Why do Hunters Kill?

It is my feeling that hunting is not a sport, inasmuch as a sport is most often perceived as an organized activity performed for the entertainment of the participants and/or onlookers. Hunting is something that goes much deeper than that.

I've been asked several times why hunters kill, when we could just as easily stalk our prey with a camera or binoculars, just for the thrill of being up close with a deer, turkey, or other game animal. The answer is simple: without the kill, we're not hunting.

The kill is the culmination of the hunt. We're not fishing here; there's no catch-and-release option, it's all or nothing. Yes, it's fulfilling just to be in the woods with the animals, and to get up-close-and-personal with them. Yes, it's a thrill to have a deer walk by at 25 yards, totally unaware of my presence. But the kill is what makes it hunting.

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I've got to quote a favorite statement here: We don't hunt to kill, we kill in order to have hunted. I'm not sure of the source of this quote, but it's right on. We hunt for the thrill of the chase, and the ecstatic peace that comes with being out there trying to beat a wild animal at his own game. When the chance finally comes, there is no doubt; we will kill.

But, can't we just stroll down to the grocery store and pick out a nice roast, instead of killing the poor forest creatures? Yep. But why ...

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