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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've found that alot of people have rituals they go through before or after the killing of an animal. Some folks pray, lots of folks scream and yell, and some just sit in silence. Some have Native American type rituals that they carry out that uses tobacco, or a part of the animal. Many others just kill the animal, gut it, pack it out, take it home, without a word or ritual, and there's nothing wrong with that either.

Native Americans had some really cool hunting rituals they would perform. Some believed that the steam that came from a freshly gutted animals' insides was the soul escaping from the body. Others left a part of the animal underground, or hung it in a tree or something. While you'd expect a native american to keep and treasure the white hide off of a buffalo, many just hung the hide in a tree and left it to rot as an offering to the Gods.

Personally I wouldn't consider myself a very religious fellow, but if there's a place that I feel closer to a higher power, it's while I'm hunting, even more so than in a church in most cases. Before a kill, I pray for a safe hunt, and I pray that I learn something. After a kill, I give thanks. Nothing fancy. Not even all the time. I may say "Thank you for a wonderful time and for the meat that this will provide me with." Other times, I say nothing, and pray nothing. I get down to business.

I'm just curious what your thoughts were. I've noticed alot of people of all different religious and spiritual affiliations, and I'm interested in learning how you all give thanks to an animal if you do at all.
 

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Why do you ask? 2 Dogs!
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Generally after the evening hunt, I get everyone picked up from their blinds. We clean/quarter the deer, get dinner.

I sit down and give thanks to a bottle of Crown Royal and a big ole cigar, then wash it down with some Miller........for some reason it makes it all right in the head :cool:
 

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Keep your fists up.
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The past few times I've hunted I've asked God for a safe and abundant hunt. I also ask for the skill and good fortune to kill the animal quickly so it will not suffer. I pray in thanks to God after the kill, before I dress out the game. I'll also pray in thanks again before I eat the game after its been cooked.
Wow, I didn't realise how much praying I've done hunting.
 

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I can't say that I've ever performed any kind of ritual but I get very quiet and introspective, trying to deal with, and understand the emotions that taking an animal's life stirs up.

Last year I've almost sworn off hunting after I shot my doe. She dropped where she stood but was not dead; I had severed her spine so she was paralyzed. I went over and put her out of her misery with a round to the head but before I did, she looked at me with this calm, wise eyes. It totally unraveled me and I had a hard time with it for a while. But I put it behind me and I seem to be back to normal this year.

I think that rituals are people's way of justifying taking a life or dealing with the grief of it, which is fine if it works for them.
 

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I don't have any death rituals. I pray a lot, give thanks a lot. Hunting is no different and I feel that the animal has been given to my family and I so I thank the giver. I also feel appreciation to the animal, though I don't talk to it.
 

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Saying thanks is something I do as well. I take a kill as something very serious. I have killed most every kind of game from fish to rabbit, to squirrel, goat, you name it. The only thing that offends me is somebody that kills just for the kill and not for food. If you kill it then you eat it in my book, unless of course it is in defense of your life. I have hunted and fished since I was a kid, and my Grandfather taught me from an early age to give thanks, make a clean and painless kill if possible, then eat the meat with pride and thanksgiving.
 

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I thank God for the opportunity. I thank the animal for its sacrifice. I usually do it silently. It's a private thing, and I don't need to advertise.

I'll tell you though, I have never felt closer to God than after a recent hunt. I made a long (for me) shot at dawn from a mountainside. It was a clean kill on a magnificent animal, in a single shot. Even now, months later, it makes the hair stand up on my arms to think about that morning. That I could have the man who taught me to hunt there, and my brothers... everybody sees God differently, but I see him on a mountainside at dawn.

Declan, I know what you mean, after a fashion. The animal bears you no ill will. All things die. The coyote or feral dog would scarcely have given that doe the kind of treatment you did. That you felt discontented afterwards means that you still have respect for the object of your hunt. If you ever lose that, you should hang up the gun.

As for the more mundane rituals of the hunt... we make jokes about how small the deer was (especially if it wasn't) and how bad the shot was (likewise). We get together a few nights later to do the butchering. We cook up the tenderloins in a little butter, and the rest we freeze or make into sausage and freeze.
Some of the best memories of my life at home were those nights when we were up late making sausage and eating butterflied fillets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I thank God for the opportunity. I thank the animal for its sacrifice. I usually do it silently. It's a private thing, and I don't need to advertise.

I'll tell you though, I have never felt closer to God than after a recent hunt. I made a long (for me) shot at dawn from a mountainside. It was a clean kill on a magnificent animal, in a single shot. Even now, months later, it makes the hair stand up on my arms to think about that morning. That I could have the man who taught me to hunt there, and my brothers... everybody sees God differently, but I see him on a mountainside at dawn.

Declan, I know what you mean, after a fashion. The animal bears you no ill will. All things die. The coyote or feral dog would scarcely have given that doe the kind of treatment you did. That you felt discontented afterwards means that you still have respect for the object of your hunt. If you ever lose that, you should hang up the gun.

As for the more mundane rituals of the hunt... we make jokes about how small the deer was (especially if it wasn't) and how bad the shot was (likewise). We get together a few nights later to do the butchering. We cook up the tenderloins in a little butter, and the rest we freeze or make into sausage and freeze.
Some of the best memories of my life at home were those nights when we were up late making sausage and eating butterflied fillets.
Lol, the joking is part of our ritual as well. "What'd it do? Walk up and put it's mouth around the barrel?" One of the men will get out a magnifying glass, especially if it's a doe, and give us hell about how small the racks are :D . Except with me, being the young guy, they'll pat the deer on the hip and say "Good job, son. You're on your way." One time I was admiring a person's kill which had it's rack resting on a large mesquite branch (this was the first dead deer I'd seen). I was feeling the antlers, when one of the guys stepped on the branch, which , acting as a lever, lifted the animal's head up, and yelled "RAH!". I have never jumped so high. I have to admit, that was smooth.
 

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I pray for safety and good success prior to and during the hunt, give thanks after the hunt, recognizing that the same God that made me made the animal. I'm a firm believer in the power of prayer, and the critical need to be grateful to God for our blessings.
 

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I'm kinda with AZman, probably most of the times I pray is in the woods when I'm hunting. Just a month or so ago I was out in the timber by myself for the first time in a long time, and I really realized how day to day stress just dissapates for the hour or two I am alone in the woods. A week later I was at a tailgate party and some of my friends were getting a bit obnoxious, and I caught myself thinking man I wish I would have just gone hunting today. Also I have much more respect for a meal that I killed, butchered and prepared myself. A little blood on my hands and a good hunting story behind the meal makes me appreciate it much more than if I just zapped it in the microwave.
 

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I am not a hunter, but I do spend a great deal of time on wild land. I have been thinking lately about what it means to be a sportsman, about what hunting is and the time-honored practices associated with hunting. I am glad to read here that many hunters honor and respect their prey. This seems to underpin an ancient tradition.

What do hunters think of a kind of hunting based on fear and rage, an urge to decimate a population, which we are seeing in the wolf hunts in three Western states? Should this even be called hunting, or should we call it by some other name? If honor and respect isn’t the essence of a taking, then what is it?

Thank you.
 

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Every year roughly rut time we make an offering to our god of hunting, god of bows, Ullr,usually beer or mead and we also bless our weapons etc. And if and when we make a kill, we usually will thank the animal for it's sacrifice, rub it's fur, and help it with it's passing if it still has life in it, gentle words, soft tones. After the animal is out of the throws of death we field dress it. We often share the heart with our hunting god Ullr in thanks for a good hunt, luck, and success, we also make sure that no part of the animal goes to waste, everything has it's place, it's use.
 

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Any Time, Any Place
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I am not a hunter, but I do spend a great deal of time on wild land. I have been thinking lately about what it means to be a sportsman, about what hunting is and the time-honored practices associated with hunting. I am glad to read here that many hunters honor and respect their prey. This seems to underpin an ancient tradition.

What do hunters think of a kind of hunting based on fear and rage, an urge to decimate a population, which we are seeing in the wolf hunts in three Western states? Should this even be called hunting, or should we call it by some other name? If honor and respect isn’t the essence of a taking, then what is it?

Thank you.
Hunting is a very Spiritual Practice for me, with much Ritual, Unfortunately these days I am not just a Hunter, Im also a Game Manager. I participate in managed preditor hunts, Lion,Cyote. Preditor numbers must be managed for the health of the Game animals. Hunting Lions is really scary sometimes when they are thick, I dont use Dogs. Its real spiritual to be on almost even terms with the Lion, the Lion has the advantage. If I make the Kill, I have Favor, If the Lion dont get me, I have Favor.

I have no respect for those who pratice "Malicious Blood Sport".
 

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What do hunters think of a kind of hunting based on fear and rage, an urge to decimate a population, which we are seeing in the wolf hunts in three Western states? Should this even be called hunting, or should we call it by some other name? If honor and respect isn’t the essence of a taking, then what is it?

Thank you.

Look , I somewhat agree with you as regards wolves , but *only somewhat* and you might want to look to the Feds and their absolutely MASSIVE screwups with the re-introduction into the Yellowstone eco-system , be aware that the Wolf species they re-introduced ***are not native*** , they live trapped Canadian greys , which are MUCH larger than the original Timber and lower 48 Greys and evolved to hunt much larger prey , they then dropped them right in the middle of a set Banquet Table and they have decimated the Yellowstone/Teton Elk herd.

In addition you'd do very well to discount the Feds figures on their numbers , those figures are waaayyyyy low , they have zero natural enemies except the environment and the weather within the structure of the specific eco-system.

Wolf attacks on humans were well nigh unheard of from the early 1900s until recently , they are now on the rise. This parallels the syndrome with the California moratorium on the hunting of Mountain Lions , this is of course discounting the Zoo incidents and those with wolf hybrids or wolves kept as pets.

Many of these incidents are in Alaska and Canada , along with Russia , but are clearly connected with lack of control of the numbers and habituation to human presence , and there seems to be a fairly clear correlation between livestock predation and attacks on humans with human attacks at times following a rise in livestock predation.

Do I think they should all be whacked , no I don't but the situation bears careful watching and continual analysis , along with a modicum of sanity on both sides , which neither side of the issue seems to be exhibiting at this juncture.
 

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What do hunters think of a kind of hunting based on fear and rage, an urge to decimate a population, which we are seeing in the wolf hunts in three Western states? Should this even be called hunting, or should we call it by some other name? If honor and respect isn’t the essence of a taking, then what is it?

Thank you.
I grew up in Idaho and was in high school when the wolf re-introduction began. At first, because there were so few it wasn't even really an issue. However, as wolf pack numbers have increased to put them in competition with bears and mountain lions, I think state natural resource departments are doing the right thing trying to manage the populations through limited hunting.

Regarding the hunters who pursue wolves, I don't see them as somehow less human or consumed with blood-lust. Wolves are challenging to hunt (from what I've read) and, while they may not eat the wolf, the spiritual aspect of hunting can still be observed (IMO). Some hunters enjoy the challenge of hunting predators. I'm not sure it's for me, but I don't feel comfortable condemning it just because I don't totally understand it.

Remember, not all hunters respect their prey regardless of the species. So long as the animal doesn't suffer unnecessarily and no laws are broken I try not to judge. I'm just getting back into hunting after 20 years away from it (never actually bagged anything the only season I went hunting before) and I wouldn't care to have anyone judging me for something done legally and humanely because of perceived motivations.

Tom
 

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the farther from the road/house what ever I get, zenny, sort of an "in the moment nothing is as important as what I am doing at that instant" sensation and the thing is at that moment I'm not aware of it's importance. happens when I go fishing too I sit on the bank and just be, with the line in the water seems I catch larger fish not as numerous but larger when I'm like that.
 

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Logic is my Super Power
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My father taught me to always honor the kill. We are part Cherokee and his grandmother taught him to hunt. His grandfather had lost his legs in the Civil War, and before you go nuts, my Dad is in his late 80's, his dad was in his 40's when he had him in 1928. So, yep, my great grandpa was a Civil War vet.

Anyway, she was full Cherokee and hunted till the week she died at 97 years old. It's not a big deal. Just make a clean kill, if not, slit the throat as soon as you get to the animal. Thank its spirit for its sacrifice and honor its bravery and life it has given to allow you to be nourished.

And, of course, be thankful to God for the food and for the creation of the world that gives you a place to hunt and experience nature in such a personal way.
 
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