Handicapped hunting, an ethical dilemma

A close friend of mine is on a disability pension; he’s had four heart attacks, and he’s on a fistful of drugs for that. He applied for and got a handicapped hunting permit. This allows him to use a quadrunner (sort of a 4 wheeled motorcycle) to get to his site and to drag out the deer carcass. He can also use a crossbow or handgun, but he doesn’t plan to do that. Now, here’s the tricky part. He wants me to apply for a handicapped permit so I can accompany him on his hunting trip to the set-aside handicapped hunting site.

I have a defect in my back, in the lumbar section. Years ago, a distinguished orthopedic surgeon told me never to lift over 50 pounds without help. I’ve never considered it a handicap, and I can get around okay. If I were to bag a deer, though, I could not drag it out of the woods without injuring myself.

Now, is it ethical for me to apply for a handicapped hunting permit? I’m teetering on the edge of this matter. Maybe I’m disabled enough to honestly ask for special consideration, or maybe it would be crass to do that, as a guy who can walk for miles without a cane. If I tried to walk a hundred yards carrying half a deer, I’d probably be crippled for a week or two.

I’m sure that there are definitions of what constitutes a “handicap” in the statute or regulation that provides for the issuance of handicapped hunting permits. If your back trouble falls within those definitions, then there’s nothing unethical about availing yourself of such a permit. If you enjoy hunting, and want to do so with your friend, and you can’t handle the weight of a deer carcass because of your back, then get yourself the necessary permit and enjoy. What could be unethical about that?

Because of your established disability, you are unable to hunt in the conventional way. It certainly sounds as if you qualify.

Therefore, it is perfectly ethical.

You could always apply for the special permit and provide them (F&G) with the information you just gave us, thereby letting any consternation about the decision be handled by them.

In California, at least (IIRC), the handicapped hunter is permitted a non-hunting escort. Why not just go with your friend, enjoy the whole experience, but let him do the actual hunting? If he gets something, then he’s got a mechanical means of getting the game out, plus some help. Still sounds like fun.

If I say I think it’s ethically perfectly fine for you to go ahead and get a handicapped hunting license, will you send me some venison?


You think that would be unethical?

OK, I think if you got a handicapped license, you would be the ultimate in sleazebag Bami-killing innocent animal-murdering… animal murderers.

[sub]No, I don’t see any ethical problems with your situation.

Can I have some venison?[/sub]

So, Asbestos Mango, do you like venison or something?
I’ve got a freezer half-full of it. It was packed full, but we’ve eaten some of it.
The rib-eyes are particularly sweet and tender. The deer were living near an apple orchard. Do you know what venison tastes like when the deer eat lots of apples? Yummy…


Can I have some venison?

You know, if I thought it would ship well, I’d pack some steaks and Bambi-burgers up for you right now. But I don’t think UPS takes kindly to frozen-meat shipments.

But I will think of you next time we have some. :wink:

I would go ahead and apply for the handicap permit. I completely understand your reluctance on ethical grounds, but in the “big picture” sense it would be better to help your friend out.

If I do go for it, I won’t be hoping for the huge 12-point buck. Why go for old, tough meat? I might donate the meat to the local food bank. Maybe I’ll take a haunch, and make a pot roast. I dunno.