Ethics of Hunting
Hunting, as defined by Websters Dictionary, is the act of one that hunts, specifically in the pursuit of game. The major controversy about hunting is if it is ethical. Hunting ethics is a term that defines the true standards, conduct, and moral, judgement of a sportsman. I believe that hunting is ethical and should continue to be legal throughout the United States. As long as the hunters hunt legally, safely, and their intentions are good. Hunters should hunt during the right season and should kill and gather their game, not just shoot for fun. This is where the ethics of hunting come into play. What are the basic ethics of hunting? Each hunter has his own code of ethics he follows. In this paper I will try to explain the basic ethics of hunting that hunters follow, why we hunt, how hunting helps the economy, and why hunting is more dangerous for the anti-hunters than for the actual hunter.
Jim Posewitz defines the ethical hunter, in his book Beyond Fair Chase: The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting, as a person who knows and respects the animal hunted, follows the law, and behaves in a way that will satisfy what society expects of him or her as a hunter (Posewitz 53). Every hunter develops a set of ethics that he or she hunts by. These are a set of rules in which he or she thinks that they should act in order to hunt fairly. Most hunters learn hunting ethics from watching other hunters or from their parents when they are introduced to hunting as children. That is if one hunter believes it is ethical to hunt using bait, then they are hunting their own ethical way. They are doing nothing illegal but some other hunters look upon this as unethical. They stick by the claim that anyone who baits is not a true hunter. The problem with hunting comes when we try and push our ethics off on other hunters. Every hunters code if ethics is different. However, we each share the same basics. This is we want to hunt legally, safely, and we want to wait for the most human shot possible. Most hunters had a code of ethics drilled into them when they were young and now stick close by them. They are not going to hunt in a manner they find unethical. Hunters should practice personal ethics as a way of showing respect for his fellow sportsman and the animal. One of the most ethically irresponsible things a hunter can do is not follow up his shot. You must always do everything possible to retrieve a wounded animal, including spending the whole day looking for it. Hunting for sport is an improvement over hunting for food, in that there has been added to the test of skill an ethical code. Which the hunter formulates his or herself and must live up to without the moral support of bystanders. Ethics come from within and spring from respect. To know nature is to respect it and from this comes ethics.
Hunting is an undeniable part of our history and still plays a major role in the lives of many Americans. Back during the times of early colonization, people hunted because the animals were a good source of food, clothing, and barter to trade. The pioneers probably did not have any questions about ethics or sportsmanship while hunting. They harvested their game in the cheapest and most efficient way possible. I have little doubt that most of these early settlers enjoyed the hunt, but enjoyment wasnt why they hunted. They did it to survive. However, since we are more efficient that our ancestor and since were more numerous as well, we must impose limitations on ourselves so we dont take more animals that we can use and damage the wildlife populations by doing so. The hunting instinct is bred into the bone and blood of at least most of us and is one of the fundamental elements of human nature. Hunting can be labeled dominionistic because hunting demonstrated their control over animals (Whats the problem with hunting? 26). Hunting offers one way to express this element of human nature and to