Sunday, March 30, 2014

St. Hubertus and ethical hunting.

A little bit of trivial I found in my surfing while learning about the significance of this symbol, which relates to Saint Hubert of Liège who is the patron saint of, among other things, archers, dogs, forest workers, and hunters:
Sankt Hubertus (German) is honored among sport-hunters as the originator of ethical hunting behavior. During Hubert's religious vision, the Hirsch is said to have lectured Hubertus into holding animals in higher regard and having compassion for them as God's creatures with a value in their own right. For example, the hunter ought to only shoot when a humane, clean and quick kill is assured. He ought shoot only old stags past their prime breeding years and to relinquish a much anticipated shot on a trophy to instead euthanize a sick or injured animal that might appear on the scene. Further, one ought never shoot a female with young in tow to assure the young deer have a mother to guide them to food during the winter. Such is the legacy of Hubert who still today is taught and held in high regard in the extensive and rigorous German and Austrian hunter education courses.
Christian cross seen between the antlers of a stag. This image is a reference to the two Christian patron saints of hunters, Saint Hubertus and Saint Eustace, both of whom converted to Christianity after experiencing a vision in which they saw a Christian cross between the antlers of a stag.

This symbol is also found on the  Jägermeister liquor label also features the following verse from the poem Weidmannsheil, by the forester, hunter, and ornithologist Oskar von Riesenthal (1830–1898).
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild,
daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild,
weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört,
den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.
According to Mast-Jägermeister SE, the translation is:

It is the hunter’s honour
that he Protects and preserves his game,
Hunts sportsmanlike,
honours the Creator in His creatures.

A loose translation which preserves the rhyme and meter is:
This is the hunter’s badge of glory,
That he protect and tend his quarry,
Hunt with honour, as is due,
And through the beast to God is true.
Interesting as all this is, it doesn't answer my question of why this symbol is also found on some German hiking badges.  But, the stuff about ethical hunting was pretty interesting.


  1. Thanks for the historical info. Hadn't heard of Hubertus and his teachings, but it falls in line with other Christian teachings on the subject which I have heard all my life.

    This concern for a humane, clean kill is one of the myriad reasons we find decisions like the recent Witaschek decision so disturbing--as well as various attempts and proposals to demonize and ban hollow points, limit the power of hunting ammo, ban scopes, etc.

    If you don't want to get into that much detail, I still have a question for you, Laci. You have, in the past, posted bits that elevated primitive hunting methods (e.g. dogs, spears, etc.) over hunting with guns as is done in America. I suppose part of this falls into your idea of it being more sportsmanlike since the game gets away more often, but surely that consideration is counterbalanced, at least somewhat, by the fact that it is a manifestly less clean kill.

    Should we not consider and even utilize the more modern tools we have so that the kill is more humane?

    1. I'll jump in here. I say hunting is sick. I might give a pass to the few people who really need to hunt to put food on the table, but the rest of it is unacceptable sick behavior.

    2. Congrats Laci! Mike says you're Sick like Me!

      Don't that just make you feel dirty?


      In all seriousness, 1) I'm glad you view all meat eating the same way (going off a previous conversation)--at least you're consistent. 2) At the risk of getting deeply philosophical, could you tell us why meat eating is sick? By what standard do you believe it is wrong?

    3. And yet, Mikeb, people continue doing it anyway, most of them without even knowing about your feelings. If they did, they wouldn't care.

    4. I don't eat meat because to do so would be to participate in the killing of animals. Of course, if a cow kicked in my door in the middle of the night, I'd shoot him dead on the spot - if I had a gun that is.

    5. I get that, Mike. That's why I respect that you understand that buying meat at the store is morally no different than harvesting it yourself (though I haven't heard you call every meat eater sick).

      The question I was getting at was why you find the killing of animals for food to be inappropriate.

    6. Didn't you see this in my first comment?

      "I might give a pass to the few people who really need to hunt to put food on the table, but the rest of it is unacceptable sick behavior."

    7. ??????

      Maybe I need to phrase this more clearly:

      Why do you think that it is morally wrong to kill animals for food? Not hunt, but kill period, be it squirrel and dumplings or a beef steak. I'm wondering about the moral basis that underlies all this--not about the exceptions worked into that framework for need, etc. Exceptions don't make sense without knowing the rule.

    8. I feel it's morally wrong to kill animals, period. This has to do with the interconnectedness of life on our planet. It's a moral imperative that human life and animal life should be respected. I'm not sure it applies to those who really need to hunt to feed themselves and their families, but generally killing and shedding blood is wrong. And, the way I live with this is to eat only non-meat foods. I don't buy meat in the supermarket.

  2. People hunt for the sport, it is no longer necessary to hunt to feed your family. Better gun technology does make the kill more humane.

    1. Necessary or not, a lot of hunters feed their families with the meat of animals they take, and for some, it is a necessity. But what do you mean about better technology? Firearms and bullets have been essentially the same for a long time.

    2. Anon,
      Where did any of this say hunting for sport was inappropriate so long as not done in as humane a way as possible, and without waste? Most may not NEED to hunt to feed their families, but they still feed their family with what they hunt. You don't NEED to be able to buy lamb at the grocery store--isn't beef and chicken enough?

      As for your final sentence, please tell me how better technology, which allows more accurate shots and shots which do more damage and kill the animal quicker, do not make the kill more humane.

    3. Where did I say hunting for sport is inappropriate?
      I did say modern technology makes the kill more humane.
      You have so much hate for anyone against even the slightest issue on guns, that you don't read what I said, just make stuff up I didn't say, or just lie, which you have falsely claimed against me before.

    4. Anon.

      My apologies. I was reading too fast and mentally inserted a "not" there because I expected it from past conversations with others. I should have been more careful in my reading rather than a once over and reply.

      I hope you'll forgive the mistake, and I'm glad we can agree on this issue at least.

    5. Anonymous, I'm still waiting for you to explain what technology you're talking about.

    6. I'm assuming he's talking about the same stuff I mentioned to Laci--guns as opposed to dogs and other weapons, more accurate modern ammo, scopes and the like. Yes, they've all been around for a good long while, and the changes have been minor, but that just makes some of the arguments by some banners even sillier.

    7. Simon is correct.
      That was what I was referring to and it's just extremist arguing on your (GC) part to not get that point since Simon made the point quite well in his first comment on this thread. I'm still waiting for you (GC) to give examples of why the government is a disqualified buyer in reference to a gun buying program. If you want explanations, you should be willing to give them. It's a two way conversation, not just your way.

      I see nothing wrong with hunting for sport. I simply said most people don't have to hunt for their food these days and I still believe that.
      I believe in hunting (killing animales) to thin the animal population. I believe in killing an animal who is injured and in pain. I myself shot a deer who had been hit by a car (in pain and thrashing about) just last Thursday.

      You guys are obviously coming from an extremest view on gun issues, I am not. But don't ASSume because I don't agree with your extremism, that I am anti gun. I am definitely anti gun stupidity, nor do I believe any law restricting gun paraphernalia is an infringement on the second amendment, nor do I believe background checks, waiting periods, mental health background checks, and other safety concerns are an infringement on the second amendment.

    8. Anonymous, what if you were restricted to making sense? Or to using only fifty words at most? Would that be an infringement on your speech rights?

    9. ??????
      Showing your irrationality and extremism again.
      The points I mentioned do not infringe on your right to buy, own, or use a gun. You must be afraid that you cannot pass those qualifications.
      Your example is ridiculous and not comparable.

    10. And Anonymous, if you were limited to expressing yourself with a manual typewriter, your right to a free press wouldn't be infringed upon, using your argument.

    11. Again, your comparison is bogus. The State is not limiting you to only a .22. You can choose from an endless number of gun choices.

    12. New Jersey does. There is only one model of handgun you can buy and it's a .22LR. So you'd call that an infringement, right? Or any other policies that severaly limit your gun choices.