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How do people enjoy hunting?


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No hate.  I am not anti-hunting or anti-gun.  I eat meat and 100% get that hunting meat is vastly superior in every way to factory farms.  Also not hating on people that actually hunt to feed their family out of necessity.  Not buying the whole being one with nature...there are lots of hobbies that allow you to be one with nature or meditation or peacefulness...including nature photography that allows you to "hunt".  And yes, I know, not everybody likes that same stuff.   I like professional wrestling for god's sake. 

What I don't get is the love of killing animals and putting their bones or whatever on the wall. 

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I think hunters fall into 2 categories. 

1. People who like to kill stuff. i think it's that simple. I too eat meat, so maybe I'm a hypocrite, but I think there has to be something wrong with somebody to want to kill anything bigger than bug if it isn't a necessity. I get that these people must exist in the modern food chain for me to have a burger,, but I don't want to know them.

2. People who have grown up with it being a tradition in their family, either native/tribal, or just has a long line of hunters behind them. I have a friend who goes hunting with his dad and uncle. He was doing it since he was young so it's just programmed in and he doesn't really think about it. 

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Yeah I respect the right to hunt/fish, as well as gun ownership, as long as done responsibly.  I personally have guns, but has been forever since I went to target practice. I have never, ever hunted.  I personally can't do it.  Like Tank, I eat meat, but I don't even like eating meat with bones because it reminds me I am eating a dead animal.  I know that is weird, possibly hypocritical, but it just is how I am.  

I don't get people who derive pleasure from killing something, and they are people I don't associate with.  However, people who hunt/fish out of family or cultural tradition, and especially for survival, I understand it, so as long the animal  isn't tortured and doesn't go to waste and is eaten, AND it is within hunting season and not an endangered animal.  

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Honestly, I think I could hunt if I had the gumption. But I have no gumption. I do not want to wake up at 3am to freeze my ass off for it. Not to mention I would want to be guaranteed a clean kill shot and even when I was range shooting regularly I didn't feel up to the task.  

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My dad hunts. I think he mostly shoots beer cans in the woods with his buddies and they call it hunting. I think occasionally a squirrel has the unfortunate luck to stumble across their camp and has to juke a few shots before safely escaping.

In all seriousness, my dad does like his guns, but we are talking a black powder rifle, a 16-gauge bolt action shotgun that's so old it doesn't even have a serial number, and a 357 that should probably get sold as an antique to a collector. He's not out there buying AR-15s and sniper scopes.  I think he just likes being out there with the guys.

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Depends on what you mean by hunting I guess. There is a difference between luring an animal into a dead end with foods and treats while you hide with an AR-15 or M60 and turn it to paste, and tracking an elk or deer with a bolt action rifle or crossbow.

The people who fall in the latter category I think hunt to feel human again. What I mean by that is hunting can make you feel part of the food chain again, in a natural kind of order. Not all people relish the killing of animals, but it's the tracking of said animal and following it through woodland and over hills and into valleys before making the kill that is the rewarding part. So I would assume. 

Also I believe hunting has the power to reconnect you with what you eat. Buying some meat that is wrapped in plastic from the supermarket is so far removed from hunting or animal slaughter that I think the vast majority of people have no respect for the animals that they do eat. So we mindlessly eat chlorinated chicken and industrialised farmed animals without a second thought. But the industrialised farming of animals for meat is much more cruel than going to the woods and killing something yourself.  The world would be a better place if everyone had to kill something once for their own survival. 

I'm doing a forestry school course in the summer where I will learn how to process a deer. Skinning it, disposing of offal and butchering it. Once I've learned that I hope to learn to hunt with the same people doing this course. And I'm doing these things to hopefully make myself more aware of the life and the work that goes into food. I hope that it will give me a greater respect and connection with with what I eat and thereby a greater connection to my humanity. I don't expect it will feel particularly good, or be a pleasant experience but for where I am in life mentally and spiritually I feel it is an essential thing for me to do.

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But going hunting for trophies, shooting elephants and lions for sport...that kind of thing I can't explain. That's some small dick energy right there.

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Basically everything Odine said.   I have bow hunted before as well as using a rifle.  It is very time consuming and often you don't hit or kill anything.  That's the main reason why I don't do it anymore.   

For similar reasons, this is why I enjoyed farming when I was younger.  Everything from your corn, potatoes, beef, and eggs, all came from your land and from your own work.  From that perspective, hunting isn't much different. 

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I enjoy fishing but honestly I don't want to catch anything. I don't get hunting and to take that a step further I don't understand canned hunting. Like putting out feeders with grain and shooting deer as they eat. That's dumb. After being raised on a ranch I prefer my meat coming on a styrofoam package and don't want to think about how the cow or chicken or pig died either because that sucks too.

I just can't go vegan. 

For real hunters like Native Americans it was about feeding a family and doing it humanely. But stay in a cold hut waiting for something to come out? That sounds boring. Ice fishing at least you can sit in a hut with others and talk or something.

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5 hours ago, Jedigoat said:

Basically everything Odine said.   I have bow hunted before as well as using a rifle.  It is very time consuming and often you don't hit or kill anything.  That's the main reason why I don't do it anymore.   

For similar reasons, this is why I enjoyed farming when I was younger.  Everything from your corn, potatoes, beef, and eggs, all came from your land and from your own work.  From that perspective, hunting isn't much different. 

I've been to farms before that sell their own food on their own land, and corn, potatoes, other veggies, and meats always taste 1000% better than the grocery store. 

And not directed at anyone in particular, I don't mean to sound like I am anti-hunting or insult anyone who does hunt.  I am talking more about people who do it in excess and hunt or poach illegally, out of season, or endangered animals.  

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On 3/17/2021 at 4:06 PM, Hobbes said:

  Not buying the whole being one with nature...there are lots of hobbies that allow you to be one with nature or meditation or peacefulness...including nature photography that allows you to "hunt".  

To address this particular point, I would only say that from my experience in woodlands, hiking, mountain hiking, outdoor sports etc, it is still quite a passive and "outside visitor" kind of pursuit. Where you still feel like an outside observer of this natural world rather than part of it. The only time that feeling of being an alien has started to melt away for me has been while camping over night. And even then that doesn't always remove the awareness of being a visitor.  It's not too far a distance before you see other campers if you are in the wild (which is sparce in the UK to begin with) and more often than not people, myself included, camp at a campsite along with many others. The act of hunting, I would assume, goes further to make you feel a part of the natural world rather than being a passive observer.

But even then, as a modern hunter you are still a temporary visitor. An alien in orange camo stepping on twigs and shit.

I can't remember the documentary I watched but it had a moment in which the narrator is with some Maasai  tribe in Kenya, and their intimate knowledge of their own land, the animals, how to hunt... They were part of nature, not separate from it. And it made the narrator envious (in a nice way) that they were more in touch with their humanity as a result. More human. Because they never stopped being at one with their environment.

Now obviously going hunting is never going to bring that kind of intimate connection back. But for some people maybe it is their method for getting that feeling, I think?

Sure you can take a camera to hunt for pictures of wildlife. And that would certainly connect you with the tracking of prey and put you in the mental state of a hunter. But then that doesn't quite meet another need people have, which is the need to reclaim a sense of purpose or usefulness, in a primal kind of sense. Hunting for food is going to provide a different intensity of reward than claiming a righteous nature photo. (Not to be dismissive of nature photography in any way. I love nature photography, and I would love to take just one righteous photo of wildlife in its natural habitat).

The outdoor meditation you bring up is awesome. There is a Norwegian musician, ethnomusicologist (who is the only practicing bard/skald who is also an academic of the field) talks about doing this "sitting out" method..not unlike vision quests of various indiginous peoples. Psychodellics are not a requirement for this to be of use. What he does is goes of hiking somewhere remote and finds a location that resonates with him, then sits down, relaxes, let's his mind drift and tries to "blend in" with the environment. After a while nature realises you're not an immediate threat and the forest or woodland goes back about its business. While he sits, observes and tries to be at one with it. He says, once you have stood in a river for six hours meditating on it, you will KNOW that river. Once you sit out overnight in a forest without shelter, you will KNOW that forest. And yeah, apparently things can get a little weird. The mind does strange things, and you feel different. He claims with enough practice you can awaken old senses that have otherwise layed dormant in us as modern humans. He gets quite poetic about these senses (he would being a skald/bard) and claims they are more like emotions or feelings than direct senses such as touch, sound or sight. But still as potent. Senses that the Maasai and other indiginous people still have and think nothing of because it is just how life is to them. 

I don't know about any of that, but I'd love to try his sitting out techniques.

For sure not all people who would hunt think about it nearly as much, or in the way as I have tried to explain. And maybe I have an overly romanticised idea of what hunting is. And probably a massive amount of hunters just wanna go kill shit. Maybe even the majority of people just want to shoot guns drink beer and be tough.

But I think there has to be something to it, primal I suppose, that keeps (true or proper if there is such a thing) hunters coming back to it. And It must be deeper than simply the act of killing an animal. Cause I think the actual act of taking a life would be the shit part of the experience. 

 

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The big thing they're pushing around Big Bend park is photo hunting. it's like bird watching and you try to note the particular animal by taking a shot of it with your camera. That's more satisfying. At least for me.

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19 hours ago, Odine said:

For sure not all people who would hunt think about it nearly as much, or in the way as I have tried to explain. And maybe I have an overly romanticised idea of what hunting is. And probably a massive amount of hunters just wanna go kill shit. Maybe even the majority of people just want to shoot guns drink beer and be tough.

But I think there has to be something to it, primal I suppose, that keeps (true or proper if there is such a thing) hunters coming back to it. And It must be deeper than simply the act of killing an animal. Cause I think the actual act of taking a life would be the shit part of the experience. 

 

I agree, I think there is something primal about it.  But yeah, a lot of hunters I know just brag about killing shit...and then there are the trophies in the house.  This is the aspect I don't get.

 

On 3/18/2021 at 5:30 AM, Jedigoat said:

Basically everything Odine said.   I have bow hunted before as well as using a rifle.  It is very time consuming and often you don't hit or kill anything.  That's the main reason why I don't do it anymore.   

For similar reasons, this is why I enjoyed farming when I was younger.  Everything from your corn, potatoes, beef, and eggs, all came from your land and from your own work.  From that perspective, hunting isn't much different. 

I get the whole providing thing and respect that.  What I think I am getting at is the whole "I love killing stuff" so I want to hunt thing. 

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That kind of hyper-masculine machismo "I kill stuff for fun" mentality is base. And I wonder how much of it is genuine and the rest bravado to fit in amongst peer groups.

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This really doesn’t answer anything, and obviously doesn’t speak to anyone, but I personally know one hunter that otherwise enjoys the outdoors. The others won’t even think about going into the woods unless it’s to kill something.

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