27 Jan 2016 Africa News No comments

Catholic bishops of southwest Nigeria commend considerable progress towards countering Nigeria's Boko Haram militants

Catholic bishops of southwest Nigeria have commended Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Army for the considerable progress recorded in the fi…

Read more

16 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (19)

Was this Jehovah's Witness right about hell?

Full Question A Jehovah's Witness I know told me that Jehovah God would not burn his enemies in hell forever and ever, because it wouldn't “fit the crime" …

Read more

17 Sep 2016 Articles Comments (1)

5 popular celebrities who aren't afraid of showing their faith

Practicing your faith and being in the limelight is not always an easy task, especially in a world where Christians and believers are persecuted for their faith…

Read more

03 Apr 2015 Q&A No comments

Why is St. Therese of Lisieux (1873–1897) a patron of aviators?

Full Question Why is St. Therese of Lisieux (1873–1897) a patron of aviators? Answer In the early years of the twentieth century, St. Therese’s spi…

Read more

10 Dec 2015 Europe News No comments

Pope Francis sends his sympathy to victims of Storm Desmond

The Storm that raised in the regions of Lancaster is said to have claimed 2 lives and seen 5,200 homes flooded, according to BBC. This same storm prevented the …

Read more

17 Mar 2016 Americas Middle East News No comments

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declares Daesh [ISIS] responsible for genocide against humanity

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday declared the Islamic State group guilty of committing crimes against humanity. In a statement, Secretary Kerry…

Read more

06 Sep 2016 Articles Comments (10)

I met Mother Teresa. A few days later, I went blind.

There are saints, and then there are sinners. After my meeting with Mother Teresa, it became clear which category she was in, and the one that I belonged in. …

Read more

30 Jul 2016 Q&A No comments

Why is the monstrance sometimes held with bare hands and at other time with covered hands?

Full Question I don't know why sometimes the monstrance is held with bare hands and at Benediction they are covered. Isn't it sacred at all times? A…

Read more

22 Jan 2016 Europe News Vatican No comments

Second possible miracle credited to Blessed Cardinal John Newman under investigation by Vatican

After an extensive local investigation, the Archbishop of Birmingham has welcomed with great joy the possibility that a second miracle attributed to the interce…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Is there anything morally wrong with hunting deer for sport as opposed to hunting out of necessity for food?

Full Question

Is there anything morally wrong with hunting deer for sport as opposed to hunting out of necessity for food?


As on so many issues, there is no specific Church teaching on this subject. Still, one can apply basic moral principles (coupled with basic factual information about deer hunting and related issues) to derive an accurate conclusion. While some folks may not like it, the basic answer is that deer hunting for sport is not morally problematic.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church indicates, it is wrong to cause animals to suffer needlessly (cf. CCC 2418). This is not because it is a violation of the animal’s rights—animals do not have rights. Instead, the immorality lies in the fact that torturing any living thing fosters a delight in suffering and is thus an abuse of human nature.

It would be wrong to hunt out of a desire to make animals suffer, but in general most hunters seek to minimize the suffering of deer by using shots designed to make the animal’s death as quick and painless as possible. When this fails and an animal is injured but not killed, it is part of the hunter’s code to put it out of its misery as quickly as possible.

Hunting for sport provides a valuable service to nature as well. Wildlife in general—and deer in particular—have a tendency to overpopulate the areas in which they reside. Each area can support only a certain number of animals of a given kind, and the excess animals die of starvation and sickness unless they are culled.

What the state wildlife commissions do is calculate how many deer can be supported in the local environment, study the deer population to see how many have been born in a particular period, and determine the difference. The number of deer licenses that are granted to hunters in a given year is based on the number of deer that the land cannot support and would die anyway.

By allowing deer to be hunted, the deer population suffers less than if it was left to suffer starvation and sickness. Hunters who serve in this culling program are thus playing an important role in natural resource management. States must hire professional hunters to fulfill this role when sport hunters cannot.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories