SHOOT­ING ETHICS

Is it un­eth­i­cal to use so much tech­nol­ogy against our quarry?

Air Gunner - - Contents -

Is it un­eth­i­cal to use an abun­dance of tech­nol­ogy against our quarry? Phill Price gives his ex­pert opin­ion

Iover­heard a con­ver­sa­tion re­cently in which a man was say­ing that he felt it’s un­sport­ing for us to use su­per-ac­cu­rate PCP ri­fles fit­ted with scopes backed up by laser rangefind­ers against wild quarry an­i­mals. He felt the tech­nol­ogy was re­mov­ing the true chal­lenge and stack­ing the odds in our favour. His blood nearly boiled when some­body men­tioned dig­i­tal night-vi­sion kit, and he hit the roof when ther­mal­imag­ing de­vices were dis­cussed. He felt we should wear an old Bar­bour coat and shoot a BSA Air­sporter with open sights to make it an honourable con­test and give the quarry a sport­ing chance.

Well, I have to say that I dis­agree with him 100% and I’ll tell you why, with two an­swers. Firstly, you need to un­der­stand that air­guns kill with pre­ci­sion shot place­ment and noth­ing else will do, and for that rea­son, any­thing that makes me more ac­cu­rate is what I’ll buy.

Let’s be se­ri­ous here; a ri­fle can­not be too ac­cu­rate, and a scope that al­lows me to see my quarry clearly helps me to de­fine the kill zone ac­cu­rately, which in turn in­creases my ac­cu­racy po­ten­tial fur­ther. I use a laser rangefinder at every op­por­tu­nity be­cause by know­ing the dis­tance to my tar­get, I can com­pen­sate for the pel­let’s tra­jec­tory, and wouldn’t you know it, that makes me more ac­cu­rate, too.

PER­MIS­SION GRANTED

My sec­ond point is that the peo­ple who give me per­mis­sion to hunt do so be­cause I prom­ise to do my best to an­swer their prob­lems. Rats around build­ings or squir­rels dam­ag­ing feed­ers cost them money and add ag­gra­va­tion to their al­ready busy lives, so I’m duty-bound to ad­dress the prob­lem to the very best of my abil­i­ties. Be­cause of this, if a night-sight or ther­mal-im­ager makes me more ef­fi­cient in my work, then I’m go­ing to use it.

If I were ex­ter­mi­nat­ing a quarry species from the ground, then per­haps he’d have a point, but the re­al­ity is that I’m hold­ing back the tide as best I can, and in my ex­pe­ri­ence, the de­struc­tive an­i­mals al­ways come back no mat­ter how hard I try to stop them. I’ve shot over 50 grey squir­rels from one small wood so far this win­ter, yet the es­tate man­ager in­sisted that ‘ it’s crawl­ing with them’ when I saw him a few days ago! Of course, farm­ers and other cus­to­di­ans of pre­cious crops are en­ti­tled to their ex­ag­ger­a­tions, but it makes the point that I most cer­tainly have not wiped them out, and I’ve used a hill of tech­nol­ogy to get their num­bers down. As I al­ways say, I’ll take all the help I can get!

“air­guns kill with pre­ci­sion shot place­ment and noth­ing else will do”

Is dig­i­tal night vi­sion an un­fair ad­van­tage? I say no

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