What's so fair about hunting with high-powered rifle?

Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Mr. Pollard claims that his definition of "fair chase" is the one that should govern how people hunt in Alaska. Quite presumptuous. He says that baiting bears is unsporting. He states, "Fair chase means hunting the animal on the animal's terms, not yours."

Well, I find that a very interesting interpretation because it is my opinion that hunting with a rifle is not "hunting on the animal's terms" by any stretch.

Animals need to stay out of physical reach of their enemies. If an animal is threatened, its first inclination is usually to put some distance between itself and the predator.

While hunting near Egegik or near the Mulchatna River far from civilization, I have often seen caribou stay just outside of "wolf distance" about 80 yards away just standing there and looking at me. They do not feel immediately threatened because, given the lead they have, they know they can outrun just about anything that chases them.

So how is shooting this animal with a rifle and a scope "sporting"? It's like taking candy from a baby. Anyone that can't hit a caribou from 80 yards with a high-powered rifle probably shouldn't be hunting.

I find no fair chase in this at all. The odds are severely stacked against the caribou. I have seen similar situations occur with Sitka deer, sheep and moose.

Beyond that, is it fair chase to have a weapon like a modern, high-powered rifle that can kill an animal from hundreds of yards without the animal having any idea that it is being shot at from such a great distance? I think not. The animal really is at an extreme disadvantage and there is nothing fair about this at all.

I submit that Mr.Pollard needs to re-examine his moral contentions and consider the impact this could have on his sport of rifle hunting.

Using his own logic, it could be next.

Eric W. Zuber


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