Hello Guest, please sign in to comment

The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

blog subhead pic
Thursday, 03 April 2014 21:49

Hunting vs. Shooting

Hunting and Fishing  Hunting and Fishing

We at Shotem and Caughtem have been busy little bees.  With spring quickly approaching our need to be outdoors has been great.  Due to these reasons we have not spent much time (our apologies) keeping you a breast of what is happening around the world in the hunting and fishing industry.  So we decided to see what had been written recently around the inter web.  We felt what a great way to start a debate than finding this article about the hunter turned away from the industry because of shooters.  To read the whole article before a short intro to it below and our thoughts check out http://www.spokesman.com/outdoors/stories/2014/apr/03/guest-column-shooters-spoiling-the-sport-of/ 

Here is a brief intro to the article:

Hunting got some scrutiny in this newspaper at last. Washington State has lost more than 16,000 hunters in the last five years, Thomas Clouse noted. On the same page, Rich Landers lamented that we fail to “curb poaching problem.”

Ethical hunters driven from the field by shooters make the two stories converge.

My distinction here, between hunters and shooters, rests on the reverence extended toward game animals and birds. True hunters, indigenous or otherwise, honor prey in various ways. They obey state laws, care for the meat, enhance habitats, and maybe even mumble a prayer.

Shooters, though, they care more about rocking the world off its axis with the firepower they wield.

Environmentalist and author Aldo Leopold characterized the shooter’s impulse as “trigger itch,” a simple craving to blast away. Leopold regretted his trigger itch when he shot a wolf with pups and watched the “fierce green fire” die in her eyes. His honesty endeared him to millions of readers since his “Sand County Almanac” came out in 1949.

To make a full disclosure, I am a born-again non-hunter. I swung guns and drew a lethal bead for thirty years. Finally, though, my heart began to grate and brim over with tender empathy for the dead.

During my spell as a hunter, game habitats shriveled and crashed, an upshot of the human population’s pressures in Washington State where I came of age. I felt my pastime added to the wreckage of sensitive and dwindling species, as shooting had for dodos, bison, passenger pigeons, prairie chickens, sharptail grouse, sage grouse, and so on. But the greatest turnoff came from run-amok shooters.

Shooters deploying technology irresponsibly change the stakes of fair chase. At the same time when wildlife officials are desperate for ways to curtail poachers and their impact on wildlife, manufacturers are enhancing the chances that shooters might score in the great outdoors no matter how unfairly.

Here are just a couple of things we would like to point out that might help bring the author back into the fold.  Hunting and Fishing promotes conservation at its core.  Through the purchasing of tags, licenses and related gear we support an industry that protects what drives us outdoors.  Money is used by these industries to protect wildlife, fuel habitat efforts, reintroduce animals to areas that have lost them, and on and on.  Half the reason the wolf, cougar, bison, elk, antelope and the list continues have began to come back in parts of the United States is through the Wildlife and Parks departments and different non-profit organizations based on different species.  These organizations would not have the means nor the funds without the money we as hunters and fisherman/woman spend.

Many of the reasons the hunt has been burned by shooters we believe is due partly from the lack of access.  More and more land has been taken over by our cities, farming and ranching efforts.  Add into the fact that hunting properties that use to be accessible through relationships have now become cash cows for those doing guided hunts or leasing their ground for an insane amount of money to those hunters from out of state.  

Most of all we want to hear our members comments in the section below so that we can help spread the word.  It is part of the reason we started Shotem and Caughtem.  We want to provide a large community the opportunity and the ability to speak as a whole.  Our mission is to hopefully build a base that gives us the means to continue and support all these great organizations.  So continue to help us build a thriving community of those who hunt and fish!