Hunting: A Privilege or a Right?


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Highland Ranger
June 3, 2004, 07:45 AM
I am in the process of getting my NJ hunting license. Aside from the rigorousness of the course work and testing impressing me, the 2 hour video course begins with a discussion of hunting being a privilege not a right.

Somehow that strikes me as wrong. Seems to be that if you need to hunt to eat, and there are those in rural parts of NJ who depend on harvested deer for meat, then it is a right.

Also, although I still need to take the field test, let me tell you, those who are less intelligent or illiterate will not be passing this test. They certainly don’t make it easy . . . .

So is it a privilege or a right?

(Very anti 2a course btw: their gun safety section: "never load a firearm in your house")

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La Pistoletta
June 3, 2004, 07:53 AM
It's neither a privilege nor a right. People can take the stance of prohibiting you from doing it, but really it has no validity.

Art Eatman
June 3, 2004, 08:15 AM
I'd say it's a right which properly is subject to controls. The purpose of most of the controls has to do with the health of game animal species for the long term known as "perpetuity".

The second set of controls is that of knowledge and safety, for the mutual protection of hunters and that part of society which might be within range of projectiles of whatever sort.

But where is it written that one's only source of food MUST be a grocery store? Have I no right to be a "natural-food freak"? :D

Am I wrong in believing that the power of the state and of public opinion has turned more than one right into a privilege?

Regardless of my view, I certainly wouldn't consider it to be a Good Thing if every physically/mentally competent person in the U.S. of A. decided to go deer hunting on Opening Day.

:), Art

mercedesrules
June 3, 2004, 08:44 AM
(Highland Ranger) So is it (hunting) a privilege or a right?
Hunting on your own land is a right. Hunting on the land of others is a privilege. I consider hunting on so-called government land as a right since I don't consider it to be rightfully owned (it was purchased with stolen money).

XLMiguel
June 3, 2004, 08:46 AM
Art,
I used to eat a lot of 'natural' foods, but then I found out about all the people dying of 'natural' causes . . .:neener:

41mag
June 3, 2004, 09:08 AM
This is a little off topic but I'm curious,Highland Ranger,exactly what hoops you need to jump through to get a hunting liscence in NJ?
Care to share?

whoami
June 3, 2004, 09:46 AM
So is it a privilege or a right?

Neither. Like everything else involving guns in NJ, hunting is completely illegal unless explicitly authorized by the government according to their specific and subject regulations and exceptions.

Highland Ranger
June 3, 2004, 09:54 AM
I'm not done yet but you need your firearms ID to get a long arm and ammo. So although that isn't officially part of the process, it essentially is. That can take months in NJ, depending on your location.

I am in a rural, conservative part of the state, probably one of the better places, and it took 2 months even though the law says it should take no more than 30 days.

As far as the hunting permit itself, the NJ Dept of Fish and Game has a free home study course. Its a combination of video, booklet and home study workbook.

You watch the video and fill in the workbook (17 pages, a few hundred questions). That took roughly three hours. The tape or DVD is almost two hours long but you need to pause to fill in the answers on the workbook.

You then read the study guide (88 pages, 8 1/2 by 11 size, maybe 10 point font but with some pictures) and fill in the remainder of the workbook.

You take the filled in workbook to a field instruction location where they administer the practicals and I think you need to take a written exam as well.

I'll let you know how that goes, I am going for it this weekend.

I think the field piece takes 3 or four hours.

This is just for a shotgun license. You need to get that first, then you can apply for a rifle/muzzleloader or Bow license afterward. Similar procedures.

If we have a bear hunt again, that is a separate license that requires I believe an additional 8 hour class.

My impressions at this point are that this is much more rigorous and time consuming than I expected and I guess it explains why the number of hunters is declining. I just don't see every average Joe being able to make the grade.

I'm finding it interesting, I just need to get someone to take me out the first time this fall. I know some older guys who hunted but who don't do it anymore - too crowded and dangerous.

I may just use this license to get a PA one and then try to go there . . . .

Here is the NJ Fish and Game page that describes the program and gives you some sample tests and such: http://njfishandwildlife.com/hunted.htm

whoami
June 3, 2004, 10:06 AM
My impressions at this point are that this is much more rigorous and time consuming than I expected and I guess it explains why the number of hunters is declining. I just don't see every average Joe being able to make the grade.

I'm finding it interesting, I just need to get someone to take me out the first time this fall. I know some older guys who hunted but who don't do it anymore - too crowded and dangerous.

That's pretty much exactly why I have little interest in hunting. Regardless of what any stuffed shirt official says, the state for YEARS has been making it more and more difficult for non-hunters to get into the sport. Couple that with the few hunters I knew having a rank level of disdain for my ownership of 'one a them evil assault guns' (AR-15), and it's just not something I feel is worth my time, effort, or money.

I also find it kinda funny that some of the local towns near me would rather drop thousands upon thousands of dollars on 'sharpshooters' from out of state (Conn. from what I last heard) to help cull the deer population, instead of letting NJ citizens hunt them....

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 3, 2004, 10:29 AM
Incrementalism. Same playbook, different subject. Make it ever more difficult in order to discourage an activity. Once that march is complete, then make the holders of "hunting irons" justify their need for "sniper rifles."

I am beginning to believe that NJ is now holding the official People's Republic title.

Vibe
June 3, 2004, 10:30 AM
Neither
Firearms ownership is a right.
Helping the Game and Fish keep the game numbers in check is a SERVICE...they should PAY us for helping them. :D :D :D :neener:

scotjute
June 3, 2004, 10:38 AM
On your own property it should be a right. On someone else's property, it is a privilege.

On Government (or public) land, consider the following :

Its not constitutionally listed in bill of rights, hence it should be up to each state to decide.

In England, it was generally considered a privilege, since the "deer" were considered to be property of the king. Believe here in US that the wildlife are considered to be under the regulation of the state government, which defines what can be taken and how, etc. The national government only regulates those species which migrate across state lines, such as migratory birds.

Believe the question would hinge on who owns the animals in question, if the government, then hunting is a privilege, such as in old England. At the same time, the government should be liable for any harm caused by "their" animals.

If the animals are considered to be owned by the public at large, then hunting is a right that is regulated by the public thru its regulating "arm", the government. In that case, the government would not be liable for damage caused by animals. This explanation would seem to better fit situation here in US.
Therefore, hunting on Government land is a right regulated by the Gov. for the public, as the Gov. is the regulating arm of the public.

WT
June 3, 2004, 11:25 AM
I believe hunting on your own land is a right. Hunting on the land of others is a privilege. Hunting on public property where others (such as hikers) may be present is also a privilege.

Highland Ranger
June 3, 2004, 11:52 AM
I believe hunting on your own land is a right. Hunting on the land of others is a privilege.

See I have trouble with that. I know what this stems from, my land, you can't tell me what to do with it (even though government increasingly does anyway.)

BUT . . . . . then - if you can afford the land then you have the right but if not, then you don't.

So then rights are for sale? You can buy rights?

Not sure what bothers me about that but its wrong.

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 3, 2004, 11:54 AM
Just try hunting out of season on your land and you will see about your rights.

Combat-wombat
June 3, 2004, 12:00 PM
I believe it is a privelege. Yes, to some extent, it is good to even out the population of animals. I have a great love for the envirnoment and nature though. It's one of the few things that I support lots of government regulation on. If hunting is unregulated, many species will face extinction, like what happened with the buffalo in the 1800s.

MeekandMild
June 3, 2004, 12:30 PM
Hunting has always been a right of man in Nature. The medieval royalist viewpoint was that it was a privilage given by the crown. Some of us seem to be stuck in the sixteenth century.

mercedesrules
June 3, 2004, 12:51 PM
(HR) if you can afford the land then you have the right but if not, then you don't. So then rights are for sale? You can buy rights?
You bought the right to live there, didn't you?

Don't confuse contractual rights with inalienable ones.

People that can afford a Cadillac can drive one; people that can't, can't. No violation of rights.

We sometimes say we have the right to pursue happiness - not to have it.

MR

goalie
June 3, 2004, 01:33 PM
In Minnesota it is now a right. We passed a state constitutional amendment.

:D

Stebalo
June 3, 2004, 01:36 PM
You are in New Jersey so obviously it is a priveledge.

In New Jersey, you are not a citizen with rights.

You are a subject that may grovel for priveledges if you are good.

Treylis
June 3, 2004, 10:03 PM
As long as it's your own land or somebody else's with permission, it's a derivative property right.

RAY WOODROW 3RD
June 3, 2004, 10:29 PM
Not in NJ it is not!

You see, these are the governors deer.
You must pass stringent tests to prove you are worthy of hunting his deer.

Ever meet the wildlife management officers in NJ?
Glock straped to their side, shades on, trampling through the woods, ruining your hunt because human scent is now all over the damn place, ordering you out of your tree stand so they can check your permission slip, oh, I mean hunting license.
Measuring your distance from dwellings (meaning unoccupied shacks that are in the pines from 1865 that are falling apart and covered with so much vegitation that you though it was a hill) for the safety requirements.

A good one used to be how they would catch you around a bait pile that you did not honestly know was there.

Its all about money.... Follow the money trail.......

(You can hunt with me and the "Buckeye" during 6-day shotgun as a guest in December if you wish Highland Ranger)

Pharley
June 3, 2004, 10:56 PM
I'd say hunting is a privilege. The State of Ohio owns the wildlife. They set regulations (1 buck per year) even on private property. Some states even go as far as to tell you how large a buck's rack must be to shoot it- on your property or not.

BUT:

If you have a conviction for a crime of violence, you cannot possess a firearm or dangerous ord.....thus, you cannot hunt. Also, you cannot carry a concealed weapon. There are no repercussions for this. Isn't this a Constitutional violation? On the other hand, violate someone's right to due process or rights against unreasonable search and seizure, and it's a lawsuit.

Can see both sides.

Treylis
June 4, 2004, 03:48 AM
Not in NJ it is not!

You see, these are the governors deer.
You must pass stringent tests to prove you are worthy of hunting his deer.

Reminds me of "Robin Hood". Yet another reason why NJ is a terrible, terrible place. ;-P

HiWayMan
June 4, 2004, 12:16 PM
Pharley-

Convicted felons can still hunt. It just has to be with black powder firearms or archery equipment or some other appropriate device not requiring a metallic cartridge.


And I must disagree with you. The State of Ohio most assuredly does not own the game.

Molon Labe
June 4, 2004, 03:33 PM
FYI, I asked this same question last year. Here's the thread:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=43721

It spans 5 pages.

SteelyDan
June 4, 2004, 11:51 PM
My impression is that the status of hunting has changed over the last 100 years or so. In the "old days," I believe that the right to hunt one's land was widely recognized as a true right incidental to the ownership of the land, similar to the right to mine minerals or to improve the land in the manner you desire. Nowadays, however, the government has seen fit to regulate most private activities to such a great extent that hunting can no longer be considered a right, even on your own land. If you fail to comply with each and every regulation, you may lose your guns, be fined, go to jail, and lose the right (oops, I mean privilege) to buy any more guns. If this a "right," then the term has lost all meaning. And it probably has.

Malone LaVeigh
June 5, 2004, 01:36 AM
I certainly wouldn't consider it to be a Good Thing if every physically/mentally competent person in the U.S. of A. decided to go deer hunting on Opening Day.
You've obviously never been on the Mendocino NF on the first weekend of deer season.

Actually, the state's ownership of all game goes back to the king of England thing, so it's part of our Common Law, I guess. It's the same with water. You can own land, but you never can own the water on it. That's a usufructory right that has to be gained from the state by law.

Art Eatman
June 5, 2004, 09:19 AM
Malone, SFAIK, there was no control over hunting in colonial times, nor in the early days of westward expansion.

Again, SFAIK, it was not until the depletion of the duck, deer and turkey populations became obvious that hunters, themselves, pushed for regulations (mostly, early 20th century) in order to re-establish huntable populations.

In essence, we hunters ceded ownership* of "our" game critters to the states, which happily took control. The states then declared hunting to be a privilege, not a right.

Art

* Owning a wild animal strikes me as similar in concept to owning a sunset...

Malone LaVeigh
June 5, 2004, 09:51 PM
I think you're right, but the theoretical basis for our law, as I understand it, is English Common Law. So powers that were ceded to the sovereign in English law come to us as belonging to the state. I'm just saying that was the basis used to cede that power to the state.

grislyatoms
June 6, 2004, 11:37 AM
"But where is it written that one's only source of food MUST be a grocery store?"

<On soapbox, and standing in the pulpit because I am most likely preaching to the choir>

A breakdown in the grocery store infrastructure (warehousing, transportation, farming, ranching) would cause a lot of changes. (That's probably my understatement for the year.)

ALL of the liberal gun grabbing / anti hunting / anti meat / anti self defense types would be rethinking their positions, post haste!

Once the grocery store shelves are empty, all of these ideals would collapse like a house of cards.

I used to think the above scenario would not be possible. Nowadays, I think that it is definitely possible and maybe even likely if things continue to go as they are headed.

Never was much interested in hunting, although I have NEVER been anti 2A.

Very interested in becoming self sufficient now and learning everything I can about animal husbandry, hunting, and growing my own produce.

<Off my soapbox and pulpit>

To answer the question, I believe it is perceived by many as a privelege but I believe it is a right (all things considered, especially the kinds of conservation efforts that have seen the resurgence of species such as the wild turkey) . Regardless of whether it is a privelege or a right, under the above scenario the point becomes moot.

P.S. And no, I am not one of the tin foil hat conspiracy types. I am a realist.

biere
June 6, 2004, 12:19 PM
After hearing stories about game wardens around my area, southern ohio, I figure the state considers me to be priviledged to hunt any of their animals.

I consider it a natural right.

As a land owner I can harvest a deer from my property without paying all that money for the deer permit and what not.

The earlier statement about water on your land has me smiling. A neighbor has land that backs up onto a private creek. He owns out to the middle of the creek. Now anyone on a boat can travel through, but they can't come camp out and what not since he owns the land.

What has me smiling is I have a couple ponds and the thought running through my head was, that would be a heck of a fish fry if all that water was stolen by the state.

The reason for the ramble is that in this world, the state does not let you own very much. I try and do what I can without paying thier silly fees and other things. I pay a lot of fees, but my part time job is learning how to get things done while paying the lowest amount of money in taxes, fees, licenses, permits, and everything else.

Highland Ranger
June 6, 2004, 12:42 PM
UPDATE: Passed the shotgun, muzzleloader and rifle . . . .

They didn't look twice at the book (homework part), you do the field test by shooting the guns you are getting permits for first.

They then do a field walk (over an hour in the rain holding plastic guns) and review everything.

Then you take a test.

40 general questions (safety and such) and then 20 additional questions for each discipline (shotgun and rifle/muzzleoader for me)

Pretty comprehensive; you couldn't pass if you weren't prepared although much of the safety portion was good gun handling and plain common sense (don't look down the barrel to see if its loaded etc.)

Some anti 2a threads run through there (no loaded guns in the house, ammo and firearm locked up separately.)

Regarding the question I posed, seems like they need to do something to make sure the herd isn't decimated and to make sure people aren't out there shooting eachother. Too many people here and although I didn't need the safety training, I feel better that everyone else has it.

But they have gone so far that apparently the old timers were talking about how few new hunters there are that show up for these things nowdays.

They make a big deal about hiding the game so as not to scare anyone - no draping deer over the hood of your car etc.

Not sure what to make of it. . . . . all in all an interesting experience.

Ray - I may take you up on your offer!

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