Friday, October 3, 2014

Not a ‘Fair Chase’ When Hunting With Optics

Mail Tribune / Bob Pennell illustration

                              Good Day World!

Disclaimer: I’m not a hunter.

I don’t see the need to kill animals when their meat is already available in stores.

Despite my position on hunting, I don’t condemn hunters who still adhere to the “fair chase” doctrine. I do, however, object to long-range optics on rifles and people shooting at animals from 700 yards or more.

Let’s be realistic, hunting defenseless animals with optics and range-finders is chicken-shit! There’s a big difference between using the old iron sights and thousand dollar scopes.

Technological advances are now inviting hunters to take substantially longer shots in the field, spurring a public debate about whether relying more on improved weaponry over field skills is blurring the lines of hunting's historic fair-chase credo.

There's a lot of historical precedence where a code, call it 'fair chase' if you want, brought people together. It's taught in hunter-education. That's how fair chase has stuck.

The problem is you have wannabe hunters using high technology without enough hours of practice, leading to animals being wounded and suffering a slow agonizing death. 

There’s a difference between just shooting at live targets and actual hunting, where more caution is used to get a clean kill. Because hunters with optics can see their intended target doesn’t mean they have the skill to hit them cleanly. That takes a lot of practice.

Finally, what kind of thrill does anyone get when they kill an animal at 700 yards away? Are they afraid their quarry is going to attack them? Especially when hunters are looking at deer, elk, and other animals with no way of defending themselves.

Hunters like that should stick to arcade games.

Time for me to walk on down the road…


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