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Do you feel remorse after killing for the first time?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by emt1581, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    I've never killed anything other than bugs before. It's not that I can't, it's just that I've never really needed to. I don't kill for the hell of it. If I fish, it's to eat while camping. If there are bees, spiders, etc. in my house I try to catch and release rather than kill them.

    However, I love deer meat and would really love to give hunting a try this year for the meat but also the hide/head. I was taught how to track and the like as well as how to "clean" the animal afterwards. So like I said it's not that I CAN'T, I've just never done it to kill before.

    I'm curious if there's any emotion, other than that of joy for the successful hunt, after killing the animal?...or am I just being a wuss about the whole process?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
     
  2. bassman-dan

    bassman-dan NRA Lifer

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    Yep, even after 35 years of deer hunting with something like 90-100 deer killed.
    EVERY TIME I kill one I feel at least some pangs of pity and regret. I have to get busy field dressing the animal and dragging it out to try to get past the feeling. I think most hunters would tell you the same thing.
    A few of the deer have bleated pitifully after being shot even though they died almost immediately. Those animals really made me feel bad and are especially clear in my memory.
    It helps to know that none of these animals will be dying a comfortable death whether I shoot them or not. None of them will die in a hospital under the influence of pain killers. Some will be drug down by stray dogs and coyotes and slowly bled to death by numerous slashes and bites. Others will die a slow lingering death from some disease or malady. No one will be there to ease their pain. I guess a few will be killed quickly by autos but other than that I think that most will suffer a lot more at the hands of nature than by my rifle.
    I love to eat venison and provide it for my family to enjoy. I have prepared myself and my equipment to make clean, humane kills. If conditions do not allow me to make an accurate shot, I don't pull the trigger. That being said, sooner or later we are all going to screw up a shot. We just have to work to avoid those times.
    If you don't think that you can get past the feelings caused by taking an animals life then you probably should stick to targets. It won't make you less of a man.
     

  3. mikedb

    mikedb

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    I could not have said it better myself. I am talking to my 14 yr old son right now about the same thing. There is nothing unmanly about feeling remorse. It is a valid human emotion. If you did not I would worry then. I believe it is part of the hunting expierence. I saw it in my son after he killed his first squirrel. This fall he is going on his first deer hunt and I expect he will be temporarily saddend after the kill just as I am after taking many deer.
     
  4. BlackBelt

    BlackBelt

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    Wow, a multi-dimensional question.
    The traditional American Indians around where I grew up did something everytime that they killed a deer that I also do. They planted a tree for each deer killed, and said a word of thanks to their gods for the gift of food, shelter, life, etc. that deer provided. I also plant a small tree each season for each deer I harvest.
    Call it 'giving back', if you will.
    I've only known a few hunters that didn't feel something for the animals that they shot. I don't hunt with those hunters. They are killing machines, and have no remorse for anything that they do. They also don't follow state laws on hunting.
    This past season one of them drove up while I was walking out of the woods. I looked in the bed of his truck and he had a doe and fawn in there (it wasn't doe season). I asked him what that was about, and he said he thought the doe was a buck, and after he killed it, he saw the fawn. So he shot the fawn also. I went and got in my truck and drove off.
    Love wildlife, respect it, and consider yourself a steward of the outdoors. In that way, the feeling of taking a living animals life can be balanced with the knowledge that you are keeping the balance of nature, as it has been since the beginning.
    By the way, being a 'good steward' of the land also means no littering. None. Not a thing left behind in the woods but footprints(except maybe biodegradable toilet paper- LOL).
     
  5. WalterGA

    WalterGA Millennium Member

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    I grew up hunting doves, quail and ducks. We didn't have deer in S. GA when I was a kid. I lived away from S. GA most of my adult life, during which time deer were introduced into S. GA and flourished.

    About 15 yrs ago, I went deer hunting with my former father-in-law. It was my only deer hunt. I carried a handgun; killed a deer and have never been on another deer hunt. The remorse I felt was that killing the deer was such a "non-event". Many of my friends hunt deer and enjoy it. It's just not for me.
     
  6. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

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    No remorse here, but take no joy of killing either. Guess as long as you eat meat, then you shouldn't feel too bad about shooting an animal as long as you're going to eat it.
    On the other hand, I'll never use a bow again. When I was 15 I shoot a snow-shoe hare and speared it to a tree. The rabbit spun around on the arrow like a pin-wheel squealing to beat the band. Had to grab a stick and beat the litle guy.;P I'll leave the bow hunting to better shots and trackers than me. Know I'd really feel bad if I shot and wounded something but couldn't find it.
     
  7. redskyzatknight

    redskyzatknight Glock S&W Kahr

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    I feel less remorse for killing a herbivore than for killing a carnivore. To me, grass eaters are for slaughtering. Hunters are on a higher pedestal to me. I would'nt hunt mountain lion or even bear, though they are omnivores. I love shark fishing though.
     
  8. vafish

    vafish

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    Only time I've actually felt remorse or sorrow after killing a deer was as I was gutting a doe, she still had milk in her udder, my uncle came up and said he had just seen a doe and a fawn together. I never saw the fawn.

    This was in November in Minnesota, so the fawn should have been old enough to survive on their own, but if the mother still had milk??????

    I have respect for the animals I kill, and since I eat what I kill for the most part, I give thanks for them feeding me.
     
  9. allhowl

    allhowl

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    Like vafish said I give thanks to our Creator for the precious life I take. I do feel joy at knowing my freezer has some great meat and the hunt was so enjoyable. I don't feel remorse because there is no guilt associated with it. I hunted legally, with good ethics, & make only shots I know will result in a quick death. If not it walks. There will be no waste of the meat and it lived its life and provided for me and my family. I will re-live the hunt as long as I live and be thankful each time I remember it..
     
  10. noway

    noway

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    Same here, I don't feel any remorse. It get's easy everytime. Also, Killing a 4oz dove or 7oz squirrel vrs a 150lb hog don't conjure up the same feeling (period).

    I'm not saying that I'm a blood thristy, no feeling hunter, but the more and more game animals you take the less of a pitty feeling you feel.

    {I've actually felt remorse or sorrow after killing a deer was as I was gutting a doe}

    same here, the last hog I killed. I realy started to feeling issues after the drag out and before dressing her. You sit down and start reviewing you previous actions and the emotions of the animal lifeless body start to fill up inside of you.
     
  11. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker 1911

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    This is a good question. I suppose I do feel a little bad about killing something, but it doesn't reach the point where I refuse to squeeze the trigger.

    What I do feel bad about is hitting an animal and having it linger. It has got to be the worst feeling I've ever had, maybe even worse than a relationship gone bad. My first duck (and only so far) hit the water head's-up. I had to hit it two more times to stop it. The sensation was mixed jubilation and sorrow. But at least I got the bird back and it didn't go to waste. And I vowed to switch from steel to the tungsten/iron loads to give my 20 a little extra edge on lethality.

    As for fish, I refuse to kill and eat them more than once in a blue moon around here. Too much heavy metal contamination from the Midwest falling from the sky here in New England. There is actually an advisory against eating large quantities of freshwater fish in New Hampshire. Besides, I can let the little guys go unscathed 99% of the time and catch them again in a week.
     
  12. Hunterjbb

    Hunterjbb

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    thought about it to be honest.. now that i have i can't say that i feel remorseful or sorry for the deer. Excited, happy etc.. yes..

    Don't take me wrong i don't kill things just for the "fun" of it, I don't shoot small buck, I won't shoot unless i feel i have a clean shot that will kill cleanly. I don't shoot more then i can eat or at least have people that will eat what i shoot.

    I feel bad if for some reason I mess up and don't take the animal down cleanly and that's as much me getting mad at me as it is for making the animal suffer longer, and i really hate not finding things i've shot..

    Lately to me just getting out in the woods is an accomplishment, shooting something would be nice but it's not 100% necessary, although last Saturday the BUGS ate me to death... darn it was hot.. not real fun.

    Jeff.
     
  13. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    I have taken an awful lot of game animals since i was knee high to a jackrabbit. And coming form a cowboy, that is used to ranch life, and seeing birth and death, i got to admit, no matter how many animals i have killed, the felling, "for me," has 'never went away!'

    I still feel 'something' in my heart i cannot really explain. It isn't really remorse... that is pretty strong, like guilt. If a man feels guilt after hunting, he really needs to hang it up.

    But, there is, 'for me,' i guess, some sorta feeling of respect for the animal, and perhaps the since of 'removing it from life', period.

    God did place this critters here for our benifit. I thank Him for that. Also, if they, (deer-elk-etc), are not harvested properly, they do have more chance for wide spread disease, and losing 'browse' ground in competition with more deer, and this can have 'very ugly' consequences for the herd. Harvest of them is essential, for good herd health.

    Having been in the cattle and horse business most of my life, i can say that the rasing of cattle, "knowing" they are going to end up on someone's table, 'does not' bother me.

    Let me get this one in here.... "The needless slaughter of horses" that could have been saved, rescued, etc... This rakes me the wrong way real bad.... and makes me want to have a meeting out behind the barn with these folks who destroy the ones that "can be saved," out of "greed" for slaughter house money, so they can feed a dog, or some pompous jerk who calls it a delicacy in a fancy resturant!

    The wildlife out in the canyons.... Man i love to see them, and here them. I "do not" hunt coyotes any longer, i'd rather hear 'em howl. Here at least, there aren't that many left, so why eradicate them, like the blood thristy, kill crazy hunters did to the Buffalo!?

    If i ain't going it eat it, or it ain't destroying my property... I 'will not' kill it. It is really that simple for me. God takes care of the rest of the 'balance of things quite well'. The only exception for us here is the rattlers... they die! :)


    So, what the heck did i say?

    Yep, i do feel some sort of unexplainable something, when i drop the deer. He is most worthy, i believe, of our respect, and provides us not only with meat, but with what we call "pleasure."? So, yeah, i feel something... I guess it is almost the same feeling i get when i see an eagle, or a red hawk flying over my head or through the canyons, or see a breath taking sunset...Don't know how to put it into words, but it's there!


    CanyonMan

    (In Search Of Rodeo Bucking Bull Stock..PM me if anyone has info)
     
  14. Darkker

    Darkker

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    Can't say I've ever felt remorse..... In fact I think I recited a line from Red Dawn...

    "WE Live Here!!!"
     
  15. vaulter

    vaulter

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    I've seen it fairly often but this far north by November the "fawn" is just being a greedy little bastard and is getting plenty of food elsewhere just likes getting it from mom the easy way still.

    It is kinda disconcerting when the doe's hanging there and you nick the udder and ya all of a sudden have milk running down between your feet. :)
     
  16. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    There are a lot of interesting answers here. Some very interesting points of view.

    I can't say that I have ever felt remorse or guilt after the killing of an animal. I don't know what that comes from. I grew up and a ranch around birth, death sickness in both cows horses dogs and cats. I was raised around hunting. However, deer on the ranch were more of an annoyance than something to be marveled at. That comes from coming out one morning to see several hundred whitetail deer on one haystack.

    I always, and still do, view deer hunting as a harvest rather than a hunt. I will "hunt" for elk and spend days camping up at dawn hunt all day yada yada yada. But for deer, if I can't back up to him with a pickup, he probably doesn't need shot.

    I do realize that there are many people who do not have the ability to see and be around animals the way I was raised. I feel more remorse for those people than I do for the deer I shot. I wish everyone could see some of the things I see on a daily basis.

    I take that back, there has been only one buck that I felt remorse for. I was a young kid, dumb. The deer were not really a problem that year on the ranch. Sickness has cleaned them out pretty well the winter before. And I shot a little buck out of season. And after I had, I felt remorse for that. I thought to myself, why did I just do that? what was that for?

    But other than that I have not had remorse.
     
  17. cruiserman

    cruiserman

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    I grew up in the big city and didn't get into guns until I was almost 30 years old. I never wanted to hunt.

    I've been hunting for elk twice, and my buddy and I got a 6 point a few weeks ago. I wondered how I would feel, and it turned out that I didn't feel anything except elation and relief. I was nervous about holding up his antlers for pix :).

    If I felt bad about killing an animal, I would not hunt.
     
  18. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    congrats on the elk. I got a scrubby little 5 point bull this year, but hey, it's meat in the freezer for a year
     
  19. Sharker

    Sharker

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    I have the same feelings of loss some speak of, no remorse or regret, just a feeling that something gave up a valuable asset (their life) so I could benefit. I have some friends who have no feelings or respect for life what so ever (I dont hunt with them any longer) and these guys can whack their own dog if it was gonna get enough laughs.
    Personally I love hunting, and have had many sucessful trips where I had deer lined up in the 'hairs and let it walk for one reason or another. Then again, I am called often enough to help reduce deer and pig populations on some of my friends fields when the crops are being hit hard. Then its just business, I line up the shot and take it. Same with coyotes, its all business at that stage.
    Its something about being up close and having put hours stalking that makes you appreciate the deer more.
    But killing is something that shouldnt be taken lightly.
     
  20. rfb45colt

    rfb45colt safe-cracker

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    ^6

    I've been hunting since 1962. In those 42 years, I've never killed a game animal without feeling some remorse. I've killed coyotes without any remorseful feelings, but I still had respect for them. Coyotes are the only animals I've ever killed and not eaten. If I don't eat it, I don't kill it. I don't particularly like rabbit or squirrel meat, therefore I don't hunt them.

    What I really hate, and fills me with more remorse, is wounding an animal (be it a duck, goose, grouse or deer), and it does not die "cleanly", or gets away from me to die a slow painful death. It doesn't happen very often, but it's inevitable. I can't sleep when this happens. The last time I shot and wounded a deer that I did not immediately recover, I searched until 3:00am before I eventually found it, and finished it. There was no point in going home, I'd not sleep much anyway.