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Is hunting a sport? (July 2004 Poll)

July 2004 Poll:

Is hunting a sport?

It is not unusual to call hunting a sport and we even casually call each other sportsmen. However, does "sport" have a place in the hunting experience? If so, what is the competitive aspect of hunting? If hunting is not a sport, how do you define hunting?

To vote in this poll, please visit our home page. The poll is on the right hand side.

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Location: Colorado
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Is hunting a sport? (July 2004 Poll)

Of COURSE it's a sport! I can't imagine what could be going through the heads of people who would say no. What is the competitive aspect? It's the age-old competition between man and nature, obviously.

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Is hunting a sport? (July 2004 Poll)
donmillion wrote:
I can't imagine what could be going through the heads of people who would say no.

To me "sport" implies a game. Hunting never seems like a game - it's deeper than that. For me I would call it a traditional recreation, heritage in some instances even a pass-time but I don't consider it a sport.

Location: Utah
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Is hunting a sport? (July 2004 Poll)

Let me start off by saying I don't have real strong feelings about what hunting is defined as but I'll throw in my 2 cents anyway.

Sport has never really fit quite with me. I think of football or basketball when I think of a sport. Hunting used to be a very serious thing. It meant survival so it used to be called a way of life. Well we have evolved and hunting is not critical for survival for many but it is still, I think, a little more serious than a sport.

In a sport your motivation is to win. But the key is a sport is for entertainment. Sure a few guys that play professional sports do it for money but its only real value to society is for entertainment. While I love to fill my tag I would call it more a preserved way of life. True I don't hunt to sustain myself but it is a somewhat spiritual experience for me and when I am succesful it does sustain me.

I guess it depends on who you are that determines what its called, its all relative to your own outlook on life. If you do it for entertainment, then its probably a sport to you. And there is nothing wrong with that as long as you respect the animals, the land, and other people. If you do it with a deep passion and it can make you emotional at times, then its probably more than a sport to you.

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Is hunting a sport? (July 2004 Poll)

I agree with what has been said. Sport just doesn't seem to fit the bill in describing all of what hunting is, although based on the poll results I'm in the minority on this one. I don't mind if people call it a sport, although I think it goes much beyond that.

To a non-hunter, I think if you call hunting a sport, they get the wrong idea about what hunting is.

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Is hunting a sport? (July 2004 Poll)

Well, in the end, this is all semantics. We're not disagreeing about what hunting is or is not, only about how we define the word "sport."

That said, for most people years ago, and for some people still, hunting is not a sport but a way to survive. Nonetheless, for the overwhelming majority of Americans who hunt nowadays, it is a sport. It is done for the entertainment, for the challenge, for the rewards. That seems to me the very definition of the word "sport," but of course you are free to disagree.

The one thing we all need to be cognizant of, as bitmasher pointed out, is how non-hunters interpret the ways we talk about hunting. The problem is that if you call it a "sport" they think it is a "game" and they don't think it's nice to kill an animal as part of a "game." On the other hand, if you say it is not a sport then they will interpret that as meaning that it is not "sporting"--there's no challenge, there's no competition--and we are, therefore, not being "fair" to the animal. With the anti-hunters it's "damned if you do and damned if you don't," so either way you just need to be very careful about how you say what you say.

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Is hunting a sport? (July 2004 Poll)

Let's see...

We're debating about straining one's body navigating up and down hills seeking your goal in mental and physical competition with an opponent, culminating in a critical deciding point -- the success of which hinges on your prowess with the implements you're using. Bear in mind that the competition isn't just with the animal; it's with fellow hunters as well. You're competing with them for the prize, and for bragging rights around campfires and websites.

If you replaced the deer with a golf hole, there'd be no debate. The only difference is that an animal dies in hunting -- and that's what drives the debate.

We all readily accept the concept that golf is a sport. Running is a sport. And, lest we forget, biathlon combines cross-country skiing and shooting as an Olympic SPORT.

I'm not disagreeing with the idea that the term "sport" doesn't sum up hunting in total, because it is more than that. Sporting is one aspect.

I do, however, disagree with those who try to redefine hunting as something other than "sport." Because those that would strip away that definition seek to strip away the public's association between "hunting" and "sporting." And that association includes concepts like fair play, rules, ethics, community, and legitimacy.

Strip away "sport", and you strip away those associations. That makes it easier to portray hunters as people who, for some reason, like to go out and kill animals for fun. If we lose the "sport" definition, we lose the center and allow antis to push us off to the fringes of society.

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Is hunting a sport? (July 2004 Poll)

To call hunting a "sport", suggests we kill animals for "fun" or "entertainment". As the poll results suggest, many people believe that. The small percentage of true hunters, know better. Anyone who hunts for "bragging rights around campfires" has completely missed the boat. Defining hunting as "sport", just diminishes what hunting is truly about.

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Is hunting a sport? (July 2004 Poll)

I didn't say we hunt solely for entertainment or bragging rights. I said those are part of what we do. There's a lot more to it. However, there needs to be a word for what we do that resonates with increasing numbers of non-hunters to help them categorize it in their noggins.

What would you call it, Provider? A religion? An alternative lifestyle (whoops, that's taken)? An activity (blah)? A habit? Nah...makes it sounds like we can't control it. A hobby? No--that puts us in a category with stamp and butterfly collecting.

I'm not saying "sport" is the 100 percent best word to use. But it's far better than anything else, and brings a lot of good press with it.

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Is hunting a sport? (July 2004 Poll)

I will agree to disagree with you then. I assure you, "entertainment and bragging rights" have absolutely no part what so ever in why I hunt. It seems to me that hunting represents different things to those involved. There are those who view hunting with passion and a deep seated love, who savor every aspect of the hunt that culminates in the harvest of an animal. There are also those who lack this passion, but see hunting as an extension of their social interaction. "Well, it's fun and entertaining." These folks will probably never understand or truly appreciate hunting. The "true" hunter evolves and experiences a fundamental change. Killing a lot or trying to kill the biggest will eventually give way to the hunt as the culmination and not the kill.

As we have seen in some of the posts on this topic, there is a multitude of descriptions for hunting. Hunting has intrinsic value, and as such, is as difficult to define as beauty. We languish with the right words to justify our love of the chase. It may be more important at the end of the day to be able to know the feeling, than to articulate it.

I truly believe I am a PREDATOR. I believe man is the top of the food chain. Our intellect, opposing thumbs, the ability to make weapons and use them skillfully, contribute to that fact. There is no doubt in my mind, that I have a hunting INSTINCT. Passed on at birth, similar to house cats, and while no longer essential for survival, it is still there. I believe in the TRADITION of hunting. A way of life passed down from generation to generation. I believe it makes me a better person to actively take part in life and death. It gives me a better appreciation for both. Hunting is more than just a passion for me. It's spiritual, mentally and physically challenging, and even a form of expression. It teaches me patience, persistence, perseverance, and self-control. This is how I define hunting, and believe it defines me. Some use the word recreation. But I choose to apply different emphasis to the word. It is in fact re-creation. It renews. It brings life when faced with death.

There is far better and more accurate ways to define hunting than "sport". And promote a far better public perception. Hunting is much too profound to insult true hunters by calling it "sport". I have a deep respect for the animals I hunt and believe they deserve that from us.

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Is hunting a sport? (July 2004 Poll)
expatriate wrote:
I
What would you call it, Provider? A religion? An alternative lifestyle (whoops, that's taken)? An activity (blah)? A habit? Nah...makes it sounds like we can't control it. A hobby? No--that puts us in a category with stamp and butterfly collecting.

My vote goes for a "preserved way of life" or a "tradition of our ancestors that we are carrying on for which we have a passion for."

Hunting should just have its own category to fit into. Basketball is a sport and hunting is just hunting and is defined above.

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