For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Game and varmint hunting. Deer stalking, hunting with hounds. Culling, hunting feral animals and vertebrate pest control.

For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by TassieTiger » 03 Dec 2018, 4:54 pm

So, not sure if it’s because I get older, if it’s because of young kids, if it’s kid type questions that are asked - but of late, Ive found myself feeling more remorseful after shooting a wallaby or roo it deer and I question myself - in particular after having to dispatch young joeys or similar.

I get the pest line - and they piss me off eating trees and damaging fences etc but
I generally take at least the back end of every animal I shoot...and I know there is no waste and yeah, Hey - the devils need to feed as well.

I’m just wondering if I’m the only one who thinks like this now? I read comments on here about giddy laughter when piggy’s head explodes or the red mist that “makes me laugh” like a drain and I’m wondering wtf..? It’s one thing to be despatching an animal for consumption, for pest, etc - by laughing hysterically for s**ts and giggles when an animal explodes?...yeah...not sure I really get that anymore...
Now I say “anymore” because 25 years ago I was more interested in getting as many roo as I could, rather than how humane the shot might be...so what changes I wonder. Am I alone here and should I sell my guns and start farming carrots and corn or is this a simple matter of perspective?
I eat and love meat. I’d rather shoot a wild animal for consumption than “pay” someone else to do it behind closed doors aka meat factory, but that doesn’t mean when staring into the big eyes of a deer that a little something feels sorry for pulling the trigger...am I the only one who has gone though something like this??
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by trekin » 03 Dec 2018, 5:11 pm

TassieTiger wrote:So, not sure if it’s because I get older, if it’s because of young kids, if it’s kid type questions that are asked - but of late, Ive found myself feeling more remorseful after shooting a wallaby or roo it deer and I question myself - in particular after having to dispatch young joeys or similar.

I get the pest line - and they piss me off eating trees and damaging fences etc but
I generally take at least the back end of every animal I shoot...and I know there is no waste and yeah, Hey - the devils need to feed as well.

I’m just wondering if I’m the only one who thinks like this now? I read comments on here about giddy laughter when piggy’s head explodes or the red mist that “makes me laugh” like a drain and I’m wondering wtf..? It’s one thing to be despatching an animal for consumption, for pest, etc - by laughing hysterically for s**ts and giggles when an animal explodes?...yeah...not sure I really get that anymore...
Now I say “anymore” because 25 years ago I was more interested in getting as many roo as I could, rather than how humane the shot might be...so what changes I wonder. Am I alone here and should I sell my guns and start farming carrots and corn or is this a simple matter of perspective?
I eat and love meat. I’d rather shoot a wild animal for consumption than “pay” someone else to do it behind closed doors aka meat factory, but that doesn’t mean when staring into the big eyes of a deer that a little something feels sorry for pulling the trigger...am I the only one who has gone though something like this??

No mate, your not. I'm old enough to admit it. Don't know if this will give you any solice, (and I'm not religous in anyway mind), but I find a small prayer thanking my brother the (insert animal name) for giving his life to feed me and mine. eases the guild slightly. However, pest and vermon eradication still gives me an evil/wicked thrill.
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by bladeracer » 03 Dec 2018, 5:12 pm

TassieTiger wrote:So, not sure if it’s because I get older, if it’s because of young kids, if it’s kid type questions that are asked - but of late, Ive found myself feeling more remorseful after shooting a wallaby or roo it deer and I question myself - in particular after having to dispatch young joeys or similar.

I get the pest line - and they piss me off eating trees and damaging fences etc but
I generally take at least the back end of every animal I shoot...and I know there is no waste and yeah, Hey - the devils need to feed as well.

I’m just wondering if I’m the only one who thinks like this now? I read comments on here about giddy laughter when piggy’s head explodes or the red mist that “makes me laugh” like a drain and I’m wondering wtf..? It’s one thing to be despatching an animal for consumption, for pest, etc - by laughing hysterically for s**ts and giggles when an animal explodes?...yeah...not sure I really get that anymore...
Now I say “anymore” because 25 years ago I was more interested in getting as many roo as I could, rather than how humane the shot might be...so what changes I wonder. Am I alone here and should I sell my guns and start farming carrots and corn or is this a simple matter of perspective?
I eat and love meat. I’d rather shoot a wild animal for consumption than “pay” someone else to do it behind closed doors aka meat factory, but that doesn’t mean when staring into the big eyes of a deer that a little something feels sorry for pulling the trigger...am I the only one who has gone though something like this??


I think I understand what you're experiencing, but I wouldn't call it remorse or guilt. I've always felt a strong empathy with any animal I've killed. It's why I strive to ensure the cleanest possible shots, I'm always happy to walk away than risk a less than optimal shot. It's also why I can't be involved in hunting with dogs or flushing animals, there is no reason the animal needs to be terrorised before you kill it, in my opinion.

Farming cattle, we get very close to them. My view is that they exist purely as food. If we weren't going to eat them nobody would keep them, and they wouldn't get to experience life at all. For me, the only reason to live at all is to experience it, then we die. That's all there is. There is no goal at the end of it, nothing that needs to be achieved to make a life worth having been lived. The things we experience during life are the only goal. We want our animals to have the highest quality of life we can give them, knowing that we will end their lives at some point, ideally without them ever experiencing any pain or fear when the time arrives. A good clean death is really all we can offer any living creature.
Last edited by bladeracer on 03 Dec 2018, 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by Gaznazdiak » 03 Dec 2018, 5:20 pm

Nothing wrong with that attitude Tas.
I shoot hundreds of rabbits, and yes if I choose a chest rather than head shot, the .223 does detonate them, but I don't get enjoyment from the death of a critter that was just living the life it found itself stuck with.

The enjoyment is from diong it with sufficient skill that it is as quick as possible
Yes, I have occasionally had a chuckle at a "pull it out of your arse shot" that lands where you want, but that's different context.

I certainly do regret, and remember, the times when I didn't give it full attention and had a crawl off.
Hate that, takes all the enjoyment out for me.
But, I'm a sook, I ran over a baby Shingleback, that was hidden in log grass, with the ride on mower today, spoiled my afternoon alomost as much as his.
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by BangBangSkeetSkeet » 03 Dec 2018, 5:44 pm

No mate, 100% you're not alone in that. I wouldn't say i feel sorry for pulling the trigger necessarily but I reckon i feel the gravity of taking a life, even if that life is a feral cat/rabbit/fox/wild dog/pig. I enjoy the hunt and the test of skill, not the end result. But I also rationalise that death as a necessary outcome of removing a feral from the Australian ecosystem. Feral or not, as a respect thing, I strive to do it cleanly and hopefully instantaneously with one well placed 'bang flop' shot using enough gun for the job.
And if I was to rationalise it further, I'd say I offer a better (albeit shorter) end to those lives. One minute it's blue skies and sunshine, the next heartbeat, oblivion. Sure beats dying slowly in a paddock of starvation or disease, or chased down and torn apart by a carnivore... or lining up for your turn at the abbatoir.
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by bigpete » 03 Dec 2018, 5:54 pm

You're not an orphan...
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by JimTom » 03 Dec 2018, 5:56 pm

Mate I fully understand what you’re saying. I have similar feelings at times. I have put it down to age and maturity.
When I was younger it didn’t bother me however it does somewhat now.
With the exception of pigs, everything I take is for consumption.
Even after a week or so pigging, I have had enough of death. In saying that I can’t wait to get back there next time. Sounds a bit contradictive I know.
Everyone’s gotta be somewhere, and you’re here, so get used to it.
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by Bigjobss » 03 Dec 2018, 6:18 pm

I will feel a little melancholic after shooting a deer, sometimes that night, sometimes a day or two later but never remorsefull. Killing an animal is not an essy thing to do for most and the gravity of the situation shouldnt be downplayed. I dont enjoy killing because I am not a psycho but I accept the negative emotions as a price to pay because I am a moral man and believe what I am doing is right. If you cant kill an animal then you have no right eating meat.
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by Rod_outbak » 03 Dec 2018, 7:22 pm

Yeah..... I've gone the other way, I'm afraid.

[Probably in-part to do with the drought beyond compare...]

15 years ago, I never used to shoot roos.
Nowadays, I get fretty if I see a roo, and dont have a gun to hand.
I spent most of my life, being told that roos were very much in tune with their environment.
Well THAT would be the largest load of horse-apples; ever..
We've seen more environmental damage from roos here in the past 5 years, than from livestock.
In the open rolling downs country, about the only shade are the occasional low Mimosa Bushes.
Hardy as anything, and fairly decent protein; they'll keep livestock alive if you spread the stock out.
The bush is a thorny evergreen, and while the leaves arent the animals first choice, they seem to be high protein.
So the roos ring-barked them all; about 90% of the Mimosa Bushes have died.
And then, the roos started dropping dead from exposure, as they dont have anywhere to rest during the heat of the day.
And once most of the roos have died, ANOTHER mob moves in to take over the country. Rinse and repeat.
Over 50% of the dog fences built in this area, have been constructed to control the roo populations.
So, I tend to not really like roos any more. Really, REALLY dont like them.

I digress..
When it comes to pain and suffering, I've never found it enjoyable to intentionally cause an animal suffering.
However, I STILL get quite interested in seeing how a bullet performed, and will be quite awed when I see it has shredded the animal.
Doesnt concern me one bit.
If I can convince myself that there is a solid reason to shoot an animal, I'm good to go.
At one point in my life, having to shoot a lamb would have torn me up, but if I have to do it these days, it doesnt cause any remorse.
Just do the job properly; first time.
I've seen people who get turned on by the blood and gore, and I find them rather disturbed.
I only ever shoot with people like this; once...

I dont consider myself compassionate; this drought seems to have burnt a LOT of compassion out of my soul.
But I dont like causing unnecessary suffering to anything, and I'll try hard to ensure I dont cause an animal to suffer.
But I dont feel bad about pokking anything these days.
I've even considered stuffing the odd politician into a cat-suit, so I can argue that I was actually nobbling a feral!

Until this last year or so, I'd not appreciated how much the view outside governs your attitude towards others, and life in general..

My thoughts; I dont expect anyone else to agree.
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by Bent Arrow » 03 Dec 2018, 8:10 pm

By now I'm sure you've realised your not alone.........

I think what your talking about is an evolution in your maturity as a hunter. Anyone that hunts purely for fun, probably needs some professional help.

For me there's a balance in hunting that merges spending time outside to clear my head, culling ferals (although I don't kid myself that my effort is saving the world), and providing meat for my dogs, family and close friends. Do I enjoy hunting? Yes of course I do, I simply wouldn't spend my hard earned cash and very limited free time doing something I don't enjoy. But it's not the "kill" that I enjoy, it's all of the skills required during a hunt that merge in a short moment to achieve a quick humane kill, and the things you experience even on the most unsuccessful hunts. A lot of people get hung up on the kill, but for me, the kill is a very tiny part of the process, there's way more effort, time, and skill involved in the process before and after the shot. I find a really simple way to think about it is this: "would I be comfortable to do this with my son in tow, knowing that he has learnt that from me and will then believe that behaviour to be the right thing to do", or "would I be happy for my son to tell his mum what we did today" ?

A few months ago my daughter asked me why I take photos of the animals I shoot, and keep the skulls of goats and deer for euro mounts. When I told her that it's about respecting the animals and that every time I look at them I remember something about that hunt/trip, and that looking at the photos/skulls makes the memory of that animal remain stronger in my memory, she said, "wow, I didn't expect anything that deep".

I don't think it's so much about feeling remorse, but genuinely taking account of your actions and being aware of the gravity of the choices you make in you life.
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by bigfellascott » 03 Dec 2018, 8:25 pm

I do get a smile on my dial if I launch a rabbit or see a cloud of feathers from exploding crows :D

I do get where ya coming from mate, the satisfaction of killing anything much these days isn't what it used to be, I just don't have that desire to kill things regardless of the reason ie hunting/vermin control etc - I guess things change as one gets older, I find more pleasure from using a chainsaw these days :unknown: and to be honest I've been thinking of selling most of my firearms as I'm not using them like I used to and I don't see myself really doing much shooting anymore. :silent:
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by TassieTiger » 03 Dec 2018, 9:08 pm

Thanks for everyone’s honest and open responses.
It’s a strange quandary I battle with (as many do it seems)
I go fishing a fair bit and do not think for a second about the fish that I’m killing which is kind of hypocritical...and exactly where I was 20 years ago with game.

I will continue to shoot and hunt (probably less than previous) but I think I’m going to make more of an effort to ensure any waste is minimised and maybe try and not shoot to many roo with joeys if possible- that itself is insanely hard - I hate bashing young joeys on the head but I know it must be done.

I do sympathise with those struggling with vermin - I’ve had rabbits just destroy a crop and it can be heart breaking and certainly does screw with your views.

As someone else said - if you have an issue with shooting an animal for food (not necessarily the individual - but have an issue with anyone), then should you really be a carnivore...? I don’t know the answer to that.

Thanks again for insights. Appreciate it and I’m glad I’m not alone
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by bigrich » 03 Dec 2018, 9:34 pm

to take meat for the freezer, or putting down a noxious feral . clean kills are always the desired result. i'm curious to see how a projectile performs, to know i'm using the right one for the job rather than morbid curiosity. the fact that a lot of you guys can show empathy for the game means i'm in good company. bottom line, nature and the natural world can bring a crueler death than a hunters bullet or arrow. being appreciative to the games sacrifice for food is a tradition that native americans and european celtic tribes shared. personally i feel no remorse over a feral cat, fox,dog or pig being taken out as these predators cause a lot of damage to the livestock and enviroment. both rods and bent arrows posts are insightful. it was only a few generations ago that hunting to eat and survive was very normal. my grandfather shot rabbits and caught catfish during the great depression of the 1930's to help feed his family . i don't think folks in times past would've felt guilt over feeding their family or protecting their livestock. if anything, they probably felt a sense of being in the natural scheme of the world . in the modern world the food chain starts at the shops and ends at the home refrigerator . guilt free food as most sheeple and couch potatoes don't give a thought where their food comes from :unknown: in a couple of generations you could probably get away with feeding them "soylent green" look that up if you don't get the reference ;) :thumbsup:
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by tom604 » 03 Dec 2018, 9:40 pm

don't like shooting kid goats but i still take their legs, rabbits,foxes all i feel is recoil, don't like wounding anything not sure if that's remorse as such? love the hunt and the kill is a part of that :unknown: how many would still hunt if they could never (ever) have a kill at the end ? :unknown: :thumbsup:
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by Stix » 03 Dec 2018, 9:44 pm

tom604 wrote:don't like shooting kid goats but i still take their legs,


:wtf:



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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by TassieTiger » 03 Dec 2018, 9:49 pm

[quote="tom604"]don't like shooting kid goats but i still take their legs quote]

Ummm....where do you take them? And are the absent from the rest of the kids body?
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by pomemax » 03 Dec 2018, 10:28 pm

Bigfellascott said it in one sentence "I guess things change as one gets older," I would have to agree.
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Re: For want of a conversation - hunters remorse?

Post by bladeracer » 04 Dec 2018, 12:15 am

TassieTiger wrote:Thanks for everyone’s honest and open responses.
It’s a strange quandary I battle with (as many do it seems)
I go fishing a fair bit and do not think for a second about the fish that I’m killing which is kind of hypocritical...and exactly where I was 20 years ago with game.

I will continue to shoot and hunt (probably less than previous) but I think I’m going to make more of an effort to ensure any waste is minimised and maybe try and not shoot to many roo with joeys if possible- that itself is insanely hard - I hate bashing young joeys on the head but I know it must be done.

I do sympathise with those struggling with vermin - I’ve had rabbits just destroy a crop and it can be heart breaking and certainly does screw with your views.

As someone else said - if you have an issue with shooting an animal for food (not necessarily the individual - but have an issue with anyone), then should you really be a carnivore...? I don’t know the answer to that.

Thanks again for insights. Appreciate it and I’m glad I’m not alone
Tas.


I seem to be the opposite of you, I consider fishing to be cruel. When I have fished I kill the animal ASAP. Most I've seen just toss it in a bucket to die eventually.
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