Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Canned Killing: Don't Call It Hunting!

David Petersen

Outdoorsman and author

Huffington Post

Among ethical hunters, the term "fair chase" implies a universal bottom-line of self-imposed fairness and morality. Fair chase hunting specifies the pursuit of wild, free-ranging game animals, and, together with limits on technology, assures wildlife a better-than-even chance of escape. Thus, the term hunting.

Meanwhile, another and wholly opposite term and mindset, "Canned hunting," was coined by fair chase hunters to condemn the sickly "sport" of paying thousands of dollars for the great soulful adventure and challenge of executing captive-raised, half-tamed wildlife on "game farms," several of which stain my longtime home of LaPlata County and surrounds.

...Jim Posewitz, hunter, retired Montana wildlife biologist, and founder of Orion: The Hunter's Institute. Canned hunting, says Posewitz, "is killing and nothing more. The worst thing it does is to trivialize the value of wild animals. A fenced shoot is just the sale of a fabricated image to people who have neither the skill nor the inclination to obtain the real thing. It's a threat not only to real hunting, but to our whole concept of wildlife conservation."

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  1. I dispute his numbers on approval/disapproval. No citations. I would expect a large body to not have an opinion.

    The beginning point is correct. It's not hunting. For some reason only hunters keep calling it hunting. No one else does. Once you get by the fact that it's not hunting, but field slaughter there really isn't any reason to disapprove. And if you do disapprove, you shouldn't ever eat any farm raised products. The meats you get in stores is killed in a fashion that makes field slaughter look like the most humane way possible.

    I can't say that I would obtain any pleasure from shooting a fenced animal nor would I from shooting a bear out of a tree. Here, hunters are hypocrites.

    Posewitz is wrong. Fenced killing doesn't trivialize animals any more than they already are. For one, they aren't wild animals. If they were, they wouldn't be inside a fence. Secondly, the meat industry has already trivialized animals as much as they possible can. I can't imagine how shooting an animal in field or on some landscape trivializes beyond things like being raised in a 3x5 ft cage.

  2. Annon 6/12 - I think you make a good point about the confusion over what is hunting and what is not hunting (field slaughter in this case). The captive hunt folks like this state of affairs just fine, because if they can keep the idea that killing fenced critters is hunting (implying it takes skill,etc.) They can get the big money that they never would get otherwise. The problem seems to be the gray area between what everyone agrees is hunting on one end of the scale (say wilderness, self-guided bow hunting) and clearly not hunting (shooting a lion in a pen).
    A project my organization has taken on is to see if we can shine a light on the factors and values that make up what hunting is so folks can make intelligent decisions on there own preferences.

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