Fox Hunting is Evil and Useless

I am a deer hunter.  Deer hunting, like duck hunting, turkey hunting, and other game has a primary purpose: putting food on the table.  One of the rules you’ll find with game hunting, regardless of the state it is conducted in, is that the kill should be swift and humane.  This mirrors that way farm animals are slaughtered.  If you saw the movie, “No Country for Old Men,” that nasty pneumatic device that Javier Bardem’s character carried around and killed people with, is used to slaughter cattle.  Touch the device to the cow’s head, push a button, cow dies without suffering.

Enter fox hunting.  I was out hunting for deer to donate to a local charity when all of the sudden, the buck I was stalking comes flying by my stand followed by a pack of dogs.  On one end of the field, I hear a man yelling as if he was berserk.  On the other end of the field were men in red coats, white riding breeches, black riding helmets and boots. They were riding pristine white horses.  Trumpets were blaring.  The dogs were running all over the place, urinating on the deer runs, and scaring off every animal from the site to include squirrels.  Even five hours later, not a single animal returned.  My friend that owns the land said that the deer had scampered off into the woods and were huddled together in a most uncharacteristic way, as if they were terrified.  What was the objective of this “hunt” where the “hunters” outnumbered the foxes 20 or 30 to one, not including the dogs?  They simply wanted to chase a fox, an animal with nothing to contribute as far as food is concerned, to the point where its heart was about to burst.  The elitist asses that participate in the “sport” are flaunting their wealth and their self-assumed positions of superiority.  Their pretty white horses and their starched white breeches come back as clean as they left.  They leave for their “sport” in the middle of the day when it is warm and return to their clubs for high tea.  These people have few skills apart from being able to ride horses without getting mud splashed on their knickers.  They pay others to groom their horses and train their dogs.  Their “hunting” gear could easily cost $20,000-$30,000 per “hunter.”  Fox hunting came to the U.S. and other nations from the U.K.  In the U.K., fox hunting is considered to be so cruel and savage that it has been banned since 2005.

Game hunters, on the other hand, rise before dawn in the cold winter weather. We climb into tree stands or sit in duck blinds patiently waiting for hours until our quarry comes along. In the 10 1/2 months where we cannot hunt, we go to archery and rifle ranges, and gun clubs to perfect our art so we can kill our prey swiftly and efficiently. We wear heavy hunting clothes and boots and we come home far dirtier than when we left.  We make sure to leave the hunting grounds in better shape than when we arrived. Our rifles and bows are purchased at sporting goods and department stores.  Most hunters I know have spent no more than $1,000 on everything they need to hunt: weapons, clothing, ammunition, cleaning materials, etc. We succeed by doing hard work, not by paying others to do the work for them. We are instructed on ethical hunting and tested before getting a license.  We work closely with our Departments of Natural Resources to make sure we don’t disturb the natural balance of things and help manage the population in relationship to land for feeding and habitation.  If we are successful in our hunts, we put food on the table, sometimes for ourselves, other times for those less fortunate.  Most of the hunters I know work with an organization called Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (fhfh.org).  In the last year, FHFH has donated almost 47,000 pounds of high-quality, low-fat, GMO-free meat to those in need.

To call fox hunting a sport is like calling deer hunting with HUMVEEs, machine guns, and night vision optics a sport.  A sport is a competition where both parties have a chance of winning.  In my state of Maryland, we practice something called “fair pursuit.”  Fair pursuit is accomplished by limiting armaments and munitions.  In the majority of our counties, hunters may only use arrows, shotguns that fire slugs (think big bullet), and muzzleloading weapons (e.g., a rifle that has gun powder poured down the muzzle of the barrel, followed by a bullet that is rammed in place, which is then ignited by a percussion cap, similar to those used in the Civil War.  While there have been some advances in muzzleloading weapons, they are still limited to one shot per load, at which point they must be completely reloaded.  An expert can reload one or two times in a minute.  Unlike high-powered hunting rifles, muzzleloaders are limited to one or two hundred meters.  Shotgun hunters have similar limits.  Archers have a range of 30 to 50 meters.  In the counties that allow high-powered rifles, restrictions include caliber, muzzle velocity, and the number of rounds that a weapon can hold.  Bullets must be of an expanding type so the kill happens quickly and efficiently.  No automatic weapons are allowed, even if legally owned.

It is important to note that I am not referring to hunting foxes like any of the animals I mentioned.  A hunter that is hunting fox in this way is usually trying to remove a threat to things like poultry farms.  This sort of hunting is analogous to catching mice and rats.  The rules of hunting foxes in such a manner are the same sort of humane rules used for game animals.  In line with this is an important fact from Australia, where they have a huge problem with the fox population as they are well known for the damage they can do to crops and wildlife.  In a year, over 90,000 foxes are killed using firearms whereas about 650 are killed as a result of fox hunts.  Not only is fox hunting cruel, it’s inefficient.

I am a libertarian and a free-market capitalist, so I am not begrudging how people spend their money.  If they want to have polo clubs or hunt pheasant with $8,000 shotguns and have it prepared by their private chefs, more power to them.  However, these sick and perverted people that have the audacity to call themselves hunters and participate in group torture of an animal that scarcely weighs 12 pounds and is smaller than the dogs that pursue it, should be banned from ever doing this again.  Our nation vilified Michael Vick for dog fighting.  He was shamed, lost his job, jailed, and forced to do public service time.  Is fox hunting any less cruel than dog fighting?  How would one of these fox hunting barbarians feel if one of their hounds was chased for miles by a pack of coyotes?  There is no difference.

I am not a big one for petitions,  but I think this inhumane, evil practice needs to be outlawed in the U.S. as it was in the U.K.  I have partnered with Change.org to start a petition.  Please sign it: https://www.change.org/petitions/the-maryland-department-of-natural-resources-ban-the-inhumane-practice-of-fox-hunts

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8 thoughts on “Fox Hunting is Evil and Useless

  1. I had written a lengthy response to this rambling of yours. I took a deep breath and deleted it. America is already passing so many laws that Americans are leaving this country just like they were doing in Europe when my ancestors came here. The last thing we need is more politicians who cannot relate to the common man, passing more laws that limit that common man’s freedoms. I Am a Terrier Man! I Am a Fox Hunter!

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    • James, I am a libertarian. I hate the promulgation of endless laws. The place of law is to stop that which is universally wrong. Hunting is not the same as chasing and terrifying. A hunter stalks his prey, takes a clean shot, and kills it. I hunt. Dozens of dogs chasing a fox under the direction of mounted “hunters”is not a sport. It is senseless violence. It does not put food on anyone’s table nor does it deal with the problem of fox as vermin. If I understand it correctly, the Terrier Man is the person that comes along to where the terrified fox has dug a hole to project itself and then digs it out for the hounds to make the final kill. That’s not much of a hunt. Why not dig bunnies out of their holes while you are at it? You’re a man of the Ozarks. Surely you hunt real game. Real hunters alleviate suffering. We pride ourselves in dropping our prey with one shot or one arrow. Fox hunting is the exact opposite of that.

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    • I am also an avid deer hunter. I wish you well in your pursuits. What I don’t understand is how a man such as yourself, who I am sure prides himself on dropping a deer with his first shot, can cause great and lingering suffering for a different quarry. I don’t think that you’d get a bunch of friends on horseback to chase down a deer to the point of exhaustion and then kill it. Why do you do essentially the same thing for a fox?

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  2. this is just what the clowns from PETA and their animal libbers want hunters turning on hunters, you say you do not understand hunting foxes with hounds that’s fine but why does that give you the right to think it should not exist. poor didums they spoilt you hunt for the morning and yet they were having a great time, there hounds quite possibly did riot on the deer something that any huntsman worth his salt tries to avoid. at anytime did you make contact prior to your hunt to see if you would be sharing that parcel of country side with any other hunters? perhaps sir you should stick to your book in the library in future a much more genteel place for you. hunting with hounds is an age old tradition and while I’m sure they do there best to share the natural resources with other hunters its sad when they can not be afforded the same.

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    • The problem with your statement is that you sir, are not a hunter. You are a sadist. The UK rightfully banned your sick concept of hunting. Hunting should be for providing food,preserving the balance of nature, and providing protection. You do it for entertainment.

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    • By the way, the fox hunters trespassed on the land I was given permission to use. They had permission from the neighboring landowner to use his property. The hounds left his property. If the “hunters” bothered to ride with their dogs and keep them in the land they had permission to use, the unfortunate encounter that led to my current crusade never would have occurred.

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