Sunday, March 20, 2005

Hunting Versus Culling

Two of my favorite bloggers discussed hunting this morning. Countertop Chronicles discusses a New York Times editorial on how deer have become a suburban pest and their herds need to be culled. ZendoDeb at TFS Magnum looks at African nations that encourage hunting have healthier and larger herds than those that ban hunting. Go read their takes. I have little to add, but when two bloggers discuss related subjects on the same day, well I just have to chime in with my opinion.

Countertop agrees that the deer herds need to be reduced and offers concrete ideas on how to do that. He takes the New York Times editorial to task for suggesting we need sharpshooters out killing the deer.

ZendoDeb links to another blog and adds more background to it. When hunters come to Africa, game becomes an important commodity for an African government. They go out of their way to ensure a healthy herd of animals for the hunters who in turn reduce the sizes of the herds while spending much money in that country. It becomes a win-win situation for the people and animals.

Maybe we should consider that concept here. Local governments could give special licenses to hunters to come and shoot a given number of deer. They would reduce animal populations while providing hunters with meat and recreation.

As for the New York Times idea of "sharpshooters," I really hate that idea. I have a feeling that the meat would go to waste. "Sharpshooters" could ship carcasses to meat processors, but someone would complain about poor Bambi being turned into food. Someone else would sue because they got a bellyache after eating culled venison. No, my guess is sharpshooters would collect carcasses and bury them in a pit (keeping the best cuts for their families).

At the same time, using "sharpshooters" is an insult to hunters. Hunting is a safe sport and localities could insist on short-range bow or shotgun hunting only. The editorial doesn't recognize the idea that hunting can be a recreation. Instead, for a "sharpshooter" hunting would be a nine-to-five job. Since "sharpshooters" would be there to cull deer, they wouldn't give animals a sporting chance (can anyone say jacklighting).

I can't imagine killing animals for a paycheck day in and day out. I've killed animals. Bill and I enjoy hunting and we like game meat. Any animal we hunt has a sporting chance and we often come home empty-handed. But, going out each day to shoot a beautiful animal that will probably be wasted is not hunting. It's soulless slaughter. The New York Times editorial betrays a liberal fear that someone will actually enjoy hunting and we can't have that, instead they would rather hire a person to callously kill animals for a paycheck. How insulting. How sad.

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