SNYDER: Keep unnecessary brutality out of hunting
- Hunters have committed some unnecessarily brutal acts recently.
- Those kinds of actions give ammunition to anti-hunting proponents.
Humans do some pretty disgusting things.
Sadly, so-called “sportsmen” are responsible for many of these acts.
I've always wanted to believe that every hunter knows where to draw the line, but what I saw this month proves there are some real slobs in this country’s woods.
Primitive actions: We’ve all probably seen or heard about the video that’s gone viral online. It shows a man using a spear to kill a bear. In a world of efficient modern weapons, it’s not quite the image most sportsmen want to portray. The hunter deserves the heat he’s gotten.
I hope this primitive stuff doesn’t become a trend. Because what I watched recently turned my stomach. It started with barking dogs and the sounds of hunters running through the woods. It was nothing outrageous.
But soon there was a horrific squeal from the dogs’ prey, a wild boar. By now, I could not stop staring at the television set. My blood pressure was boiling.
Even for me, a guy who has killed more than his fair share of fish and game, what I saw was nearly too much to bear.
Before I could even think of finding the remote, the show’s host pulled his knife from his sheath and pushed his way past the dogs toward the boar. The screams from the boar grew more frantic by the second.
Then the real brutality began. The host began stabbing the boar in the chest, blow after blow, thrust after thrust. It took nearly a dozen blows and more than a minute before the boar succumbed to its wounds. The team of dogs never stopped tearing at the boar’s head and neck. It was, to be blunt, disgusting.
Don’t get me wrong, I whole-heartedly support boar hunting. The species is non-native and is a real detriment to the natural environment. But hunting the animals with dogs and an eight-inch knife is ludicrous. It does nothing but help feed a selfish hunter’s ego. It makes me embarrassed to admit I'm a hunter.
The naysayers: Oh, I know what the naysayers will argue. They will tell us it is no different than the way our ancestors hunted. Or they will compare it to bowhunting. Some of them will even say it is the only fair way to hunt. They’re all wrong.
Come on, folks. It is the 21st century. The anti-hunting movement is stronger than ever. In fact, there are plenty of groups out there trying to eliminate legitimate forms of hunting with a dog. Imagine the fuel this torturous act gives them.
With people out there stabbing 200-pound pigs with an eight-inch knife or jumping out of trees with spears aimed at bears, how are we supposed to gain support? No wonder they want to eliminate our right to hunt.
Indeed, hunting can be a downright nasty sport at times. Blood spills and animals die. But we need to remember why we are out there. It's not about killing the biggest animal in the most ancestral way possible. No, it's about controlling wildlife populations and working to keep the system in balance.
We need to show compassion and respect for the game we pursue. What I saw on the screen was downright brutal and disgusting. As modern hunters, we have got to use better sense.
Brutality will get us nowhere. Don’t let this trend continue.
Andy Snyder writes about the outdoors for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.