There are past-times that I just don't 'get.' The same is true for all of us. We all have certain hobbies & endeavors that give us pleasure, and they can be both appreciated and thought odd by those around us. So it goes. As long as no harm's done, what's the big deal, right? So that's why I don't understand hunting. True, it's a popular "sport," but popularity doesn't equate to comprehension. It's a legal past-time, it's been around since man could make sharp tools, and it will likely be around for eons to come. Still... what's it all about, eh?
I know several people who hunt. I've discussed the subject with them on different occasions, trying to understand the mind of the hunter. I'm still confused. They sometimes go the environmental route and talk about how there are 'too many of [x] species' in a certain area, so in order to balance things out, they pick-off a few of them. But then I don't see such altruistic environmental gestures in other aspects of their lives. Perhaps they feel as though they gave at the office?
Others will bring up the antithetical conditions of camaraderie and solitude when it comes to hunting. The camaraderie would seem to come from getting away with a group of buddies, drinking beer, and shooting the shit (among other things). But this begs the question: Why involve hunting with this? Why not just go camping or hiking? The issue of solitude is arrived upon from being out in the wilderness, and especially during the actual hunt, when it's often a long, quiet process waiting for a crazed, dangerous deer to come bounding through the wood in need of taking-down. Once again, I have to ask: Why hunting as your outlet for solitude? Why not Yoga? Or just a simple get-a-way?
The one reason for hunting that I've never heard from a hunter for why they do what they do is, "I like to kill things." Not sure why. It is, after all, the only logical explanation to be deduced. Put aside all the 'animal population control,' 'camaraderie' and 'solitude' arguments, and you're left with folks who feel a rush by stalking a sentient, living creature and rendering it lifeless. This leads one to wonder: What is the pyschology of this need/desire to kill things? Why does it thrill them so?
I wish we had a meaningful answer.