This time of year my thoughts start to turn towards the upcoming hunting seasons and preparing myself and my gear for the rigors that lay ahead. This is also the same time many people consider entering their names in the drawing for tags for the upcoming Elk season.
This year I really find myself struggling with the thoughts of more Pa Elk being killed and people calling it hunting. Being a life long hunter, I realize the fact that what I do is not animal friendly, but I pride myself in hunting in what I consider an ethical manner. When I think about hunting elk in Pa I can’t help but wonder if it is actually ethical to do so.
My main sticking point is that unlike whitetail, Pa elk are so used to being around people that they don’t know enough to try to hide and protect themselves. With very few exceptions, every encounter I have had with an elk in Pa’s woods ends with either me walking away after having all the time in the world to photograph it from every angle or the elk calmly walking away searching for food as if nothing was disturbing about me being there.
Shooting one of these animals would be no different than going to a deer ranch or high fence farm and picking out your buck, paying the owner, and dropping it from a heated tower blind while sitting in a Lazy Boy! Where is the sport in shooting an animal you could pretty much walk up to and pet?
I just don’t buy that it is good for the herd to have some thinned out. Like 800 elk is somehow too many and they need to be thinned out.
Maybe I am getting soft, or maybe I just don’t understand the sport in hunting Pa elk, but as it is now I just don’t see it as ethical! What about you? Feel free to share your comments as I value your opinions as well.