Is Harvesting Game A Bad Thing?
I'll start with saying that I am not a hunter. I've been deer hunting a few times, never got one. I'm not opposed to it, but I am opposed to getting up at 4 a.m. to go sit in the cold. I really would like to become more of a hunter, certainly a skill I should develop.
I am against "slob hunters" that trespass on private land, shoot across roads, cut fences, and leave trash behind. I don't have any desire to hunt deer with dogs, but I don't care if someone else does. I admire a big rack mounted on the wall, but I hope the hunter also used the meat and did not waste any parts of the animal that have a use. I have respect for the animals and believe that they are here for us to use, but not misuse.
All that being said, the deer around here are almost varmints. They are overrunning this area. Since summer, my wife and I have had a combined four wrecks with deer. She totaled her car missing one and did $2,000 damage to her newer car a few weeks later hitting one. I did $2,500 damage hitting one a few weeks ago, and tapped another with my bumper just last week (no damage on that one).
There are some bad genes in the area too. Some deer are almost albinos and others are what the locals call "hot rods." The have stubby front legs and regular rear legs, so the herd definitely needs thinning.
That leads me to my moral question... is it ever OK to not "hunt" them, but to "harvest" them to make the roads safer and put some meat on my table? In the back part of our property, there is a depression that is a deer trail leading to the neighbor's pond. I know it isn't sporting, but would it be bad for me to build a tree stand over the trail, and lay in wait? Shooting straight down on one from just a few yards away?
I'd really like some feedback on this from experienced hunters. What do you think?