Bow hunting ethics is a topic that comes up often. There seems to be quite a controversy over the topic. You can say, "it is and it isn't." It's like asking are handguns in the hands of citizens safe ? They are and they aren't. It depends on whose hands they are in. It is the same with the question, "Is bowhunting ethical?" It depends on whose hands the bow is in.
Thinking about most bowhunters I have been in contact with I would say, "yes", bowhunting is ethical. Bowhunting is a state controlled sport. So, there are rules. But it is the unstated rules that bowhunters follow that make them ethical or not.
Ethical bowhunters understand the significance of the animals they hunt. Like our ancestors they have a deep appreciation for nature and all of God's creations. They understand where they fit into nature and the responsibility they have for the survival of wildlife. A significant amount of our nation's conservation funding comes from the taxes and license fees that hunters pay.
Ethical bowhunters obey the laws of hunting and avoid the use of technology that would give the hunter an unfair advantage. They do not waste. They treat the animals harvested with respect and gratitude.
To be an ethical bowhunter there are certain things you should always do :
* Be Prepared - It is your responsibility to make sure you and your equipment are in top working condition. You have to practice often during the off season. If you are not a good enough archer to hit your target in the kill zone than you are not good enough to hunt. There is nothing worse for the animal and for the reputation of the sport than to hit a deer in the wrong place and have it walking around with an arrow sticking out of it. Your equipment needs to be in proper working order, as well, for the same reason.
* Choose Your Hunting Companions Wisely - Your companions must share your commitment to responsible ethical behavior. You must act with respect to the land that you hunt, the animals you hunt and those you meet on the hunt.
* Respect for Private Property - Always ask permission to hunt on private property. Always follow the owner's wishes. Ask every time you want to hunt on the property. Just because they said yes once, does not mean that it will always be ok. Be respectful. Do not say there will be two of us and show up with half a dozen. Always leave the land the way you found it, whether private or public property. Show respect for the land and landowners.
* Respect For Animals - Understanding the wildlife you hunt gives you more respect for the animal and creates a better experience for yourself. As you develop your bowhunting skills and are in tune with your surroundings your positive experience increases a hundred fold. Ethical bowhunters are patient. They wait until their target is within their kill range to shoot. This patience develops character and is rewarded both in their hunting and their personal lives. Ethical hunters never take more game than they can use.
In answer to the question, "Is Bowhunting Ethical?", "Yes bow hunting is ethical". It is governed by a set of written and unwritten laws of morality and humanity. There are those who choose not to follow the laws. It is that way in all aspects of society. It is your responsibility as a bowhunter to follow moral bowhunting ethics to insure the viability and respect for the sport and all wildlife.
Now tell us what you think. Is bow hunting ethical or is it cruel ? Leave a comment.