Is Hunting a Sport?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Gathering' started by werewolf won, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Bannertail

    Bannertail Scout

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    Wild meat is organic and lower in both cholesterol & fat.
    Beef is more expensive here, but to use round numbers, let's say it is $5.00 a pound. At that rate, 500 pounds of moose meat would cost $2500.00 A lot more than a day's wages for me...

    "more so than a subsistence hunter" How can you make such a blanket statement?
    For example, someone I know cannot tolerate recoil, as such he hunts with a .22-250. When hunting grizzly he wants to be above the bear & he will wait for the perfect shot. If he can't meet these conditions on that particular day, he simple waits until he can.
     
  2. Bannertail

    Bannertail Scout

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    Subsistence laws here require that you keep each fish caught!
    If you don't want to eat a fish, you give it to someone who will.

    Personally, I believe in "catch and keep" If I don't want a fish, I don't go fishing. I do something else...

    Just my opinion, but;
    I equate "catch and release" to harassing wildlife.
    To throw back an injured fish that likely won't survive, I equate that with our Wanton Waste laws.
     
  3. Bannertail

    Bannertail Scout

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    To address the OP's question and a great one it is.
    I cannot consider the taking of a life to be sport, ...a sport.

    Reading thru this thread, I am heartened that other hunters, fishermen & trappers here feel the same.
     
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  4. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Ice climbing (waterfalls,etc) used to be a recreation and a test of skill. Turning it into a "sporting competition" ruined it for many people like me. As it is now a sport with paid professionals, it is no longer fun...
    So, hopefully, hunting will never be called a sport but remain a vocation or passatiempo...
    ezra
     
  5. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter

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    Fair enough. I appreciate your opinion and hope you don't begrudge mine.

    I do question the "likely won't survive part" though. I can only speak to my own experience and type of fishing. My fishing is generally for panfish, bass etc as I don't have access to or experience with trout waters close enough to me and certainly no salmonnin these parts. I have no doubt that the vast majority are fine after a hook to the lip. At my inlaws property they have a pond we fish regularly. It's common to reel in a fish with more than one hole in its lip (it's a running joke that we've caught the same 30 fish hundreds of times). Does it happen that one swallows a hook or catches one in the gills and occasionally doesn't make it? Yup, on occasion. Those usually get chucked into the weeds to feed the raccoons.

    I don't begrudge anyone their philosophy, but catch and release is pretty common around here with some areas only allowing that (lands where it is forbidden to keep anything caught).

    Whereabouts are you located that you have the laws you mention?
     
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  6. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Yes, I have seen that happen with several different things that I too used to enjoy.

    Competition has both good and bad elements . Auto racing technology has made passenger cars more reliable and safer for instance. Sport shooting have given us more accurate bullets and cartridges, more accurate rifles, better scopes etc. But whenever seconds are split or performance quantified and measured, there will be those who will find ways to stretch rules or outright break them.
     
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  7. Bannertail

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    Begrudge? Not in the slightest! To me there is not enough open discussion, whatever the subject.

    I'm located in and around Fairbanks, Alaska.
    It is funny, in one watershed here, grayling are catch and release only. Especially in areas close to the road these fish have been caught so many times that many do not have any lips left...
    The source of this watershed is in the Brooks Range. So, if you are fishing this watershed hundreds of miles from civilization, by law it is still catch and release...?!?!
     
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  8. Florida Bullfrog

    Florida Bullfrog Tracker

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    Whether its a sport depends on why and how you hunt. If you're out meat hunting and you're doing whatever it takes to get some meat, limited only by the bounds of safety and the law, then its probably not a sport. If you're hunting for a trophy and somehow handicapping yourself, then its probably is a sport at that moment.
     
  9. Swampdog

    Swampdog Supporter Supporter

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    I "catch and release" more fish than I keep mainly due to Florida fishing laws and regulations have species and bag limits. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission does not consider "catch and release" to be harassing wildlife.
     
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  10. stillman

    stillman Guide Bushclass I

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    The late Mitch Hedberg on catch and release fishing.

     
  11. stillman

    stillman Guide Bushclass I

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    Hunting can't be a sport because I like hunting and I don't like sports.
     
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  12. halo2

    halo2 Scout

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    My two centavos - if you're hunting because you need the food, its not a sport. Otherwise its only a sport if the game has a sporting chance.
     
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  13. 1773

    1773 Guide

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    Haggis that pretty much hits the nail on the head, I have never quite understood the ultralight tackle for bigger fish where they are fought until they are completely exhausted, often in the winter and then released. The vast majority of those fish die as do those who are fought to exhaustion in the heat of summer. It is better to use heavy tackle get it over with quickly and either drop the fish back in the water or the cooler rather than stressing the fish to the max so you can say you caught a 4 lb fish on 2 lb test and then look down at the fella taking a few to eat because you didn't kill the fish.

    Now that my rant is over, I don't know whether hunting and fishing is a sport or not, I do it for relaxation, and food but I don't see it as any kind of competition.
     
  14. clueless on the delaware

    clueless on the delaware Tracker

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    Might have been answered already, but the whole "sport hunting", hunters and fisherman as "sportsmen", is based on older, somewhat obsolete uses of language. "Sports", as we know it, became the definition around the turn of the 20th century, with the rise of professional "sports" teams, baseball, etc. Until that time, doing something for sport meant doing it for enjoyment, "I went walking just for sport", " I garden just for sport", basically, an enjoyable way to pass the time. In that vein, mountain climbing is not a sport, but you do it for sport, unless you're doing it for some professional reason.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
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  15. Bannertail

    Bannertail Scout

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    What does Florida Fish & Wildlife consider, hooking a fish that was minding it's own business looking for a meal, then the fish -- fighting for it's life is dragged thru the water. Then it is removed from it's natural environment -- from the water where it cannot breathe. Then, exhausted it is returned to the water where it may well be easy prey for a larger fish.

    Guess we're going to have to agree to disagree because it sounds like harassing wildlife to me.
     
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  16. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    To me a sport is something you do for fun that challenges you physically and mentally, making you perform a precision task(s) under duress (so, not "work" or school!)

    Shooting is a precision task... Rough aim, relax, breath, hold, fine aim, squeeze, ride the recoil, all while paying attention to safety... all require concentration and fine motor skills.

    To this, add weather, light/darkness, fatigue, time pressure to make a shot before the animal moves again, and then the physical work of dressing and removing the animal from the woods.

    So to me, hunting is indeed a sport.

    Bird hunting (I don't) is very different, but still a combination of physical and mental skills exercised under conditions of duress.
     
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  17. GKiT

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    By definition, yes it is sport. I don't generally support individual opinions about the meaning of words. It doesn't matter if someone doesn't "consider" it to be a sport, it is. I will agree that the way the term sport is used today is not quite the same as it was used before. Examples using comparisons to ball games and competitions shows a lack of understanding of the historical use and meaning of the word sport.
     
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  18. okcmco

    okcmco Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    I am not sure that lack of or presence of a scoring system makes or does not make an activity a sport. And I'm not sure that being paid makes it less a sport.
    In categorizing something that is difficult to quantify or qualify, it helps sometimes to go back to the beginning. The British hunters of yesteryear called outdoor enthusiasts "sportsmen". That is good enough for me. If a fisherman is paid to fish by Zebco or Stren, how is that different than a driver being paid to drive by Tide or Home Depot? Or a quarterback being paid by the Falcons organization?
    Ultimately, does what you call something change its nature?
    I started a band back in '97 with another guy. The attitude was rock n roll. I played electric guitar in more than half the songs. I used distortion, way wah pedal, and a Marshall amp. The singer sang like Joe Coxker. Our drummer was a mad man. Some of the stuff was pretty hard..
    Yet I also played Dobro and Mando, and played acoustic a lot. Some songs were acoustic only. The sensibilities of many of the songs were rural or country, but then so is Niel Young, Lynard Skynard and Carl Perkins.
    We knew we were a rock band. But our audience, the agent, the bookers, and the label all viewed us differently. If you play acoustic, you are folk. If you play Mando, you are bluegrass. Ultimately we were labeled Country. Probably because he industry can only think in one genre at a time
    Point being, it did not matter what we called our music. Others labeled our music wether we wanted it or not. Maybe this question of what hunting is may be a similar situation?? And often the consensus on what something is will be wrong as often as it is right....
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
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  19. dads2vette

    dads2vette Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    To keep on point, is hunting(and fishing) sport? Here is the answer you all have been waiting for: Yes and no. You're welcome...

    It seems to me it all depends on the way you are performing those tasks. Sitting on a dock with my kids trying to catch anything but snags is not sport. It's memory building. Those folks on TV fishing for big $$ whether it's for marlin or bass, that's sport fishing. Some of my best experiences have been when I was skunked. Enjoying the hunt with a friend or a day on the creek just drowning worms. That's recreation. That doesn't change to "sport" if I get something to put on the table. When does that change, for me, never? For others it may be when they head out for the "win".

    It seems that over the last 40 years(my experience timeline) there are less and less hunters and fishermen only going out to catch that trophy so they can brag. Moreover, they are out getting what they need and are grateful for the experience not just the tablefare.
     
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  20. Strngwlkr

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    I would very much like to add an additional tweak to the original thread that might flavor the discussion further. It is however, rooted in prior posting- especially the fishing ones.

    Does your choice of gear/tackle alter the defining thoughts?

    I for one gave up "Gun Hunting" deer (and most game) due to the ease of completing the hunt. There was a day, almost 35 years ago now, when I was home on leave and some friends said "Let's go deer hunting tomorrow!" That afternoon I stopped by A local store and picked up my license and tag (still held residency in the state) and away we went the next morning to someone's Grandfather's farm. We got a little late start so it was already legal shooting light when we got there. As we exited the trucks a magnificent buck came from around the back end of a pole barn about 100m away, rising sun behind us and him downhill slightly and in a ditch...in short, perfect shooting position. He winded us and starting moving away at a slow trot. My friends all lamented that, "whelpers- he would have been nice!"

    I had just come home from the 1st six months part of my MOS trng and without much effort, raised my .270 (iron sights) and dropped him while standing. My season was over in about 6minutes. I came to that conclusion in about 1minute after squeezing the trigger. I have been in "Traditional" archery since. SPORT- not really...Hunt/Kill...most assuredly.

    I relate this story not as a "Hail to my Expertise" but to shed light on this vector....With modern weaponery, modest skills and good ethos- the intended target will probably NEVER know it was "hunted". It will never hear the shot that killed it. Is it grandeoulsy more humane---I would avow- YES. Was it hunted or killed- semantics. But it was killed and I have a hard time seeing a "Sport" in that. A task completed -yes.

    When I pull my long-bow off the rack, or put my recurve together and ease into the woods for a stalk...I AM competing against an opponent that has several million years of evolution hard wired into its brain. A life time of training to survive and a drive so much greater than most mere humans. I dare say ANYONE on this forum would deny that most wildlife are consummate athletes.

    I work out, pretty much everyday, with certain tasks in mind. Not the least of which is pulling a bow back, walking with weight for miles (hiking in or carrying out). I practice my craft on at least a weekly basis and toward seasons I get into daily practices with great effort to provide a clean and as humane kill as possible.

    Make no mistakes here...there is no catch and release in this endeavor. Many times when i go in "deep", as my wife puts it, I go in with minimal supplies and gear. No kill, no eat. It is as simple as that.

    I met a man locally who has taken many large and dangerous "trophies". Most consider him to be quite the hunter. After talking with him, I would disagree. Is he skilled- undoubtedly. Is he ethical when he hunts... for what I have seen, heard and read- probably. Does he put time in with a bow (compound - I do not begrudge him this). Reasonably fit- yup. By why not a "Hunter"? In speaking with him it was clear there is less love of the hunt and more the challenge of the kill. I have issues with that as I wil write later.

    Back to the merit of the conversation-

    So let's look at the rules---2 opposing sides- CHECK. Physical challenge- CHECK. Defined outcomes- CHECK. Equal chances for both sides--I would say probably more skewed toward the quarry's side (in "Traditional bow hunting) but uh- CHECK.

    These things would be applicable to fishing as well- in some respects. Fly fishing, dry- those who have never "hunted" fish this way... you just gotta believe me here...

    NO- I am not trying to bash Or degrade one type of hunting format Vs. another. Physical limitations, time constraints, legal aspects... you all know the drill, so to speak.

    Is hunting a "Sport"- NO. Not in my opinion. Sport, to me, involves a game. Taking a life OR the possibility of taking another things life is NEVER a sport. I was always raised, if you are NOT going to eat it or it is NOT going to eat you- don't kill it.

    Would love to see others thoughts on mine.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  21. Bannertail

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    Well said.
     
  22. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Time Outdoorsman Supporter

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    To me, a sport has to have an element of official competition and scorekeeping. Can you think of any conventional 'sport' that doesn't have this element? Nope!

    Simply hunting or non-competitive fishing is not a sport in my mind. Even having a side bet with a buddy doesn't make it a sport.

    What it IS, is one helluva way to spend a few days alone, or with family and friends, away from home in God's wilderness. Communing with nature, finding beautiful furry creatures and killing them! Oh, yeah!

    Steve
     
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  23. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I spent an entire semester debating/defining many terms like sport, physical education, game (s), activities, competition, rules, ethics etc. Anyway while a bit of it was not unlike arguing whether the tree in the woods makes noise it did go a long way to making professionals educators out of raw students. By definitions shared among those professionals of sports and recreations almost all forms of hunting would be very difficult to classify as a sport.

    Here is something to consider. There is an event that places a shooter against a live bird thrown from the hand of another man. The bird has to be shot within a certain area to be counted as a scoring shot. It is very difficult to hit the bird—it really has the advantage if the thrower is good. Huge amounts of money are bet, very expensive guns are used. Now is that hunting? Is it a sport? Is it a game?

    Now many places outlawed that event and replaced it with competitors shooting at clay targets (called pigeons which were the type of bird thrown in days gone by). Called trap shooting, it’s an even in the Olympics. Is that different from the event listed above because nothing dies? Is this variation a sport, a game, or something else? Should it eve be mentioned in the same breath as live pigeon shooting?
     
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  24. Keif

    Keif Supporter Supporter

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    Depends on the definition of "is"....
     
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  25. GKiT

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    I contend that the word "sport" has been officially hijacked. Hunting came before any of the games that are now referred to as sports. Hunting has been a sport long before all the new stuff that many of you are testing it against. It is the original sport. For this reason alone, the better question might be are all these things we call sports now really sports?

    Laws, regulations and personal rules of engagement/restraint change and vary depending on the individual or where you happen to be standing at the time but none of that changes the fact that hunting, regardless of its purpose, subsistence, recreation or trophy, is a sport. You can choose to prefer to call it something else but that doesn't change what it is. Calling things something other than they are is now all to common place and has become a movement to transform the way people think into the way a certain group wants them to think. If we are truly at a point where the majority of people do not recognize hunting as a sport than the word sport is officially dead and may as well be changed or removed from the language entirely. I'd like to think I will have been dead a while before that happens. I was hoping I would be dead before someone called recreational catch and release harassing wildlife but I am afraid to report I have lived to see that.

    There has been a growing trend of guilt associated with coupling recreation, pleasure and enjoyment with the act of pursuing and killing animals. That trend is rank among a generation of new outdoors people who are attracted to hunting but wish to redefine it to match their modern views and warped environmental sensibilities. Nowhere is that trend more evident than this forum. Nobody seems to want to admit to the smile or the happiness or the joy that comes from hunting anymore. Instead it appears to have become something to have to explain, justify and even apologize for. Personally, I find that trend sickening and depressing but it is what it is. We are all hunters regardless of whether we happen choose to participate in the activity. If it doesn't make you smile, you have the luxury of not doing it but you're not going to change definitions without a fight from me...:D
     
  26. morganbw

    morganbw Scout

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    Exactly, the harvest is about as good as it gets.
     
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  27. Strngwlkr

    Strngwlkr Supporter Supporter

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    WWOne- I believe I fully understand your point made. To me, the difference is that one involves the death of another one involved shooting a target. Not a small difference. Much like fencing and kendo or a kin to Mortal Kombat it is obvious that one does not kill wins opponent in the Olympics! That would, in my Pinyan move that into a sport and no longer and opportunity of life and death.

    I do love this topic!! A great exercise of mental gymnastics
     
  28. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Predators hunt for food and kill to eliminate rivals. A coyote for instance will attempt to kill on sight a grey fox but will ignore reds. They are not hunting for sport (if you define sport as fun) or food but to remove a perceived threat. A tom will kill kittens, not for food, or sport, but to bring the queen back into heat. This is self defeating as he wants to propagate his line but the kittens he kills could well be his own.

    Man at one time had to hunt for survival it was not sport then, he may have also killed rivals for land or mating dominance again not sport. He defiantly killed and will still for self defense and goes to war for numerous reasons but not sport. I’m not sure two gladiators in a ring fighting for their lives could be called sport from their point of view, but plenty of money changed hands based on the winning competitor. Were they hunting each other, or fighting, going to war maybe? Hard to define, isn't it?
     
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  29. Bannertail

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    My original response didn't post, so I'll just recap a little.

    A lot of words have been hijacked over time, nothing new.

    Without catch and release, how many fishing licenses would be sold?

    Sorry you had to read that I called catch and release harassing fish.

    However, I respect wildlife, personally, I consider catch & release to be disrespectful of fish. Just my opinion. Not trying to make converts.

    But, and I repeat But -- do not group me as someone with "warped environmental sensibilities".

    I've hunted, fished and trapped for sixty some odd years. I supported a growing family with what I earned on the trapline.
    In my freezer, you will find moose meat, fish and small game, along with garden produce and foraged items. We live a close to the land/subsistence lifestyle.
     
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  30. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Wasnt sure how to say it, but finally there was a response to this thread that went along with my thinking on the matter. Thanks Gkit :dblthumb:

     
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  31. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Time Outdoorsman Supporter

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    I've entered Coyote Derbies where you are assigned an area to see how many coyotes you can call in and shoot. One I entered had cash prises with a .220 swift rifle as prize. The best I ever finished along with a friend, was fourth place. We dropped six dogs and took home $50 to split two ways.

    There were 18 other teams, so we were competing, and there were rules. No electronic calls was the big one... shotguns only was the other biggie - due to the number of teams in about a 10 square mile area.

    But still, I don't consider it a sport... blood sport, maybe.

    Steve
     
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  32. tree-ratsniper

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    I would consider it a lifestyle more than a sport. I grew up in a hunting family & have been at it for 30+ years. When I'm not hunting, I'm thinking about hunting... or the next season around the corner. It is also a means of food for the family table, has been as long as I can remember. My Grandfather was raised in the depression and every .22 or shotshell was a chance for a meal, good ethics to follow.
     
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  33. Offshore Angler

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    Hunting a component of scientific wildlife management!!! A tool of for wildlife professionals to use, that also brings monies into wildlife programs.

    Many forms of hunting and fishing are very physically demanding, and yes requires a certain degree of abilities in order to accomplish them. Yes there are different degrees of difficulties at many different levels, but is not athletic sports on a lot of levels the same way ?? Yes we are sportsmen/women, and we are buying the tags, and permits, and carrying out the directives of sound wildlife management. We are also the people buying ammunition, guns, and other gear that funds the Pittman's Roberts act, and that is federal money that come back to the state to support many wildlife management issues consumptive & no consumptive as well. We are sportsmen/women, and yes we are paying the bills for wildlife , and we gladly do it out of love for our sport.
    You see with many its a passion, just like athletic sports, and that is why you have so many different levels of participation. You may have people that hunt squirrels, but maybe due to certain conditions this might be the only type of hunting this person is able to participate at. This would be no different than a guy playing in an over 40's softball league , they both enjoy their respected sports at a level that is possible for them and their conditions, and yes both can be very passionate about their activities they are participating in. We as sportsmen/women are blessed to enjoy many avenues of the outdoors, and to be a part of something bigger that just hunting, fishing, trapping, and that is part of a wildlife management practices that insures wildlife for ages to come.

    Offshore Angler

    P.S I had a guy that caught an amber jack on the last trip out that went 80-100#( Biggest AJ I ever seen) I bet most guys in the NFL today would have gave up on that fish, but he didn't, and landed the darn thing.
     
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  34. Mustang

    Mustang Tracker

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    I found a different definition in the Oxford English Dictionary.

    - mass noun, usually with adjective: "Success or pleasure derived from an activity such as hunting or fishing."

    The word itself is from an Old French word that meant "leisure". Remember that in Feudal England and France, only the aristocracy held land and they had hunters to harvest game for them, so hunting was a leisure...a sport.. for the wealthy. Why did Robin Hood get in so much trouble so early? Defending a young man who was going to executed for hunting on private land.
     
  35. Jfd2

    Jfd2 Scout

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    Hunting is, all ways has been, all ways will be a skill! You can't buy it watch it on u tube or the Sunday funnies and understand it.
    Man has been at it for thousands of years with a wide assortment of weapons, including his bear hands. It will continue until something kills and eats the last man or woman.
    It's a basic skill.
    Proper technique should be learned from your kin, but hunger will always rule!
     
  36. Bad Little Falls

    Bad Little Falls Guide

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    Just the act of the governing agencies placing laws and regulation on the taking of animals removes it from the Hunting/Gathering category of our ancient past. Sure, you take some for sustenance, got some in your freezer, but it was done under rules, man made rules. We can picture it any way we want, when you violate the rules you feel the guilt or most do and refrain from doing the the wrong way. For all the sustenance hunters, when was the last time you went to the grocery store?

    Nice thread.

    Bread and circuses comes to mind when it is turned into a "sport", keep the masses occupied. And don't step out of line!
     
  37. Florida Bullfrog

    Florida Bullfrog Tracker

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    I agree its hard to define. Many cultures both ancient and contemporary would go to war for the glory of it, both personal and societal glory. At what point is doing something for the glory or recognition of it making the action a sport? Must a sport be "fun" in order to be a sport? If so, then one could argue that many professional sports aren't sports at all, because the players aren't doing it for fun but instead doing it for the money and glory. Setting the "glory" aside, there's plenty of evidence that many cultures have venerated war to the point that it was considered "fun" to go out and do some killing, raping, and pillaging. Even in this day and age there are individuals and groups who do terrible things to other human beings for "fun". And then there are some animals that seem to kill for fun. Usually the smarter an animal is, the more likely it will kill for reasons we can only interpret as the pleasure of it. For example, killer whales are well documented to catch, maim, and kill other animals for reasons that appear consistent with play, discarding the dead, uneaten, animal when finished.
     
  38. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    @Florida Bullfrog As a former soldier I can attest to a certain veneration of combat. You spend so much time training for it, thinking about it, preparing for it, (subtly brainwashed into wanting to fight probably) that you can't help but to strive for glory on the battlefield. I don't know anyone who would flat out say it's fun but plenty of folks, you can see it in their eyes when they talk about it, really enjoy combat.

    I hunted all my life and was a very experienced/accomplished hunter before I joined the army. During basic training and medic training it was sort of creepy how well the skills I learned hunting translated directly into military operations. A soldier and a hunter are two sides of the same dice.
     
  39. Bannertail

    Bannertail Scout

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    In the novel "The Deerslayer" by James Fenamore Cooper,
    the main characters have a somewhat lengthily discussion about hunting -- sport hunting vs. 'whatever' hunting.

    The kicker is that this novel was published in 1841!
     
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  40. colter

    colter Supporter Supporter

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    I dont really consider what i do "hunting" I go out and kill an animal for meat. Ive never cared for killing anything, but sometimes its necessary.
     

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