Hunting And Hunting In Aldo Leopold's Thinking Like A Mountain

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As I sit here, I have the desire to take a deer home with me. Somewhere in these vast woods a buck is stepping, with no warning that today is the day that I capture him. There is an ominous crow cackle, one that any protagonist would consider as a warning, I consider it an opportunity. My deer did not accept this warning; at least it was not shown.
Today was opening day for bow season in Michigan, which is the most peaceful of the opening days, with the exception of a few hunters who are frustrated with their archery skills and resort to gun powder. These are the few that ruin the October silence and nature’s faith in humanity with the pull of a trigger the peacefulness is gone.
Overhead, a viciously fast blue jay searches for its target.
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A trophy hunt’s main goal is to bag the largest animal in attempt to signify a successful killing, a head mounted on the wall. In Aldo Leopold’s “Thinking Like a Mountain,” he details the murder of a wolf for sport by a group of hunters. Leopold approaches the dying wolf and sees the life leave its eyes, the green fire fading away. This is Leopold’s epiphany, as he now sees the world from the mountain’s perspective, and not through the eyes of the trophy hunters. A mountain sees the life of every animal as equally important, but the senselessness of killing for pure sport is not reflective on an ideal ecosystem (Leopold, TLAM). In my experience, I became the mountain. I sat ten feet high and was the watch tower guard. I had no bias towards the deer, but I appreciated their peacefulness and their place in the scene before…show more content…
Researching wolves at the time, Farley Mowat’s “Never Cry Wolf” details the massacre of caribou for their heads. At one point, a massacre is described when a group of deer was herded into a circle by a plane and a group of “hunters” shot at them from said plane. Once the firing was over, Mowat described the scene with “crimson slush” snow and the carcasses of 23 caribou. Of those caribou, only three showed any trace of harvesting: their heads. Every single caribou was wasted, as no person or animal benefited from the caribou’s plentiful meat. This harvest of caribou was common for this time period, making the caribou a threatened species and eventually led to governmental restrictions on hunting and hunting of endangered species (Mowat, NCW). A similar event happened in Michigan and the conterminous United States with gray wolves, when hunters would go out and kill wolves for no purpose other than “predator-control” ( With strict laws and restrictions, the wolf population would quickly return to normal. These two examples are reasons hunters should be concerned with the harvest of deer for sport. Those in favor of sport hunting would point at the economic benefits and that the white tail deer does not have a natural predator in the state of Michigan. While there are economic benefits and there are few predators to white tail deer, it does not rightly justify the killing of deer for
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