Outstanding Opinion Piece From Former Hunter/Trapper

04 Dec
Photo via: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Photo via: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Today, I came across an outstanding article in The Stillwater Gazette written by veteran and former hunter/trapper, Bradley Ayers. In the article he talks about how he evolved from the senseless recreational killing that so many in Wisconsin are obsessed with and no longer finds joy in it. Mr. Ayers says in the article:

I confess. I once had an addiction. In an earlier life, I was a hunter and trapper of wildlife. Later, in the service, I extended it to humankind.

I’ve been in self-inspired recovery since being hunted, nearly trapped and shot at myself and witnessing first-hand too much bloodshed, agony and death.

I now live in semi-wilderness not far from the St. Croix River. I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s on the North Hill in Stillwater in a familial culture where hunting and trapping was an annual tradition. One learned the trade early on, imbued with the belief that one had to learn to hunt and kill as a sacred right of masculine passage. Returning home with the slain was proof of your skill, and a trophy kill a badge of personal honor and achievement.

I stopped hunting and trapping long ago. For years, I was ambivalent about speaking out because I accepted the cultural and psychological influences motivating those who grew up considering unnecessary killing a sport.  I’ve come to recognize how superficial, shallow, fleeting and self-destructive is this violent indulgence.

I’ve come 180 degrees. For me, it is the senseless open seasons on wolves, bears, and in Wisconsin, even mourning doves.

Mr. Ayers goes on to describe how the area where his cabin is located is void of many kinds of life. And points out how most rabid recreational animal killers claim to be “pro-life” but take pleasure in killing other species. He also points out that most never served in the military (i.e. Ted “Poopy Pants” Nugent). The line that stood out to me the most in the article was this:

Maybe I’m on the wrong track and should be thankful and relieved when the fall is here, the harvest moon rises in the sky, frost is on the pumpkin and stalwarts with their dogs wearing radio tracking devices, cell phones, high powered weaponry and sniper and skirmish lines to defend the rest of us who apparently live in constant fear of invasion by bears, wolves and mourning doves.

This article by a fellow veteran, one with vastly more courage than myself, may be the best indictment against recreational hunting/trapping and the sadist mindset, that I have ever read. This article describes many in Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota to the exact detail. Read more here:

Senseless seasons on animals doesn’t justify hunting


Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Hunting, Trapping, Wisconsin Insanity, Wolves


10 responses to “Outstanding Opinion Piece From Former Hunter/Trapper

  1. Suzanne Dunham

    December 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Great article as always.

  2. Sandra McGee

    December 4, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    I would love to hear the old hunters/trappers give their view on this article. I’m sure there would be a comment like “he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.” Or something to that effect. It’s good that people read this. Hopefully a lot of people (especially in the Northwoods & elsewhere) will read this article. It really hammers to the truth of & about hunting. Which there are some of us who already know what Mr Ayers finally figured out …….. it’s a sickness & needs to be stopped.
    Thanks for the great article.

  3. Dywane Brown

    December 4, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    If one man can change, then all can change.

  4. Bobette Traul

    December 5, 2012 at 1:40 am

    When I was a kid, the North Woods meant camping, swimming and roasting marshmallows. My God, I’m so disgusted.

  5. chance

    December 5, 2012 at 5:01 am

    There should be a clear distinction between “hunting” and thrill killing. Right now animals are killed for pure sadism and these perpetrators are empowered because the FG agencies and politcians look the other way and shrug off the cruelty as ” a small group” of people that do these unethical but “LEGAL” activities…..The SLOB VEE family is a perfect exmple….A couple of arrogant stupid rednecks from Northern Wisconsin who think they can do whatever they want to wildlife and not be held accountable…..This is a real problem moving forward……These idiots are the ones out there stalking these animals

    • markgil

      December 20, 2012 at 7:43 am


      to the innocent, helpless victims who are suffering and dying, it is all the same. hunting is a barbaric, brutal, sadistic, and extremely unnecessary practice no matter who is pulling the trigger.

  6. Exposing the Big Game

    December 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Reblogged this on Exposing the Big Game and commented:
    If you want something hopefull, Mr. Ayers entire article is worth reading

  7. Animal Connection

    December 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Reblogged this on Animal Connection.

  8. Pat Riley

    December 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Great article .. Read it!


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