Hunting and Druidry

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Corwen
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Corwen » 17 Feb 2013, 12:42

My lurcher bring rabbits live to hand and I dispatch them. Ferrets bolt rabbits into nets or if that misses the lurcher catches. There is no distance running with rabbits and they would'nt be edible if the dog sherrded it. Guns wound,dogs do not!
Rabbits are hunted by foxes,stoats,rats,birds of prey, badgers, mink the list goes on, a dog is just another predator in the precaurious world of the rabbit.
I didn't say anything against hunting rabbits with dogs or with ferrets. However hunting otters, beavers, deer, hare and foxes with dogs (all of which are traditional pass-times in the UK though thankfully now banned at least in law) by chasing them for long distances often with the dogs operating a long way from their handlers is not appropriate in my opinion.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Skyewolfe » 17 Feb 2013, 17:42

This is my humble opinion...hunting to use the animal for food, clothing, etc, is acceptable. However, hunting for trophy kills or just to say you killed something is wrong. An animal's life is as sacred as ours and part of the energy of the earth and of nature.

Look at how the eradication or near eradication of some species has impacted the web of life. In Yellowstone, the re-introduction of wolves has had far more impact than imagined. Originally, it was thought they would most impact the overgrown herds of elk. However, by keeping the elk on the move, the elk no longer overgraze an area which has allowed young trees to grow more which in turn has benefited the beaver which in turn has benefited fish and so on. Our thinking we know best where animals/wildlife are concerned has so often been wrong. I am purely amazed at how well thought out and integrated nature is. The goddess surely is wonderful.

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katie bridgewater
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby katie bridgewater » 17 Feb 2013, 19:30

This is my humble opinion...hunting to use the animal for food, clothing, etc, is acceptable.
Is it acceptable to hunt and eat / wear an endangered / special / rare / beautiful species? If not, how do you differentiate between what it is acceptable to eat and what it isn't?
A blanket statement like this can be used to justify making a nice warm snow leopard cloak, or eating traditional cod and chips regardless of the threat to these species.
Or do you mean it's ok for some 'tribespeople' to hunt in a traditional way but not urban people in wealthy countries. How do you square this with the fact that everyone comes from a traditional hunting culture, if not now, just a few generations back? And why should a hunting tradition only belong to a few ethnic minority people, as designated by urban wealthy politicians?

I don't think you can make a black and white judgement about what it is and isn't acceptable to hunt. Every kill must be considered for itself and the moment we make a catch-all rule, we fall into the trap of thinking some things are a 'right'.

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Skyewolfe » 18 Feb 2013, 05:39

This is my humble opinion...hunting to use the animal for food, clothing, etc, is acceptable.
Is it acceptable to hunt and eat / wear an endangered / special / rare / beautiful species? If not, how do you differentiate between what it is acceptable to eat and what it isn't?
A blanket statement like this can be used to justify making a nice warm snow leopard cloak, or eating traditional cod and chips regardless of the threat to these species.
Or do you mean it's ok for some 'tribespeople' to hunt in a traditional way but not urban people in wealthy countries. How do you square this with the fact that everyone comes from a traditional hunting culture, if not now, just a few generations back? And why should a hunting tradition only belong to a few ethnic minority people, as designated by urban wealthy politicians?

I don't think you can make a black and white judgement about what it is and isn't acceptable to hunt. Every kill must be considered for itself and the moment we make a catch-all rule, we fall into the trap of thinking some things are a 'right'.

Excellent points and I agree. I guess I did not write my thoughts as clearly as I should have given how angry I get from what I see as useless killing - that includes poaching, killing an animal just so someone can wear a cloak as you mentioned, or hanging a head on a wall. In this day and age, I see very little need to hunt and more need to be thoughtful about our land usage. Sorry to botch this conversation so badly.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby dreamguardian » 16 May 2013, 17:21

Gonna throw a spanner in the mix......

...... Anyone seen how other predators kill their prey? Nothing gentle or respectful in their acts. Rarely quick and pain free!

Birds of prey, for me are the most beautiful of creatures but brutal and deadly.

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby ShadowCat » 16 May 2013, 17:54

True Dreamguardian, but there's more to it.

Any predator will do the best he can, the quicker the kill, the less energy wasted and the more sure she will be of sustinance.

So, if we have the ability to only kill when we are sure of instant death and the luxury of not going hungry when we are unsuccessful because shops are filled with food anyway, then why not only aim to kill as cleanly, respectfully and quickly as possible.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby dreamguardian » 16 May 2013, 18:27

I wasn't being arragant and suggesting that we just kill any old how. But it can be easy to view nature as all lovely and Walt Disney but humans as somewhat nasty. I did say I'd throw a spanner in the works :-)

I for one, as expressed in my posts earlier in this thread, I go for a swift and skilled dispatch.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Y Gymro » 19 Jun 2013, 19:19

This is a very interesting topic,

I am an avid fly fisherman, i tie my own flies to imitate nature, (as close as i can), and i love to wade through deep water streams and rivers, surrounded by miles of countryside with just the sound of nature to disturb my concentration, I have seen Otters within a few feet of me, I have seen Mink, Stoats, Herons, Water Voles, Foxes, and countless other species which you would never see in or around a city or town.

I only ever use barbless hooks and i have a strict catch and release code, which means that 99.9% of what I bring to my net is unhooked and held in my net facing up stream to recover, (without me ever having to handle it) before releasing it back to the river.

On the (extremely) rare occasions where I catch a fish that is far too weak to be released again, (which i find, is usually due to natural predation wounds caused by Cormorants, Sea lampreys or Grebes. I will dispatch the fish quickly and without fuss whist still in the water, before returning to the bank, cutting free a couple of fillets and releasing the remains back into the river for other water predators to devour.

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby ShadowCat » 20 Jun 2013, 05:42

I am an avid fly fisherman, i tie my own flies to imitate nature, (as close as i can), and i love to wade through deep water streams and rivers, surrounded by miles of countryside with just the sound of nature to disturb my concentration, I have seen Otters within a few feet of me, I have seen Mink, Stoats, Herons, Water Voles, Foxes, and countless other species which you would never see in or around a city or town.
Just curious (not judging): what is the specific attraction in the catching and releasing of fish, you could just walk into a stream and stay still without actually fishing to experience this.

I would love to learn how to fish in a humane and correct way (never graduated beyond the shrimpingnets on the beach when I was little), yet it would be from a selfsufficiency-viewpoint, so catching to eat, not more then I need, so there would be no need for catch and release.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Y Gymro » 20 Jun 2013, 10:12

Hi Shadowcat,

Good question, but not such an easy answer, i used to be a sea angler (from the shore) and I used to catch exclusively for the table, where, sea bass, cod, whiting, flounder, sole and rays (skate), mackerel even conger eels, would be taken home and eaten.

But, where I used to go to a fishing mark and just sit there throwing a bait 150 meters into the sea, and sit there watching the tips of my beachcasting rods in the hope that a (sizeable) fish would take the bait, was sometimes a tedious task, due to our sea fish being put under huge pressure from commercial fishing, so having a really good days fishing was getting harder year on year.

Then after hurting my back at work, I found that just getting to the best places to fish was virtually impossible for me, as most of the time it involved walking for miles over rocky beaches, and climbing up and down cliffs just to get to the places where the trawlers couldn't trawl too close to the shore.

So, seeing that i didn't want to give up fishing compeletely, a friend of mine, took me under his wing, and taught me to fly fish, which i found to be much more satisfying than sea fishing, as the skill of casting a fly and making it act natural when landing on the water and making sure that the flow of the river wasn't dragging the fly in the water too fast is more of an art than a pastime, and getting it exactly right was the only way a wily old Trout will take any notice of a fly that is put before it.

The first few brown trout (1lb+) I managed to catch, i took home to eat, but trout is not really to my taste, (although sewin and salmon are a different matter :whistle: ) and as i stated in the post above, the sound of the river, the intense concentration of spotting and stalking a feeding fish, and the satisfaction that you have done everything correctly, from tying your own fly, (so it matches the species of fly that are hatching on the river at that moment in time), and making sure you present that fly as naturally as you can, all comes together to catch your quarry, and then when you release the fish totally unharmed, is in itself, (to me at least) a very humbling experience..

Y Gymro. :)
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Jsutherland89 » 02 Sep 2013, 22:24

Hello, my opinion on the topic is that there is nothing wrong with Hunting for food, I my self am actually doing the final preparations for deer hunting this weekend an as a druid I feel that if you use every part of the animal and are thankful for the gift of the food. We celibate the hunt successful or not and no part of the animal is waisted but I do also understand hunting and meat is not for everyone so I am respectful of other people's opinions and decisions

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Bran-Raeven » 14 Sep 2013, 23:24

A fascinating topic and very close to my heart. I have discussed this (or more, read discussions) in many other forums and I am glad to see that the druidry forum, again, is an exception from the rule.

I've always been an animal lover (behaviour biologist, private farmer, pet owner), but never been a vegetarian. And never thought it was a contradiction as I don't make a difference between the souls of animals and plants. All of us have to end life in order to sustain ours. We have to destroy in order to create. We just have to accept this. Also, how much habitat is being destroyed, how many small animals are being killed in harvesters because of vegetables and grains? It's not as easy just to not eat meat and then take the moral high ground and point fingers.

For me, the point is not IF we kill (animals or plants) to survive, but HOW we do it and what kind of life the animal/plant had before it died. And I think a free deer/rabbit/bird who gets shot will still come out better or at least even than any industrially farmed animal.

In the past as a beginning biologist I have fought many an exhausting battle against the hunter lobbies in Germany, where hunting is more of a prestige sport than a necessity or a spiritual act. So when I moved to Finland in the middle of the forest I arrived prejudiced and biased. I was shocked to find almost all of my new neighbours (wonderful, warmhearted people) were hunters.

Last summer, I found an injured whitetail deer doe in a ditch. I "stole" her (as it's illegal to take them home or have them treated by a vet), tried to heal her - and when I failed I was desperate. I knew I had to call the hunter, because no vet would be allowed to put her to sleep. The hunters came and so I heard my first gunshot, fired in the head of my beloved little one who was then dragged and slumped onto a pickup truck like a sack of potatoes.

As horrified as I was, the whole thing just brooded in me. Hunter, hunter, hunter... night and day I thought about hunting. I've always had a predatory/feral side in me, dreaming of tigers, foxes, wolves, their fierceness, their beauty, merciless and yet never needlessly cruel. Artemis, Diana, Mader-Akka came to mind, all female archery/hunter goddesses. So I started archery as a hobby. And before I knew it, I was inscribed into a hunting course in finnish language.
At first I told myself I only wanted to protect the area from other hunters. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt that I needed to actually hunt. To become the huntress with the bow. The protector, the wild spirit.

I now have my hunting license and two hunting bows. It has become a big part of my life and my spiritual practice.

Being outside several hours every single day... knowing the forest around me like others know their living room... listening, interpreting, watching... remaining unheard and unseen and leaving no traces. And then, nourish myself by taking life - like everyone needs to do. Except I can pay my respect to the one whose life I have taken - unlike when I buy meat from the supermarket or even the neighbor. Eating meat becomes a personal relationship. Not just simple consumption.

I still eat meat that I buy from others, because my skills are limited. So I will keep practicing.
But in general, I find hunting to be a very druid thing to do, if done with respect and responsibility.

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby samurai » 15 Sep 2013, 19:05

Well as soon as night falls,me and my lurcher will venture out to catch a few rabbits for our pot and a couple for the ferrets,who will start working next week.

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Brân Gannaid » 24 Sep 2013, 11:37

I've been teaching wildlife conservation and ethics for years with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. They teach hunters to go for a clean kill (quick and painless), and to share meat with the needy. In fact, in the U.S., we have such an overpopulation of deer that we have groups such as "Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry" who ask hunters to take an additional deer to process for soup kitchens. With the struggling economy, soup kitchens wouldn't have enough without it.

I think it's an important skill for one to have in case of emergency. During the Great Depression, people ate pigeons and squirrels they hunted in cities. A lot of people also like the fact that game hasn't been treated with antibiotics and the meat isn't fatty. And I agree that it's a sacred act, as the animal is giving its life so that we can live.

Interesting thread.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby samurai » 25 Sep 2013, 19:30

When my Grandad was a boy (10 years upward)he was sent out daily with the lurcher to catch rabbits or if lucky a Hare.If he did'nt he would be beaten and then sent with his brother to the Salvation Army soup kitchen(2 mile away) to get soup to bring back for the family(6 of them).
In the future if energy resourses drop,the man(or woman) who can light a fire or catch their dinner will be more important than any CEO.

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Brân Gannaid » 27 Sep 2013, 05:55

samurai, going hungry is tough. I'm sorry your Grandad had to endure an adult's desperate acts. People don't always make good choices when we are stressed.

I think the course is helping me when I feel anxious, because I'm more likely to stop and consider my response. And I do feel that people participating in harvesting food gives them additional insight into how the web of life connects all living things.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby samurai » 27 Sep 2013, 15:52

Foraging and hunting for the pot,are a deep(but not for everyone) way of connecting with nature,the elements and the circle of life and rebirth.I use to be married to a vegatarian and she was anti hunting in any shape or form. Until one day I showed her crop damage,and explained that cost the landowner x amount of money,which in turn puts the price of mine and your food up.Without a form of pest control this problem would get out of hand. With me using humane and natural pest control and using the quarry for food, there is a justification for loss of life. Phase 2 was taking her ferreting and seeing the progress.Even though she did'nt like the dispatch,she was surprised how quick it was.She stayed a vegatarian,but understood and defended my wild ways to the un educated on numerous occassions.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Melkboer » 28 Sep 2013, 19:41

Hi all,

It's wonderfull to see how this thread is moving. Bran Raven, thanks for your beautifull story. Unfortunately, in the netherlands, only guns are allowed in hunting.
And Samurai, in the Netherlands, we need to control the amount of animals (geese, deer, boar) as they indeed cost farmers and landowners a lot of money.
The one thing i've not been able to do, is find like-minded pagans who hunt and with whom i could create hunting into a sacred ritual together.

But I'll keep my eye open for them.

Warmly,
Henk
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Brân Gannaid » 29 Sep 2013, 07:38

Henk,

The idea of finding like-minded pagans to hunt as a sacred ritual is difficult in the U.S., too. I'd like to see more people become wise resource managers. Taking excess game, which is a renewable resource, makes a lot of sense both spiritually and pragmatically. We have areas that are over-run by deer, geese, boars, and other game, too. A gift of Nature to feed ourselves and those less fortunate.

Jane
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby ShadowCat » 29 Sep 2013, 08:04

Bran-Raeven, I want to thank you for the dept of your story. For a moment I could feel the chill of a wintry finnish forest while reading your words. Thank you... I recognise a lot of it.

Henk, would there be an opportunity for non-hunting pagans in the Netherlands to join in on a hunt (while not doing the actual hunting, still sharing the experience)? I'm not familiar with any specific rules on taking people with you on hunts?
Three sounds one should treasure:
the whisper of the wind through the leaves
the songs of one's heart
the callings of the universe

Golden Harps are like cookies, you can never have just one
Sacred spaces and places


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