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Catch and Release Deer…

August 17th, 2006

Ok, here is an issue that is causing quite the uproar in the hunting community.  David Farbman has developed a plan to have a World Hunting Association, which is mimicking professional Bass tours.  The idea is to have competitions between two teams, who are trying to “kill” the biggest deer.  Why the quotations around “kill”?  Because they want to only dart the deer, tranquelizing them instead of killing them.  Thus, they are able to “catch and release” these deer.  The idea is that they will not cause any harm to the deer.  Unfortunately, that which is good in theory, is not always good in reality. 

At first glance, this may sound like a good idea.  Some may believe that this will bring some good press to the sport of hunting.  After all, if the greatest complaint against hunting is that you kill an animal, then if you take that out, there is no further complaint.  However, that is not really a rational argument.  Do you really think that animal rights proponents will accept this farce as an acceptable compromise for hunting?  In truth, this is only one step away from abolishing all hunting.  Think about it…if you can just dart a deer, and then let it go, you don’t really need to hunt at all!  And, they will certainly argue that you are humiliating this poor deer.  And, after all, this is just not natural!  If this is an effort to bring “anti-hunters” into the fold, don’t hold your breath.  There is no acceptable compromise out there.  These people will only be satisfied with an abolishment of hunting!

So, if this is not going to help the hunter’s image among non-hunters or anti-hunters. then what is the purpose?  It seems to me that the only purpose of this organization is to make money off of hunters.  After all, there is a lot of money on the Bass Fishing Tours.  Surely, if we can turn this into a comparable organization, there will be a lot of money.  Farbman, on his website, states this as the purpose of the association:  “The World Hunting Association is committed to promoting and growing hunting around the world.  This will be achieved by showcasing the skills, techniques and determination of hunters and by launching education, recruiting and charitable programs to increas understanding and participation.”  Now, I may be naieve, but don’t you have to be hunting to promote hunting, or recruit people into hunting? In fact, could this idea not be done in such a way that animals are harvested?  Wait a minute, that has already been done.  A couple of times in fact.  Mark and Terry Drury have put together a good show that I have enjoyed, showing a competition between two teams who try to provide the best habitat, and thus the best hunting spot…they see who can kill the nicest buck over the best food plot and off of the best stand.  There was another good show on, that had various teams of hunters who competed to film the best hunts.  Unfortunately, my memory fails me and I can’t think of what that show was called.  I enjoyed both of these shows.  But, to take the kill out of the show simply makes it a game of hide and seek!

There are some other problems that I see with this idea.  First, all “hunting” must be done in a high fence enclosure.  The darting of deer in the wild is illegal (I believe) in every state.  This is a practice that has been used only for research, and in some cases for purposes such as transplanting deer to help boost the herd in a particular place.  Such practices are always supervised by wildlife biologists and veterinarians to ensure the health of these deer.  If my understanding is correct, there will be both biologists and veterinarians present during these hunts to ensure the deer are not harmed.  If that is not making a mockery of the tradition and sport of hunting as we know it, I certainly don’t know what is!

It is interesting to me that so many companies have rejected sponsoring this fiasco.  Names such as Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s and Easton have rejected sponsorship.  Early on, the WHA announced that Easton would be sponsoring them, but this was inaccurate.  According to Outdoor Life Magazine, when it was released that Easton would sponsor this, their phones were flooded by their customers, complaining about such a partnership. They immediately cut off discussions with the WHA to form this partnership.  I for one, applaud their choice!

I am sure there are many other problems with this proposal.  I hope that this is something that will not continue very long!  We as hunters have a proud tradition, and this sullies that tradition.  We need to bring more people into the sport, but this is not the way to do it.  We need to teach our children, and teach those that have not had an opportunity to learn the great benefits that come from hunting.  There is a camaraderie that is formed between companions that will last a life time!  There is a respect for the animal that is just not there in this new farce.  Let’s be proud of our heritage!

EDIT:  You might be interested in this–Mike Hanback has posted about this same subject on his blog!

No Responses to “Catch and Release Deer…”

  1. Aaron Brewer Says:
    August 20th, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    I am glad to see that those companies had enough sense to reject sponsoring such nonsense. Besides any other issues, it would have been horrible for their business. I would have rejecting supporting those companies had they been foolish enough to sponsor such a venture!

  2. […] of the first posts that I ever did here on Jake’s Outdoors was about the World Hunt Organization. Back in 2006, this company started […]

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