Hunting and Druidry

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Melkboer
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Hunting and Druidry

Postby Melkboer » 08 Nov 2010, 00:22

Hi,

I'm posing the following question as i'm investigating myself if i want to be trained as a hunter. I can't find anything about hunting on this website, which means it either is 'not done' by Druids, or not talked about.

The reason i'm interested in hunting is partly because i want to be able to kill of an animal, before i eat it as a meat-eater, but also as a way to be directly in contact with our natural environment. Hunting is not only a way of getting meat on the table, but also very important as in the Netherlands, no real predators are keeping our wildlife in balance. Also there's a lot of damage done to farmland by geese, crows, deer and swines.

Now i know my ancestors hunted for their food, which i can just go out and buy in the supermarket, but i feel a resonance to this part of life, many ancestors before me lived that way,

I'm looking for people who deal with the dillemma of being a Druid, loving nature and killing it at times as well, as i can sense a dillemma in it. For example, if animals who need to be killed, are one of your poweranimals. Somehow it will be a strange experience and at the same time, the connection grows as we connext in life and death,


Warmly,
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Art » 08 Nov 2010, 17:19

I don’t find anything incompatible between Druidry and hunting with the caveat that there is a clear and ever present difference between hunting and the senseless killing of wildlife. Approached with a mindset of reverence and sense of awesome responsibility, hunting can be a spiritual practice in and of itself. As you point out, hunting is a legitimate wildlife management tool in many parts of the world today.

With that said, I do have a problem with some of the “modern” hunting practices and some modern hunters who seem to have little regard for the environment or the prey. It is a somber if rewarding business which should (I think) be approached with due reverence.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby DJ Droood » 08 Nov 2010, 17:48

Killing an animal in a hunt could possibly be less impacting environmentally and less cruel than the factory farm/slaughter/Mcdonald's system that most of us accept without thought. I guess it depends on the circumstances. Of course, one could opt for the most healthy, environmentally respectful and druidic option, which is vegetarian, but that would be silly hard for most of us to do, and it is too much to ask of ourselves. (not that we would want to....mmmm...dead animals is good...mmmmm.)
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Explorer » 08 Nov 2010, 20:35

Hi Henk,
Very interesting.

When I was still visiting the Colour Grove we decided that we wanted to kill and butcher (meat) animals ourselves, instead of buying meat in the supermarket and close your eyes for bio-industry. I personally still think that it is better to kill with conscience and respect, than to buy a biological steak in the supermarket.

I never really thought about it in terms of becoming a hunter, but I find that very interesting, exactly for the reasons you mention.
I once spend a night in a cabin with a hunter, who talking and observed a herd of deer for days to choose the animal he would kill. And on the last day he shot just one, because that was all the meat he could carry home. I thought it was a very good way of both connecting with the flow of nature and get food.

I see no ethical dilemma. On the contrary, ethically speaking I can think of no better hunter than a druid.
I'm curious, where and how would you do such a training?

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Melkboer » 13 Nov 2010, 19:26

Hi,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I do agree with them. I'm doing a course on hunting and one thing that is not added to the course is ethical behaviour as part of the training. Fortunately the teachers have strong ethical values and they transfer them in their classes, but still, it's not part of the training.

I'll let you know how it all proceeds,
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby DJ Droood » 13 Nov 2010, 22:43

I just don't get how people can be against hunting and fur coats, yet eat sausage and wear leather belts...it is like a litmus test for stupid.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby D'Arzhur » 13 Nov 2010, 23:07

Hello,
In the Netherlands and in France I am living next to hunting grounds.
I have witnessed 3 kind of hunting :
-The hunting of wild animals that will be eaten.
-The hunting of adult birds which have been released in nature for the sole purpose of being hunted.
-The hunting of animals which are considered a nuisance to the local community.

I can understand the first one from a druid point of view -with respect for the prey.
The second one is a "sport" and I have seen countless birds acting totally disoriented in the wild (they were brought up in farms)
The third one as I experienced in Brittany is an organised massacre.

This is my opinion and no judgement on anyone else's choice, I post here because I have also never seen the subject on this board and it is something that I feel strongly about. I could not kill an animal for hunting purpose.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Huathe » 14 Nov 2010, 04:07

All,

Personally I have nothing against hunting as long as the hunter respects the wilds and the game he is in or hunting for. All hunters are not equal. Some will kill just for sport and leave the animals carcass behind just taking the head for a trophy. Others will hunt an animal that they cannot or do not intend to eat. I have also seen some who just go in to see how much game they can kill just to brag about it. For many, they can't see the woods for the deer!

But they are other hunters, like my dad, who have a deep respect for the game they hunt and the forest in which it is found. I have a deep respect for these type of hunters. They use what they kill and take only what they need or can eat. They follow the rules and see the forest as a whole.

In many areas, controlled hunting is a necessary thing. Many top predators no longer exist, due to being wiped out by man decades ago and human hunters are the only way to keep prey animals in healthy numbers.

Hunting is a Celtic tradition. One can read from many sources of boar and stag hunts.

:runningdeer: :boar:
Last edited by Huathe on 15 Nov 2010, 01:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby D'Arzhur » 14 Nov 2010, 13:11

A few more points made from personal observations :
Brittany is one of the Celtic countries...and yes hunting is a tradition...strongly regulated (hunting association per villages, amount of animals to be hunted per hunter/per year and which animals, which days of the week can be hunted, which time of the year etc...) but of course it's difficult to impossible to avoid abuses... and in little villages the law of silence prevails.
Hunting for stag is reserved for the "elite" as in the private parts of the Broceliande forest...

Hunting with respect and for only what you will consume is mostly a theory... In the practice most hunters hunt in a group and the group mentality is far from being "honorable"...
Yes I have met hunters there who have knowledge of the animals and respect for them as well as respect for nature but mostly I met "butchers"...

I was wondering about controled hunting ? Is it possible to kill those animals with respect ? the same respect given to the animal that is hunted for his food ? because the fox is mostly hunted for his tail (used as a trophy) and not for the meat...

I track the wild animals on our land (next to a wood) by their footprints, droppings, holes in the ground etc... that's my way of connecting.
I understand and respect the connection between prey and predator, the circle of life and death but I still could not bring myself to hunt to kill a wild animal even with respect...
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby dreamguardian » 14 Nov 2010, 15:28

I teach bushcraft and survival in the uk. I think actually taking responsibilty is the key thing here. I teach hunting & trapping, both modern & primitive and find no comflict with my spirituality. To be perfectly honest, it actually enhances my physical & spiritual welbeing.

It's far too easy to ignore or seperate ourselves from the whole process. We only need to watch a bird of prey in action. not only at its beauty and magbificent but how devastating it is at the same time. It's a true connection to nature; Very real, brutally raw and powerful.

I wish you well on your course and further pursuits
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby DJ Droood » 14 Nov 2010, 15:33

One of the reasons I have moved towards vegism is not because I am against meat, per se, but because I don't like meat enough to put a bullet or arrow into a creature myself, and viewing meat as a "thing" wrapped in plastic on a tray in the market, divorced from the living being it once was seems...cowardly...if I don't have the stomach to make something die by my own hand and butcher it myself, why would I think I have a moral right to order a burger from McDeaths?
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby cat » 14 Nov 2010, 16:00

Personaly as a meat eater I would like to think that given the oppotunity that i could hunt and kill an animal for food with respect. If i didn't belive that i could do this i don't think i could eat meat.

Too me respect also means making the best use of the animal once it has been killed.
Currently although i don't hunt i have a friend who recives the deer skins from a stalker that would other wise dispose of them which we tann and turn into rugs.



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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby D'Arzhur » 14 Nov 2010, 18:24

I wonder if killing a wild animal to eat it can always be compared to the meat we get at the butcher or at the supermarket ?
I have yet to see a hunter shooting a cow or a pig...the meat we mostly eat come from different places than the wild...

I believe there is a basic predator's instinct in all of us and that is one of the main ingredient of the hunt... but I am not sure that it is ok for us to fill the role of the predator to replace the extincts (natural) ones.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby cat » 14 Nov 2010, 19:03

No I guess you can compare buying supermarket meat to hunting it but then you don't need to hunt cows. We have become farmers and traders as opposed to hunters and gathers.

I guess what it boils down is how ethicaly animanls are reared and slaughtered. Phesants in this country are reared but mainly live a wildish existance before they are shot and can be bought in butchers.

I guess the other consideration is food miles if you hunt your own food then at least you know where it is coming from as opposed to a prepackaged slab of meat in the supermarket. If we all became hunter gathers again our whole society would change as there would be less food and we would eat less meat.
I believe there is a basic predator's instinct in all of us and that is one of the main ingredient of the hunt... but I am not sure that it is ok for us to fill the role of the predator to replace the extincts (natural) ones.
I'm not sure what is ment by this D'Arzhur are you saying that we are not naturaly preditors? you seem to be contradicting yourself could you claraify this please?

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby dreamguardian » 14 Nov 2010, 19:09

One of the reasons I have moved towards vegism is not because I am against meat, per se, but because I don't like meat enough to put a bullet or arrow into a creature myself, and viewing meat as a "thing" wrapped in plastic on a tray in the market, divorced from the living being it once was seems...cowardly...if I don't have the stomach to make something die by my own hand and butcher it myself, why would I think I have a moral right to order a burger from McDeaths?
I respect that. It's what I meant by taking personal responsibilty.
I wonder if killing a wild animal to eat it can always be compared to the meat we get at the butcher or at the supermarket ?
I have yet to see a hunter shooting a cow or a pig...
In the Uk, animals have a bolt gun shoot them in the head (back or front - depending whether it's a pig, sheep or cow). This renders the animal unconscious & then the throat is cut. By law this whole process sholud take no longer than 45 seconds. It's pretty swift but not as 'organic' so-to-speak.... If that makes sense??
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Huathe » 14 Nov 2010, 19:19

D' Arzhur,

I feel the natural predator should be re-introduced if possible and people educated of it's presence if it is indeed a threat to them. Otherwise I see a need of hunters to serve as that predator, at least in some situations.

Coyotes were introduced in to some areas here in NC to serve as a natural predator replacing the long extinct Grey Wolf. The Red Wolf has also been introduced here to some degree too. It later turned out migratory coyotes from western states have moved in here too. When it comes to wolves, people always have some fear of them, especially of the Grey Timber Wolf. That is probably why they chose the Red Wolf for re-introduction instead. Anyway, my main point is, human hunters hate both coyotes and wolves and would prefer shooting any they would see. They hate competition. I disagree with this thought and would not kill a wolf or coyote unless it proved a threat to me or someone I am with or livestock/animals I " own ".

Wolves could be of aid to an exploding wild pig problem in the US southern states. Hunters have so far been unable to control their numbers on their own. Wolf hybridization with Dogs might be a problem though.

A once extinct prey animal, Elk, it being re-introduced into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That is interesting to see. Only Black Bear is any threat to the adults and they prefer the young or diseased, like most predators. Human hunting is illegal at this time.

:coyote: :wolf:
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby D'Arzhur » 14 Nov 2010, 19:27

I wonder if killing a wild animal to eat it can always be compared to the meat we get at the butcher or at the supermarket ?
I have yet to see a hunter shooting a cow or a pig...
In the Uk, animals have a bolt gun shoot them in the head (back or front - depending whether it's a pig, sheep or cow). This renders the animal unconscious & then the throat is cut. By law this whole process sholud take no longer than 45 seconds. It's pretty swift but not as 'organic' so-to-speak.... If that makes sense??
Interesting... can anyone in the UK do this or only specialised firms? do you know why the throat is cut? is it the fastest way or the less painful or another reason?
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby dreamguardian » 14 Nov 2010, 19:48

Only trained & registered persons can legally slaughter animals in the UK. The cutting of the throat drains the blood from the animal very quickly, the whole process carried out correctly is extremely humane. However, what isn't and the part that needs to really change is that the majority of live stock have to travel for miles and kept waiting for a long time prior to being killed.

On a personal note, my meat comes from local farms where I can choose the exact animal and they are then slaughtered locally by a registered professional.

When teaching on bushcraft courses, the game animals a (skinned, gutted and cooked) are purchased from game farms and are either shot the day before or on the actual day, then they are frozen immediately to be used on the courses.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby D'Arzhur » 14 Nov 2010, 19:55

Hawthorn_Ent,

(I hope Henk does not mind that we deviated a bit from his original post. It seems very difficult to talk about hunting wild animals without mentioning other aspects of this topic).
The wolf is coming back to France via Italy and hopefully one of these days also to the Netherlands via Germany and further north. The eagle is present in Germany and France.
It seems that every country is facing its own problem with over population of certain species and I would also like to see the natural predators coming back.
Until then I wish that (all) the hunters in charge could act with respect...
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby D'Arzhur » 14 Nov 2010, 20:09

Only trained & registered persons can legally slaughter animals in the UK. The cutting of the throat drains the blood from the animal very quickly, the whole process carried out correctly is extremely humane. However, what isn't and the part that needs to really change is that the majority of live stock have to travel for miles and kept waiting for a long time prior to being killed.

On a personal note, my meat comes from local farms where I can choose the exact animal and they are then slaughtered locally by a registered professional.

When teaching on bushcraft courses, the game animals a (skinned, gutted and cooked) are purchased from game farms and are either shot the day before or on the actual day, then they are frozen immediately to be used on the courses.
Thanks for explaining the process. In Brittany, I can trace the meat I eat to local sources and most of the cows, sheeps, chicken grow up with enough space & decent conditions. However I witnessed last september a sorting out of the cows (the ones ready to give birth from the other ones) and that was pretty stressful ...to the cows and to the farmers (and to me...). In the Netherlands I have no real idea where the meat I buy come from. But I am looking into it although it is fairly complicated to understand the different labels etc.
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