So...do you enjoying killing?

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
I wrote this last night but decided to abandon as not sure. May sound like a strange question and not meant to sound contentious, so please let me explain...

I hunt and fish. Have done the latter for a long very time, the former not so long. But tbh I think about them about 20x more than actually doing them (actually the ratio is probably WAY higher!) Many good reasons why i can't get out though...

Got me thinking. I love the preparation and anticipation for a trip. I love the early starts/late evenings being out there and the freedom that you feel with being in the great outdoors. I love the looking after/purchasing/tweaking/talking about gear. I love the sense of optimism at the beginning (not so much the feeling at the end of a blank). I love shooting at targets, reloading and looking at ballistic apps etc. I love watching good hunting videos on Youtube (Steve Rinella, Cam Haynes, County Deer Stalking, Yorkshire Roe stalker etc etc) Perhaps strangely I enjoy the process of butchery/food prep and I love eating carefully cooked meals of meat and fish. And I love the life long stories and memories that these occasions provide.

What I'm not sure about is 'the act' itself. Although as a newbie I can't be fussy over opportunities offered, I have struggled on occasion to justify my own shooting to kill. Its clearly a 'moral' thing as it can be easily justified in all other respects as outlined above. I do find it weird though...maybe its what they refer to as buck fever? With me it doesn't manifest itself as shakiness etc...more an internal dialogue I have going on regarding whether what I am doing is 'ok' or not. Ive found its worse with tiredness and when Im a bit stressed. Im just being totally honest here btw...

Going back to the fishing where I have far more experience. I love the complete experience, but , if it presents itself, the bang on the head moment does nothing for me. I see it as a means to an end and the more rapid and effective the better. Is that the same as when you pull the trigger on a deer? Or am I going mad?

I guess its partly down to the fact that the more experienced shooters Ive watched or accompanied make it all look so natural, normal and simple. The again i can't read minds. I'd like to get to that stage quicker where I can consider it a normal, legal, enjoyable process...without the self-doubt.

Maybe you can help with a comment? ATB, Shep
 

AN DU RU FOX

Well-Known Member
NOW DON,T EXPECT A LONG WINDED REPLY FROM ME ,OK AT THINKING NO GOOD AT WRITING, sorry caps, I do exactly as you do and maybe 99.9% as others do to if you didn,t you wouldn,t be human you would be a sycopath. as obviously we arent ,we all have different feelings shakes/buck fever etc thats what sets us apart,may not be what everyone wants to be like but you cant control feelings just get used to them or grow into them,or then again stop doing it. ;)atb doug
 

oowee

Well-Known Member
Interesting question. For me I love all the things you describe except the kit part. The kit for me is a simply a set of tools for the job and i take no pleasure in them as tools but value how well they work to complete the job. The hunting is what i love the most but I am not that fussed if i take the shot or someone else does it. I get pleasure from the planning and delivery of the hunt rather than the shot.

If i am shooting deer I see it as harvesting a natural and wild product of which the shooting is simply a part. If i am shooting fox then it's necessary control. If it's dispatch then again its a necessary thing to do.
 

zambezi

Well-Known Member
I would think that any hunter's emotional/cognitive processes walk through all the stuff you have listed, and possibly more besides. One big piece of the journey for me is when I have guests to dinner and the centre piece is a deer I shot, gralloched, butchered and cooked. That moment confers a sense of meaning that wraps all the rest into a package that makes utter sense.

So when I return to the field and am at the step where the quarry is about to be grassed, it is with clarity that I know it to be but one component part of that wholesome bigger picture. In that moment all I am focussed on is delivering the most humane despatch. There are no qualms.
 

Sonicdmb73

Well-Known Member
It is natural and normal, it can be simple too. Depending on how you happen to go about it.
I enjoy myself while stalking or shooting.
If you’re a meat eater then you should be honest about it and accept that it has to die for you to do so.
I am quite happy to do the job myself, I don’t let emotion come into it. The intention is for a clean kill and the enjoyment is from the satisfaction of doing just that.
There’s a big difference between killing food or pests and going out on a killing spree down the high street. People with the detached view of where there food comes from seem to confuse the two.
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
Wow. You guys don't mess about! Sincerely thank you. Very reassuring to read.

The point of my post is i honestly was not sure if in order to regularly enjoy hunting you need to change your mindset to that of someone who enjoys the killing, period. Figured I may have got it wrong or 'not be cut out for this sort of thing'. Very glad to read your comments to the contrary.

Truth is, whenever Im out, and with whom, I get as much pleasure from looking, observing and learning than pulling the trigger on something. I teach a young lad who is pretty much left to it by his family and goes around their land shooting anything that lives. It worries me a lot, others have put it down to 'rural life' but Im not convinced. He kills foxes with a 22lr, yet they keep no chickens or livestock.

I enjoy eating meat and honestly would rather take that life myself knowing it has been done right, for good reason, with no waste or suffering to the animal. Especially when I think about how our supermarket meat is reared and processed. Must be being too hard on myself!

Thank you all & be really interested to hear more of your thoughts on this. :) P
 

oxfordshirestalker

Well-Known Member
Shep, you have described exactly how I feel about it all in your post. As others have stated, if you lose that self doubt, I think one is in it for the wrong reasons.
There is a large difference between 'enjoying killing' (which do not) and gaining satisfaction out of doing so humanely and quickly with minimal suffering for the purposes of food gathering as such.
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
Perfectly normal to feel as you do,killing is part of what we do you can enjoy the hunting experience without taking.pleasure In the actual kill, I would be extremely worried about anyone who enjoyed killing for killings sake.
 

I. Farticus

Well-Known Member
I kneel by any deer that I've shot and say a prayer to thank it for giving its life to feed my family.

I'm not thrilled about taking the life, but it was perfectly happy until I made the concious decision to bring that to an abrupt halt.

I was blessed with the ability to shoot straight, but have walked away from opportunities when I wasn't happy that i could use that ability with a clean kill.

There will those that feel otherwise and will ridicule, but I am able to make peace with these thoughts and decisions.

Good question and shows a depth of thought
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
Dont worry your allready doing something right by taking the lad on board and steering him straight ,its not allways about the end result.well done.
I don't have a choice mate...its my job! But Im very glad it is too. There's always a story behind the behaviour of young kids which needs to be listened to. Though I don't necessary agree with some of the things he gets up to (largely as a consequence of being totally ignored at home) I know he enjoys talking to me about my .308 and his .410 etc...I have a chance to make things better long term. Thats a privilege in a way...:)
 

Cootmeurer

Well-Known Member
I would refer to "The Six Stages of a Hunter". Although written more along the North American model (limits, etc...) it still has a great deal to apply here.
Stage 1 - Shooter Stage - at this stage a hunter can be fixated on the shot and kill.
Stage 2 - Limiting Stage - here killing in quantity is must, so the kill becomes quite important
Stage 3 - Trophy Stage - here killing is still important, as long as the right beast is killed.
Stage 4 - Method/Technique Stage - here a kill is only made if it is done "the right way".
Stage 5 - Sportsman Stage - a holistic stage, where the kill is only part of the experience, to include camaraderie, environment, etc...
Stage 6 - Mature Stage - the kill is completely unimportant. A good day afield with good company and/or good dog work can be rewarding. This stage also tends to be a mentoring stage, where assisting in a hunt/kill by one being mentored is valued above a kill by oneself.

In my opinion - one can be at different stages simultaneously as a sportsman, depending on the game. I might be Sportsman/Mature stage with wildfowling, being happy to see dogs work, hunt with friends, help a newbie get a bird, etc.... The kill is anticlimactic.

However, I have never even seen a live muntjac or CWD - so should I get the chance, then I would likely be at stage 1 or 2 and the kill would be quite desirous.

All of that above is for naught though if I am performing pest control. I will start trapping beaver next week that are damaging a timber crop. I wont use poison or thermonuclear devices, but anything else is legal and may be utilized to achieve results. In this case the kill may become even somewhat mechanistic.
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
I kneel by any deer that I've shot and say a prayer to thank it for giving its life to feed my family.

I'm not thrilled about taking the life, but it was perfectly happy until I made the concious decision to bring that to an abrupt halt.

I was blessed with the ability to shoot straight, but have walked away from opportunities when I wasn't happy that i could use that ability with a clean kill.

There will those that feel otherwise and will ridicule, but I am able to make peace with these thoughts and decisions.

Good question and shows a depth of thought
Thank you I.F. I did hesitate for 24 hours as mentioned for fear of being laughed off/ridiculed for considering such a thing...glad I reconsidered now :)
 

VSS

Well-Known Member
Like everyone else I think, I do sometimes feel overawed by the responsibility, and always feel a twinge of regret at taking a life. However, if it's an edible animal (ie, not fox, rat etc) I confess that it does get my tastebuds going! By the time I've finished a gralloch I'm positively slavering!
 

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