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Thread: Are we hypocrites

  1. #1

    Are we hypocrites

    This topic has been touched on but I dont think fully explored.

    When we talk about deer stalking, an awful lot of time is spent discussing 'best practice' and 'ethics'. We spend hours talking about what is and what is not a fair target, if, when and how a shot should be taken.

    I find it rather odd that if I went on a days rough shooting and shot a duck sitting on a pond or a pheasant on foot crossing in front of me at 40 yards, that I would be flung off the shoot with instructions never to return. On the other hand if I shoot a high bird screaming accross me with the wind behind it and at 40 to 50 yards out, there might be some sounds of appreciation from those who saw it.

    So with game shooting, the tougher and less certain the shot is, the more 'sporting' it is. With stalking the opposite is true. Why is this. Are they not both living animals, that deserve the same considerations

  2. #2
    I would say this is because to shoot a duck on the pond is easy where as a teal on a strong wind is hard in a similar way that to just shoot at a deer (not necessarily kill) from where you spot it is the easy option where as to stalk it in to 100 yards or as close as possible is where the skill comes in much like shooting a fast or high game bird. Just my two pence worth.


  3. #3
    Account Suspended
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Didcot, Oxfordshire
    Personaly I hunt for food and relaxation. If out rough shooting I would take a shot at birds on the ground as it puts food in the pot with the suraty that you'll dispatch the creature creanly. That may be viewed as unethical by some on here but as you say that would seem hypocritical. For me a clean kill is more important than a great longrange difficult shot that you manage to pull off. I wonder how many on these high fast birds that appear to be missed are pricked and suffer accordingly. If you wouldn't do it to a rabbit, fox or dear, why do it to a bird?

  4. #4
    I have often wondered this myself.

    To start with, i would say that your first example would be more based on safety than on ethics. Shooting anything on the floor is a bit dodgy when there are a lot of people about (similar to shooting a very low bird).

    I personally dont shoot at birds that are a long way out (still miss though), they will always be there another time. I also dont tend to shoot at a bird if it has made it past a few guns unshot (i will have a go if it has been hit though)

    To answer your question, i have no idea if we are hypocrites but i do know that people on this site put a lot more store on shooting anything (from rabbits to deer) than a lot of people do so i think that the difference in the potential ethics may be more marked


  5. #5
    Yes, i believe so at times depending on what suits us at the time. Although i believe not undertaken in this country running boar/deer is common place in europe-sporting!,but is it ethical?? or could it be provided just for someone to make money, perhaps this is why they are more advanced than us in the use of dogs for deer

    Regards cervushunter.

  6. #6
    Groach1234 is right the skill in stalking is primarily field craft something not needed to shoot pheasants where the challenge is the shot,wildfowling,pigeon,rabbits,foxes would all need a bit of both just the way it is.

  7. #7
    Hmmm I believe that so far I have shot exactly two Pheasants on the wing. One of which although in a death glide was never recovered as it went right out in the neighbours beet crop. I was not about to go stomping all over his crop of a pheasant. I have shot quiet a few on the ground and more with the .22 L/R than the shotgun. When I go after Pheasant it's purely for the pot. I have also shot more Duck with the .22L/R than with the shotguns. Out back here we get partridge, both Red legged and the English grey, they are left along as they need to increase their numbers. Hares are only taken if their causing us a problem the rabbits however are fair game. Likewise the few Snipe we get in winter are left along. If I am out with the gun and the chance at the Rooks, Crows or Magpies comes along they are shot. Although i have seen a fox on the fields the other side of the road as yet i have never seen one this side. We do it seems now get visits from a Badger as one ran across to our side some weeks back in front of the car and i have found their scat on the filed but have not seen the animal as yet.

  8. #8
    Doing a bit of game shooting and picking up, I find that many people wound pheasants. This is of course why responsible shooters have access to a team of dogs. I am fortunate to shoot with people who will stop the shoot until a pricked bird is found and dispatched. I practise regularly on clays with a group of mates that I shoot with, in the vain hope that we can keep our shooting up to snuff. For the birds that I ***** and do not kill, I bought a labrador which is trained to find and retrieve wounded game. I try to not shoot at anything at extreme range, but I know people who can do it successfully, but they are greatly outnumbered by those that cannot! Having been shooting on a few high bird shoots, and spending some time with the beaters too, the number of high birds hit but not killed can be huge.

    And as for deer, I try to exercise the same restraint. I do know people who consider them as nothing more than vermin, needing to be shot anyhow, anytime. Thankfully they are few and far between in my experience. I think the people that boast about shooting a 50/60 yard high pheasant are probably those that will boast about neck-shooting deer at 350 yards or more. I think the commercialisation of shooting has much to do with this attitude. Thankfully, and maybe unknowingly, the DSC1/2 qualifications and the best practise guide have benefited the sport of deer stalking greatly.

    And I do agree with Brit (and the late Hugh Falkus) in our belief that sport is different from games.

    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  9. #9
    well put flytie

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by flytie View Post is different from games.
    As Ernest Hemingway is reputed to have said, "There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games."

    However, I did read somewhere that he also said "Bullfighting is not a sport. It is a tragedy."

    Edit - Found the acual lines. From 'Death in the Afternoon' (1932)

    The bullfight is not a sport in the Anglo-Saxon sense of the word; that is, it is not an equal contest or an attempt at an equal contest between a bull and a man. Rather it is a tragedy; the death of the bull, which is played, more or less well, by the bull and the man involved and in which there is danger for the man but certain death for the animal.

    So, where does that leave stalking? Is it sport or a tragedy?
    Last edited by Iwrch; 01-10-2010 at 12:36.
    /l\ Y gwir yn erbyn y byd /l\

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