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Let's cease with the Harvest

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  • Let's cease with the Harvest

    Please,

    Thirty and more years ago the animal rights fanatics were on the ascendance, and like England had attempted its appeasement of the Third Reich, hunters and wildlife managers attempted appeasement of the anti-hunters. Hunters and wildlife managers, almost to a man, began to use the word harvest to describe the taking, the killing of an animal. Wildlife managers were almost exclusively male then, whereas now the personnel of the profession are much more diverse, and wildlife managers were mostly hunters, whereas now in some agencies wildlifers who hunt are in the distinct minority; times change, sometimes for the better and other times not.

    The use of the word harvest to describe the killing of an animal has spread throughout the wildlifers’ world, and the original reason for its use has failed utterly and, worse, it has carried unintended consequences into hunters’ ranks. The use of the word harvest to soften the effect of the killing of a deer or elk has not reduced one whit the antipathy of those to whom the killing of an animal is anathema. Unfortunately, it has also contributed to the denigration of the prey that hunters hold so dear.

    When wildlife managers have done their jobs properly, there is indeed a harvestable surplus of a population of game animals. There are more deer than the habitat can support without detrimental effects on the habitat that will reduce its future carrying capacity and so there is some surplus of animals that may be removed by hunters to benefit individual people while at the same time benefiting the game population as a whole. Just because there is a harvestable surplus does not begin to suggest that individual animals are harvested.

    Bucks and bulls are stalked and killed by hunters. They are not merely uprooted and the tops lopped off as are beets and broccoli. Little is as disgusting to the hunters who appreciate their prey than the mental image of a person who says, “I harvested amoose.” Images of somebody wearing overalls, perhaps with an elbow of their shirt worn through, carrying a scythe and whisking it through the neck of a bull elk somehow rooted by its hooves arise unbidden when some fool says the “harvested” a game animal. Such words and the images they evoke properly describe the treatment of a vegetable that is produced, exists, and is killed solely for man’s benefit. We don’t even use such derogatory language to describe our relationship with cattle, sheep, or other beasts raised solely to end up on someone’s table, so why do we tolerate it when it is used to describe a wild animal that exists for itself and is no less the product of natural selection than the predators, including man, that it must elude to maintain its life.

    Indeed, let us maintain the aptly descriptive “harvestable surplus” when discussing animal and fish populations in the generic sense, for it is fully substitutable with the equally descriptive and accurate “removable surplus.” Let us cease, though, denigrating those individual animals that form the hunters’ sacred prey by lying to ourselves and others about harvesting them as if rams were rutabagas. No matter what innocuous (and erroneous) words we might employ to hide the fact from anti-hunters, they are not fooled into believing that somehow the animal did not die, and the anti-hunters will never condone an action against which they are so committed, no matter how illogically. Let us instead recognize the wildness of the animals which we hunt, and let us honor them by being honest about our interactions with them. We, as hunters, will attempt to find individual animals of the population and to kill them in as humane a manner as possible, and we, as wildlife managers, will continue to produce the removable surpluses that biologically permit hunters to pursue their prey.

    Should someone who is unable to distinguish between a bear and a bean or a caribou and a carrot use the honorable name of hunter? Bears and caribou are hunted and killed; beans and carrots are planted and harvested. Let us clean up our language.

    Slightly sorry for the rant, but the devil made me do it.
    He fears his fate too much or his desserts are small who fears on just one touch to win or lose it all.

  • #2
    A thought......

    And it is just that, a thought.

    Perhaps in another light, the term harvest is meant to encompass more than just the actual killing of the animal (ie the planning, the setup, the stalk, the spook in my case, and the chase.) In your reference to the farmer uprooting vegtebles out of his garden, "harvest" seems to me to signify the gathering of resources that were hard-fought to be had. Much akin to the planning and stratagizing(sp?) of a hunt. The harvest is not a moment in time, perhaps, but more the result of hours of tireless work and planning, both in the hunting realm, and also in the agricultural areana as well. Perhaps it can add that dimention of time that is not portrayed when someone says "I killed a moose yesterday."

    Again, just my .02

    Cheers!

    Jake

    Comment


    • #3
      harvest

      Rupert,

      We will need to get with ADF&G to change as well. They will need to re-name "Harvest ticket" to something else. Any suggestions? I think way too many people get hung up on being politically correct and need to just boil things down to common sense language.

      I think by saying "I harvested an animal" gives the animal more respect than "I whacked a moose" or "I killed a bear". By saying "Harvested" it implies a sense of benefit from the act. I not only killed an animal, but I dressed it, I obtained the edible meat and am going to enjoy the bounty of food it will provide for me and my family for a good length of time. There is a little more of a personal aspect to it rather than the simple predator vs. prey scenario.

      Anyway.....my $.02
      AKmud
      sigpic


      The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

      Comment


      • #4
        I partially agree

        "I think by saying "I harvested an animal" gives the animal more respect than "I whacked a moose" or "I killed a bear"."

        I agrre that saying "I whacked a moose" (as I have done on occasion, especially when recalling the sound of the bullet's strike) isn't very respectful of the animal that I killed.

        I disagree that saying "I killed a bear" is disrespectful; I see it as simple semantic honesty.

        AKxxxs, you've both made some good points, and ones that I'll ponder.

        AKanders, I do wish I could find the words to explain fully why I disagree with comparing the activities that lead up to harvesting a crop with those activities I engage in when preparing for a hunt. To me, the tilling of the soil, the planting, the fertilizing, weeding, and so forth leading to harvest are fundamentally different from my hunting preparations. In agriculture, the farmer is cajoling the earth to yield something that wouldn't otherwise be there without the farmers efforts. In hunting, I'm taking something that would be there with or without my activities (and, yes, I'm excluding game farming from hunting)and I hope I am doing it without damaging the land's ability to continue to produce wildlife. I freely admit that there is a gray area when considering habitat rehab efforts and the like, but I still see a difference.
        He fears his fate too much or his desserts are small who fears on just one touch to win or lose it all.

        Comment


        • #5
          Webster seems to disagree with you......

          Main Entry: harvest
          Function: verb
          transitive verb
          1 a : to gather in (a crop) : REAP b : to gather, catch, hunt, or kill (as salmon, oysters, or deer) for human use, sport, or population control c : to remove or extract (as living cells, tissues, or organs) from culture or from a living or recently deceased body especially for transplanting
          2 a : to accumulate a store of <has now harvested this new generation's scholarly labors -- M. J. Wiener> b : to win by achievement <the team harvested several awards>
          intransitive verb : to gather in a crop especially for food
          - har·vest·able /-v&-st&-b&l/ adjective
          - har·vest·er noun
          Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by AKmud View Post
            Rupert,

            We will need to get with ADF&G to change as well. They will need to re-name "Harvest ticket" to something else. Any suggestions? I think way too many people get hung up on being politically correct and need to just boil things down to common sense language.

            I think by saying "I harvested an animal" gives the animal more respect than "I whacked a moose" or "I killed a bear". By saying "Harvested" it implies a sense of benefit from the act. I not only killed an animal, but I dressed it, I obtained the edible meat and am going to enjoy the bounty of food it will provide for me and my family for a good length of time. There is a little more of a personal aspect to it rather than the simple predator vs. prey scenario.

            Anyway.....my $.02
            What benefit do you get, mud, from killing a griz........assuming you don't eat it?
            I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
            I have less friends now!!

            Comment


            • #7
              I kill animals. Pretty simple.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm with you RB, I have always detested the use of the word "harvest" when it has been applied to wildlife of any kind or number taken.
                Dan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nothing wrong with using a word in it's proper context. It is proper, therefore the problem lies elsewhere.

                  To detest, or hate the use of the term 'harvest' is silly at best.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    none, other than a hide

                    Originally posted by martentrapper View Post
                    What benefit do you get, mud, from killing a griz........assuming you don't eat it?

                    I don't hunt griz (cause I don't eat em) Black bear on the other hand.....yummy.
                    AKmud
                    sigpic


                    The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yummy?

                      Is black bear good? ive been debating with myself whether or not to take a bear, mainly because i don't know of I want to eat one or not.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Cease with the harvest?

                        What's in a name?

                        I would liken the use of such, to the mounting of a deer carcass on the fender of the old ford and driving back into town.
                        I would not partake in such, nor do I condone such acts.
                        If the word "harvest" infers respect to the game animal I have taken under the rulse of fair chase, then so be it.
                        If the word makes hunting more palatable to those not educated in such matters, then so be it.
                        By my actions as a hunter, it is not my intent to interfere with others, or the way of life they have grown up to. By the same token, I do not expect them to infringe on my way of life.
                        The animals I take, are pursued by the rules of fair chase. The
                        bounty they provide is never wasted or squandered. They are neither lead, bound nor restrained as are domestic animals slaughtered every day.(Many of which wind up on the supper plates of anti-hunters).
                        I have hunted since old enough to go with my father. The first crisp fall morning each year signals it is time to take to the field in search of game
                        for the winters larder. Each hunting season brings rewarding experiences.
                        Even those that produced no wild game for the table, are recalled and savoured as time well spent in the field, enjoying what every true hunter
                        cherishs. That is the freedom to pursue tradition and a way of life that has sustained nations developed from frontiers, for longer than those nations are themselves old.
                        It is well known fact that hunters and fishermen contribute more time and money to the enhancement and preservation of fish and wild life
                        than any other group, yet little is recognized by the anti's of the world.
                        It appears to be a one way looking glass, contrived by a group to support their efforts to erode the freedoms of another.

                        In closing, I wish the best of experiences for your season, and the warmth
                        of a good campfire to share them over.

                        Good hunting.

                        JWB

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What do we call this.

                          When you rip the head of lettuce, take a artichokes heart and eat it, Tear off some poor defenseless corn's ear's. Man they are gonna have to rewrite all the books. Call it what you want but just get the meat in the freezer and enjoy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JWB View Post
                            What's in a name?

                            I would liken the use of such, to the mounting of a deer carcass on the fender of the old ford and driving back into town.
                            I would not partake in such, nor do I condone such acts.
                            Are you saying that we as hunters have to hide in shame for killing, harvesting animals?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AlleninAlaska View Post
                              Are you saying that we as hunters have to hide in shame for killing, harvesting animals?
                              Hide in shame?.......No, not at all.

                              Such displays of hunting activities only serve only to inflame those who would use such, to further their ends to stop all forms of legal hunting. They readily point to same, brandishing descriptives such as crude, vulgar, etc. The aim of which is intended to garner more support in their direction, mostly from the uninformed opinion of urbanites who have grown up in the "Bambi" world projected today. They are often quite effective with this tactic.
                              Quite simply, I feel it is better not to hand them the gas to start these kinds of uninformed wild fires.
                              If you hand your executioner the ammunition, he most certainly will shoot you with it.
                              Give your head a shake, we don't live in the 1940's anymore.

                              Comment

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