VIEWPOINT: Sport hunting belongs in ‘dustbin of history'
By Joe Miele , NEW PALTZ, N.Y. - A recent column by wildlife-management and conservation-biology students at UND waxed poetic about hunting and how the sport is managed (“Wildlife managers back responsible hunting,” Page 3D, Dec. 9).
But what was absent from the pro-hunting piece was a modicum of objectivity. When the truth is told, hunting can be seen in a very different light.
“Hunting limits and seasons are set to ensure sustainable and healthy wildlife populations,” according to the column. But while hunting limits and seasons are indeed set to maintain a population of wildlife that can be hunted every year in perpetuity, hunting does not ensure healthy wildlife populations.
Given that hunters are looking to kill animals for trophies and for eating, it is unlikely that they will “waste” a deer tag on an animal who looks frail and sickly. That animal is left to spread illness to others in the forest, while the hunter sits in his tree and waits for a strong and healthy animal to walk by.
Furthermore, in the Aug. 7, 2006, edition of “Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,” University of Georgia researchers explained that hunting kills individual animals that have developed various immunities as a result of surviving infections. In this way, hunting increases the proportion of the population that is susceptible to disease.
It is true as the column claims, wildlife has recovered since the 19th century because of the efforts of hunters and hunting agencies. But the column neglected to mention the fact that the government enacted wildlife laws and regulations to stop hunters from killing everything they saw.
The passenger pigeon is a perfect example of this. Once the most populous species in all of North America, the bird was pushed into extinction by hunters who could not satisfy their desire to kill the helpless birds.
While the column also claims that hunting controls deer populations, other wildlife biologists admit that hunting actually increases wildlife populations. As Pennsylvania Game Commission biologist Rawley Cogan said in the Buffalo News, “My job is to show the public that hunting is a tool that can actually improve the herd's size and health.”
North American Hunter magazine's October 1995 edition reported the experience of a former Texas biologist who “managed” deer on a ranch: “After shooting 100 does, the ranch actually had more fawns than it did the year before. Because of the significant doe harvest, the fawn survival rate increased from 25 percent (four does to rear one fawn to weaning age) to 120 percent (1.2 fawns per doe).”
“Wildlife management” has been a catastrophic failure that has increased the number of deer/car collisions that have cost human lives, increased the amount of damage to agricultural crops and spread diseases such as Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease.
The time has come to abolish the insanity of sport hunting. In its place, we should nurture wildlife watching programs that have the ability to support a more robust economy than the one supported by weapons and violence.
To sweep sport hunting into the dustbin of history, please visitwww.cashwildwatch.org.
Miele is vice president of Wildlife Watch Inc.
This is s perfect example of what can happen when you let liberal activism go unchecked. The anti-hunting crowd will stop at nothing to ensure that you no longer have your right to hunt. When I first read this article I was very skeptical, I had good reason for feeling skepticism, I went to the site that was linked at the end of this left wing propaganda rant and found a site that was blatant anti-hunting. If you go to the other site you will find another site that is run by the guy that wrote this article. it is an environmental/anti-hunting site. All these sites are basically an extension of the left leaning organization left wing fringe group PETA.
What does it mean for hunters
I hear a lot of people say oh Goon that won't happen in your day and age. The next thing my liberal friends say is oh the democrats aren't attacking hunting or coming for our guns. They only want the assault rifles and weapons that people don't use for hunting. When I hear left leaning east coast liberals start attacking sport hunting or talking about gun control I get worried because they are talking about taking away yours and my freedoms.
Really, I am not that confident, I am not going to trust my freedoms in the hands of Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Dick Durbin, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi and other left leaning politicians. Last night I renewed my membership to the NRA, I had let it lapse for a year and I felt bad about it. If Hillary Clinton or people of like minded ilk get elected the rights of gun owners and hunters will be under full attack.