My Personal Definition of Hunting
My personal definition of hunting is the pursuit of animals that are completely wild. These animals live their lives in such a way that no human being exerts any form of control over them except for the occasions when the animal runs from people encountered in the wilderness.
To shoot an animal whose range has been pre-determined by a fence, or who is released from a pen prior to a hunt, or who has been trained to regularly return to a specific location in order to receive food distributed by a mechanical device is not, what I would consider, hunting.
In my mind, the whole point of hunting is to discover, study and learn the wild animal’s behavior so that you’re able to accurately predict when and where the wild animal will be. This is hard work and requires the hunter to spend lots of time outdoors all year long, not just on the one day you pull the trigger and kill the deer. By that day the hunter should know the terrain, environment, habitat and behavior of the animals.
To shoot an animal whose behavior is directly influenced by the human control placed upon it is, in my opinion, equal to the act of becoming a volunteer worker at a meat packing plant.
The acception, I feel, is the tactic of luring a completely wild animal into a specific location by means of decoys, sounds or other influential means. In such cases, the animal is continuing to act upon his wild instincts. However, there comes a point at which repeated use (such as food released by a timer) will form within the animal an unnatural (thus no longer wild) habit.
(photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt by Savannah River Site)