Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Sitting Coyote

Pages: 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 [9] 10
General Discussion / Re: Hunting
« on: January 10, 2010, 05:27:49 am »
Whether an "up-and-down" motion is ideal depends on how the animal is oriented on the ground.  You don't need to crush an animals head to kill it.  In my experience, which primarily comes from killing rabbits, a killing blow is best executed by hitting the animal on the back of the head.  So if the animal were sitting on the ground the way a squirrel or rabbit would normally sit, you aren't striking straight down but are striking a little from its rear, making sure to impact at the back of its head at the base of its skull.  This separates the skull from the first or second cervical vertebrae and usually shatters at least a couple of the vertebrae in the process, insuring an instant kill.  The animal might shudder a little, but it's dead.

Killing an animal is never as clean as we would like it to be, so I'm just trying to offer some ideas as to how to make it as clean as possible.  I mentored a college guy this summer in dispatching a rabbit he'd been raising, and he was understandably hesitant to take the swing.  I got him to do it finally and it was a perfect shot, the animal was dead right after impact.  But he saw the animal shudder and started to panic, and before I could stop him he started hammering at the rabbit's head.  He cracked it six more times before I was able to get the stick out of his hand, although most of his blows hit it in the head so damaged meat was minimal. 

General Discussion / Re: Hunting
« on: January 10, 2010, 02:42:21 am »
Hi Sully, from your posts it seems to me a tool that would suit you better than a boomerang, bat and spear for squirrels and similar-sized game would be a throwing stick.  You can join PaleoPlanet and learn about how to make them.  A boomerang is a throwing stick designed so that it comes back, but most throwing sticks don't come back.  A throwing stick is a hard, usually stout stick that's about the length of your arm or just a bit shorter.  There are all sorts of different designs.

If you're going to take a finishing shot or stab on something small like a squirrel, you should go for the head rather than the organs.  Organs are too valuable as food to destroy. 

Hot Topics / Re: Evolutionary benefits of cooking?
« on: January 08, 2010, 09:56:01 pm »
Alphagruis, you make an excellent point regarding the need to distinguish between "fitness" and differential reproduction and the fact that differential reproduction is really what matters.  In the future I'll take care to better incorporate that distinction in my posts, when needed.

And to goodsamaritan, I agree with you completely.  It was certainly never my intent to put forward the notion that a cooked food diet was somehow ideal, just that it allowed Homo sapiens to persevere in areas where it may not have otherwise been able to.  In fact, I'm already noticing benefits from having started a raw omnivorous diet just a couple weeks after starting, particularly in the realm of skin health.  I live in cold, dry Vermont and usually have a terrible problem with dry skin all winter, particularly on my scalp, hands and lower legs.  The dry skin began in early December this year, but within less than a week of starting raw it has gone away completely.  I've gotten so used to having cracking, dry skin all winter that not having this feels weird.  But I'll get used to it. ;)

Hot Topics / Re: Evolutionary benefits of cooking?
« on: January 08, 2010, 10:24:56 am »
I guess my motivation for exploring the "benefits" of cooking is related to another post in "Hot Topics" called "Common Criticisms Directed at Paleo Diet Proponents".  

Cooking, like the consumption of grain as an important source of calories, is so ubiquitous among human cultures that most people are tempted to assume that it must be good.  Reaching this conclusion through evolutionary reasoning is easy, as given Darwin's ideal of survival of the fittest we all theoretically are descended of the fittest of the fittest, so what we do, how we behave, how we eat, etc. should represent the best of the best behavioral traits--an ideal.  So if a group is to stand up and say that a common practice like deriving the bulk of our daily calories from cooked grain or that cooking food more generally isn't ideal, then we need to be ready with a well articulated, logical and believable story line to support this.  While it may seem a circuitous path, I decided to start my exploration of this story by asking how cooking, if it really is as bad as we believe, could have become so ubiquitous.

Even those who don't espouse evolution follow similar logic, believing that common practice must be best because everyone does it.  A perfectly circular argument to be sure, but if you're going to stand up to that you need an articulate story that can break the circle.  So if you'd like to extract the ubiquity of cooking from the process of evolution in hopes of finding a story that doesn't rely on evolutionary logic to explain why such a detrimental process has become so common, please feel free.  You won't hurt my feelings.

Hot Topics / Re: Evolutionary benefits of cooking?
« on: January 08, 2010, 07:08:36 am »
When TD is being irrational, he does better than your comment.

William, would you be willing to explain to me what you mean by this?

Hot Topics / Re: Evolutionary benefits of cooking?
« on: January 08, 2010, 07:00:43 am »
Cooking plants needs however a priori special knowledge and invention of pottery or other tools and techniques. So it seems that the first food that has ever been cooked is rather meat just grilled over an open fire. Why did our ancestors do that for the first time? Maybe first just for fun and then they adopted the practice for the new taste...

Not necessarily.  Many plants can be roasted in the coals of a fire.  Roots and tubers are an example.  These plant foods would become easier to chew and perhaps easier to digest ignoring the harmful byproducts of heat.  Regarding boiling, you don't need pottery to boil water.  The earliest evidence of boiling was of rock boiling.  You need some sort of vessel, which might be as simple as a water-tight basket, a piece of rawhide shaped to form a pouch or a piece of tree-bark folded to form a vessel and allowed to dry.  Fill the vessel with water and whatever you want to cook, then add hot rocks to get the water to boil and keep it boiling long enough to cook the food.  This is admittedly tedious, but at a wilderness survival class I took a couple years back we make vessels out of birch bark on our first day and that was all we were allowed to use to cook food for the remaining four days of the workshop.  It worked surprisingly well.  At least I was very surprised.

Yes I also believe that we should not underestimate these other factors and cooking is probably an emerging phenomenon that was the result of many intertwinned factors and conditions. (The first condition being to be a primate with hands and a big brain, ants or dolphins couldn't invent cooking).

I suspect that the addictive character of cooked food most likely played a major role in the rapid spread or adoption of the practice.  

Admittedly, the more I think about this the more I suspect you are probably correct.  I should not have discounted it so quickly in my earlier post.

Hot Topics / Re: Evolutionary benefits of cooking?
« on: January 08, 2010, 04:46:34 am »
Thanks Paleo Donk.  I agree that grains can be eaten raw.  I first tried raw food-ism as a raw food vegan a few years back, and sprouted grains of many types were a part of my diet, although not a larger part.  I imagine you could eat them without sprouting too, although... yuk!  This begs the question of whether Homo sapiens or other hominid species would have sprouted them to eat them or whether they would have attempted to eat them dry and raw.  I can't imagine they'd do either with any frequency, so it seems to me that most grains consumed by early humans would have been cooked.

Hot Topics / Re: Evolutionary benefits of cooking?
« on: January 08, 2010, 03:46:52 am »
Only cereals made cooking a good idea (for some), as it results in a population explosion.
Without cereal grains, eating cooked food makes people weak and sickly; if anyone tried it they became extinct.

This seems to imply that people on a cooked Paleo diet, of which there are many past and present, should all be weak and sickly and that they shouldn't live long enough or be healthy enough to successfully reproduce (the prerequisite for extinction).  Is this true?  Can this be backed up with data? 

Hot Topics / Re: Evolutionary benefits of cooking?
« on: January 08, 2010, 03:43:25 am »
This is fallacious reasoning. For  one thing, Neanderthal Man is revealed as an apeman who went in a big way for cooking, yet ended up extinct.

Plus, even the most naive date for cooking non-palaeo foods was 105,000 years ago for cooking grains, which is far too late for evolutionary purposes re cooking.

Not fallacious at all, at least from the facts you offer.  Wikepedia cites a date of around 100,000 years ago as when Homo sapiens began migrating from Africa.  The only date I was able to find for when Homo neanderthalensis began cooking was about 50,000 years ago, which may well have been long after H. sapiens began living with him in Europe.  It seems reasonable to me that H. neanderthalensis most likely learned to cook from H. sapiens.  As for why H. neanderthalensis went extinct despite cooking, perhaps by the time he learned to do it he was already on the decline in Europe and wasn't able to become competitive against H. sapiens, even though both species now had more calories available.

Where do you get 105,000 years as the earliest point at which humans began cooking?  I remember a far broader range from the "Origins of cooking" paper.  Anyway, that's still early enough that it began in Africa, and then could migrate over the world with the spread of H. sapiens.

Hot Topics / Re: Evolutionary benefits of cooking?
« on: January 07, 2010, 11:32:27 pm »
Truth is I had my own idea of why cooking arose before I posted, but wanted to offer up a question rather than just offering my thoughts.  But now it seems reasonable to offer.

The Origins of Cooking paper written by folks here (which I can't seem to find again) claims that cooking originated in the range of 100,000-300,000 years ago.  This is also about the time that Homo sapiens ("anatomically modern" humans) emerged as a species distinct from other hominids such as Homo neanderthalensis and Homo erectus, which also existed at the time although were living in Europe and Asia, respectively.  Wikepedia, for instance, quotes the emergence of "archaic" Homo sapiens as 250,000-400,000 years ago. 

My thought is that, perhaps as Homo sapiens populations became more dense in Africa or perhaps because of some environmental change that reduced food availability, competition for food became fierce and the ability to procure enough food became a major factor in natural selection.  It wasn't about quality at this point, it was about quantity; you didn't need to live a long and healthy life, you just needed to live long enough to sire a few children who survived.

This strikes me as the type of competitive environment where cooking shines.  There are many plants that are not edible raw, such as grains, beans, etc.  Cooking, because it destroys enzymes and proteins and because it can be done in a water bath that leaches out certain types of water soluble compounds, renders edible some plants that would otherwise be inedible.  So those individuals who learned to cook their food would have an advantage because they could eat things that others could not, thereby expanding the available calories in their surrounding landscape.  Animal foods can be made more safe and palatable by cooking, regardless of their age, and perhaps humans of the time endured a low enough general state of health that protection from parasites was useful.  So overall, even though cooking makes foods less healthy and negatively impacts the human body in various ways, on net it was a beneficial innovation because it made more calories available.

If cooking emerged when Homo sapiens was still an African species, this would explain why cooking is so ubiquitous among cultures around the world.  Our distant ancestors brought the technology of cooking with them when they left Africa.  It also explains, perhaps, why Homo sapiens eventually outcompeted Homo neanderthalensis and Homo erectus.  These species may not have cooked and thus depended on a narrow range of food species, while Homo sapiens, armed with cooking, could use a far wider array of species and was consistently better able to meet its caloric needs, expand its population, and outcompete other hominid species. 

The ability to radically expand the types of foods we can eat through cooking led to calorie-rich grains becoming a more and more important part of our diet, which would eventually lead to us experimenting with and eventually becoming dependent on agriculture.  We see this same relationship between cooking our food and our agricultural practices today, as much of the cropland throughout the world is devoted to crops that would be useless to us without cooking. 

I'm sure there are other important factors, such as the addictive nature of certain compounds found in cooked foods or the psychological and social aspects now associated with cooking, but I suspect these were long to develop so I don't think they played a role in the development and spread of cooking.

[Note:  while searching in vain for the article on when cooking emerged, I found an old post entitled "Why have we been cooking all this time?", in which Paleo Donk offers the same theory for the historical value of cooking although his wording is not as detailed.  I came up with it independently, but still wanted to give him credit as he came up with it first.]

Hot Topics / Re: Coconut oil and antinutrients
« on: January 07, 2010, 06:59:36 am »
I don't think it is a human source.  Like I said, some regions have naturally high soil concentrations of different elements due to local geology.

Hot Topics / Re: Coconut oil and antinutrients
« on: January 06, 2010, 10:06:38 pm »
I've not heard of animals "intentionally" accumulating toxins, but in many areas of the US the soil and thus plants have high and natural accumulations of different toxins, particularly heavy metals.  Here in vermont, for instance, I'm told there are relatively high concentrations of cadmium in the soil so the state recommends we don't eat livers from large animals we hunt, like adult deer or moose because of the cadmium accumulation.  I've heard similar things out west regarding arsenic.  So it may be wise to eat the meat from a variety of species as well as age classes within each species to avoid consistently high doses of contaminants that tend to accumulate. 

Hot Topics / Re: Coconut oil and antinutrients
« on: January 05, 2010, 09:23:51 pm »
The available information seems to indicate that for most people small amounts of salicylates are fine(not for me and some rawpalaeos like Wodgina, though). But salicylates consumed  in large, regular quantities seem quite lethal.

This seems like a pretty extraordinary statement.  What constitutes large quantities, and how often must these be eaten to be regular?  How many people have died from them?  I gorge myself on wild and domestic raspberries (and other wild and domestic berries) all summer long and as far into fall as possible, and these seem to have quite high concentrations of salicylates based on the above posts.  Yet I remain...

Hot Topics / Evolutionary benefits of cooking?
« on: January 04, 2010, 04:14:14 am »
I've spent a lot of time reading through this website, and the idea that people are meant to be raw omnivores seems to make a great deal of sense.  Among millions of species we alone cook our food.  Why should we be different than everyone else? 

This begs two questions: 

1.  Why did we (as a species) start cooking our food? 

2.  If it's so unhealthy to cook our food, why has this behavioral trait been preserved over hundreds of generations and spread among almost all extant human cultures?

General Discussion / Re: Hunting
« on: January 01, 2010, 03:52:40 am »
And alphagruis, you are certainly right about the dangers in combining alcohol and the use of firearms.  As someone who's never drank I forget about that.  Strange, since all of the other relatives I have who hunt also happen to be alcoholics...

General Discussion / Re: Hunting
« on: January 01, 2010, 03:42:07 am »
I'm guessing that no farmers are here. I've seen lots of chickens killed, and the killers did not emote all over the place about it. Same for other livestock, and some are killed with a rifle at close range, for example penned hogs.

Thanks for your comments William and alphagruis.  No offense to you, William, but the above statement perfectly captures my idea of burying one's soul beneath years of modern pragmatism.  A farmer who sells meat from his livestock can't afford to emote all over the place.  After all, he (or she) has pigs, cows, chickens to kill, and a bottom line to worry about if he's to keep his business afloat. 

It is this pragmatic approach to viewing animals as economic products to be bought and sold that, I believe, steals some of our humanity and robs us of our philosophical links to our ancestors.  It's difficult if not impossible to escape, to be sure.  I won't need to buy meat this year on account of my deer, but will probably buy eggs now and then and perhaps a grass-fed cow liver or other organs to supplement.  And, of course, I'll buy vegetables, which don't want to die any more than the deer did.

So I guess I'm left with a question:  How should I live so as to maintain as much of my humanity as I can while still eating the diet my body is designed for?

General Discussion / Re: Hunting
« on: January 01, 2010, 12:04:21 am »
I've thought on a few occasions about making a really sturdy spear and finding a remote place to try and kill a deer with it.  I've certainly been successful at getting close enough.  Heck, about 6 years ago I got close enough to touch a wild fawn, although it was just a fawn and they're not as attentive as older deer.  And this year I got within 3 yards of another fawn, close enough to jump out and slap it before it could run away.  I could easily have speared it.

One aspect of using a longer range weapon to kill an animal is that you don't have to watch what happens between the impact of your projectile and when the animal finally stops moving.  When you take a hunter safety, or hunter "education", class, they generally recommend that you stay where you were when you made the shot for at least 30 minutes before you try to find the animal.  They recommend this to prevent an animal from running further than it normally would before expiring so that it's easier to find, but I think it serves a double purpose.  I think another important reason they recommend this is to protect hunters who still have some semblance of a soul from having to watch an animal die. 

When I shot my deer this past fall I saw it fall within 10 feet of where I'd shot it.  So rather than waiting I hustled down from the cliff I was perched on to tag my deer.  I got down to it in about five minutes and still got to watch a couple minutes worth of agonized writhing before the deer went still.  Before this experience I had this idealized vision that a deer gets shot and just plops down dead.  NOT!  Even when you shoot a deer with a rifle and hit the vitals, unless you get the perfect shot the animal suffers for at least a couple minutes and often several minutes before it finally goes still.  While watching the deer writhe part of me wanted to load another cartridge and end its suffering with a close-range head shot, but I was carrying a 0.308 so if I did that I could well have blown its head wide open.  Maybe next year I'll carry a 0.22 pistol with me during rifle season, although they don't let us carry firearms into the woods during archery season here in Vermont. 

Perhaps it sounds strange, but being able to experience the above is a large part of the reason why I choose to hunt.  It's painful to participate in the process of killing an animal (unless you've successfully buried your soul beneath years of modern pragmatism), but I think it's important to go through that if you're going to eat meat.  I think it's easy for people to glorify meat eating when they're able to slough the duty of killing onto someone else and just get the end product.  When the duty of killing is on your own shoulders, the whole process is far more demanding and powerful, at least for me. 

I think I read on this thread about someone who wanted to eat liver and kidneys of a fresh kill right after field dressing.  By the time I got to field dressing after having shot the deer and watched it die I was in tears and I didn't eat anything for three days.  Not because I was grossed out, as I've butchered deer before and butchering mine wasn't any different, but just because the process of putting a living, breathing, walking, browsing animal in the crosshairs of my rifle and then intentionally making it dead was a very powerful experience.  I hope that it never becomes any less powerful, and while I will certainly continue to eat meat my desire to abandon omnivory in favor of carnivory has certainly been tempered.

Personals / Re: Indiana seeker
« on: December 31, 2009, 11:27:13 pm »
I used to live in Indiana and still have family there, so I come to visit occasionally.  Perhaps share your contact info with me, and when I return to the state we can meet up?

Personals / Re: Anyone in the Northeast US?
« on: December 31, 2009, 11:20:27 pm »
Yes I have heard of Tom Brown Jr. and his tracker school.  I've even gone so far as to attempt to sign up for his standard and advanced standard classes, although luckily I was waitlisted both times and never got in.  I've taken similar "survival" classes at other more local schools though, so I feel like I have a firm grasp of the survival basics (fire-by-friction, primitive shelters, edible and medicinal plants and animals, hunting, stalking, etc...), for whatever they're worth...  

"Survival" schools like Tracker School and its progeny sell skills, and while skills are important I think  that community and personal development are even more important.  That's why I have taken a liking to Jon Young and his cultural mentoring slant and am becoming less and less inclined to buy my way into survival classes.  I went to my first Art of Mentoring here in Vermont this past fall, for the price I think it is better than any Tom Brown-esque survival class.  You can certainly learn skills if you want to, but you also learn about personal, community and cultural development and about mentoring.  These elements are far more important than survival skills in our modern era, in my opinion.  The Art of Mentoring workshop and Jon Young and Randall Eaton's Sacred Hunt workshop were life-altering experiences for me, and for most of the people who attended I suspect.  I can't imagine a survival class, no matter how well orchestrated, would equal either of them.

Off Topic / Beyond Civilization?
« on: December 31, 2009, 10:53:51 pm »
Daniel Quinn, best known for writing the novel Ishmael and its sequels Story of B and My Ishmael, wrote the non-fiction book Beyond Civilization around the year 2000.  Anyone else read this?  If so, what do people think about it?  I'm tempted to summarize, but there are such a diverse array of ideas in the book that I fear I'd bias people's views and interpretations of the book if I did so.


General Discussion / Re: Hunting
« on: December 31, 2009, 10:35:14 pm »
What I should have said regarding the use of firearms for hunting is that they're freaking dangerous the way hunters currently use them.  They don't have to be.  Here in Vermont, and in most states in the US, you have to take some kind of hunter safety course before you can buy your hunting license.  These hunter safety courses are usually de facto firearm safety courses.  Most include a few common elements:

1.  Always make sure you have a solid backstop before you pull the trigger or release your arrow,

2.  Always make sure you can clearly see what you are shooting at,

3.  Never walk around with a cartridge in your firearm's chamber or a nocked arrow.

If all hunters followed these three rules, particularly those hunters who choose to use firearms, there would be no hunting accidents.  No toddlers shot in their homes, no hunters shot by other hunters, no hunters shot by themselves.  Firearms don't have to be dangerous, but hunters choose to make them dangerous because of they way they choose to handle and use them.

Personally, I prefer bowhunting over using firearms.  You have to practice a lot more, and you have to be far pickier regarding what shot you take, but to me that's a small price to pay.  Besides, I make my own bows out of wood staves and I enjoy shooting them, so the practice part is a pleasure.  And if you can develop good field craft, it becomes relatively easy to get close enough to take a clean shot.  This past season I got within 3 yards of a fawn and 5 of a spike that I'd guess weighed 160 pounds, although I let them both walk by.  I wasn't hungry enough to kill a fawn and here in Vermont we have peculiar rules regarding how large a buck's antlers need to be to make him legal and I don't think the spike's antlers were quite big enough. 

Personals / Re: Anyone in the Northeast US?
« on: December 31, 2009, 09:59:07 am »
Randall's a nice guy.  Very genuine.  I met him this past spring when he and Jon Young did a workshop at Shelburne Farms, in Shelburne Vermont (very near Burlington).  It was called "Mentoring and the Sacred Hunt", so naturally Jon Young spoke a lot about mentoring and Randall a lot about hunting, and both could speak on rites of passage, which is what The Sacred Hunt really is. They will be leading a similar workshop together this coming spring, although I think this one will be on the west coast, perhaps near Jon's home in California.

Off Topic / Re: Raw palaeo toughness
« on: December 31, 2009, 04:46:49 am »
Just insects and wild game for me so far.  But I'm fairly new to this...

Personals / Re: Anyone in the Northeast US?
« on: December 31, 2009, 12:21:15 am »
Jessica, I'm grateful for your comment and I hope you can find someone local who can mentor you in learning the art of hunting.  As Jon Young and Randall Eaton often say, hunting one's own food, whether you plan on cooking it or not, can easily become the rite of passage many of us never received due to the reality-denying culture ours has turned into.  It certainly was for me, and I would recommend a sacred hunt to just about anyone provided they can find someone to lead them through the process while instilling the ethics and skills needed for it to work.

Klowcarb, how far do you think it is between your town and mine?  I'd be up for getting together.  Same goes for you, too, PaleoPhil.

General Discussion / Re: Hunting
« on: December 30, 2009, 07:45:44 am »
I hunt, bow and rifle although I've only been successful with rifle.  I killed my first deer this past November on opening day of rifle season here in Vermont (see my Avatar for the picture).

In my opinion hunting requires that we take on some pretty serious ethical responsibilities.  I've been hunting for four years with a hand-made (by me) wood bow, and only this year invested in a rifle.   

There is a debate, both among hunters and between hunters and non- and anti-hunters regarding how it should be done.  Bow vs. rifle vs. muzzleloader vs. shotgun vs. crossbow vs. not at all.  An archer who keeps themselves in shape, practices regularly and is familiar with their equipment can put sequential arrows into a paper plate at 30 yards, and will have no problem making a clean, ethical kill.  I meet very few people like this, though.  Studies show that most (over 50%) deer hit with an arrow by hunters are never recovered, and therefore run off to die an agonizing death due to an infected wound or blood loss within hours to weeks of when they were initially shot.  Choosing to be a bow hunter is a big commitment, unless you leave your soul at home and don't mind killing two deer for each you bring home.

Gun-hunted deer are also shot and never recovered, but the proportion is much lower.  You still need to practice with your tool before opening day, though.  You'll never perform as well when there's a deer in your sights as you do on the range, because the deer being there raises your heart rate, your breathing rate, and does all sorts of other crazy things to your ability to concentrate and keep your hands steady.  If you haven't learned this first hand yet, I'm sure you will.

In deciding on bow versus rifle, both have pros and cons.  The pros of a bow are that they're quiet and that they're safe for the hunter and for other people in the area.  It's very unlikely a hunter will shoot him or herself, and you have to be close enough to whatever you're shooting that you aren't likely to mistake, say, a golden lab or a horse for a deer.  Arrows also don't travel far, so you're not likely to kill the person hanging their laundry the next ridge over if you take a shot without a good backstop.  THIS IS NOT, however, an excuse to take a shot without a good backstop (something immediately behind your target that will stop your arrow or bullet in the event you miss).

The cons of a bow are that you have to get a lot closer to take a lethal shot, which is HARD.  You also have to practice A LOT more with a bow to get good enough to put the arrow where you want it to go.  Risk of lost game, as I noted above, is a lot higher.  You also need to have finely tuned arrows and razor sharp broadheads, because you're depending on cutting a lot of blood vessels and perhaps puncturing lungs to kill the animal, and if your broadhead isn't sharp any hole it makes can seal up fast and the animal will dash off wounded to die later of an infection.

The pros of a firearm are that you can take a longer-range shot, so your field craft doesn't have to be as good.  Bullets rely on doing massive tissue damage rather than cutting vessels or puncturing lungs, so it's more likely that a shot--any shot--will be more lethal when made with a gun than with a bow. 

The cons of firearms is that they're loud, and non-hunters and admittedly many hunters don't like to be in the woods near where a firearm is discharged.  From personal experience I can say that hearing a rifle go off a few hundred yards from you when you didn't even know a hunter was there is very unsettling.  And that says nothing about watching a bullet tear into a tree a few feet from your head, shot by someone a mile+ away who pulled the trigger without a backstop.  Which brings up the issue of safety.  Guns are freaking dangerous.  They just are.  They represent a danger to the person carrying them (unless unloaded), and they represent a danger to anyone within a few miles when one is discharged.  People, including hunters and non-hunters, are killed by hunting accidents (including errant bullets) every year, without fail.  A couple years ago, maybe fall of 2008, a toddler was killed in his bed here in Vermont when a rifle bullet poked through the house wall after being shot by a hunter in a forest hundreds of yards away.  He obviously didn't have a backstop.  Amazingly enough the hunter was caught, and gets to spend the next several years of his life in a state-sponsored cage, which suits me just fine.  And the other danger of firearms related to their range is that you can take a shot at something far away and kill it, which means people are tempted to take longer shots at targets they can't always see.  A few years back in Vermont someone was killed during turkey season, and this past spring at two hunters were shot during turkey season, although I think they both survived.  And this says nothing of the many livestock, dogs, and other deer-look-a-likes that roam forest and field that get shot because they're in range of the firearm but are too far for the hunter to clearly see what they actually are.

I hope you do get to go hunting, but I also hope you are aware of the ethical responsibilities you're taking on when you carry gun or bow into the forest intent on tagging game.  If I can be of any help, feel free to email or PM me.

Be safe!

Pages: 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 [9] 10
SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk