In Mississippi, where almost everyone hunts, there are two main classes of hunters. Still-hunters hunt from fixed positions in the woods. Dog hunters use hounds like beagles and regional varieties called "running walkers" and "blue ticks" to flush out their prey. Dog hunters who hunt from the road, either while sitting in pickup trucks or standing by the roadside, are called road hunters.It was an experience that I'll never forget... the mad dash of the buck pursued by the howling, emaciated dogs... the sound of (illegal) automatic gunfire in the distance... the elderly African-American gentleman who was paid a pittance to gut, skin and butcher the deer and clean-up around the camp. The whole thing was barbaric, more slaughter than sport.
Landowners and other hunters complain that the road hunters let their dogs run wild on other people's property, spray gunfire into populated areas, terrorize farm animals and engage in a practice that is more slaughter than sport.
The same can be said about the aerial hunting of bears and wolves in Alaska. It will come as a surprise to no one that Sarah Palin is an advocate of the practice.
Most Americans have never hunted, and will likely find aerial hunting to be as foreign and bizarre as hunting itself. But for the more than 20 million active hunters in the United States and more than 40 million Americans who have hunted at one time in their life, I think many will find aerial hunting unsportsmanlike, to say the least.