Social Question

mazingerz88's avatar

Is there a way to enjoy a hunting trip without killing animals?

Asked by mazingerz88 (26232points) June 8th, 2011

It’s a fairly stupid question I know. But I pretty much still want to hear people’s thoughts about it. I would love to learn about making my way in the woods and wait and stalk an animal while holding a gun. The question is would I shoot though? I’m ok with anyone convincing me to just do it and stop being a ninny. Maybe there is an answer out there that would make me pull the trigger without doubting myself. ( Not that I would hit any target really. )

To animal lovers, please be gentle with your posts.

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43 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Why can’t you go into the woods and enjoy a wilderness experience without planning to kill anything. Take a camera instead of a gun.

Seek's avatar

Why not shoot them with a camera?

TexasDude's avatar

Try wildlife photography. If you don’t know how to shoot and don’t think you would be able to shoot an animal, you are probably more likely to miss entirely or to not make a clean kill in which case you’d have to follow its blood trail as it limped away howling in agony, which I’m sure you wouldn’t want to deal with.

If you really want to go hunting, have an experienced hunter take you on one of their trips and watch what they do. Have them let you take a shot if they think you’re ready. Otherwise, wildlife photography would probably be a better option for you.

*I’m speaking as both a wildlife photographer and occasional hunter.

Mariah's avatar

@marinelife had a good idea with the camera. If you want to learn about being sneaky, try to hide in wait for an animal to “shoot” – with your camera.

Edit: ninja’d on the answer, ninja’d on the pun…dammit.

Plucky's avatar

I’m not sure you can hunt them without um killing them. As @marinelife and @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard suggested may be the way to go.

…and the others that suggested photography ..too many posting simultaneously :P

KateTheGreat's avatar

Hahahahaha. Unless you really want to be at one with nature and you’re into meditating or taking pictures, there really isn’t much more to do on a hunting trip. Hunting is actually a lot of fun. I love the thrill of the hunt.

To be honest, there are plenty of animals out there. Most of the generic animals that are hunted are overpopulated. Also, you’re saving money on food. It’s fantastic.

tinyfaery's avatar

Can’t you try paintball instead? There are very elaborate set-ups you can go to. You can even be on a team.

Blackberry's avatar

Hunt them, but don’t kill them?

incendiary_dan's avatar

Making sure you know how to process an animal correctly does a lot to dispel some of that nervousness.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Or you can just shoot them with tranquilizer darts! Might get a little expensive though.

Seek's avatar

@incendiary_dan True, but it always smells bad.

And blood stains are a pain.

Venison is yummy, though.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Blackberry You do it with women don’t you? LOL.

mazingerz88's avatar

Guys all your responses are great. You’re such good friends. Thanks.

I would not mind @KatetheGreat and @Mariah hunting me down with tranquilizer darts. It’s what they do with me afterwards that I’m excited about. LOL.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@tinyfaery and @KatetheGreat Shooting wild animals with tranquilizers and paintballs is generally considered harassment of wildlife. Tranquilizers can only be used by qualified wildlife biologists that have been issued special permits in this state.

The penalties for harassing wildlife can be more severe than the penalties for poaching. I wish that was not the case, but it is.

In response to the OP, not bringing home meat would defeat the main purpose of my hunting. Like others have suggested, you should do your hunting with a camera until you are both proficient enough and willing to quickly kill your game.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I dunno, smaller animals, in my experience, aren’t so bad. The two deer I’ve done were smelly, but that was mostly the older one.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@WestRiverrat I was obviously kidding.

Plucky's avatar

@WestRiverrat I think @tinyfaery meant human paintball. And that @KatetheGreat was, uh yeah, what they just said.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@KatetheGreat There are enough people out there that have seriously proposed both, that it needs to be addressed when it comes up.

Plucky's avatar

@WestRiverrat People actually proposed doing so? Wow.

Seek's avatar


Ah. My only game experience is with deer and fish. Both stink to the high heavens.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

If you kill it you have to dress it….
I would take a camera and go hiking.You can stalk animals ans “shoot” then that way.It is alot of fun:)

KateTheGreat's avatar

@WestRiverrat True, but I like to think there aren’t people that would actually do that on this website. I’m glad you do care enough about the animals to speak up though.

bobbinhood's avatar

If you want to enjoy an actual hunting trip without doing the killing, just go with someone else that will shoot the game. I’ve gone on many hunting trips with my dad where he was the only one with a license, and I enjoyed each of them. While I also enjoy being the hunter, it’s often just as much fun to tag along with someone else.

If you are at all considering doing any of your own shooting, please, please master your weapon before you step foot in the woods. It is extremely irresponsible to fire at an animal if you are not completely sure of your ability to hit your target. Wounding an animal is highly inappropriate. Understand that you don’t just want to be a decent shot at the range, because the adrenaline rush when you’re actually hunting can mess with your accuracy a bit. If you’re not an excellent shot on the range, you have no business firing at an animal. Also, even if you are an excellent shot with a reliable weapon, you should always take a day to sight it in before you set out; you don’t want to risk something being off.

crisw's avatar

Learn to hunt wild mushrooms and harvest wild plants. Stalking the wily Lactarius rufulus or Agaricus campestris gets you fed but doesn’t cause any pain.

And good wildlife photography takes much more skill than killing an animal with a gun. Plus, you can do it all year round, you can do it to endangered species and in national parks, etc. and there are no bag limits or licenses required. You don’t have to destroy a sentient being in order to experience the thrill of the chase.

Seek's avatar

^^ Legal mumbo jumbo follows:

Only go mushroom hunting with a skilled mushroom hunter. You don’t want to be on dialysis for the rest of your life because you forgot whether it was ribs or no ribs that was good foryou.

YoBob's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr and @incendiary_dan – It has been my experience with the dozens of deer I have harvested in my life that most aren’t stinky as long as you avoid puncturing the stomach. A nice heart/lung shot followed by a “surgical” butchering that does not rupture the stomach or intestines leaves behind excellent quality meat that smells like… well…. good meat.

I generally contend that when people complain that wild harvested venison tasting “gamey” is more of a result of improper field care than of any inherent quality of the deer.

bobbinhood's avatar

@YoBob I concur. The only smelly deer I ever dressed was very, very sick. I’ve also never punctured the stomach since my father always warned me how important it was to avoid it.

As for gaminess, I will say that where you hunt makes a difference. The diet of the animal affects the flavor of the meat. Deer that live primarily on sage do tend to taste gamey.

YoBob's avatar

@bobbinhood – Quite true about the diet. I have the good fortune of hunting in North Texas where the deer eat native grass, acorns, and of course, a bit of supplemental corn. However, I can quite understand how a diet heavy on sage could change the flavor quite a bit.

tinyfaery's avatar

@WestRiverrat I meant paintball with people. It’s the same principle. I would never suggest hitting an animal with a paintball.

majorrich's avatar

There are scopes that are modified with camera innards and can be triggered by the trigger of the modified rifle on which it is mounted. No BOOM though, not as satisfying.

Rarebear's avatar

Why not just be a bad shot?

mazingerz88's avatar

@Rarebear Yes, but I don’t think guns and being a bad shot should go together. I’m thinking of just shooting targets in a range and in the shape of animals. Lol. : )

LuckyGuy's avatar

You can go and “never see anything”. That happens quite frequently. By far, the best part of going is the social aspect – heart-to-heart conversations, getting away from work, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.
No one will ever make you pull the trigger. Only you will know what you saw through the scope.
I did that for years with my father in law. Bonding.

Rarebear's avatar

@mazingerz88 Neither do I. The other thing you could do is shoot blanks.

crisw's avatar


That works!

As far as the mushroom hunting; there are some species that are perfectly recognizable and safe for beginners to harvest. I agree that you should never consume any mushroom when you aren’t 100% sure of its identification!

Blueroses's avatar

@mazingerz88 Do you have friends who do hunt? Can you go target shooting with them and tag along on a hunting trip? If you really want the experience, you should go with some experienced people. I often go on hunting expeditions and don’t shoot anything. I really enjoy the hike and the art of the stalk more than taking a shot myself.

Cruiser's avatar

Most definitely! I went coon “hunting” with my uncle who lived in Missouri and we went out at night with the coon hounds and let them loose in the woods! It was amazing to hike through those woods on a moonlit night with the bay of the hounds off in the distance. They would tree a coon…get a treat and off we would go in search of another!

El_Cadejo's avatar

As others have already said go hunting and shoot the animals with your camera. I do that occasionally. Its cool to try and track animals and such and then just take their picture and let them scamper off back into the woods.

augustlan's avatar

Long after my husband gave up killing animals because he didn’t like doing it, he still went ‘hunting’ with his grandfather. He’d always claim he hadn’t spotted anything in time to shoot it. He still enjoyed the time with his favorite relative and being in the wilderness.

I think the “shoot at a firing range and take pictures of the animals” strategy is the way to go.

markylit's avatar

Yeah. I went with a friend who loves hunting. He was busy trying to get an elk while I was busy getting pictures of the foliage and the beautiful landscape.

ucme's avatar

I’ve no desire whatsoever to kill an animal. As has already been said, take a camera…it’s cleaner that way.

buster's avatar

Hunting is about killing animals but you can go hunting stay in a cabin, run through the woods after your coon dogs all excited and just have an excuse to get out in nature and get drunk and enjoy that without actuallykilling anything. A lot of men find it a good reason to get away from there women so they enjoy that more than actually killing something.

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