Is Recreational Hunting Wrong?


Is recreational hunting wrong, especially when it is totally unnecessary for food or clothing?


As servants of Christ, we must be subject to one rule in all that we do, and that rule was stated by the apostle Paul: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). If an activity can pass that test, if in this case one could hunt not to satisfy any carnal or selfish impulse, then we may go on to consider our question from other angles.

Hunting, as an activity, can be a healthful recreation. If one is hunting to get fresh air and exercise, for a short period of time, and can be in good company, such an activity would seem worthwhile, especially if it resulted in some food that could be used (even though one was not depending upon the hunting to obtain food).

If, on the other hand, the purpose of one’s hunting was to kill as much as possible, as for sport, with no use whatever for the animals killed, such hunting could not be justified.

Another factor in recreational hunting would be the extent to which it might absorb our interest or thought. If one should become obsessed with hunting—or any other hobby—to the point that he or she was spending large amounts of effort, money, time and thought upon it, to the exclusion of higher and more important interests, such would be wrong in the sight of God. As Jesus said, the seeking of God and His Kingdom must be first in our lives, first in our thoughts, first in our affections (Matt. 6:33; Col. 3:1-2; Mark 12: 30-31).