Misconceptions in Hunting.

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Africa' started by Fritz Rabe, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. Fritz Rabe

    Fritz Rabe AH Veteran

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    Misconceptions in Hunting.

    Every day we read or take part in conversations about hunting. Be it with a bow, rifle, handgun or shotgun. There is no shortage of opinions, laws and experience from those that are involved in the activity we call hunting.

    Is it a sport? I cannot understand why people including ourselves would call hunting a sport. Sport is something that you compete in either for leisure and relaxation or to win a prize. How can hunting ever be a sport?

    Seeing as we are all bow hunters here, let us take a closer look.
    For an activity to be called a sport, you need sporting goods. You need manufacturers of the equipment and you need a field, stadium, track or arena. If hunting is a sport, then what is a Game farm? Is it the manufacturer or the producer of the trophy that you won while competing? Who did you compete against? What were the rules of the competition and who were the judges? How did you win or lose? Was it because of a time limit, a score or a distance?

    This is a word that has bothered me for a long time now. Archery can be called a sport. Not bow hunting. I have heard and seen many archery competitions in my life like ABO, SANIFA, FITA etc. You even get archery in the Olympics. There are many rifle competitions like Match-shooting, Silhouette shooting or Combat shooting with hand guns or Skeet and Trap with shotguns.

    The (Anti,s) are up in arms about our activity/way of life/passion. If you do a Google search and you type in the words (sport hunting) you will see what I mean. It is usually connected to (trophy hunting) So, is hunting for a trophy a sport? What do you win once you arrowed the new World Record? What does a ten year old win when he/she hunts his/her first animal?

    I think that a game farm is a conservation project where hunting is but one aspect of management. Breeding, ecology, and tourism are other factors that also happen on the same piece of land. To a game farmer, hunting is revenue. He is not the judge or umpire or the referee of a sport.

    Why is shopping not a sport? You go out and buy your meat from the store or butchery or you go to an exclusive manufacturer and purchase a fine leather couch. Some women will really shine when shopping does become a sport. If we hunt to put meat on the table or to get the meat and a trophy on the wall or the skin tanned into leather, it is the same as shopping. The difference is that it is much more enjoyable and it is the type of shopping that we men do not mind to partake in.

    Imagine if we take this (sport) to the ultimate level and put ten big male Lions in different pens and put pavilions around each one and fill it up with spectators. Then we bring in ten competitors and see who can kill and skin and gut them in the shortest possible time and afterwards we get ten different taxidermists to see who can make the fastest full-mount of the lion. Then we try and get that going in a World Series. Imagine the revenue that could be generated from such an event.

    No people. Hunting is definitely not a sport. It is an activity, a way of life and something that you as an individual must respect and do with a lot of responsibility. By calling it a sport, we do a great injustice to the animals that lay down their lives for you to win something.

    Let us stop calling hunting a sport and let us rather be humble in our attitude and approach towards it.
     
  2. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    I couldn't agree more. It drives me nuts when a hunter says they "love this sport" or something similar. It cheapens the whole experience. Sports are played with a ball of some sort. And trophies are made of metal and wood.

    I'm sure Huck will be along shortly to argue why hunting is a sport...citing that you have to climb, stalk, shoot, etc. That is hunting, not competing in a sport.
     
  3. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I totally agree Fritz and the use of the word "sport" regarding hunting in the English language has bothered me for many years.
    Sport has nothing to do with my hunting and how and why I do it at all.
    When someone call a hunt for "a good sport", I feel unwell.

    Some people think it is unsporting to shoot a bird on the ground and even in some countries it is illegal because it is so called unsporting.
    I rather shoot a bird on the ground or in a tree while it sits still to be more sure I will kill it quickly than to wait for it to fly to give it a more sporting chance.

    I want hunting to be challenging, but I don't want to make situations were it is a bigger chance for me to wound an animal instead of killing it quickly.
     
  4. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I wont argue this one either way.

    Personally I think the whole political correct movement is nothing but a source of confusion and contoversy. Why must we change the label of something simply because some negative connotations become associated with it? We then proudly proclaim that we are politically correct and somehow better than those who still use the old word or phrase yet the meaning has not changed, the act or subject of the word has not changed, those opposed or those with predjudice have not changed, we are only fooling ourselves.

    Some non hunting examples. Retard - definition, to slow down. A good description of the mental capacity of someone who is a slow learner. Once (long ago) perfectly acceptable. Now how many names have we gone through, each becoming derogatory and archaic? Where will it end. African americans may have never had any relative or ancestor touch african soil for 5 or more generations. How are thet African americans? An I a Swedish Canadian? No 5 generations ago my Grandparents were when the immigrated here, I am a Canadian. Why id descibing someone with black skin by calling them black wrong? Many "black" people are actually more bron than black, can we describe them as brown? It seems to be OK to call me white despite the "proper" term being caucasian even though I am not actually white, more of a pink really. If someone chooses to describe me as pink I will smile and not be offended. Why? because I am pink!

    We seem too fixated on terminology when the real issue is actions. Predjudice (against hunting or anyone or anything else) does not end or lessen when we change what we call it. It is just a way to hide from it and feel better about ourselves despite doing nothing to change the thing that caused us to change the terminology in the first place.
     
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Perhaps, I might suggest that we stop over simplifying our language as it applies to hunting.

    I freely enter into the trophy hunting contest with my quarry, seeking victory.

    In losing the contest I am a Sportsman, demonstrating Sportsmanship all the while being Sporting!

    When hunting I am always fortunate. I gain trophies from each endeavour, whether I win or lose the contest.


    Integral parts of Hunting:

    Sporting: fair and generous in one's behaviour or treatment of others. (including animals)

    Sportsmanship: In conduct; fairness, respect for one's opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing.

    Contest: a struggle for victory between opposing forces or interests.

    Victory: Success in a struggle or endeavor against odds or difficulties.

    Trophy: something gained in conquest especially when preserved or mounted as a memorial.

    Trophy hunting: is the selective hunting of wild animals.

    If there were not difficulties, struggles or the possibility of losing against opposing forces in an endeavour that required the demonstration of fairness and respect are you hunting?
     
  6. Fritz Rabe

    Fritz Rabe AH Veteran

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    Now we are getting good input.

    I want to ask Brickburn this:
    If it is a sport and a contest, do you not need at least two WILLING contestants.
    I hunting there is only one willing and one unwilling contestant.
    What then is the difference between a criminal that threatens your life with a gun/knife/club etc. where you are the unwilling contestant. Is that not also a sport then?
    You can lose that fight in a sporting manner by not running away but dying in a gracious manner.
    You will not have the trophy but the criminal will.
    By saying that you have to be generous in sport hunting. How are you being generous to an animal if you kill it when it is not aware of you?

    I still believe that hunting is not a sport.
     
  7. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Fritz I get what you are saying, Brickburn I get what you are saying as well, While we are finding the time to argue about semantics, i'll throw this in the mix.

    Hunting on some ranches in SA is like walking into a wallmart, I'll call is shopping!!!! No contest, in other words the possibility of not being able to bag ones quarry does not exist, this in my mind is the most important criteria to be able to call it hunting, there should be no guarantee, there should be a distinct possibility that you might leave without it.

    My best always.
     
  8. iamyourhuckleberry

    iamyourhuckleberry AH Enthusiast

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    Tom,

    I appreciate the entrance annoucement...thanks for the vote of confidence.

    IMO, life can be a sport. Anything can be a sport.

    There are times, for example, when I am challenged to take my feet from the bed and place them on the floor. My goal is to simply get erect/verticle. There is a line I cross when I get there...that line can and often does advance with every step. The penny I picked up midway through my journey, and set atop my dresser, can be a milestone...at least to me. Not another soul has to be present. Could you imagine not reaching the line if you were absent of legs? Missing both hands? Suffered a stroke. The list could go on.

    That's all I have to say about that.
     
  9. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I believe what you are describing is the heart of fair chase. Both sides have the potential of winning. Of course if we keep at it long enough even the most difficult hunt/quarry is gauranteed, it may take us an hour or month or more but in the end we will triumph if we can persevere.
     
  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Fritz, although this is splitting hairs for our entertainment.
    I did not say hunting was a sport.

    You DO NOT need two willing parties to have a contest.

    An Elephant chooses to charge. What do the PH, Hunter and trackers do?

    They were not hunting Elephant. I would suggest they are going to contest their lives quite aggressively.

    At what point do the hunters et al become willing participants in the contest?
    When they act to save themselves?
    When the hunters et al entered a farm/reserve where Elephants were present?

    I was certainly keenly aware of the potential contest for my life when I entered a reserve with lions on it.
    Although the risk in all probability was quite low, apparently the PH was also aware of the risk as he kept loading that 375H&H!
    (Being initially ignorant I had to learn to be scared and respect Elephants.)


    Generous: free from pettiness in character and mind.

    You can be generous in the manner you hunt.
    Do you ever choose to not shoot?
    Sometimes, just stalking in close to test your skills and be in proximity of wildlife?

    Do you ever just enjoy the fact that the animal "won" by escaping?
    I quite often "hunt" with my "Big White Gun" and treasure my trophies of these hunting expeditions.
    Is every actual kill petty?

    Lack of awareness:
    A wild animal is keenly aware of its environment and is attempting to survive from day one. They are not unwitting players.

    Humans are routinely aware of their environment and survival as well:
    Lock your car? your house?
    Had an evening stroll in Alexandra (Alex) in Joburg lately!

    Fairness:
    For the absurd argument:
    Do you only select young or weak animals? (You know the dumb ones)
    Do you purposefully walk down wind on all your hunts?
    Do you wear solid white cloths or none at all, to be truly fair? (have fun in the Sekelbos)
    Only use San style bows? or spears and knives?


    Can someone try to turn hunting into the current common usage of the word "sport". Certainly.
    You can enter into a disrespectful process where animals are used solely for atavistic purposes.

    The central issue in my mind is the shift of the contest from one where the "hunter and quarry" is the central theme/motive to one where it is "hunter against hunter" changing the focus from hunting to measuring.
    That is what I see as the degeneration to sport.

    (I can respect the use measuring as an added aspect of a more selective hunt. As a motive in itself, no.)
     
  11. Ken Moody

    Ken Moody New Member

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    Hunting as sport evolved from the terms sport hunting. It has nothing to do with an athletic competition but it derived from one of the definitions of sport which is "physical activity engaged in for pleasure" or "a source of diversion." Rarely is the word used in that context today but that is the source of its use when applied to hunting.

    Ken Moody
     
  12. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    I always called hunting an "activity", however, one performed in a "sporting" manner.
     
  13. Ken Moody

    Ken Moody New Member

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    Yes, and the sporting manner in which sport hunting devolved was in only shooting birds on the wing not on the ground (inducing skill thus the sport aspect), not shooting animals as they are swimming, ensnared, or trapped in any manner, etc. The sport involved in sport hunting has more to do with the ethics of the chase which should involve some sort to skill in the taking of the quarry. That is what sport in sport hunting means. A bit of challenge must be perceived in order for the kill to have been sporting. Sport hunting is also the genesis of the phrases, "give him a sporting chance" or "that's not very sporting." It's more to do with fairness in the take and nothing much to do with competition.
     
  14. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    i think you have summed that up well .
     
  15. Second Wind

    Second Wind AH Enthusiast

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    Jaco,

    To expound upon your analogy, which I consider very appropriate, let me include one of my own:

    Fishing:

    well not really, as they often say there is "fishing" and there is "catching"

    fishing , being the activity as engaged, and;
    catching, being the culmination of that activity

    So if you stop off at the "game ranch" just walk down the road and go "bang" animal down, then;

    following the above analogy,

    You have gone directly to "catching" without actually participating in the act of "fishing" as defined.

    So, the question is did you ever actually "fish"

    Likewise, if you went by one of the Wal Mart-style game ranches you reference and came home with an animal, did you actually "go hunting" by accepted definition

    The "act" of "hunting" broadly defined by social mores, customs and local tradition should then rightly be defined as a "sporting activity" though perhaps not strictly a "sport" per say

    As to the inclusion of "record books" and their existence buttressing the argument for "hunting" being a sport or a competition of sorts the excluding paradox is such that the accepted definition of "hunting" is not specific to a given subject, thus. the question posed would be where are the "record books" for dove, quail, grouse, waterfowl, prairie dogs, jack rabbits etc
     
  16. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Diamond "the journey is the reward" ***** rating! I could care less about whether we would call it a sport or not, we all do it..... Why?????? Because we love killing,........ For sport for conservation call it what you like but the deep rooted primal instinct of killing reigns supreme, it is an in your face blatant statement I know.... But ultimatly the truth, and neither you nor I can escape the age old urge/truth.
    We can hide behind as many terminologies as we like, but we are only fooling ourselves.
    The simple fact that what we do and have the constant urge in doing have a major contribution to conservation is awesome and ultimately even more rewarding yes! But we should never lie to ourselves.

    I am a hunter, I live, eat, sleep hunting, and as a bonus because of my hunting methods and positive contribution to the idea of sustainable use of available resources, I am also regarded as a conservationist!!!! Wether we want to cal it a sport a tradition or a way of life the simple truth can not be held in disrepute!

    My very best always!

    My very best at all times
     
  17. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Completely agree with Jaco here, unless you are all about scoring higher for any given animal (against someone else). If you are one of those people than so be it, I feel it's more about the hunt itself, the freindships made, and being in a different place hunting a different animal... F**k SCI and all the other scoring systems, I love the hunt and the food afterwards.

    Only advantage to calling hunting a sport, is that it was probably some kind of way for "sporting goods stores" to start carrying camo and ammo.:p
     
  18. iamyourhuckleberry

    iamyourhuckleberry AH Enthusiast

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    Neccessity is the mother of all invention. I guess there has been a need, nor would it be practical-more like daunting.

    Not having a book for record keeping was extremely unfortunate for carrier Pigeons. By having more value (a derivative associted with record books), perhaps they could have been saved. One only needs to look at the evidence...

    Spot on Jaco.
     
  19. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Not for me. Seriously. Killing is but a very small part of hunting. At least in my mind. I like the time spent outdoors with family and friends, reconnecting with what is real and being away from society. I also enjoy the challenge of trying to solve the puzzle of when and where an animal will be given certain circumstances. The actual release of the arrow or bullet is only a small part of it for me.
     
  20. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I agree, killing is just the end result of a successful hunt.

    The desire to pursue and kill animals I think is in our DNA, much stronger in some than others. The enjoyment is in the pursuit though.
     

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