So, I’m obviously all for hunting as long as its done in a healthy, respectful way. But the dominant culture’s approach really pisses me off. Yeah, insane civilized people need the government to tell them what to do so that they don’t destroy all they touch, and there’s so many of them that they need limits to prevent them from killing everything - but even within those boundaries, they can’t be trusted, and those rules only help to prevent the rest of us from living free of the money economy (in a hunting/gathering way).
Here’s my experience of the hunting season, where my sister lives (in North Bend, WA - the foothills of the Cascades outside of Seattle). Every single non-hunter I know who lives there is afraid to step foot inside the forest during hunting season, for fear of being shot by a hunter - even the forest ON THEIR OWN PROPERTY. This isn’t an unfounded fear - every year hunters kill people (last month I heard that a marine was killed by a hunter in Oregon). It’s gun safety 101 that you don’t shoot anything unless your target is 100% confirmed, but even sober hunters can’t be trusted to do that.
Last month I went for a walk in the woods in North Bend, arriving at the trail head at the same time as a couple hunters. One of them advised me to put on something orange before going in the forest, and when I countered that hunters should know what they are shooting at before they shoot, he said “people are stupid”. He’s right, but he also obviously assumed (like they all do) that it’s the responsibility of the hikers to make sure they don’t get shot, not the responsibility of the hunter. I (somewhat stupidly) told him that if I don’t feel safe I would just holler out “human here” or something, to make sure I don’t get shot. I guess he and his friend didn’t like that too much, because when I came back I found that they had hacked my bike tire up with a hack saw. It was a blatant attempt to intimidate non-hunters into staying out of the forest, probably because they didn’t want me to “disturb” the deer.
Also, having a hunting “season” makes the animals live in fear, causing them post traumatic stress (from having a ton of people descend on them everywhere, all at the same time). I really noticed that from my visits to the Olympic peninsula, seeing how the deer there react from the presence of humans (extremely skittish, almost panicky) compared to the deer on Salt Spring island (BC), where only a few people hunt, but those who do could give a flying fuck about the government’s regulations and hunt sporadically whenever they feel like it, so the deer feel very safe around humans.
So, while I feel that hunting is a sacred duty (to feed one’s people) and want to develop my skills, I am extremely angry and disgusted with most hunters, and I hate how modern society does it - the regulations, the “seasons”, and yet the total lack of making sure that hunters are ethical and don’t endanger people’s safety (the guy who killed the marine had no charges filed against him! no consequences at all!).
Sorry for the rant. I feel this is a big issue, though.