So many perspectives on how people see things. It's got me thinking about how I was raised in regards to hunting, what is ethical, what is practical, what is not fair chase. I've also thought a lot about how my great grandad would have seen it back in the early 1900's, when hunting was for survival and primarily unregulated. Hunting for most of us at present has nothing to do with survival, especially when it comes to ducks. We would be money ahead buying poultry at the grocery store, but we hunt because it's enjoyable. 34 years ago when my wife and I married, we were poor, I worked as a farm hand for 5 years and made about $6000 a year and lived in a small hired hand house. I had a part time preaching job that paid $50 a week and earned $3 an hour farming for my landlord. Hunting back then was not just for fun and the more efficient I could be, the better. There was no time to spend sitting in a blind drinking coffee with my friends, but I was able to get quite a few ducks and geese while running my trapline through the winter. One of our biggest purchases back then was a freezer that we still have, (I can't believe it still runs) The $300 price tag was nearly insurmountable, but we needed to have a way to keep meat. I could make about $1000 a year on my trapline and could get ducks and geese off the creek and ponds on a fairly regular basis. At that time along the Illinois river near Pittsfield, the only duck hunting over decoys was on a club, there was no such thing as a poor guy like me putting out decoys and sitting in a blind.
In Illinois I hunted over decoys one time with some ducks unlimited guys who had asked me for a donation of artwork, we shot one duck that day. Interestingly enough, their ethics were such that they wouldn't shoot at a duck except on the rise after it had landed in the decoys. They didn't feel like they had the right to shoot a duck unless they had it fully committed into the decoys.
For those 5 years back in the early 80's I jump shot ducks exclusively, but it was a very opportunistic endeavor. When we could catch some waterfowl on the ponds or creek, we would make our best effort to collect a few for the table. I was hunting for food. I would find birds when I was driving a tractor or working livestock and go back later to get a few of them. Making it more sporting wasn't as important to me as being efficient, shells cost money, leisure time didn't exist. Maybe we have separated ourselves so much from the hunting for food aspect that we've had to create more rules to the game in order to make it seem "more sporting". Some people can't afford the luxury of the newest and best decoys, ground blinds, leases, etc. etc. For some, just the expense of buying shells is daunting. I feel like hunting legally and efficiently is perfectly fine and I don't really worry too much about what others think of my methods or approach as long as I'm hunting legally and ethically. Most of us have created our own version of how it's supposed to be done ethically and with fair chase. I've always hated spinners because I felt like they were not fair chase methods and I couldn't afford them anyway. It leveled the playing field too much for me, giving greenhorns as much ability to attract birds as an old experienced hunter.
I used to hunt big game exclusively with a bow until I lost much of the use of my left shoulder. Honestly I did judge people that weren't bow hunters, kind of held us bowhunters on a higher level. When it comes to duck hunting now, I don't like pass shooting, I don't like spinners, I don't like using anything with batteries, but I like the challenge of putting ducks on the water in the decoys.
When it comes to turkey hunting, I have never shot a bird that didn't come to the call and I rarely use decoys, it's the way I hunt. My dad puts out all the decoys he can get his hands on for turkeys and I don't judge him for that.
Most of us have probably gone way past hunting for food these days and hunt for the enjoyment of it. The kids who shot the geese in the park with pellet guns must have missed that lesson, it was a goose killing without respect.
What hunting has become can still be a positive thing for young people. It can be a place where ethics are taught, a proving ground in some respects, where a young person can meet the line between life and death of a creature and understand it's worth in not just food, but respect from others who appreciate the experience.