Question Box: Do Mormons Hunt

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January 16, 2011
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Q: Do Mormons hunt?

Yes, but there is nothing in Mormon belief that says a person has to hunt, or should not hunt.

My dad’s side of the family hunted to sustain themselves and if they got a nice buck deer that was a bonus.  And I think that philosophy is in line with what has been taught by God.  Speaking to Noah, He said “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things” (Genesis 9:3).  Personally, I don’t see any difference between hunting and killing a deer to feed my family and buying hamburger at the store.  Animals died either way and to me there is something a little more noble about a deer giving its life to sustain me.

However, I think that there is something wrong with hunting simply to kill.  God taught this concept to Joseph Smith when he said, “wo be unto man that sheddeth blood of that wasteth flesh and hath no need” (D&C 49:21).

I’ll be honest, for me hunting is a little bit of an adrenaline rush.  There is nothing quite like listening to a big bull elk bugling on a cool fall morning.  But, on a more personal level hunting has taught me a lot about life. I learned at a very early age that life is precious and can be gone in an instant.  I saw that food didn’t just come from a store and that it was a precious commodity.  I learned how to take care of the animal–cleaning, cutting it up, and getting it ready for storage.  I was taught never to kill more than I could eat. I was taught to be an excellent shot with my rifle so that the animals die quickly and not suffer.  In addition I got to spend a lot of quality time with my dad and observe him in situations other than work and home.  He taught me how to be a man in the mountains and I am grateful for that.

Thanks for asking about hunting, I hope that answers your question.

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