When I was much younger and living in the deserts of Arizona, there were many times friends, boyfriends, ex-husbands, brothers, family, tribe members would all get together at the ranch and for some reason decide to go hunting. Now, most of the things available at any given time without a hunting license were only rabbits and even though I’m not much on rabbit stew, I’d gladly go along on this adventure. Because that is exactly what it was, an adventure. We had the entire desert to hunt in. The only fences we came across were those belonging to the other ranchers in that area with the sole purpose of keeping their cattle or alpacas IN the fence and trespassers out. Occasionally, depending on where we were going, we may have come across a fence put up by the BLM (the Bureau of Land Management) or one signifying we had crossed over into one of the protected reservation lands. We tried to respect each of these fences and mostly stayed on our side of them unless we knew we would be permitted by the landowner to just cross that piece of land on our way to the actual area we wanted to hunt. Mostly, we stayed close to the ranch and was able to find our way back without any issues. Yes, I knew then and still do to this day how to handle a weapon. My choice was one of my dad’s 30-30 lever action rifles. Not everyone likes these and that’s OK, this is my hunting experience and I’m not saying your choice of weapon for hunting is wrong. Unless of course you are using an automatic weapon, that takes ALL the sport out of hunting.
Another thing I find that takes the sport out of hunting and in my mind is completely unacceptable (remember, this is MY blog, MY opinions and I really don’t care if you agree or not) is the concept of this thing called Hunting Ranch or Hunting Compound. For example, Lonesome Bull Ranch outside of Corpus Christi Texas markets themselves as being “located on 2600 acres in the beautiful South Texas brushland overlooking Lake Corpus Christi. There are 18 ponds and over 40 species of exotics and wildlife throughout the ranch”. Their prices for the privilege of hunting on their compound varies depending on what type of “game” you are after. Anywhere from $65-$90 for a Dove Day Hunt (includes morning & evening hunt) to $5,600 for a Zebra hunt. With all sorts of “game” and prices in between. I was going to add a couple of pictures from the website, but they made me sick to my stomach.
Now, I don’t have an issue with hunting for food. Yes, sports hunting is also acceptable IF you are going to use the meat for food and the hide for something else useful. If you don’t like the taste of wild meat but still want to hunt, I’m good with that too IF you donate the meat from your kill to a needy family or an organization that would use it for food. Such as an animal sanctuary like Out of Africa in Arizona or perhaps one of the wolf sanctuaries located in various parts of the US. Not to just hang a damn head on your trophy wall. And no, hunting on one of these compounds isn’t “hunting” it’s controlled killing. There is no challenge to hunting like this, most places also guarantee your success. Yes, I also understand the concept of “guided hunting” my Dad did that in AZ. On an open desert, not on a fenced-in compound.
Hunting ranches are the lazy man/woman’s method for hunting. There is little challenge in this method, and the prices seem pretty staggering in my opinion. Whatever happened to buying your hunting license, stocking up the ammo and then plotting the area you wanted to hike around in for a few days? What happened to setting up your own hunting camp? Tents, cast iron cookware, packaged food with tons of preservatives? Campfires? Coffee so strong it made you gag? Where is the pride that comes from knowing you and the animal you hunted were on the same level playing field and the odds weren’t stacked in your favor? What happened to “hey, there’s always next time” when you come home empty handed?
Like most things in our world today, that pride has gone to hell. Now, it’s the busy workaholic who still wants to act and look like the “he-man, tough guy” to his buddies, but doesn’t actually have the smarts or even the stamina to go out and actually hunt. Now, they find a hunting ranch, pay their money, load up their big expensive oversized truck and after just a few short hours instead of the days it used to take, come home with their trophy. Yeah, once again it’s all about the money and prestige. It isn’t challenging anymore. It’s selfish and ego driven. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell me your ancestors would be proud of you for carrying on the skill one of them handed down through the generations. I can pretty much guarantee you every one of them are shaking their head at you and saying shame on you. I know for a fact even my Dad is looking down from his spot in his heaven sayin
This isn’t hunting, it’s controlled killing …