Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: Pheasants
Wed, 7 Apr 1999 09:14:38 -0500
"Nicholas J. Henshue" wrote:
> Heidi- Ho!!!!
> I recieved the following question via email from one of my fellow
> scoutmasters, and thought I would pose it to you.... The context of this
> letter is the planning of a "Pioneering: Back to 1806" thematic campout
> with the troop.
> ...."I have considered legaly securing six (6) hen pheasants. These would
> be brought on a campout where we would allow the Scouts to butcher, gut,
> pluck and cook. Cooking would/could be using a variety of methods including
> dutch oven, bucket method and rotissery. Butchering would be by
> decapitation and plucking follows immersion in hot water."... "The question
> which has come up when discussing this with other adults is whether or not
> this might be perceived as some sort of cult or other "bad" thing? I only
> believe this to be teaching basics to Scouts being brought up in a
> styrofoam society, however, when in doubt we are taught to go to our
> What should I tell him?
Killing and dressing two birds are a part of the requirements for the
Poultry Option for Animal Science Merit Badge. The Animal Science MB is
not of interest to every Scout. While the killing and dressing of birds
is an appropriate learning activity for Scouts who are pursuing the
Animal Science MB, it may be shocking or offensive to those who have no
interest in Animal Science and to their parents, who long ago moved from
an agricultural based society into the protective womb of an urban
society, where the only killing we are accustomed to is depicted on the
Read the Animal Science Poultry Option MB requirements carefully and you
may conclude that the birds to be killed and dressed must be raised by
the Scout while keeping records of feed intake and weight gain. If that
is your conclusion then the Pheasant killing may not be a proper
activity even for your Scouts taking the Animal Science MB unless they
raised the pheasants from chicks. Even then, you may have to convince
yourself that pheasant chicks are agricultural livestock of the type the
Mb was intended to cover.
My advice: Save the killing of the birds for your Scouts who are working
to earn the Animal Science MB and save yourself a lot of unneeded
Len Christiansen firstname.lastname@example.org
SA Troop 292, Mobile, AL ...I used to be an eagle (SR-101)!
Gihim - One Who Encourages