kill). 1st Required Paradigm Shift: Hunting is not a single action (killing), but a process. The 2nd and 3rd phases of the hunting process is almost self explanatory, and I therefore want to elaborate more on the Planning and Preparation phase. Planning and Preparation is the å¦¬nsurance policy for hunting success. This phase must not be confused with travel arrangements, planning & acquisition of resources, and adherence to legal requirements only. It involves mental and physical preparation as well. Ending an animal's life is not taken lightly! Guided by a hunters code, mental and emotionally preparation is required. For that reason a hunter will conduct a thorough study of the animal's behavior, anatomy, and habitat (Bush Craft and Tracking). Many hours will also be spent on the shooting range to ensure that a hunter knows his weapon, bullet trajectory, and accurate shot placement over various shooting distances that will bring about a humane kill (Weaponry & Marksmanship). 2nd Required Paradigm Shift: Hunting is a systematic process guided by a code of conduct and ethical principles. As hunting can be physically challenging, time will be spent in the gym to build strength, endurance and flexibility. We must be able to persist on a spoor for many hours, and deal with natural elements of danger (Bush Craft & Hunting Techniques). Trophy hunting basically follows the same hunting process with the same skills requirements, with the exception of hunting dangerous game species that elevates the intensity of the hunt to a much higher level. The hunter that does not know that a buffalo doesn't mock charge like a lion and an elephant, is reserving a bed in hospital! 3rd Required Paradigm Shift: Hunting must be viewed as an Integrated Process that requires extensive competence! When we talk about hunting, we can't ignore and must also consider the valuable contributions of hunting. I refer to this as the å± ustifying factors of hunting. For instance, hunting does indeed contribute to conservation and job creation. Your internet research confirmed that å¡—unting is a necessary component of modern wildlife management, for example, to help maintain a population of healthy animals within an environment's ecological carrying capacity? This is Sustainable Utilization! It is a well known fact that the hunting industry creates many job opportunities on more than 10,000 hunting farms in SA. Addressing poverty! What I really like about trophy hunters, apart from the economical benefits, is that when they hunt the animal with the biggest horns, they are taking out an animal that is fully matured, most of the time no longer fertile to impregnate the females and grow the herd yet they are strong enough to fight of the younger males that can increase and improve that animal population! It is also admirable that trophy hunters are willing to give the meat to the poor people in the local community. It is evident then, that hunting supports the South African Conservation Strategy as well as the National Development Plan of our country! 4th Required Paradigm Shift: Hunting adds value to wildlife as well as people! Please recall and consider all the above, when I now explain why I hunt! Why I Hunt? I hunt because I like it! "Ek jag want dit is lekker!!" (Afrikaans) Hunting commences with the exciting planning and preparation phase; especially when I study and learn more about wild animals in their natural habitat. Did you know there are 29 buck species in SA, and each requires a different hunting technique? Do you know a bushbuck can swim very well? Whilst hunting a trophy ram I saw it swimming quickly through the Limpopo River only to escape in the thick Botswana bush on the other side What an experience! It is my intellectual capacity and hunting skill vs animal instinct. Everything I do is meaningful; I am working towards the achievement of a series of hunting goals, and I like it! Hunting takes me into the heart of nature; I am not merely a éƒ½pectator but an active èŸarticipant who experiences and enjoys every facet of wildlife in full! I like it! Ido realize that I am there to kill a wild animal, and I can easily be killed as well! (I have been bitten by a snake before). Theory and practice comes together, and that is very rewarding! Tracking wild animals in unknown, challenging, and dangerous terrain is exhilarating! Stalking right up and close to wild animals without them being aware of my presence, is exciting! It is adventurous and I enjoy the thrill of the chase! I have a passion for hunting weapons. I load my own ammunition and know my weapons very well. They are reliable and accurate, and it pleases me to deliver a quick and humane kill. I have prepared myself, physically and emotionally, for this act, and I am very grateful for this privilege and blessing. Back at the hunting camp, I enjoy spending quality time with family and good friends next to a bushveld campfire. At home, and whilst enjoying my biltong (Jerky) and potjie (Stew), I am very pleased to know that my hunting process not only filled my freezer, but also added value to wildlife as well as the lives of other people! I have a natural affinity for the hunt; call it a talent if you want. Hunting comes naturally to me, it is part of me; this is who I am and I am proud of it!