He Who Kills It, Claims It
The recent story of an 11 year old hunter in Wisconsin has re-ignited the age-old debate about who claims an animal: the hunter who draws first blood, or the hunter who kills it?
Eleven-year old Kameron Jorgenson shot a nine-point buck in the leg while hunting with his father, only to have the buck fall and get back up, and run off to the neighbor's property. The neighbor, Randy Heyrman, then killed the buck.
Kameron Jorgenson and his father trailed the buck to the neighbor's property, who then suggested they flip a coin to decide who would keep the buck. The Jorgensons agreed, a coin was flipped, and little Kameron lost again.
Now, Kameron's father, identified in sources I could find only as "D.J" has called the neighbor out for failing to do what he mistakenly calls, "the right thing."
Simply put, the person who kills the animal claims the animal.
It is true that in Europe, those who draw first blood claim the animal. Some refer to it as a "gentlemanly rule." But that's Europe and this is America. Here, we don't reward people for trying to do something. We reward them for actually doing it. We reward people for their accomplishments.
This has been the rule here for centuries. Take, for example, a New York case from 1805, Pierson vs. Post. Post was chasing a fox, over hill and over dale. Pierson came across the fox, killed it, and kept it. Post sued Pierson, claiming the fox should have been his. Pierson won, as he should have. How can Post claim a fox he never possessed?
If I hook a big bass but don't get it in the boat, it's not mine. I can't complain if my fishing buddy then catches the bass and won't give it to me once he gets it in the boat.
Furthermore, trying to get the deer by badmouthing the neighbor, who actually killed it, sends the wrong message to the young hunter. You put deer on the wall by killing them--hone your shooting skills and hunting skills and get back out there. You don't put deer on the wall or in the freezer by trying to shame the guy into giving you a nice deer. One of the best lessons kids can learn from hunting is how to deal with disappointment, how to rebound and do better next time. I suggest that the way to handle disappointment is not to go around complaining and whining about what the neighbor did--D.J. Jorgenson should spend his time target shooting with his kid instead.
Plus, you agreed to a coin toss and lost. Come on!
All Hail Bunjie!