By Greg Johnston
AHT Guest Contributor
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a tree hugger. I burn wood, eat meat and enjoy killing God’s great animals for sport.
However, a recent trip to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) left me asking this question: Is it ethical to raise, breed and grow whitetail deer for human benefit?
I say no.
Hunting ethics and sportsmanship are the core roots of our sport and without them where would we be? I don’t want to imagine.
To me, raising a wild animal for personal benefit crosses this line. Free roaming whitetails continue to be the No. 1 hunted big game animal in North America and this should give whitetails a free pass from captivity.
Let’s take the buck pictured in this post.
This was one of two trophy animals on display at the NYDEC event I attended. Although impressive to look at, I couldn’t help but wonder if the deer was enjoying the event as much as the dozens of gawkers who were looking at him.
For those of you unfamiliar with whitetail farming and its benefits, whitetails are grown and raised for one reason – money. Farmers either sell the animal for breeding stock [at a high-fenced facility] or collect their urine for scent sales. Either way, I’m opposed to it.
This hits at the heart of my argument. We’re not dealing with an Angus or an Appaloosa, here. The whitetail continues to roam free in all but five U.S. states – Nevada, Utah, California, Hawaii and Alaska currently have no published whitetail herds.
I’d like to see it kept this way.
I believe our Creator put the whitetail deer on earth for reasons unknown, but I’m pretty sure putting him in a pen wasn’t one of them.
Where do you stand?