The joy of hunting

  Dear HCN,

Please allow me to respond to the letter from Marc Gaede which addresses hunting (HCN, 3/1/99). I find Mr. Gaede's remarks fascinating. I also sense an unhealthy anger towards hunters simmering just beneath the surface of his views. I suggest the cure for this anger is for the inflicted to spend a day in the field, close to the Earth, connected to nature, doing something soothing for the soul. Hunting works well for some of us, but inviting a friend along, toting a good book or a camera, or tipping a bottle of vintage wine also have their followers.

One thing I would like to correct for your readers is Mr. Gaede's erroneous view that humans "hunt for the joy of killing." The vast majority of hunters go afield for the joy of hunting, not killing. For most, the act of taking precious life brings a flood of mixed emotions, feelings, and often deep self-reflection. The delicate dance humans have done with animals for millenniums is one only understood by those who hunt and kill their own food.

Many of us hunters wish and work for a healthy planet, sustainable society, thriving species from gnats to gray whales, and the opportunity to interact with animals as humans have done since the dawn of time. And if hunting is an instinct, as Mr. Gaede suggests, then we should not be judged morally any differently than the hawk or the shark.

Mr. Gaede states that women hunters are a "significant abnormality." I will not touch that with a 10-foot pole, as I expect your mailbag will be filled with remarks on that comment from your female readers.

In closing, I also wanted to respond to the letter from William Ike Krasniewicz (HCN, 3/1/99) who views HCN as "anti-hunter" and "anti-hunting." He must see something I don't. Please keep up the fine work and renew my subscription.

Tory Taylor

Dubois, Wyoming
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