Maturing as a hunter and respect for fellow hunters
Hearing the opinions of so many fellow hunters at the annual hunting expos and shooting days makes good conversation most of the time. I have heard many opinions on bowhunting; with some I agree, with others I don’t.
These days many people are opposed to hunting in general, and some are even against consuming any animal product like meat, milk or eggs.
As I became more involved in the industry, I learned that there were many opinions and methods deemed more ethical. With all the different opinions, I sometimes get confused about what is ethical and what not – a heated debate that neither party ever wins. I have learned to respect the method the hunter chooses to use. I appreciate mutual respect, and this never leads to any heated debate.
Definition of hunting: “The activity to pursue for food or in sport, or to manage in the search of game.” Therefore, the hunter will attempt to harvest an animal for food or for sport.
Definition of a game farmer: “Game farming and game ranching involve the raising of native and non-native animals such as kudu, eland, impala, warthog, blue wildebeest, zebra and ostrich for a variety of products, including meat, hides, feathers and horns.” Therefore, the game farmer produces and raises animals to generate an income to be able to reinvest in the conservation of these animals.
In my evolution as a hunter, I have come to the following conclusions: I do not hunt just for the sake of killing, and I do not shoot anything and everything that presents itself. As someone hunting for meat and trophies, the primary goal is to let the animal expire soon after it has been shot. Game-farm owners usually determine the hunting method I should use, which is mostly from a blind. The odds are in your favour when hunting from a blind, and the possible income the game farmer can generate is much higher. I would rate the odds of shooting from a blind versus walk-and-stalk at 5:1, depending on your experience. Game farmers need to generate income to continue the conservation of the animals they breed.
When I accompany first-time bowhunters, I prefer them to shoot from a blind to give them the biggest chance of success. When I accompany a first-time rifle hunter, I sit and wait in a specific area, or sometimes drive around to look for an animal that can be harvested.
The primary method I prefer, and get the most joy from, is hunting on foot, whether it is with bow and arrow or a rifle. ASM