Is Hunting a Legitimate Sport?

MuleDeerTupperAnselBlakeUSFWSpubicdomainThere are those who claim that we don’t need to hunt animals. Others claim hunting is not a sport because the humans benefit from taking a trophy animal or for meat. If hunting animals is not a sport due to the human benefit then many other activities are not sports also.

There is no reason that people cannot benefit from an activity and still have it considered a sport, much as running benefits health benefits and is considered a sport. There are many more deer hit and killed by cars, randomly without regard to if it is a doe with fawns to support, than a hunter.

There are many views to what is and isn’t sport. Hunting does take activity, preparation, fitness, etc. – much more so than poker for example. NASCAR developed from running moonshine – since we don’t do that anymore should NASCAR be tossed also? Eh while it’s at that point fencing and 3Day and other Olympic sports are no longer viable. The fact is it takes skill to go on a successful hunt.

It takes skill to track an animal and be it a strictly for food kill or one for food and a trophy it is a decision of the hunter as to what to hunt for. Many criticize people don’t eat it and there’s just as many that DO eat it.

I know someone who does hunt for “trophy” animals – he goes out in the wilderness and hunts with a bow, and for every animal he gets he not only passes on MANY but those many are photographed and filmed so others can enjoy them. He bought a large plot of land not to live on but as a protected deer area…where he might take one or two of hundreds that feed on his land…hundreds that have a protected area to eat because of those two. This is a man who hiked three miles into the Alaskan wilderness, with a bow shot a 1600 pound moose, packed every bit of meat as well as the antlers and hide 3 miles back out on backpack. That kind of thing doesn’t happen sitting on a couch watching the outdoor channel and I challenge anyone to match fitness with him in that situation!

If there wasn’t food at the fast food window…would it be ok then to hunt? Everyone I’ve talked to that hunts trophy deer yes gets the taxidermy done – but also uses the meat from those deer! It doesn’t get left in the field. But *if* it did it then feeds other wildlife, perhaps the ones nursing an injury that cannot pull down a meal on their own. We sitting at home instead of in the field don’t see these things.

There is nothing wrong with hunting for meat or for trophy. Using the food makes more sense to me but I’d sure sit down to some venison before a veggie burger – and yes have had both. I’ve had antelope, bison, elk and deer and prepared properly it’s quite tasty. For those who live a mile from the grocery store it’s hard to see or comprehend why everyone doesn’t just buy at the store. For those living 20-30 miles from town or more – and especially those who willingly or not feed the wildlife – there’s no reason a few can’t become dinner, whether they’re “trophy” animals or not.

Over grazing and starving to death is not pleasant – hunting keeps the herds in check. Until you’ve seen 100 head of deer grazing in an alfalfa field (which I did – just west of Peoria IL actually) you cannot fathom the amount they eat even at 10# per head let alone 20-30# per day. That can be a ton or more of feed per day! And if they hit a corn field…well are you willing to go hungry to support 100 head of deer? Even eliminating half of them will not wipe out the population and wildlife management doesn’t eliminate half.

An Ethical Meal: Grey Squirrel

By : Aadrian Padeanu

Let us face it; it tastes sweet, like a cross between a duck and lamb. The squirrel meat is low in fat as well as low in food miles and most important, free range. In fact, many people affirm that the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is just about as ethical as any other meat. Sales figures consolidate this statement as butchers affirm that they are selling squirrel meat like cup cakes. The grey squirrel is the American cousin of Great Britain’s endangered red variety which are becoming more and more a rarity nowadays.

Back to the grey squirrel, at Ridely’s Fish & Game, a shop located in Corbridge, Northumberland, the owner David Ridley recently stated that he sold 1,000 at £3.50 a squirrel in just a few months. “I wasn’t sure at first, and wondered would people really eat it. Now I take every squirrel I can get my hands on. I’ve had days when I have managed to get 60 and they’ve all sold straight away.”

Regarding the taste of the meat, he said, “It’s moist and sweet because, basically, its diet has been berries and nuts”. Many people believe that this increasing popularity is due to its green credentials. David Simpson, the director of Kingsley Village shopping centre in Fraddon, Cornwall said that “people like the fact it is wild meat, low in fat and local – so no food miles” while Ridley was patriotic, saying that “Eat a grey and save a red. That’s the message”.

Jay Rayner who is The Observer’s restaurant critic affirmed that he never ate squirrel meat but if he would have it for dinner in the future, “it would have to be a big, fat country squirrel and not one of the mangy urban ones you see in cities”. “People may say they are buying it because it’s green and environmentally friendly, but really they’re doing it out of curiosity and because of the novelty value. If they can say, “Darling, tonight we’re having squirrel”, then that takes care of the first 30 minutes of any dinner party conversation. I see it remaining a niche. There’s not much meat on a squirrel, so I’d be surprised if farming squirrel takes off anywhere some time soon.”

Kevin Viner who is the former chef-proprietor of Pennypots (the first Michelin-starred restaurant in Cornwall), now runs Viners bar and restaurant at Summercourt, said that eating squirrel meat will still remain a niche but the room to expand is available as Britain has a plentiful supply of meat with more than 5 million squirrels spread. Kevin stated, “A large squirrel would be enough for one-and-a-half people. The public really are being drawn to it. I think that it’s because it is being perceived as a healthy meat. Southern fried squirrel is good. And tandoori style works. It is especially tasty fricasséed with Cornish cream and walnuts. But the one everyone seems to like is the Cornish squirrel pasty.”

The fact is that the squirrel meat is becoming more and more popular among households and you can see this from the numerous squirrel recipes available on the Internet. We do not know if it will remain a niche market or not, all we do know is that the meat is great and there are no potential risks as some people recently stated. We are not trying to convince anyone to eat or do not eat squirrel meat, this was just a brief presentation of the status of the grey squirrel meat.

Author Resource:- Squirrel recipes can be found at, where dinner solutions can be accessed through the squirrel recipes book.
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