What do they mean by Fair Chase?: Where ever you go in the hunting or fishing community you will always run into people who love to tell you about they feel should or shouldn’t be done when it comes to catch and release or catch and kill. For example an argument that I often run into with my crowd of friends is: I would only every shoot a deer or elk with a bow and when asked why they would state “well I feel like a high-powered rifle is a little like cheating, and with the bow I actually have to stalk these deer and get close enough to ethically be able to shoot at them. It requires a more of a skill set.” . Even though I can see the validity in that statement. It lead me to investigate what other’s stances are on the subject. So for definition: as defined by the Boone and Crockett Club, is the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the game animals. As to what Boone and Crockett is, that is a post for another day.
Why is it controversial: With all the added technology in today’s world and the increased interest that people have with hunting and fishing the species that we love to hunt are at risk of becoming endangered. When tags are given out for population control it is under the assumption that only a certain percentage of those tags will actually be filled. However with devices like trail cams and drones ( which drone, in my understanding, are illegal to use while big game hunting) the guessing work is out of the picture you can literally scout an area by having your trail cam shoot you a text of when a huge elk has crossed into your hunting area or fly a drone over miles of land without actually having to put in the leg work to scout and find tracks and signs of these animals.
The other side of the argument: A lot of people who argue for the use of these devices state that well instead of banning these devices why don’t we just give out fewer tags and it will reduce the amount of game that is killed.
What you can do: A big part of this debate sits within hunting ethics. In the early 1900’s President Theodore Roosevelt popularized and prioritized the idea of hunting ethics and conservation. With the ideologies that no one else is going to look out for these lands so we have too. Not everyone has the same beliefs and sense of connection to the wild lands we love to hunt and explore and no amount of debate will get them to see things the way you do, so you have to lead by example. Do your part in cleaning up the messes of others by educating people who may not know and follow fair chase hunting ethics to give these animals a fighting chance of being able to continue to thrive in a world where humans are continually encroaching on their space.
-I would love to read any articles or thoughts you may have on the subjects!
-Thanks for stopping by!