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Hunting or Killing?

Definitions of hunting can include the activity of pursuing wild game for sport and food harvest. I grew up in a hunting family. For me, hunting is filled with anticipation, excitement and challenge, plus the possibility of eating the best healthiest meat on Earth. Hunting, for me, is not only about the harvest. I also enjoy observing wildlife in their natural habitat. My son and I have often sat together for hours watching deer, goats or pigs enjoying life in their natural environment.

The harvest of wild game is often a way of life and subsistence for many local Molokai residents. I have often gone hunting with my local Hawaiian friends and have learned from them to reinforce my belief that wild animals must be honored and respected by moral and ethical hunting and harvest. I have always taken all the meat, and additionally the heart for frying as a delicacy for my family. I have also observed one of my closest Hawaiian friends take all of the meat along with the heart, liver and kidneys as a special gift for his grandma.

I recently heard a story that one person bragged about having killed nearly 300 deer last year. There is no doubt an overabundance of deer on Molokai, but the killing of that many deer by one person seems excessive to me and doubtfully ethical or moral. There is some justification if all of those deer were harvested for food. It is possible that person salvaged the meat for family, friends and shared with the Kaunakakai food pantries, soup kitchens and food banks. But, I would be extremely surprised, because I have witnessed this person and his cohorts indiscriminately shooting at deer across a gulch. Any deer killed over there would be left to rot, or worse, wounded and left to die a slow and painful death. I have also hunted the same area and have discovered dead deer laying in waste and rotting in the field. I guess it does not matter who did the killing, as I feel this is not hunting, but rather immoral and unethical killing of wild game.

Bill Farmer
Kaunakakai, HI

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