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I may lose a few friends over this one. It’s a hot topic with many folks. Fences. High fences, low fences no fences. Hunting within the confines of a fenced area. Is it ethical? Depends on who you visit with. Many hard core public land d.i.y. hunters will tell you, "Absolutely not! True free range is the ONLY pursuit that’s fair and ethical." The deer farmer will tell you that there is no disgrace in hunting an animal behind an 8-foot fence. The low fence guy, well he’s proud of the fact that his herd can slip over to the neighbor and back again as they please. I have hunted on occasion all three areas, but not before some careful thought and reasoning.
Back in 2010 I suffered an injury that would keep me on crutches and a walker for a year and a half. 7 surgeries and 42 skin graphs. Locked up in the house, with the exception of hospital and doctor visits for well over a year. I didn’t care who thought what of me when I finally had an opportunity to climb back in a stand, even though it was on a high fence place. I had a ton of medical apparatus in tow, but made it up the ladder and into the blind on that cold December morning. The fine, tall 8 point that I put down that day hangs on my wall, and I am as proud of him as any spot and stalk, low fence/no fence big country critter that I’ve ever hunted. Even though I had a clear medical reason for hunting behind a fence, I still needed more before feeling totally comfortable with it.
God gave me the answer, as He always does, in the book of Genesis. He was speaking to Noah, and laying out how things would be after the great flood. God told Noah in Chapter 9, Vs 2-3,
2 “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; and into your hand are they delivered.”
3 “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”
Notice the Lord never said “except those behind a fence” or “no fish from a small farm pond” or under any other conditions. That is good enough for me. If its okay with God, then its good with me.
Ethics do come in to play. He also gave us a conscience, and when He placed us above the animals, fowl and fish, as he showed Noah when he cared for the critters 2 X 2 on the ark, we are to care for them. America has been the worldwide leader in that conservation effort for the past 100 years. It is that God given ability to think, that allows us to make our own decisions. Problem is, after we have sorted it out and decided what is ethical hunting for ourselves, we often want to frown upon other methods and the folks that take part in them. Example: We've all heard the age-old arguments between bow hunters and rifle hunters.
Figure it out for yourself. Is it legal? Will it bother me to harvest an animal on fenced property, be it 300 acres or 300,000? Do I believe that God exists? Do I believe what He said in his word?
Once you work it out, get out. Go and be in the woods. If you have to stop and unlock the gate on the way in, more power to you! If you pack your way into the National Forest for a day and a half, excellent! Ya’ll grill your backstraps up side by side. They're gonna taste the same cause God Himself made them each and said put them on the dinner table.
By Billy Kinder
DSC Life Member
Owner - Kinder Productions, Inc.
Host - Kinder Outdoors-SiriusXM
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July 28, 2022