Could you hack hunting?

Chris Wheeler considers the ethics of branching into airgun hunting from shooting static targets…

If you’re comfortable with the answers, maybe you could hunt

So you’ve been shooting for a while now and static targets are becoming a bit boring. You are thinking about hunting, but you have concerns over the rights and wrongs of it… how do you figure out if it’s right for you?

It’s good that you have misgivings: the taking of a life, any life, should give us pause for thought. There are several reasons why we hunt, such as conservation of another species, food, pest control and the challenge. You say you’re bored with targets – but is killing animals the next step for you?

I think every hunter of small game will admit to mixed feelings the first time he bracketed a rabbit in his crosshairs. Some will only do it once to see how it feels, while others embrace the challenge and put aside the muffed shots.

Ask yourself if you can you hunt humanely, and if it’s to eat – can you stomach the skinning?

Ask yourself a few questions: “Can I do this humanely and cause no unnecessary suffering? How will I feel if I only wound the animal? Do I have the stomach to get my hands bloody and despatch the wounded creature? If I make a kill, what was the purpose?”

If it’s food, you had better be prepared to take a knife and paunch and skin your rabbit; and for some people, that’s where the fun ends. It’s not pleasant, but it is necessary. If the owner of your permission asks you to eradicate his “pests” regardless of age, will you find this a decision you can live with? If you can be comfortable with the answers to these questions, then maybe you could hunt. But think about it hard!

This article originally appeared in the issue 104 of Airgun Shooter magazine. For more great content like this, subscribe today at our secure online store:



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One comment on “Could you hack hunting?
  1. John rudman says:

    Do mostly hunting a little target pratice sometimes pest control so times food if it’s pest control I will shoot any size rabbit if it’s food 3 quarter to fully grown I don’t think it is cruel pest control needs to be dond to help both crops including woods and also thd other wildlife aswell I olly shoot pests with my air riffle never shot a pheasant partridge hare etc with it as it’s not on my list even though I could do quite easy plus I do game shooting anyway

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