My Response To An Anti-Hunter

By Jason Reid

My big Buck "Megatron Loyd 4"
My big Buck “Megatron Loyd
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

New York –-Ammoland.com- After killing the biggest buck of my life last fall, my school, Houghton College posted a picture of me and the deer on their Facebook page. One lady whom we will call Mrs. B commented on the picture.

Mrs. B: “Not a fan of this at all! Hope the buck had a painless death – doubt it though! Sad!”

This felt like a critical moment at least in my young career as a hunter. How would I stand up for myself and my culture under questioning? Many exchanges between hunters and anti-hunters ends in unproductive rhetoric. Just look in the comments section of any YouTube video. Is explaining ourselves even worth the time to people who don't want to listen? Also debatable.

But for the first time in my life, someone was questioning my way of life, and a completed goal. As an ambassador for our culture, I did the only thing I knew, I wrote.

Here was my response:

(Written in a very calm, caring, no anger in my voice.) Mrs. B, I understand your dislike and possible anger towards what I did. It is understandable and everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect yours and those of all non hunters although I clearly disagree. Just to clear the air on a few things. Before I get going- the first thing I did when found him, I knelt in the muddy tangled brush, removed my hat and prayed, giving thanks to God. I cried, not out of pride but out of thanks to God for giving me a chance at this deer. These intimate moments connect you with the real world, mother nature- the full circle of life. This deer expired quickly, less than a minute. In fact because I was using a bow and arrow, his death was far less painful than a bullet or how mother nature would have killed him.

Ever see a deer die from Blue Tongue? A disease where the deer’s tongue swells up and they cannot drink, thus killing them slowly from dehydration. How about having their leg tendons cut by a predator like a wolf, bear or coyote and having their gut ripped open and then is eaten alive. Mother nature is ugly, painful and brutal.

A natural death like so many non hunters hope for is misunderstood. Just because the word natural is in the phrase does not mean it is quiet and painless. There is far more pain, far more anguish and stress on the animal. How about a car? Deer accidents are brutal, I’ve seen far too many deer squirming around on the road after being smashed, not to mention it puts other people in danger. My arrow took him fast and painless.

Due to my razor sharp arrow head, he had no idea what had hit him. In fact, he continued on his causal business until he fell over. If you have ever cut yourself with a razor you will know a razor cut bleeds fast but is clean and painless. Same concept.

Now another area I should touch on is about the “trophy”.

Yes, my buck is big, actually huge, they rarely grow that size here in New York because so many people take deer when they are small. People hate the word trophy because of the idea that people like me are only out after the antlers. Not the case. He weighed well over 200 pounds providing myself, family and friends with over 100 pounds of fresh venison, far healthier than the meals I get at a resturant. A trophy is in the eye of the beholder, Regardless of the size, every animal is a trophy to the person. If you want to think about trophy hunting one way, in the words of one of my good friends and mentors, Archery legend Dennis Dunn, he writes in his book Barebow: An Archer’s Fair Chase Taking of North America’s 29 Big Game Species,

“Trophy hunting is actually the purest form of hunting since we are not shooting the first animal we see, we are waiting for the oldest, wisest and smartest of the species.”

My big Buck "Megatron Loyd 4"
My big Buck “Megatron Loyd

I have let countless deer pass over the years in order to promote the well being of the heard by not shooting the future. There is also an incredible challenge in taking one of the oldest animals. These big bucks are smart, darn smart. I am pitting my mind as a human against the best of the species. This chess game is addicting. It is the ultimate way to stay in touch with our primal senses. I am connected to the pulse of life and understand just how quickly life can be taken.

This deer was on his way out, he was over the hump so to speak. He was a perfect animal to take out of the herd for many reasons I do not have time to explain. Being undetected watching animals in their habitat is a rush you must experience for yourself.

Hunting in general has kept me out of trouble and even led to opportunities for employment. This is not a sad event, rather a happy event, a celebration of life.

To have won the ultimate chess match, to be able to provide lean meat for myself and to be able to help the deer herd as a whole. What more can a college student ask for? The head and antlers will be mounted on my wall not for pride but as a reminder of the time and effort I have put in chasing deer and the love I have for these animals. Yes, I said it, I LOVE ANIMALS, myself and fellow hunters love and care more for animals and the lands than any self proclaimed animal lover, If you need proof, look at the amount of time effort and money spent on conservation by the hunting community. Life isn’t all sunshine, rainbows and fairies. Bottom line, in death there is life. If Christ did not die for us, we would not have life or the chance at eternal life. That is a fact.

About Jason Reid
Jason Reid is a writer and business professional from upstate New York. After deciding to pursue his dream of becoming an outdoor writer, Jason started a blog from his dorm room at Houghton College, growing it and working hard to earn opportunities. While bowhunting big game is his ultimate passion, Jason welcomes all outdoor challenges which force him to push his limits. Jason's work can be viewed on his website Pushingthewildlimits.com

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Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson
5 years ago

Quite a nice article Jason. I understand where you are coming from as I’ve taken over sixty deer and 25 elk here in Montana. But next time you write an article to be published, I suggest you have it proofread. For example(s): You write in the first paragraph “Many exchanges Plural)… then then say ends (singular)…should be end.” You also write in the first paragraph of your letter to Mrs. B “These intimate moments connect you (should be us). When you say you, I assume you are referring to Mrs. B. I’m sure she absolutely does not relate to you… Read more »

mike
mike
5 years ago

lets be real hunting is a privilege as is driving and many other things in this world; however after 30 plus years of hunting this is the least successful I have ever had . Why I ask house cats the roman free kill quail ,baby rabbits ; song birds etc… My 2 trained bird dogs haven t found a covey all season. But anti hunters let their cats go free. Lets talk about their dogs one farm next to one I lease is a shelter for dogs, they have no kennels and I have seen the remains of deer bones… Read more »

mikeb302000
mikeb302000
5 years ago

Jason, thanks for trotting out all the standard justifications for hunting. The part you left out was the blood lust you and other hunters enjoy. The killing of another, as you put it, highly intelligent being, is the thrill. Of course you white-washed it with all that nonsense about a chess game.

Killing of animals is a sick business, and although it may be more “humane that Mother Nature itself, it’s still a bloody and violent business in which you relish.

We often discuss this on my blog. In fact I’ll make a post about your religiously inspired trophy.

http://mikeb302000.blogspot.it/

dennis
dennis
5 years ago

Nice job Jason & a nice deer. You are so right. REAL hunters care way more about wildlife than non hunters ever even thought of. When we score we are humble in what we have done. Dennis

freewill
freewill
5 years ago

well I hunt for food only. every thing dies sooner or later. 4 legged predators are vicious and have no mercy. I have no need for the horns. a big old deer is to tough to eat. i prefer the younger ones so “all” the meat is consumed.

JeffH
JeffH
5 years ago

Jason, kudos for taking the time and patience to respond thoughtfully and intelligently.

Dan Pagel
Dan Pagel
5 years ago

You guys don’t understand.. Chicken breasts are born in styrofoam packaging. When the styrofoam changes from black to white, the breasts are ripe and ready to consume like an apple.

Jason,
Nicely put and explained… As mentioned, chances are she won’t understand until she hits a deer with her car.. Maybe with that action and your words, she might consider hunting herself. I just hope the deer that she hits doesn’t hurt anyone in the car and it dies quickly.

Gene Galitz
Gene Galitz
5 years ago

Congrats on a job well done! You do our hunting community a great service by such a reply, one that might just convince non hunters that we’re not so bad after all.

durabo
durabo
5 years ago

Jason, just ask Mrs. B. whether she is an omnivore. If so, she’s a bloody hypocrite! Also, suggest she look up treatises on CARRYING CAPACITY of a un.it of land

John
John
5 years ago

Jason, well expressed. For people such as Mrs. B, I generally ask if they enjoy a good steak or ham. Encourage them to visit the “kill floor” at a nearby meat processor and watch what takes place. They will see trapped, helpless animals with no chance for escape. These animals are raised to be slaughtered so that we may live. In a kind way you can add, “I took the animal I chose. I did not hire someone to just kill it for me. Is there really any difference?”

John
John
5 years ago

Jason, very well done,and your right they won’t ever get it,they do not sit in a stand hours on end watching the natural world unfold around them or endure the freezing rain waiting for a flight of mallards to lock onto the decoys, they will never empty a gun on a rooster and never touch a feather. We know the sacred calling……..I feel sorry for them.