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What do people think about killing animals just for the sake of killing them? I know the most common reply will be "population

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  • What do people think about killing animals just for the sake of killing them? I know the most common reply will be "population

    What do people think about killing animals just for the sake of killing them? I know the most common reply will be "population control", but many of these species are not regulated by game agencies. So who gets to decide what constitutes an excess population? What about species where some people think that "1" is an excess population? I'd especially like rezavoirdog to chime in on this.

  • #2
    You hit it right on the nail when you said 'what constitutes as excess'. The fact is that government agencies that are the voice of the people, except usually their decisions are made whether we like it or not. Sure someone might say that it's our fault that we voted that person in, but for many of us, how does that explain the current president? I don't know.

    Also, the species that people think one is too many (for example, feral hogs. some want them all gone, others don't.) It again comes down to a battle of who has power, and whoever does gets the animal exterminated or kept.

    But for the sake of just killing animals, there might be one exception, but i am fully against it.



    • #3
      Ken the best way to answer your question, is to have you read the four links below. It will answer a lot of questions with facts and give you insight, the history of and what we learned over time from the previous mistakes resulting in mass devastation to land and wildlife when the idea of preserving an area would be most beneficial.

      Read these links about the Kaibab and it will change the way you think and give you factual knowledge in conservation.


      • #4
        The only animals that i don't eat that i will consider killing are pest. I shot a possum from my trash recently because other nonlethal attempts to deter it were unsuccesful. I shoot squirrels in my yard because they get in my eaves and chew up my house. Once shorted my electric. I have only once shot a coyote while deerhunting a great piece of woods where i see few deer. I know this is good deer woods and there are nice bucks there, but there could stand to be a few more for my selfish reasoning. The ratio there is good though, i'm sure due to a healthy ecosystem and natural predation, ken. Plus, i'd like to have a coyote hide. Have no plans on exterminating them.


        • #5

          I think you missed the point of my question. I have a fair amount of formal education in ecology. I am well aware of ecological damage that herbivore overpopulation causes. The entire eastern half of the US is a pretty good example. So was the pre-wolf yellowstone.

          The rub is that killing a deer or elk (or even a hog) is not really an example of "killing an animal just for the sake of killing it" For one, most people eat those game species. For two, the fact that they are scientifically considered to have an excess population also provides a reason.

          I am not talking about a species that science considers to be overpopulated and then issues a management plan for. I am talking about a species that joe-sixpack determines is overpopulated without any science entering the equation.

          I am referring more to the ethical concerns associated with people who shoot small birds, squirrels, coyotes, etc.. and then don't eat them.

          These species are almost never regulated by game agencies, so it is up to the individual to determine what an "excess population" is. In some cases I'm sure the individual hunter is capable of doing this. Though, in many cases I would say that he is not.

          I'm afraid you're kidding yourself if you that coyotes are a scourge on nature must be culled for nature's sake.

          ->by the way, go back and check you "spirit of 1776" question


          • #6
            To answer the question, I don't feel it is acceptable to shoot anything without reason. Killing for fun is not acceptable. The question is what constitutes reason? Must it always be scientific? I know when the squirrels chewed through my nuetral line it became charged, powersurging and burning out all my appliances, costing me money, they had to be thinned out. I was not scientific in my approach to culling them. After a while my conscience got to me and i gave'm a break. Was i wrong to shoot dozens, maybe several dozen squirrels?


            • #7
              I was raised to only shoot what you eat. In recent years however I have come to enjoy some varmint hunting, mostly the different species of ground squirrels. I find a lot of fun and enjoyment in going out with friends to do this. We usually shoot from great distances to up the sport of this. I could defend this as population control, as many of these little guys will destroy roads and agricultural ground when they overpopulate an area. I also don't really see them going to waste as they are almost always immediately ate by various birds, coyotes, and even other ground squirrels, so nothing is really wasted.


              • #8

                No, the reason does not have to be scientific. Killing for food is perfectly acceptable, and I don't think that is scientific. (by the way, that's what I would have with those squirrels, stuff them with sausage stuffing and roast them with some vegetables)

                You say "killing for fun is not acceptable". What about other emotions? revenge? annoyance?

                Think more along the lines of the recent coyote and sparrow hunting questions and less along the line of big game like deer.

                My question wasn't really motivated by ecology, though clay took it there. The motivation was more along the line of my dad's old "you kill it, you eat it" mantra. Also, the traditions of the Native Americans and other cultures to thank the animal for its life after a kill and then use every part of the body possible.


                • #9
                  I think you said it yourself when you restated your question. It is up to us as individuals to decide this for ourselves. I tend to mind my own business and do what I think is right.


                  • #10
                    I kill coyotes because they have depleted the rabbit population to the point I never see any rabbits in this area. Rabbits were once abundant here and coyotes were few. Now they have swapped places. I have yet to see the coyotes killing my calves but now that the population is so great it is only a matter of time before they start to deplete their other food sources and begin on farm animals.

                    I kill and mostly (but not always)eat feral hogs because they destroy my hay fields and well as rice fields. I have trapped and sold thousands and the population never seems to decrease.

                    So to answer your question it will mostly fall to local residents and land owners to decide when an animal has overpopulated.


                    • #11
                      Sorry so late to reply, but I can see the line being blurred sometimes between just plain killing, versus hunting. I feel sick to my stomach, when I find deer that have been shot and left to rot, because the antlers weren't big, or a small herd of does are left to rot. Yeah, I see it here every fall, sometimes on the Rez, where I'm from and even out in the National Forest where I hunt with a tag. When I was a kid, my mother and grandmother used to say that you can tell how a person is gonna be by things they do when they are young. I used to have friends (no longer friends) that used to walk around with pellet guns shooting birds, cats, dogs, whatever. Now, some of these guys are in prison. I was taught to respect all the animals on this earth, and to only shoot an animal if I was gonna use the meat, hide or something from the animal. Usually, that meant deer, elk, antelope and buffalo (in the past). I've shot coyotes, and other "varmints" (i.e. prairiedogs). I've had ranchers ask me and other hunters to help them when they have newborn calves/colts on the ground. Prairie dogs spread disease and can injure horses and cattle, so I don't think that shooting a couple will wipe out the entire town. I've tried to salvage the fur from them, but couldn't. My father-in-law has been a trapper for the past 20 years and has shown me how skin and flesh-out pelts. I've never had a pelt in good-enough condition for that. I've heard about how "barbaric" fur trappers were, but it was their livelihood and the kept populations in balance as well.


                      • #12
                        I work on a golf course, an outdoor environment where I have to deal extensively with "pest" species. I feel no remorse for the thousands of cut worms, army worms and BTA grubs I kill with pesticides every year but I sincerely feel remorse when I have to addle goose eggs, shoot muskrats, or kill burrowing ground squirrels. I know I am not killing them just for the sake of killing but I do feel bad killing them none the less. And before people jump on me for addling goose eggs we do have a permit from the DNR. I guess the whole point is that when it comes to killing pests I do it but I get no pleasure out of it.


                        • #13
                          This post ties in with an earlier question of mine. I would like to hunt coyotes just for the challenge of hunting a predator, but so far, I do not have a need for a dead coyote. If I get ambitious enough to try to tan the hides, or if I find a place I can sell them, or if a friend says, "Hey, come get these song dogs offa' my pasture," I'll be all for it. For now, I can't justify it. Mind you, I'm not concerned with justifying it to anyone other than myself.


                          • #14
                            I think they are damn fools. If it was big game I would be "P.Oed" rabbits are more abundant and they are rodents, so if you kill a few now and them shouldn't hurt.


                            • #15
                              This question really hit home with me as I have been struggling with myself over this issue for many years. As a youth in the East I laid out a lot of squirrels and birds through a desire to hunt. No one else in my family hunts so in my mind I was practicing a skill I wanted to learn. In the end though it was just killing in that I didn't use any part of the animals.
                              As I grew older and began to hunt big game I was fortunate to be introduced to the sport by people who had what I consider to be very high ethical standards. We still did go ground squirrel and prairie dog shooting. The ranchers were all for it and I will admit it was fun while we were doing it. Each time, however, I felt a degree of remorse and some sense that it wasn't right to just kill them. I know enough about ecosystems to know that the carcasses did not go to waste in the sense that they were consumed by other scavengers. That did not erase the sense that killing things for my pleasure was wrong.
                              As I grow older I find that I have more reluctance than ever to kill anything that I will not eat. I still kill the occasional red squirrel that hangs around the cabin as they do get in and do damage. I hunt coyotes but get less enjoyment out of it. The farmers do appreciate it and it is a way to keep in their good graces.
                              So in the end I am finding that every time I kill something for any other reason than food I feel a profound sense of remorse and I realize more and more that life really is a sacred thing that needs to be respected and cherished. Even when hunting for food I acknowledge what the animals I kill are losing for me to gain food. I can't imagine a life without hunting and fishing but I definitely think a lot more these days about the justifications for the pursuits I enjoy so much.




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