Are new hunting tools unsportsmanlike?

spectr17

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Are new hunting tools unsportsmanlike?

By Tim Renken, St. Louis Post Dispatch

12/27/2001

A bow hunter doesn't need to develop arm strength anymore because compound bows are so easy to draw and hold.

Deer hunters don't need to know how to "read sign" anymore. They can use electronic devices to monitor, even record, deer activities.

Hunters don't need to be physically fit anymore because they can get around in the fields and woods with ATVs. Dog trainers don't need strong vocal chords anymore because they have shock collars.

Duck hunters don't need to know anything about decoy layouts anymore because they have motion-wing decoys.

Fishermen don't need many of the skills fishermen used to use because they have sonar, GPS and even underwater cameras. They don't need to develop casting skills because new reels make casting easy, even foolproof.

Today's bicycles are so light and efficient that getting a real workout on them takes drastic measures.

The outdoor catalogues are full of items to make hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, etc., easier and more successful. Gadgets that were considered as unsportsmanlike a few years ago are so widely used that nobody thinks about them anymore. Almost every serious angler uses sonar nowadays. A generation ago some traditionalists wanted them banned.

If using advanced equipment is a sin, then everybody is guilty. The old-timers who scoff at see-in-the-dark scopes or range finders probably use telescopic sights, binoculars and mechanical tree stands.

Everybody uses space-age insulated clothing to keep warm and Goretex to keep dry. Almost everybody uses repeating shotguns or rifles, which two generations ago were anti-tradition.

It's not a question of the welfare of game animals. Professional wildlife managers can take care of that by limiting seasons and limits. The issue is "fair chase," with each generation of hunters, anglers and other outdoors people engaging its own debate. The present topic is motion-wing decoys, popularly called Robo or Roto Ducks.

The concept is less than five years old, but this autumn probably half or more of all duck hunters hunted over them.

Waterfowl managers say not to worry that the electric decoys endangering duck or goose numbers. Limits and seasons can be adjusted to take care of that. But then there's fair chase. Is their use sportsmanlike? The debate echoes the one about live decoys in the 1930s.

Washington State banned the motion-wing decoys altogether this season and California banned them for the early, most important part of its duck season. Minnesota is mulling a temporary ban pending studies.

In both hunting and fishing the line dividing fair chase and unfair chase has been redrawn so many times that it is now beyond blurry. It's a mile wide.

The issue is older than history. It goes back to sticks and rocks and whether they should be sharpened or left unsharpened.

In the end, what constitutes fair chase is pretty much what each individual outdoors person deems it to be.
 

StringShooter

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Some of the items mentioned such as the range finder and more high tech bows, may help the hunter make a better and more accurate shot while bow hunting.

They may actually cut down on deer being wounded by a slow shooting bow and misjudging distance.
 

Passthru

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 And also no matter the gadget you still have to spend much time in the woods with game to see how it moves,what it eats and when,and after a shot,i do not trust those little heat sensing gadgets to track my deer,old fashioned sign reading and know how is still neccesary.
 

marmot

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I try just about every gadget and most of them don't amount to much. I don't feel like any of them have given me an undue advantage over my game.

An equally skilled traditional hunter will have about the same success that I do with all my gadgets. It is fun to fool with them though and I think I spend more time in the field because of that, which is a good thing.
 

Chairman

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Fair chase?  They make it sound like - "buy it & the deer will come"...  Give me a break.  Like Passthru said - you still have to be out there & know the basics, at the very least.  Gee - if my ATV was supposed to "guarantee" me more deer, I would have taken it back for a refund a long time ago.  Plus, they make it sound like the deer are stupid.

I guess I'm getting to the stage, during my hunting "career", where focusing on sharpening my woodsmanship is more desirable.
 

Duke

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marmot you don't know how to use half the stuff you buy.

I think the main thing is clothes because it keeps you warmer and dryer than before.
 

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