Fair Chase Hunting does not include Drones

Hunter-Eithics-and-Fair-Chase

Fair chase hunting does not include the use of drones to find your intended prey.

From the Anchorage Daily News

Hunting big game in Alaska with the help of remote-controlled, camera-equipped aircraft will be illegal later this year when new regulations take effect.

Hunting is a time-honored tradition allowing each of us to put food on our family’s dinner table.  It’s also called “hunting” and not “finding” for a reason.  The concept of fair chase.

While technology continues to advance it is often to our detriment.  Relying on cameras in the air means we no longer rely on actual hunting techniques like tracking and learning the habits of the game we seek.

As Royce Tuckness said so well in his comments on the Anchorage Daily News article:

I have hunted and fished my entire life (59 yrs) without the assistance of drones, airplanes, blimps, helicopters, kites or any other flying device. I think the Alaska Board of Game has absolutely made the right decision here. Hunters should hunt track and harvest game on foot and only use other animals or mechanical devices to get to and remove harvested animals from the field. Anything else would be considered wrong in my opinion. There are hunters and there are takers. The “Takers” are generally Unethical Guides and those who are basically lazy and look for any advantage to simplify the hunt.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Fair Chase, as defined by the Boone and Crockett Club, is the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.

In simpler terms, it means the animal must have a reasonable opportunity to escape unharmed.

Boone and Crockett Hunter Ethics

Fundamental to all hunting is the concept of conservation of natural resources. Hunting in today’s world involves the regulated harvest of individual animals in a manner that conserves, protects, and perpetuates the hunted population. The hunter engages in a one-to-one relationship with the quarry and his or her hunting should be guided by a hierarchy of ethics related to hunting, which includes the following tenets:

  1. Obey all applicable laws and regulations.
  2. Respect the customs of the locale where the hunting occurs.
  3. Exercise a personal code of behavior that reflects favorably on your abilities and sensibilities as a hunter.
  4. Attain and maintain the skills necessary to make the kill as certain and quick as possible.
  5. Behave in a way that will bring no dishonor to either the hunter, the hunted, or the environment.
  6. Recognize that these tenets are intended to enhance the hunter’s experience of the relationship between predator and prey, which is one of the most fundamental relationships of humans and their environment.

If all you want is to fill your freezer without the “headache” of all that “work” tracking your prey, then go to the butcher store.  He will happily provide you with everything you could possibly want.

If you want to be a real hunter, then by all means learn the skills you require to find your prey, then get out into the woods and hunt in an ethical manner.

Like so many hunters, I am sure, I come home empty-handed more often than not.  That does not, however, diminish my hunting pleasure.  I love being out in the woods.  I love searching for the animal that will fill my freezer, but I am thoroughly unwilling to act in a manner unbecoming simply to do so.

Some days I simply do not take the shot because the joy of watching one of God’s amazing creatures wander in front of me is just too good to end with a bullet.

That, and there's always tomorrow...

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