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21 December 2010
at 9:18 a.m.
Some of the comments above are simply anti-hunting. Hunting (legally) is the regulated killing of animals. When the DOW issues a tag, they have determined that the population of that animal needs to be controlled through hunting. I agree that many of these are majestic animals, but this is exactly why hunting generates a respect for the animal you are pursuing. Hunting prevents over-population of animals who have no predators or whose predators have seen their populations decrease due (primarily) to loss of habitat. It also spares these animals from a much less humane way of dying, such as by disease or starvation.
I think DavidMoore is discussing the real issue in this debate… whether hunting is a “fair chase” and where the line should be drawn. However, I don't agree with his conclusions. First of all, I don't see hunting as “fair” at all. I have a gun (or some other weapon) so the animal has a 99.9% greater chance than me of getting killed. The greatest danger to myself is probably me or someone hunting with me, or maybe the weather. With a rifle, I can shoot a deer or an elk from 400 yards away. They typically never see me. Hunting mountain lions in Colorado involves the use of as many as 10 dogs to chase the animal up a tree, where it is shot. Fishing involves the use of just about anything that will entice a fish to bite being placed on a hook in the water. It is not fair. GreyStone's post on the other article is dead on.
That's not to say that I don't think it is a good idea to preserve hunting as a sport. However, I feel that tracking an animal without bait, not being able to use a vehicle to trek after the animal, and having to find the animal in their natural environment does enough to preserve hunting as a sport. I think reasonable people can disagree on this, so there is no need to disparage others for their opinions.
Finally, if the animal was in “hibernation” (which we don't know), and if people decide that that makes in not “fair” (although again, I don't see hunting as fair anyways) the DOW should not have issued a tag that late in the year. The hunter is not at fault here. Frankly, from what I gathered in the article he has been looking for opportunities to get a bear for many years… what is left out of the article are his (presumably) many days of trekking through wilderness in pursuit of a bear without success. That lifelong chase does enough in my mind to preserve hunting as a sport.
8 December 2010
at 1:22 p.m.
I don't find anything wrong with what this hunter did, although I understand why people have an issue with this. He had a tag, which means the DOW had determined that the bear population in that area needed to be controlled through hunting. He didn't use bait or shoot the bear from his truck. He followed the bear's tracks in the snow and somehow came to within six feet of the bear, who was apparently awake. The article doesn't indicate how he got that close, so I won't guess. Once you are within six feet from an animal capable of killing you fairly easily, I don't think that saying “oh, hey, I'm just too close to you for this to be sporting” is really an option. So he did what he was authorized to do by law and shot the bear.
I personally do not understand or share a love for hunting as a sport, as I see hunting primarily as a means to obtain meat. In my mind, when I have a gun and the animal doesn't, the deck is pretty stacked. But having hunted with people who enjoy hunting for sport independent of the notion of hunting for meat, I can understand that point of view and I don't perceive anything wrong with it.
I think this hunter acknowledged that the bear “fell into his lap” so to speak. He didn't seem overly arrogant about what he did. (Frankly, any hunting story has to have some amount of pride infused into it). And his discussion of God to me simply indicates that he is religious and probably sees God in much of what he does.
I congratulate him for his achievement.
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