Monday, October 18, 2010

No-kill deer hunt hopes to build sportsmanship

A Western Kentucky deer hunt went off just as planned last month, which is to say no deer were killed. The event, hosted by the American Whitetail Authority, "was the first in the Whitetail Pro Series, the only hunting competition in which deer are stalked but not killed," James Card reports for The New York Times. Each hunter in the event is armed with a 20-gauge shotgun mounted with digital scopes and five blank shells per day. Hunters are graded based on the video from the memory card in the scope.

"The main goal of the series, according to Greg Koch, the founder of the group, is to reward hunters who consistently take clean shots on mature deer," Card writes. He explained, "In most states, you can kill one deer per season, and that hampers your ability to prove your skill." The Whitetail Pro Series, which will culminate with the AWA World Championship this month in Mississippi, is modeled after the Bassmaster series, a catch-and-release fishing tournament. Koch said digital scopes can "enable hunters to track their prey out of season and help children build a solid foundation in ethical hunting, a component of which is to kill an animal as quickly and painlessly as possible," Card writes. (NYT photo by Lori Moffett)

Judges reviewed the video clips "frame by frame until the second before the gunfire," Card writes. "They noted the position of the crosshairs. If they were slightly behind the deer’s front shoulder, a bullet would have passed through the lungs, ensuring a quick death. Bonus points were awarded for the cleanest shots." Competitors at the event, held at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, were filmed for a show scheduled to air on the Outdoor Chanel in early 2011. "We knew it was a revolutionary concept," Jeff Murray, a managing producer at Winnercomm, which is part of the Outdoor Channel, told Card. "It is designed to be very educational. The viewers are very thirsty for information." (Read more)

1 comment:

Edelpeddle said...

That's a great idea. I never realized how restrictive the one deer limit is to building up skill.