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News Flash! Hunting Involves Killing

 News Flash!  Hunting Involves Killing
By Bob Peck, December 13, 2009

“That’s it?!”  I said completely incredulous.  “The only part of the deer you eat is the tenderloins?” 

I could tell he’d been there before with other hunters like me and was prepared for this question.  He took what had to be a full minute before he responded. His eyes were turned downward.  He studied the tops of his boots.  He took a few deep breaths and then looked me square in the eyes without blinking once to create a dramatic moment.  “My belief is man is a predator.  Man has always been a predator and always will be.  We can dress it up and say we’re hunters.  We can use words like “harvest” and “cull” but what we are is killers.  We are predators just as surely as a coyote or a wolf.  We live in modern villages and we talk all about political correctness and heady topics like Democrat vs Republican, global warming  and world economies but when get geared up and go into their zone something happens to our brains that is a base human instinct we haven’t completely left behind.  We head out to kill.” 

Long pause …. “And when we do kill we have to depersonalize what we’re doing.   A predator doesn’t rationalize and if we did at the moment of truth nothing would get killed.  Face it.  None of us really needs that meat to survive like primitive man so why do we hunt if not to satisfy an ancient predatory instinct not extinquished?”

I’d never thought about it this way.  Seemed a crude perspective but I’ve always been adverse to sugar coating anything and my good friend Bob Foulkrod used to always say “We harvest wheat.  We don’t harvest animals.  We kill them.”  There is a certain obvious logic here but yet many hunters get upset at the bluntness.  They will rightfully and earnestly say things like:

“There is more to hunting than killing.” 

“It’s not about killing, it’s about the challenge of figuring things out.” 

“It’s about passing on the heritage not about killing innocent animals.”

“I rely on the meat to carry my family.”

Since I have been into setting up, fund raising and supporting venison donation programs in NY, MI and now VA I just had to ask …. “What do you do with the rest of the meat?”  The response was immediate “I don’t take the time to bother with it.  After I remove the tenderloins and the butterfly tenderloins inside I toss the whole carcass.”  That’s it.  He “tosses” the whole carcass.  No pelt to turn into deer skin gloves, no use of the “parts” for use by food manufacturers, no venison donation.  I just met a hunter who only hunts whitetail deer for the tenderloins.

O.K so I calmed myself and then needed much more information.  “How do you reconcile this?”  He looked completely puzzled.  “Reconcile?  What is there to reconcile?”  I was as puzzled by him being puzzled.  I thought it was a pretty straight forward question.  I tried again.  “I’m asking you if you feel bad at wasting the animal?”  He laughed.  “Hell no.  I’m a predator and this is what predators do.  We kill. We take what we want and we leave the rest.  Besides, I like to hunt other predators like coyotes so I dump the carcass in places where I want to shoot other predators.”  Wow.  This was getting interesting.

“O.K and after you shoot the coyote what do you do with the animal?”  I got a “you dummy, that’s obvious” look.  The answer was slow in coming … “I sell the pelt of course.  I can get $50 from a taxidermist I know.”
Next question …  “Did you ever think about venison donation?”  No.
Next question … “What do you do if you shoot a nice buck?”  Saw off the antlers or have it mounted.

Next question … “Don’t you catch a lot of crap from other hunters on this?”  Yeah but I’m a predator and predators kill first and NEVER ask questions later. Besides, predators don’t care what other predators think. 

Next question … “Does the word stewardship of the land and resources ever enter into your vocabulary?”  No.  Predators don’t plant food plots, cut down trees and concern themselves with resources.  If I have a craving for some venison tenderloin I go get it.”

Last question … “If you could buy venison tenderloin in your local supermarket meat counter would you?” 

How do you feel?

ethics-check-part-2-pic1 

News Flash!  Hunting Involves Killing –Part 2
By Bob Peck, January20, 2010

A night vision monocular takes some getting used to but once your brain and eyes get used to the experience it’s pretty cool.  You get to see a side to the deer woods most will never experience and yes, it’s almost exactly like daylight with the exception of the greenish glow that surrounds the images you see.  We were perched on a ridge looking down into a food plot full of deer a full 170 yards away.  I’d estimate 50-60 deer were browsing peacefully in what appeared to be a five acre plot.  I rotated the monocular up and away from my face and flipped open my cell phone.  Wow.  2:30 a.m.!  Way past my bedtime but I wouldn’t have missed this experience for anything.

With the monocular back in place and a few minutes to readjust we were back to some spectacular night time viewing.  I say we, because my guide was the Predator I mentioned in the first part of this story.  I heard the Predator whisper into his radio via the throat microphone “Delta T, you copy?”  I couldn’t hear the response if there was one but silently and with deliberate motion the Predator swept his hand towards an adjacent ridge.  “Roger that.” He hushed as his arm made an arc.

In a matter of a few seconds I began to see pops of light on the ridge evenly spaced.  No sound. Just little pops of light like a camera flashbulb at considerable distance. At first I thought I was seeing strobes or the headlamps from hunters moving about.  I learned later what I was seeing was the muzzle flash from two different sharp shooter teams with silencers taking aim on the herd I was admiring a few minutes earlier.  The teams were set up like military sniper teams, one shooter, one spotter.

The Predator physically grabbed me by my shoulders so I was looking back to the food plot.  Like sacks of flour hitting a loading dock one deer after the other dropped straight down into a lifeless heap. The other deer took notice but in between intervals of muzzle flashes they slowly moved without exhibiting much fear.   “They think the does are bedding down.” was all I heard in my ear.  “Bedding down?!”  I stuttered in my best tree stand whisper.  “Yeah, when you shoot them in the head just right they fall straight down.  With a little practice you can usually get at least 20 killed with two teams shooting.” 

This was all new to me.  I was attending a completely legal culling exercise on a massive scale which I was definitely not mentally prepared for.  I thought one thing when I was invited and witnessed something very different than my mind had conjured.  This process went on for three days almost always through the night and in places well scouted, researched and in any kind of weather except high winds.  At the end of 4 days over 200+ does on that 10,000 acre property were dead.  The Predator and his teams were extremely well compensated, spent their down time in well appointed hotels, ate like kings and then they packed up their $5,000 custom rifles and moved on to the next “job”.

What happened to the 200+ does shot on that property?  The dead deer were collected by farm hands using what seemed like an Army of four wheelers, heaped them up on flat bed hay wagons at centralized locations on the property, a big hole was excavated in the ground and they were pushed into the hole with a bull dozer and covered up.  No gutting, no venison donation, no nothing. 

I can see inside your heads right now.  You’re wondering “What the?!”  He’s making this up.  No, I’m not making it up.  If I hadn’t just seen trophy deer management at its pinnacle of wealthy perfection I wouldn’t have believed it either.  I learned that there are people out there, extremely wealthy people who want what they want and aren’t afraid to spend the big money to get what they want.  This landowner wanted to speed up the process of correcting his herd ratio by hiring the Predator and his company to get a certain result quickly and that they did!  I didn’t get to interview or speak with the landowner personally but I learned from the Predator that he spent over $600,000 buying genetically superior “buck stock” from deer farms and then introduced these animals onto his property to spread the genetics.

If I could mention the Predators name you would be shocked.  90% of you would know the name instantly and be utterly amazed at the secret and separate lives he lives.  One minute he’s on hunting shows we all watch, the next he’s appearing at trade shows and then we see his face in print ads endorsing hunting products.  What many will never know is the Predator is the ultimate predator in that he owns a company specializing in the mass execution of deer on scales none of us can possibly conceive.  His business is booked through 2012 and is international in scope.

Remember this from the first part? “My belief is man is a predator.  Man has always been a predator and always will be.  We can dress it up and say we’re hunters.  We can use words like “harvest” and “cull” but what we are is killers.  We are predators just as surely as a coyote or a wolf.  We live in modern villages and we talk all about political correctness and heady topics like Democrat vs. Republican, global warming  and world economies but when get geared up and go into their zone something happens to our brains that is a base human instinct we haven’t completely left behind.  We head out to kill.” 

Long pause …. “And when we do kill we have to depersonalize what we’re doing.   A predator doesn’t rationalize and if we did, at the moment of truth nothing would get killed.  Face it.  None of us really needs that meat to survive like primitive man so why do we hunt if not to satisfy an ancient predatory instinct not extinguished?”

So, I ask … If you could buy venison tenderloin in your local supermarket meat counter would you give up hunting?

 

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