Ethics of Deer Hunting

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Hunting laws have changed over the years drastically and due to the changes in the laws the ethics of hunting have been shifting a lot. The main focus is not as much for providing meat for a family. The change of new technology and research into how deer are being hunted have made the sport of hunting less traditional.

Hunting and its ethical foundation have been entangled in families for many generations. The knowledge of hunting has been passed down through many generations. Starting with the indians who hunted buffalo and learning that going after fox and deer would also be rewarding for them with fur and horns for many different uses. The Cherokee tribe made its hunting time a very ritual process by praying to the wind, river, and asking forgiveness for taking the animals life. The first hunters highly believed that hunting was privilege and a honor for a family to go out and provide meat for the tribe.

The first hunters went hunting for meat and fur to survive and there were little to no laws about what could be taken and when it could be taken. The process of hunting was extremely different, because people hunted for food and for survival not for sport. When a tribe would go hunt, they would hunt a animal and not stop tracking until they got what they came to hunt. Not caring about the snow wind or rain pouring down or the double digit negative temperatures. The effort and spirit of hunting was in everyone’s blood and they took taking a animal as a honorable act of courage.

Now hunting has lost its core values and ethics. A Lot of times now you will not see hunters out when it’s snowing or raining even if it was opening day. Hunting is now like a sport more than ever. A avid hunter and outdoor writer Mike Barnabi wrote in 2017 for a article said “Deer hunting has changed drastically over the years and hunters are slow to change as fast.” Hunters that have been hunting a while are not as willing to adapt the new changing technologies and the new processes involved.

Many changes in hunting laws have expressed why hunting is drifting away from its core values and why hunters ethics have changed. A article published “The Unintended effect of hunting regulations” also compares and shows the reason that hunting has gone down drastically like the land sales and renting land along with how new regulations may be a cause for the collapse of the populated sport of hunting. This is something that is affecting all hunters weather they know it or not it has a part in there season.

The first laws of hunting started with a government origination and it was for hunters to obtain a resident hunting license. That same system created a special license which was introduced in some counties of Maryland in the 1870s and 1880s. In 1851 it was obtained by Conservation Wardens and in that same year the Wisconsin Dnr recorded that they had their first year of an actual calendared season for deer hunting. Info from the Wisconsin Dnr Wildlife and Fish Department and the US State and Wildlife Agencies showed the statistic of sales and the number of hunting licenses, tags, permits and stamps sold in the United States in 2004 to 2017. In 2017, there were 36.82 million hunting licenses, tags, permits and stamps in the U.S to 2004s sales of 34.19 million.

Some people were exempt from seasonal restrictions that followed a bag limit and what type of weapon could be used on the hunt.That open season ran from July through March, and closed from February 1 to June 30. In 1925 the Dnr gave hunters a official Deer Management program.

This program was made to help control the population and herd of the states deer. The start of deer management and the laws followed were used to help reinforce some of existing laws that were aimed for the game being hunted. Many laws were made due to this program and hunters have to choose whether they wanted to follow the law the new regulations or stop hunting. The 9 day traditional hunt the antlerless hunt which starting in 1915 had made another separated season for hunters to fill their tags, and made other alternate seasons. In the hunters eye there were more opportunities to get a deer but they had to wait to harvest that animal and had to provide what land type was being used on the tag. The amount of hunting even was show in great numbers with the youth

according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as of Feb 4, 2014 there were 13.7 million hunters in the United States over the age of 16 12.7 million of whom used rifles, shotguns, or handguns for hunting.

A local wisconsin hunter and writer Tom Wrasse said in a article published in 2016 before the new online tags came out and stated “ It’s hard to keep the tradition alive…. Its kinda just fading away with this generation.” The lack of the tration is hurting many hunters that hunt for fun. The new laws being made to make hunting more morden is the same laws that are tearing hunters apart and making our elders not go hunting.

The after part of hunting used to involve bringing your deer into town and having your kill hang off the truck showing it off. Walking in the meat shop to get your deer registered and seeing what others were getting made the hunt more enjoyable. It was a bragging right having the nicest buck sitting in the bed of the truck….. now that’s lost

A aspect of hunting to younger people who haven’t had that chance to bring your deer into town and show it off will only be farther lost from tradition there ethics aren’t gonna be there because they never knew that reward and will take the new technology for granted . The law that made a huge change in this last year alone was the law involving technology and the online registration of your kill. Along with new changing laws in how deer are registered new regulations and bag limits on harvest have also made a huge impact on hunters and shows how their ethics are changing. Minnesota issued hunters only 225 permits to hunt moose in the year of 2016 and according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, this year a estimated 15,000 hunters will apply for about 100 permits to hunt buffalo.

Close to home an estimated 600,000 hunters headed into the wisconsin woods for opening weekend of 2017 of the nine-day gun hunt. Out of that 600,000 the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said that approximately hunters killed 195,738 deer. Those hunters had to use the new online registration form that is new in the 2016-2017 season. Being able to call in your deer to being able to register your deer on a app has shown how something that has had the same ethics and background for the longest and one of the oldest dated ways is changing and adapting to this generation. In 2016 the end of the season the Wisconsin State and Wildlife agents adapting a new way to register your deer.

A spokesman for the Wisconsin Dnr made a statement about the new law saying “customers will still be required to carry proof they are authorized to hunt within the designated location. Along with making hunters use their paper tag/authorization, on the app GoWild and provide a validated Wisconsin driver’s license for proof. This law made hunters lose their ethical views on hunting. Hunters are no longer going to resignation stations to get the deer tagged and interact with other hunters in the area, that part of hunting made this law hard for some hunters to adapt to from being used to doing something one way for many many years and out of nowhere they make them change the ways trying to make it more convenient for everyone in the long run.

This law hit close to home with me, It was my first buck I got thanksgiving morning after not finding the doe I shot the day before I didn’t want to go out, But my uncle who has hunted since he was little said “your not going to get them sitting in your room.” So I went out and 40 minutes into the hunt I saw and shoot the biggest deer of my life, only knowing the part of hunting from sitting next to my uncle and watching for deer made me realize that this animal was a living and breathing just like me. But I knew that this was for food not for a empty spot on my wall. Being able to see and feel what ancestor felt years ago made it worth taking the time to learn the proper way to hunt.

The change in laws weren’t made out of nowhere they came from reasons and some of the reasons were due to politicians and poachers illegally hunting game made a lot of the laws change without knowing. In March of 2014 The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a bill that would dramatically increase penalties for poaching deer. The current law allows judges to impose a $43 charge on top of poaching fines if they are convicted. The new law will make the 43 to $10,000 according to antler spread and forbid anyone convicted of poaching deer from holding a hunting, fishing or trapping license for three years.

With the new online tagging process hunters have found it easier to poach because the law does not require hunters to register there deer up until 24 hours after the day it was shot. Data obtained after the 2015 gun hunt showed about 70% of deer hunters used the internet on their phone or computer to register the deer and the others used their telephone.

Poaching is the part that ruins it for the rest of the hunters. Making that law change from having to call the deer in once tagged that day and punch the time on the tag made the hunter more responsible for the kill.

The ethics of hunting is something that all hunters should try and follow. Being a hunter is more than just having a gun and a tag, being able to hunt that animal and doing it with some type of ethics is something that people need to get back to.


Cite this paper

Ethics of Deer Hunting. (2021, Nov 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/ethics-of-deer-hunting/

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