Ethical hunting or just plain hunting?
Brought up in the great African outdoors it was essential you knew how to shoot and shoot well, your life depended on it, but in today’s modern world it’s now frowned upon, so please join the great hunting debate an indaba and have your say.
For people who are unsure of indaba it’s just an Indigenous Southern African word for a big meeting, when important happenings needed to be discussed by all the Chiefs. I prefer to call it, a great debate.So come along and join in?
I like to start at what I call beginnings, or boiling it down to it’s roots. So in this context it means going back to times when there were no big farms and food was hard to come by. Therefore if you happened to come from a culture which had firearms and were living, or just starting in a country which had game. Be it, bison, kudu, or anything else, your chances of going hungry were diminished, provided you could hit what you were aiming at?
Sadly, it was also a means to protect yourself from people who wanted to harm you, however rightly or wrongly. That’s not the question here, but, don’t for one moment think it never happened and try to air brush History. Happen it did and still is, also sadly.
So come and join me on my journey of,The Great Hunting debate an Indaba.
Ethical hunting or no hunting?
When I was a young boy, my next door neighbour taught me how to shoot. He was of Afrikaans extraction and the finest shot I ever saw. In his hey day he could hit Guinea Fowl running through the head with a .22 rifle and they lived from hand to mouth so to speak. What he always said to me was; “you don’t shoot for the sake of shooting, but, to feed your family”.
For example, that lovely photo of a Kudu in my introduction, you don’t just shoot it for the sake of shooting it, but, if you want to feed your family or your staff and you happen to come across a herd, then you look. Don’t shoot a young bull or the older ones, they are the future of the herd and the same applies to the cows. What you do is look for an older cow which has no calf and shoot that.
Even as a very young boy I understood this, but, was too scared to say to him; “but if every farmer does this, how long is the herd going to last”? I mean someone is going to be left with the choice of, there are no older cows to shoot, so I’ll just shoot another one? Very soon there is no herd left?
Same applies here with this lovely herd of Impala cows or doe’s, but, just where does one draw the line?
Ethical hunting or no hunting at all?
The point of all this, is that times change and perchance people need to change with it? For the moment let us all just stay with what has been discussed so far and keep it to today’s world. Is there such a thing as ‘ethical hunting’ as explained by my next door neighbour or not? Then I will discuss trophy hunting, conservation and poaching.
Large African game.
Which brings us to the next part, which is shooting for sport. I guess it’s just a primal urge in all of us? In today’s world many people still love to shoot and now it goes beyond feeding your family, but, having a trophy to show be it a set of horns, like on this magnificent Buffalo, or the Kudu horn or whatever else. Or a Lion or Leopard skin or just shooting an Elephant.
The argument has always been that it is your skill as a tracker or hunter which leads to the kill and as they are dangerous beasts, this evens up the score? That you can shoot it from hundreds of metres away with the aid of telescopic sights is beside the point? You also pick the calibre of the rifle, which ensures an instantaneous death, but even so they still get wounded?
Which brings us back to poaching and this is often done with snares and entails a slow and painful death. However the irony is, that most of these people are just trying to feed their families. Just where does one draw the line?
Which brings us back to conservation. This is a very important aspect and there is only so much grass and so much water, which can sustain herd populations and once this is overreached and the numbers become too many. Why a cull is needed, precisely to avoid a long slow and painful death. Just where does one draw the line?
Feeding your family.
This is the beginning of the great Indaba and the first debate. The point of all this, is that times change and perchance people need to change with it? For the moment let us all just stay with what has been discussed so far and keep it to today’s world. Is there such a thing as ‘ethical hunting’ as explained by my next door neighbour or not? However I would love to hear peoples views on this. I will be monitoring and approving comments. What this means is, everyone has a different point of view which we would like to discuss here and there is no need to get nasty or try to point fingers. I simply won’t approve the comment.