The other day I was watching another one of the Alaskan reality shows. Three guys were hunting moose. One of the old homesteaders made the comment...."I believe in fair chase, I don't even use calls." That comment kinda grabbed me as I must admit that I've never considered calling moose as "non" fair chase. But it got me to thinking what does fair chase actually mean?
FAIR CHASE, as defined by the Boone and Crockett Club, is the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.
Another organization, the IHEA (International Hunter Education Association) claims it as:
Fair chase balances the skills and equipment of the hunter with the abilities of the animal to escape.
So I'd have to believe that there are probably quite a few definitions of what fair chase actually is and this will vary from person to person, organization to organization.
Having only a spear or stick and string for countless generations, I would think that the native Americans would epitomize the essence of fair chase when trying to kill for food. But from some of the stories I've read, even some of their tricky tactics might be viewed as "non" fair chase to some these days.
From what I've read, the term "fair chase" is very controversial. For example, one of the biggest controversies being bear baiting. A large portion of the hunting population says that it goes against the ethics of fair chase.
I would have to say that imo, with the invention of the firearm, when it came to killing an animal, a large part of "fair chase" got thrown right out the window....if you know what I mean. And I know a few "purist" bow hunters that might tend to agree with me there.
I don't know if I've ever really sat down and asked myself what it means to me, but in thinking about it, I'd have to say that I've just thought of fair chase as hunting an animal that is not confined in any way, and does in fact have the option of hiding, flying, swimming, or running away if it so desires.
So, if you believe in, and consider yourself an advocate of fair chase, if you had to define it, what would your own personal definition be?
Thanks for your input.....