Questioner: In the first part of the question it was talking about deer, for example, in this part of the country we hear a number of reports that the deer population is getting very large, and so they have hunting seasons, and the hunters then claim that through their sport of hunting they are also controlling the deer population and helping out the deer population. Could you specifically comment on that?
The Council: Again, if it is to put a useful purpose to the meat, to the animal, if it is to be used as foodstuff, this would be acceptable, but simply to hunt as a means of target practice is totally unacceptable.
Questioner: A lot of these folks who hunt, taking deer for example, enjoy going out and spending a day hunting the animal down, yet they do, in most cases, dispose of it as food. Their intent still basically is to enjoy the hunt and the food, the meat of the deer, is also useful. Is there any problem with that attitude?
The Council: For a man to hunt to place food on his table for his family is not something that should be considered wrong, it is not an evil. It is not an evil to enjoy the pursuit of the hunt or to enjoy the challenge of a hunt. The wrong comes in taking the animal's life and leaving it. There is far more of this going on than you might suspect. Many animals who have been shot for the hunt only and taken to places for recognition are allowed to waste instead of consumed as foodstuffs. Do you understand?
The Council: When such a deed is committed, then this is wrong. Then the individual becomes fully responsible for the abuse of that animal life. Also, in the sport, if an animal is wounded, it is the obligation of the hunter then, the pursuer, to see to it that the animal is brought to a quick end and as painlessly as possible.
There are many hunters who would wound an animal and are simply too lazy to finish the job, to track down the animal and complete the job. In the use of traps, those who would use such devices have a responsibility to tend to those traps properly, so that if an animal is caught, its suffering and pain is at an absolute minimum. It is the least desirable way to place food on your table.
You must remember, man has charge of all animal life. It is their responsibility to tend to it as the occasion calls, to tend to it properly, to care for it properly and show the proper respect.
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