Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: The Morals of shooting

  1. #1

    The Morals of shooting

    Today I thought that I had wounded a deer that had gotten away with a gut shot. The thought of it made me feel sick to the pit of my stomach I felt truly horrendous. However the deer was found stone dead about 100yards from when it was shot. However, when out with the shotgun if I bring feathers out a pheasant or pigeon or what have you I am always annoyed with myself for wounding a bird but certainly wouldn't loose sleep over it unlike with a deer.

    There is a clear double standard in how I feel so does this mean my morals are wrong? Does it make me a bad person?

    How do you all feel about this? is it just me who has such double standards and why do you think they are so? size? number I have shot?

    So how about you lot?


  2. #2
    I doubt you will be the only one by a long shot.


  3. #3

    Don't worry. You only ever learn from "mistakes". Things get better the more you get better. There is no such thing as 100% success, it's always a compromise. Just keep going out and you will find that the pressure of perfection becomes a reality of achievable.

    Now, don't mention Fox to Robbo............ Satan's spawn! No horrible death is too good for them.



  4. #4
    We have to live with many things that we do, which perturb us - be thankful this was a wild animal and you did kill it. It is good to feel sick about it, if 'a sportsman true you be' and this is a much better harmony to have with nature than just bowling animals over without a care. Feathers fly off birds all the time, it does not mean they are hit as many a pigeon shooter will tell you. Experience is key, so for the benefit of the next shot you take what did you learn?
    Sleep well, there won't be a shooter on here without time behind them who hasn't experienced the same.
    All the best
    "There comes in the dead of night a hand of cold steel that plucks the German sentries from their posts"
    WSC 1942

  5. #5
    Most of us are hypocrites when it comes to such issues!
    Someone will be along soon and post something along the lines of that we should treat all animals or birds with the same respect etc. Blah, blah , blah!
    It's almost as if it is a size issue!
    Squash a bug - so what?
    Trap a mouse - standard.
    Poison a rat over several days - perfectly acceptable and positively encouraged!
    Wound a pigeon - ho hum!
    Wound a rabbit - doesn't matter, it won't live long and vermin anyway!
    ***** a pheasant - sad, but acceptable as it was a very well presented high bird!
    Wound and lose a deer - go straight to hell you miserable *******! How could you treat one of gods creatures so badly!
    Sell your rifle imediately and banish yourself to the city where you should never see a deer again!

    Double standards?
    I don't know what you mean?

  6. #6
    Thats an interesting and valid point you raise groach1234.
    I have often pondered on the same...and other instances of double standards where killing(or allowing the suffering) of creatures is involved.
    Imagine the uproar if a coarse fisherman tipped his keepnet containing say 30 roach onto the grass and allowed them to flap about untill they suffocate as do most sea anglers when at sea and away from the public gaze.??
    Is the wounding of a pigeon less worthy of remorse than say a muntjac??. Is it as you say a size thing or a mammalian eye and the anthropormorphisms we apply to them. Would you feel worse losing a wounded red stag or a muntjac kid ?. I can guess which would be responsible for the most sleepless nights.
    The answer probably lies in the attavistic makeup of humans, where (for some ..and I would guess most on this forum) the urge to hunt somehow prevents one from annalysing the outcomes to the point where you would give up hunting altogether.
    I guess it is an indication of a conscientious and responsible hunter to ask himself these questions from time to time. As a bunch, UK stalkers are generally, and genuinely interested in applying themselves to responsible hunting, and, ethics are hopefully high on the list.
    One can only do ones best. If after an episode like your recent one you can honestly say to yourself " yes...I did everything possible to avoid what happened".. and after it did happen ..".did I do everything possible to resolve it ?". You should rightly be critical of yourself but with experience you will be able to read situations and cicumstances more easily.
    We owe as much to our quarry. If we don't care as much as we do I'm sure nobody else will!

  7. #7
    Interesting thread. I must admit that I only really like shooting for the pot - quite happy take a few deer each year for my own and friends freezers. I am not a great fan of phaesant, but do enjoy a day like I have onsaturday with a few friends rough shooting. And I love to eat wild duck and goose. With a rifle you are and can be very clinical with a quick and supposedly painfree death for the beaBst. With a shotgun and flying birds there is clinicalness about it. But I still try to ensure a clean kill if at all possible. If a bird is well within range and is hit well it will be dead. But usually you gave dogs etc to bring birds to hand. With wildfowl I have rather stopped as I am not at all happy at the lack of killing power of non toxic shot.

    Anybody who hunts or shoots will at some point wound a bird or animal that is not then quickly brought to bag. Provided we have done our best to mInimise the suffering then I think our conscience can be clear and you just have to accept it as part of hunting. Feeling sick / remorseful etc is also part of hunting - more worrying is if / when you wound something and don't feel sick.

    Where I think it all starts to go wrong is when under pressure - often financially driven. You are invited on a driven day by a client and you are then expected to shoot the high challenging birds, or you are under pressure to achieve a cull. My father stopped shooting big game after he had to call in the game wardens to remove herds of elephants. This was early 1970's in the low veld of Rhodesia where he was putting in irrigation on behalf of the government. He went out with the game wardens and 40 years later he still can't get over witnessing whole herds of elephants being wiped out. What is even sadder is that most of those areas have now gone back to bush, so the mass culling was unnecessary.
    Last edited by Heym SR20; 20-01-2011 at 00:53.

  8. #8
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire....and Sutherland
    View my Gallery (19)View my Gallery (19)

    It is a very valid point that you raise. We humans are very good at compartmentalising our feelings and I think Monkey Spanker explains it very well.

    When game shooting I will do my utmost to try and find a pricked bird, but if I'm going to hold up the next drive then I think "I tried my best but time to carry on". On the two occasions I've had unrecovered deer shot by guests, I've gone back later/the next day to find them, in one case successfully. Why do this for a deer and not a pheasant? Maybe it's a numbers thing, and if we only shot one pheasant per outing we'd do our damndest to find it!

    Doubtless this would make for an interesting psychology thesis

    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  9. #9
    There is an American writer called John Gierach, rights mainly about fishing, but also deer "hunting", bird shooting etc.

    He touches on this in one of his books, I think it is really good. He says something to the effect that deer hunting is not like other sports, fishing, shooting pheasants etc. I think he says

    "a deer is a big piece of meat, and to hunt and kill one is to cause a big death"

    It stuck in my mind 12 or so years ago when I started stalking.
    Last edited by Claret_Dabbler; 20-01-2011 at 08:51.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  10. #10
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire....and Sutherland
    View my Gallery (19)View my Gallery (19)
    Quote Originally Posted by Claret_Dabbler View Post
    I think he says

    "a deer is a big piece of meat, and to hunt and kill one is to cause a big death"

    It stuck in ,y minf 12 or so years ago when I started stalking.

    Thanks for this

    Time for me to dig out my copies of his books - it's obviously been too long since I read them!

    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

Similar Threads

  1. Let's Go Shooting
    By Ade 30-06 in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 23-11-2010, 00:45
  2. Shooting In
    By Farmer in forum Cleaning, Gunsmithing and Equipment Care
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-08-2010, 09:15
  3. For Sale clear out both shooting and non shooting items
    By bobjs in forum Deer Stalking Equipment
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-07-2010, 19:51
  4. For Sale Shooting and none shooting items, funds for a new scope needed.
    By bobjs in forum Deer Stalking Equipment
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-06-2010, 10:23
  5. Simulated shooting - see latest Shooting & Conservation
    By charadam in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 30-06-2008, 16:18

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts