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Location: new mexico
Joined: 08/28/2004
Posts: 3
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i was curious as to how other people feel about animals being raised on ranches where there are special feed plots, culling of the herds, breeding for size, and areas set up specifically over the feed plots being entered into the trophy books. i ask this because this is a subject which has come up in gun shops, on campus, and out in the field. Some people i have met felt it was okay, others felt it was like shooting cows since they are being domesticated through animal husbandry methods employed by large ranches.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
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That's a hard one to answer one way or the other. A penned in animal could be living on a 10000 acre ranch and be every bit as wild as the next animal but it could also be on a 10 acre ranch and be practically tame. So I'll have to sit on the fence on this one and say it depends on a case by case basis but I certainly see where it could become an unfair advantage and not very sporting in the second example I have.

Location: new mexico
Joined: 08/28/2004
Posts: 3
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i agree, i do not check any of my animals for trophy status, but i believe we all need to support each other when it comes to hunting. there are too many people out there who would like to see us lose the right to hunt.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
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Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young both have very specific rules about what constitutes "fair chase" and will only accept trophies that were taken according to those rules. So, if you shoot a monster buck inside a 50x50 pen it won't go into the record book. On the other hand, there are lots of ways to "play" the rules and there are lots of people out there who do just that.

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Location: Colorado
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I have nothing against high fence hunting, if (like domesticated animals) the animal is treated humanely and the killing method is humane. Admittedly defining humane is hard, but easy to identify in practice.

Some folks like to say that pen hunting or high fence hunting is inherently unethical. This is bologna. If that's unethical then those "hunters" might as well get in with the animal rights groups rallying against feed lots, the circus, and KFC.

Some folks like to reveal in the glory that is Fair Chase, as if this alone will save hunting from the anti-hunters, but I think in reality it is the unreachable, undefinable ideal that will be the downfall of hunting. Why? Because it is easy to show that virtually anything man does is unfair, we are born with an advantage between our ears. Animal rights activist can show that guns are unfair and bows are unfair, hell, knives are unfair.

In my book, having a highly constrained hunt (the proverbial fish in a barrel) is not hunting, its just killing of an animal, but just because it is not hunting does not make it morally wrong to do. Hunting by definition evokes something of a challenge, if its not a challenge its probably not a hunt.

It troubles me to no end to see states and provinces banning high fence hunting because its not "fair chase". What's next? Banning farms that kill goats because the goat wasn't given a "fair" chance to run away? Banning killing your chickens because they were confined to a coop?

What is the fundamental difference between an elk, a goat, and a chicken? How is the death of an elk behind a high fence plugged at 50 yards any different than the death of an elk plugged at 200 yards in white river national forest? One could argue that the penned elk actually had a better life, living high on the hog not having to scrap and dig through hard winters at the edge of starvation. I mean this is all about what's best for the animals, right?

I don't agree with hunting of any form, fair chase or not, that wastes the animals flesh, unless it is a management issue (deer starving, depredation).

I think the trophy books should distinguish from open management unit hunts and those that are behind high fences. The challenge might, occasionally, be the same but the conditions under which the animal was raised are not. I view high fence records as more like the "biggest pumpkin" at the state fair, how big the bull/buck gets is more an agricultural matter than a hunting matter.

Well I've ranted enough, good topic. Wink

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