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Dear Gramps,

In regards to hunting, there is a problematic species of rodent in the Great Plains that is considered an infestation and a plague-carrying animal. States have deemed the animal a “non-game species in need of management”. These rodents are hunted for recreation, and when not, poisoned by the state with taxpayer dollars.

I am familiar with Doctrine and Covenants 49:21, which states “wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.”

However, the State deems hunting or poisoning this “non-game” species as a need. I do not seek to play word games with the scriptures, please don’t get me wrong.

Is legally hunting this problematic field rodent at government request wrong?





Dear Bob,

Whether such hunting activity would be considered wrong or not would depend more on the attitude of the hunter than on the act of hunting. As we read in Samuel,

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart (1 Sam 16:7). 

If someone wanted to hunt those rodents just to go out and kill something, then I think that the person would be censured by the Lord. However, if he were employed by the government and one of his duties were to reduce the rodent population, then I image that his obedient actions would be accounted to him for righteousness.






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