Monday, November 16, 2009

(Un)ethical Hunting

So on opening day of rifle season, Gov. Pawlenty of Minnesota wounded a deer, failed to track it down, and then went off to a fundraiser while his staff attempted to find the animal he shot.

As a hunter, this is one of those things that gets me steamed. To wound an animal and then neglect to track it down is one of the more egregious violations of hunting ethics, and is grossly irresponsible, especially if you are an authority figure. Once you put a bullet in a deer, you have a moral obligation to immediately track that animal down and finish it off - both to end its suffering, and to ensure that the meat isn't wasted. Pawlenty apparently found blood but no buck at the place he last saw the animal, but rather than immediately begin tracking the wounded animal he returned to camp to "ponder his next move?" No, Governor: you know (or should know) that your "next move" is to, right then, track down that animal and end its suffering. Sending your staff out to beat the brush after breakfast isn't nearly good enough. He's not only neglecting his own responsibilities; he's also setting a bad example for young hunters. If one of my hunting buddies did that, he would never be invited back.

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