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  1. #11
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    May 2012
    North Carolina
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    There have been a lot of thoughtful posts on this thread and I appreciate that.

    My thought is this: what is unethical is to shoot farther than you can consistently hit the vitals on the animal you are aiming for under prevailing field conditions.

    And yes, there is right and wrong in hunting, not just personal preference. It's not cave man days where your life depends on killing, however you can get it done.

    A real hunter loves and appreciates the wilderness and its game, pays to develop their habitat and manage their numbers, and turns in a poacher in a New York minute. He is a conservationist and a naturalist who enjoys scouting as much as hunting.

    He loves the privilege of being in God's amazing creation, loves to breathe it in, smell it, even taste it somewhat in a steaming cup of coffee on a chilly morning or drinking from a stream right out of the snowmelt. He listens to birds and admires wildflowers and sunsets. He'll stop to watch a hawk circle endlessly on a thermal. He would be out there even if for some reason he couldn't hunt, maybe to take pictures or spend time with his family. He takes time to learn everything he can about the game he chases because he is fascinated with them, not simply to be a more effective killer. He honors them when he ends their life, maybe just a little like the Europeans do with their ceremony.

    With that kind of appreciation for his prey, to wound something makes him physically sick. He will do everything in his power to make a clean, one-shot kill and will follow up wounded game beyond what many people think reasonable.

    If that ethic is compatible with long-distance shooting, then so be it, but I am skeptical. While there is an innate manly desire to push and test yourself, especially when you're young, and long shots make for effective marketing of guns and scopes and TV shows, the animal comes first.

    Don't shoot unless you have put in enough quality practice time at that distance under realistic field conditions to be able to quickly and consistently kill that valuable living creature. Then, when you're telling stories, talk about that majestic animal and the experience of the hunt, not your shot.
    Last edited by hoshour; 06-14-2013 at 06:42 AM.

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