Whitesburg KY

Struttin’ Time:

Long-distance hunting is ‘sniping!’

Well I have made up my mind. You may not agree, but it is settled in my world. The people that are shooting animals at a thousand yards are not hunting. They, my friends, are sniping game.

For the longest time I have debated the issue, written Struttin’ Time columns about it, taken input from hunters, and thought long and hard about it until today.

One of my greatest heroes in my life was my Dad. He took me into the woods to hunt when I was six. As I’ve said before, he and I watched as the night creatures went to bed and the day creatures woke up. It thrilled me more than 65 years ago and still thrills me today. If I ever lose that thrill, I will stop hunting.

Dad’s birthday was last week. He would have been 96 years old. I was taught to get your prey into the game. I have watched as my dad would remove his boot and sneak 100 yards to get close to where some squirrels were cutting. He could have placed his shot at 30 or so yards, but he never did. Dad wanted to make sure the squirrels had a chance to run and to know something was going on.

Because of my fear of snakes, I try to keep my boots on at all times. I was sitting watching one of the long range hunting shows today and thinking about my dad. The issue was settled when I remembered him, boots off, walking through thickets just to get the squirrels involved in the game.

On the television show I was watching they shot a mule deer at 868 yards. Then they panned the camera to show how far that was. My mind was then, is now and forever will be made up. Shooting anything at that distance is not hunting; again, it is snipping.

Thanks Dad, and here’s wishing you happy birthday again.

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