Ask the Elk If It’s “Ethical”

To the bird hunter who invited me to join him on an “ethical” hunt: thanks, but I think I’ll pass. An ethical hunt is something that only exists in the mind. I’d have a better chance of coming across Bigfoot in a crop circle hitching a ride on a UFO piloted by angels than meeting a hunter who is truly ethical to the animals he kills.  

How can tracking down an inoffensive creature and blasting it out of existence ever really be ethical? No matter how a hunter tries to rationalize or justify his sport, the dying will never see their killers’ acts as the least bit honorable.

There are less destructive ways to get your kicks and healthier, less costly sources of nourishment than cholesterol-laden, carcinogenic rotting flesh. (Human dentition and digestive tracts are more in line with our plant-eating primate cousins than any true carnivore or omnivore).

Since he brought up the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, it might interest wolf proponents to know that the Olas J. Murie foundation severed tied with the RMEF over their extreme anti-wolf rhetoric. (In Montana this trophy elk hunting group played a major role in getting the state to increase its “bag limit” on wolves from one to three per hunter/trapper).

The late Olas Murie, along with his brother, Adolph (author of The Wolves of Mount McKinley), was an early wolf advocate, one of the first proponents of biodiversity and wildlife preservation, and was a staunch defender of natural predators and their crucial role in ecosystems.

Olaus’s son, Donald, told the RMEF that their “all-out war against wolves” is an “anathema to the entire Murie family. The Murie name must never be associated with the unscientific and inhumane practices you are advancing.”

Yet the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation considers their hunting “ethical.”

Text andWildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

 

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7 thoughts on “Ask the Elk If It’s “Ethical”

  1. I don’t think there’s a hunter alive who doesn’t think he or she is ethical, including the pathetic trophy hunter, hounder, or thrill killer like Ted Nugent or Melissa Bachman. Every hunter, no matter what his or her ilk may be, believes what he or she does provides a necessary service for the uplifting of nature and the planet, and that without hunters, the natural order would collapse. The same thing goes for trappers.

  2. Imagine going up to someone on the street and saying, “Hi, I’m now going to stick this spear through your torso (or your child’s) and watch you scream and thrash and “bleed out” and die, but not to worry, I’m ETHICAL you see, and this is only being done to preserve our species and nature according to some stuff you wouldn’t understand (your not being a naturalist like me!). Anyways, my gi-NOR-mous brain is feverish, so eager for a kill here, so it’s all good!” Funny, what passes for ethics among habitual joy-killers. So very sad they are…ruiners of precious life.

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