I just saw a post called Critters/Wildlife in the miscellaneous topics forum where someone said they go to wild areas and see all sorts of animals because they're not their to hunt while hunters that are ther for hunter don't see a whole lot of their game. So it made me stop and wonder... I grew up with my father and around his family. We are a family of hunters, fishers, campers, hikers, archers, gun marksmen... I've always wanted to go hunting. But I was thinking about nature and "harm none" just now and it made me think of animal skins I've seen in shops, a Wiccan witch my mother and I met, my father and the wildlife conservation group we joined some years ago.... It made me think of hunters. Not those idiots who go out to kill things, but true hunters. I've been fishing once or twice and didn't catch anything and was bored by it, but I've always wanted to get my permit/license and go hunting. To explain some of the stuff I've said before though... My family has had a lot of veterans and hunters and fishers in it. We almost all love to go camping and hiking and like having large backyards, especially since a lot of our households have dogs and cats who need to run around (though cats kind if just go where they please) and we like watching the squirrels, rabbits, and birds enter our yards. I go into small shops and see bearskins and, even though I love to feel and touch the furs, I know I would never buy them unless I know their full story. I don't think I would ever buy a skin or fur or leather that wasn't from a cow unless I knew it's story. With cows, they are bred to be eaten and killed and the like. So I've no problem buying their skins because I know that most if the rest of them are being used for something. But when it comes to other furs, I just can't. I would have to have killed the animal myself, because then I know the story. When I finally do go hunting, I would try to find a use for as much of the animal I kill as I can: eating the meat or selling it or using it as bait, making bones or claws or teeth into jewelry or carving it into cool charms, using the fur as blankets or clothes, antlers and horns for decoration or something.... Doing my best not to waste anything. I would eat almost any meat, to be honest, and if I killed a coyote, I would eat it. My father says that's like eating a dog, but I've told him that if I hinted and killed it, I wouldn't, couldn't just leave it. It's wasteful. You can't just take a life like that and not do anything with it. When I lived in the High Desert (it's in Southern California), my father and I joined Quail Forever, which later merged with Pheasants Unlimited to become Quail Unlimited. It was a group of hunters who went out to buil and repair and clean guzzlers, which are built into the ground and are man made, concrete watering holes for small critters like squirrels, chukker, and, well, quail. They can walk don a metal grate that looks like a hamster cage door into the guzzler and a small entrance with bars set in place protect them from larger animals that would eat then while they're drinking. The concrete top is painted tan to blend in with the desert, which is where you find most guzzlers, and is curved in a way to catch rain water and let it get into the guzzler. This hunting group worked on conservation of nature and we worked on guzzlers and picked up trash and the like. We supported programs that trained dogs to warm you of snakes and things like that. My father didn't like dirt bikers who just ran through the desert making their own trails, because they fucked with the whole ecosystem there by just simply riding recklessly through there. I no longer live in the High Desert, so I can't do stuff with that group anymore. But my father explained to me that hunters try to take care of nature, not just through hunting animals that are overpopulated or that kind of thing, but also by conservation and preservation projects. Hunters are quiet and careful when they're outdoors. They take care of the forest and the desert so that these habitats can take care of the animals they hunt. My mother and I went to a Unitarian church a couple times and I really loved it. That church was in Upland. One of the times we went there, my mother talked to this Wiccan witch who made crafts. She (the witch we met) said that she didn't buy furs and people always told her "you buy cow leather!" and she would explain to them that we eat cows, we breed them for that purpose. That was back when my mother was still Wiccan, but looking into Mormonism. I always have ants in my bathroom and I squish them all the time; I feel super bad because they don't know much better and they're just some of God's beautiful creatures. Sometimes I leave them be because I'm "busy", but, really, I don't want to be responsible for their deaths, even though they're just bugs, even though I hate them touching my stuff, even though I don't want them in my home, eating my food, and biting me. I've saved and tried to save the lives of bugs many times throughout my life. I tried to unstick a moth from some gum on the sidewalk at school, but was unsuccessful. I put worms and roly polies on the grass and instead of squishing bugs when I'm outside, I use my breath to blow them away, even spiders. A spider once got in my friend and when I tried to get it off it got on me and then I blew it off but it didn't land in the grass. Everyone was yelling "kill it, kill it!" and I shouted out "no!" I asked why it's life should be of any less value of ours. I blew it in the grass before my friends stomped on it; we didn't even know what kind of spider it was. So, what I wanted to know was, does "harm none" extend to things like hunting? Or does it depend on the interpretation? I would love to go hunting and do not want to waste the bodies of the animals I kill. Am I in violation of "harm none"? I never thought that I could be or would be until just today. Is it okay to still go hunting as long as I respect nature and the wildlife I find and do not take more than I can carry or stand? As long as I don't waste things and give a proper burial to the parts I cannot or will not use? Can someone just give me their own opinion or beliefs or thoughts or experiences? Thank you.
Re: Harm None and Hunting
By: Kyr / Novice May 03, 2014
Post # 2
I do not believe that it does as long as it is done with respect. I am a hunter and sportsman myself and whenever a kill is made I do it with the utmost respect and appreciation. Predation is the natural order of the world and helps maintain the balance of it. In some wiccan traditions cernunnos encompasses hunting. This will of course very from tradition to tradition but I believe the majority share the view that hunting is natural and predation necessary. By killing a deer you may save crops and food for other animals and other ripple affects that may be of benefit to the environment as a whole. Bottom line if you hunt do so with respect and appreciation and never get morally out of hand. If you do that then I'm sure nothing ill will come your way because of it.
Re: Harm None and Hunting
By: MaidenCrow May 04, 2014
Post # 3
Thank you. My father told me that people hint coyotes due to overpopulation and hunt buck deer because the males will take all their mating season fighting but if we kill a couple they have more time to mate more often and things like that. Thank you for your insight. I've always thought that people who hunt just for the fur/skin were wasteful because they left everything else out to rot. If and when I do go hunting, I will do my best to show/have some respect. Thank you for your perspective ^.^