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Killing Wild Animals Now Just a Click Away

Merlin Orr

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Killing Wild Animals Now Just a Click Away

Hunting wild animals is nothing new in Texas. But a new company called Live-

Shot.com has added a modern, controversial twist to the primal desire to

kill: Internet hunting. Now anyone with a computer and a modem can log on

and fire real weapons. Howard Giles did it a few weeks ago, becoming the

first known Internet hunter to bag a wild hog by remote control. Giles was

sitting behind his computer in San Antonio. The pig was munching on corn

about 50 miles away in the Texas Hill country. "He was a beast," said

Giles. "I felt like I was there." Though Texans wear their love of guns and

hunting proudly, the idea of Internet hunting has generated plenty of

criticism. A Republican representative in the Texas Legislature, Todd Smith -

himself an occasional hunter - has offered a bill to ban the practice. "I

don't think we should be able to kill God's creatures with the click of a

mouse," Smith said. "I think hunters are offended by the concept, much less

non-hunters." Wildlife authorities have already taken steps to ban the

killing of any native species by remote control, but they cannot ban the

Internet slaughter of imported exotic game, including the kind of feral hog

that Giles killed. Several other states are already moving to head off

Internet hunting in the event that Internet entrepreneurs try to introduce

their own remote-control slaughters. And the Humane Society of the United

States is calling on Congress to make it illegal across the country. "What

started as a depraved idea has apparently become a sickening reality," said

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society. "This is a snuff

film scenario in which animals will be senselessly killed for the

voyeuristic pleasure of someone sitting at a keyboard. It is pay-per-view

slaughter. This remotely delivered cruelty should be shut down and outlawed

immediately." John Lockwood, owner of Live-Shot.com, does not see what the

fuss is all about. He says that what his company offers is not much

different from the traditional guided hunt. He notes that there is always

somebody at the ranch where the remotely-controlled equipment is set up. And

he said the animals are not penned up. "They're just as free-ranging as on

any other ranch," he said. For now, most visitors to Live-shot.com have been

shooting not at live animals but at paper targets and balloons. More than

350 people from as far away as France and Australia are paying $15 a month

and $6 each time they fire off 10 rounds from a .22 caliber rifle. Hunters

also have to pay $300 for a two-hour session, and obtain a Texas hunting

permit. That too can be gotten over the Internet. Shipping and processing

the meat, or any taxidermy, costs extra. The remote control hunters and

target shooters can see the action through two cameras. They control the

rifle with four arrows and pull the trigger by remote control by clicking on

a "fire" button. Lockwood has scheduled another hunt in early April. That's

when Dale Hagberg of Indiana, paralyzed and bed-ridden, will try to kill a

wild animal for the first time since he was injured in a diving accident

nearly 20 years ago. "I was an avid hunter before I got hurt," Hagberg

said. "I've missed it ever since."


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I haven't voted yet, but here is how I feel about this. I was taught it was unsportsmanlike to kill anything you, or someone else, were not going to eat. I understand that a conservation effort sometimes requires hunting of species not fit for eating or other useful purpose. I have killed many whitetail deer, squirrels, doves, turkey, and a coyote. Hunting to me is more about being in the woods and seeing it all firsthand. It is not something that is taken lightly by those serious about quality conservation of a species. I understand the cyberhunter purchased a license, but what happened to his trophy, or what safety concerns can remote firing of a gun can have, but I do know that this is just one more place where we as a society don't need to go. There is no logical reason that someone who has the time to do this on the net, cannot go out in the field and do it for real, a far better rush. OK, I just talked myself into the Sicko vote, even though I can see where the cyberhunter had fun doing it. I think we should be able to execute death row inmates in this fashion, OK not really, but it was funny for a moment.

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As an avid hunter, I think this is totally wrong!!!! Hunting is not about the killing, it is about being out in the wild, spending time with friends and family, putting meat on the table. It is also about the tracking, the wind, the stalk, testing your woodsmanship against the animal.

Hunting is NOT about the KILL!!!!!!

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Pardon my french on this but if I see any of the dirty bastards responsible for this, I'll wipe the floor with them.

Not only is it sicko shit, but it is total cowardice and I classify these bastards with rapists and child molesters.

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I don't hunt anymore - but I have in the past (in fact, I was a hunter safety instructor in GA for a while). I can understand building something like this for handicapped folks, but would rather see them out there in the field w/ it, too. Shouldn't be opened to able bodied folks.

Another thing that bothers me - around this area, there are stocked "game ranches" where they fence in a piece of land with 10' fences (so things can't escape), and then flood it with game. People pay to go out there and "hunt" (ie, sit in a stand wait until something inevitably wanders by). Where's the sport in that?? Whatever happened to learning how to track and hunt game, instead of this ready made crap???

There's a rancher up the road from me who raises game animals for those ranches - you should see his whitetail herds. He also stocks some sort of impala, a few zebra, etc. There used to be a time when you had to go to Africa to hunt those things, in their native "not used to man" habitats... Ugh....

If I ever hunt again, it will be for boar, on foot, w/ a handgun....

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This is so totally offensive, I'm not sure I could restrain myself if I ever met the a**holes that are selling this (or the nutless wonders pulling the trigger over the internet). I'm an avid bird hunter, and the complete absence of tradition and ethics defy comprehension.

It's beyond the pale.


(I selected "sicko." Arresting isn't good enough. Burning at the stake more closely approximates the severity of the crime.)

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If there was an option to parade the operators of this so called service in front of the reticle, I would definitely take a shot.

I want a shoot the owners option to chose on the poll. That would be the most humane way of dealing with this. They would not then deserve having their sorry a$$ carcasses dressed out and used in a respectful manner, just leave-em for the buzzards to handle.

I am doing my best to not over-react here ;-)



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There isn't a punishment I can imagine that would be fitting for a travesty such as this. These folk are truely swine from Satan's heard (and I'm not sure that couldn't be construed as a complement, considering the circumstances.)

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  • 1 month later...

An article in the local paper popped up this morning on this... Virginia has outlawed it (punishable by up to 5 years in prison); even Texans are offended; a bill (#389) is moving thru the Oregon statehouse to ban it ("...make it illegal to kill a bird or animal by remote control or via an Internet connection"); other states are moving to ban it.

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It's sick what hunting has become. -

Just another Video Game for slobs.

Rifles that will drop a deer in the next county.

Hunters who call themselves "Hunters" and don't have a clue what the sport is about.

Hunters that will hunt anything that they can shoot from a Pickup.

Hunters that will kill anything just to kill something.

Hunters that will kill game for the mount and leave the meat to rot.

Commercial farms where it's walk or drive out and kill something.

Excuse my rambling it hurts to see my sport dying before my eyes.

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All personal feelings on the right and wrong of this issue aside (and I thinks its wrong), what right do we have to tell someone they can not do this? Do their actions violate your rights in any shape or form? I can not see where a "game animal rancher" allowing the killing of HIS stock via remote control in any shape or form impinges upon the rights of any third party, therefore the government should have no say so in the business.

Many of you may take great offense at this (both what he is doing and my comments) and thats just fine. You have the right to not like something, not spend your money on it. I know I would never spend my money on such an enterprise that I personally find offensive. But neither you nor the government SHOULD have the right to tell someone what to do with their property. Now, reality is that the government does make laws to appease the sensabilities of the masses which infringe upon the right of individuals who are not violating the rights of others and they will continue to to do so in this case.

Just my penny and a half's worth.


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