Archive for the ‘Hunting Controversy’ Category

Update on Mississippi’s Deer Baiting Battle…

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Ok, most of us are a bit lethargic when it comes to blogging on the weekends, but I just found an update on a post I wrote a few days ago, and thought I would update you all on it (if you haven’t already seen it.)

Governor Barbour of Mississippi has remained true to his word, and vetoed a bill that would make it legal to hunt deer over bait in the state. In a statement that accompanied the news of his veto, the governor had this to say:

“I consider hunting deer over bait to be an issue of both science and ethics,” Barbour wrote in his veto message. “My personal view is that hunting deer with the aid of bait is not consistent with the sportsman’s hunting tradition of fair chase.”

Barbour stated that he believes that decisions concerning the practice of “supplemental feeding” should be left to scientists, rather than to the politicians. It seems that this decision was made to allow the DNR (which was given the right to make this decision just a year ago) to make the decision on policy concerning baiting, or supplemental feeding. A decision has not been made by lawmakers in Mississippi as to whether they will try to override the veto.

The Mississippi State Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (equivalent of the DNR) recently released their recommendations on supplemental feeding. Many of the lawmakers have complained that it took too long to reach them. However, it seems to me that a year of planning, gathering information, statistics, and public opinion on the subject is not too long!

The recommendations from the commission is that supplemental feeding (essentially baiting) should be legal, but with the following restrictions:

  • Feed may only be provided from above ground covered feeders or stationary spin cast feeders.
  • Feeders may be placed no closer than 100 yards from any property boundary.
  • Feed may not be poured, piled or placed directly on the ground.
  • Salt or mineral stations, blocks or licks may be established.

These seem to be reasonable suggestions to me. It would lead to more hunters establishing feeding areas for the deer, rather than just throwing out a basket of apples or corn right before they are hunting. This would provide a more normal location for deer to have feed, and would not be much different than planing a small field of turnips for the purpose of drawing in the wildlife.

If you live in Mississippi and would like to voice your opinion on the subject, you can visit the MDWFP home site. They are collecting public comment on the subject until May 6, when they have their next meeting.

For more information, you can visit this Sun Herald article!

Mississippi Hunters Can Bait Deer…or Maybe Not!

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

The state senate of Mississippi has passed a bill making it legal to hunt deer over bait by a narrow margin (25-24).  The state House has also passed the bill (68-51), so now it is on to the governor’s desk.  The problem is that the governor has already promised to veto the bill if it made it to his desk.

Though I haven’t really been following it, it seems that this has been a hot issue in Mississippi…maybe some of my readers from down there can jump in and help me out on understanding all of the intricacies of the issue as it has developed down that way.

It appears that just a year ago, the state gave the DNR the right to decide if baiting would be legal or not.  But, this year, they have jumped the gun and tried to push through legislation that would make the practice of baiting legal.  I suspect that this is at the heart of the issue as to why the governor would veto the bill when it makes it to his desk.  It seems that this move would make the law passed just last year insignificant–going around the law to institute something that was already taken care of.  It seems like they should have just legislated it how they wanted it last year!

I know that baiting can be a hot topic among deer hunters, much like other significant issues (high fence hunting, dog hunting, etc.)  But, as I was reading this article on the Commercial Dispatch Online, I was struck by one of the statements made toward the end of the article.  Quoting from the article:

When questioned about the practice of hunting deer over food, House Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Chairman Bo Eaton, D-Taylorsville, responded: “It’s all about ethics. If you feel like it’s unethical, then don’t do it.”

I think a lot of hunters spend time arguing over what is ethical, and what is not.  What we should focus on is what is LEGAL.  If a practice is legal, then it is really up to the individual whether or not he or she sees it as ethical.  I may decide not to hunt behind high fence, but if it is legal, I am not going to bash someone else who does it.  The same is true for baiting, hunting with dogs, or hunting with crossbows.  If I don’t like one of those practices, even though it is legal, I don’t have to participate!  That quote makes a lot of sense, and really should help us to see the approach we should take to many of these controversial, but legal issues.

So, what is your take on baiting deer?  It is legal here in WV, and we do have a couple of feeders set up.  What I would say is that we have harvested very few deer because of the feeders.  Most of us don’t hunt near them, as they are generally near the road (we don’t have a 4 wheeler to carry the feed into the feeders).  I will hunt near one a couple of times during bow season, but that is about all.  I know in the south they are used more, especially where there are no open fields.  I have hunted some places where there was little chance of getting a shot at an animal because the cover was so thick.  I can certainly understand using feeders in those situations to try and draw out some animals from the underbrush.

So, what do you do?  Tell us your take, especially if you are from Mississippi–how will this debate affect you and your hunting style?

North Dakota Debates High Fence Hunting

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

I tried to post this last night, but for some reason my WordPress hiccuped and deleted the whole thing.  I guess I will try to get it out again, though I am sure it will be a lot different than what I wrote up last night.

It appears that the Fair Chase Initiated Measure is to appear on the ballot this November.  A group called the United Sportsmen, held a town hall type meeting to allow both sides of the issue to express their opinions.  This seems to me to be a good idea, as there is much disagreement over this issue.  There was a pretty good turnout at this meeting in Jamestown, ND, as about 200 people attended.

On one side, supporters of the initiative argued that this practice is not really hunting.  After all, the animal is penned up behind a high fence, and doesn’t have much chance of escaping the hunters.  Statements were made such as “high fence is not fair chase” and “A guaranteed hunt is as unethical as you get.”  This is representative of many hunters across the country.

On the other side, the ranchers argued that this was an issue that had to do more with land rights, than with hunting.  They argued that the government would be taking too much control, and impeding their rights as land owners to step in and ban this type of hunting.  They argued that the animals on their ranches, behind their high fences were not taken from the wild, and therefore were not the property of the state.  These animals were in fact purchased by the landowners, and controlled like livestock.  They also pointed out that the animals were actually regulated by the state as livestock, and fell under the supervision of the Board of Animal Health.

The debate over this type of hunting has gone on for a long time, and each one of us as hunters have to decide if we want to participate.  Bryan, over at DeerPhD had an interesting post in his “What Would You Do?” series that addressed this very issue, and he had quite a bit of response to it.  While I was composing this post last night, I discovered that Tom, over at the Black Bear Blog had also posted about “Fair Chase” hunting.  Be sure to go over and read those posts if you haven’t yet.

But, with this post, I really want to delve into the idea of land rights.  Even if we as hunters decide that we don’t want to participate in hunting behind high fence, should we try to make it illegal through legislation?  Do we really want the government being able to step in and ban certain kinds of hunting?

My fear is that this is one of those “first step” types of legislation.  When this is banned, then the anti-hunting crowd will move on to other types until they get as much as they can (or all the hunting).  This is not the first time that this has happened.  There are cases of stopping hunting with hounds.  There are cases of stopping particular types of hunting, such as dove hunting.  These tactics are always escalated to the next level, the next species, and the next type of hunting.  The bad thing in some of these cases is that the anti-hunting crowd drums up the support of hunters to help them in their fight!  So, if they can find hunters who find hunting behind high fences distasteful, they can rope them into helping them ban one type of hunting.  What we will see happening is the effort to expand laws that are formed off of this legislation to limit other hunting opportunities.

But, some may say, the government already has the right to legislate what you do on your own property.  After all, you can’t grow drugs, or make Meth.  But, that is a different issue all together (though many will try to compare them).  If the government is allowed to come in and control what ranchers do in this case, it will not be long until they can control what they can do in all cases.  If they can stop one kind of hunting on your neighbors land, they can stop all hunting on your land!

My take on this is that we as hunters should not push for the eradication of this kind of hunting, even if we do not like it, or would not participate in it.   I think it will lead to other problems for us, and we will have a hard time stopping it.  Besides, if all hunters feel that high fence hunting shouldn’t be done, the easy way to get rid of it is to not go hunt there.  Let the market control it.  If no one hunts, these ranches would not be profitable.  If they are not profitable, they will close down.  The truth is, there is a market for it, and probably always will be.  This aspect is kind of a moot issue for me, because it is too cost prohibitive for me to participate.

I will make one comment about the practice of high fence hunting itself.  It seems to me that the size of the enclosure is important to the discussion.  The ranchers quoted in the Jamestown Sun Article claim that their ranches are between 600 and 2000 acres.  Personally, I rarely cover 600 acres in a day while hunting (and that includes a lot of still hunting).  2000 acres would be nearly impossible to cover.  Unless you were right beside the fence itself, it seems like it would be hard to know it was there, and wouldn’t affect your manner of hunting much at all. However, if the enclosure was only 20 acres, that would be a different story.

If I am missing the boat on this, show me why!  Here’s your chance to change my mind!

Source:  The Jamestown Sun 

And the Plan Moves On…

Monday, February 18th, 2008

Watching the local news tonight, I learned that the State House has approved the plan to start hunting safety courses up in the secondary schools. The courses proposed are for hunting safety, ATV safety and survival skills. Now, it must go to the Senate for final approval, and passing to the Governor to sign into law. So, the first step is completed, and two more to go. If it can get out of the Senate, I am sure that the Governor will be signing it. So, I become more confident that this legislation has a chance with every step!

Be sure to see my other two posts on this subject for more background:

More on WV’s Plan for Hunting Classes in Schools

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

A few days ago, I wrote a post about a new class that some of our State Legislators are trying to get into the public school system, and why I thought it could be a good idea. Today, there is more news on that front. The governor, Joe Manchin, has now entered the arena, with his opinion. The Register-Herald out of Beckley, WV, published a piece today concerning the issue.

Governor Manchin’s take on the issue is that it should not be forced on the local school boards. It should be a decision made at the local level, whether it will be offered or not. I can live with that, and in fact think that is probably best. But, the state needs to pass the law making it legal, or acceptable for the local schools to include the curriculum. Until it is solidified at the state level, the local school boards have very little ability to implement such a program. The curriculum should be approved, and it should be optional for the school board to implement it, or for students to participate. I have little doubt that most (almost all) of the school systems in this state would approve the program. I may be surprised, if the wrong people are on the board. If that is the case, there will be uproar among parents who want the program instituted.

All that being said, I do wonder if the governor would take the exact same stand on other curricula that go far beyond “reading, writing and arithmetic”? I venture to say that the state has legislated other programs (such as morality based programs included in health programs, such as sex education) without thinking that it should come down to “a local call and that’s the culture of the local community”. If that were the case, I know that there are programs that would be rejected!

I do see a couple of good things in this article, providing us with more information. One is a quote that indicates the popularity of this legislation, even from other states:

Bailey has been besieged with inquiries from lawmakers in other states interested in proposing similar legislation there.

That is good news for those of you in other states, who would like to see similar laws enacted. It means that there is a hope that if successful here in WV, you will have precedent to enact similar legislation.

Secondly, I was asked if this class would certify hunters for their safety card. This article makes it clear that it will indeed provide those who successfully finish the program the required hunter’s safety card to be able to purchase a hunting license:

Completing the 10-hour course would provide graduates with a certificate to satisfy training requirements now in place before teens can buy a state hunting license.

I was glad to find this information today, as it gives me more hope that the program may get off its feet.

A Little Help from the Texans?

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Deer Gate I stumbled across an article today that has to do with a practice in Texas, and I am hoping that some of you guys that live down that way might be able to help me out in understanding the practice, and the impact of the practice. The article about it can be found at the Statesman.com. It appears that in Texas it is legal to install gates such as the one to the right in high fences, which surround ranches. The gate is designed to allow deer to push their way through, often to bait piles just past the gate. Now, I am not one to criticize the hunting methods of others. In fact, I have been formulating a post in my mind about the damage that can be done by the constant backbiting between sportsmen. However, this seems like a practice that could (and would) cause for some major bad blood between landowners. If I had a ranch where I wanted to do some quality deer management, and found that my neighbor was baiting all the deer to his property, trapping them there, and not allowing any to return, I would be pretty upset! So, I guess my question to those who visit us here at Jake’s Outdoors from Texas is: is this developing into any kind of problem down there? Does this tend to give ranchers, or even more specifically hunters a bad name? Of course, I appreciate and solicit comments from anyone who has an opinion on the subject!

Also mentiond in the article is the practice of having mechanical gates, which are controlled by the land owner. This seems even more disturbing, as the landowner can be very selective about which deer come into his or her property. They can watch the gate, and only raise it when there are deer outside that they want on their ranch. Again, that may work wonders for the development of a herd on the inside of the high fence, but how does that impact the other landowners on the outside of the ranch? Again, I would be furious if that were happening beside me. It may lead to the conclusion that the only way to compete is to do the same thing! I wonder how much this leads to cut fences in that part of the country?

It seems to me that this practice is not so much about hunting, or hunting practices. It is about what is ethical. We could probably debate all day the idea of hunting behind high fences. That is not even what this post is about. This is about the practice of purposefully enticing deer into your ranch, and then impeding their ability to return to where they just came from. I am sure that the discussion could overflow into hunting, if this is being done during the season. Imagine the ease with which a deer fresh through the gate could be killed. If they spooked, and tried to flee, they would go right back to the gate, where they would be trapped, and panicked. There are certainly many problems that may arise with the practice.

Don’t let me indicate that Texas is the only place that these practices may be used. It is simply the example that I found while reading articles this morning. So, don’t think I am attacking Texas in some way–that is not the case. Let me know what you think of these practices!

West Virginia Wants to Train Hunters in Schools

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Many of you may have already read the article released by the AP at the end of January outlining the possibility of Hunter safety being an elective in schools. If you do a Google Search, you will find a lot of comments about this proposition, most of which are not favorable. The problem is, most of those writing about the proposition are not from West Virginia, and do not understand our setting and culture. So, without further ado, I will tell you why this is a great idea for the state of West Virginia, and why it is probably a good idea for a lot of other predominantly rural states.

First, as this article points out, the number of hunters is declining. That is in direct result of the poor economic climate in the state. Simply put, young people don’t often stay here. If they are not planning to work in a coal mine, they will pack their bags after college and set out to other places. However, if these young people are introduced in a favorable way to the outdoor opportunities available here, even if they do decide to leave, they will come back to hunt. How, you ask, do I know this? That is exactly what I did! I left the state for over 10 years, but I purchased a WV lifetime hunting license so that I could come back and hunt. If these kids do not have an someone in their family who is encouraging them to learn about outdoor sports, the chances of them coming in contact with someone who can help them are slim.

Secondly, it is important for kids to have activities that occupy their time that are good and wholesome. Though many anti-gun proponents try to tie kids who hunt with shootings, the truth is that is rarely if ever true. Think about it…how often have you heard a report of a kid shooting up a school with a “hunting rifle”, or a “hunting shotgun”? They always throw “hunting” in there, even if that gun had never seen a day of hunting in its life! Kids who are taught to enjoy the outdoors through camping, fishing, and hunting are better behaved, more respectful and better adjusted kids. How many “thugs” do you know who enjoy hunting and fishing? I think that we can use a program such as this to get kids who are not really interested in “team sports” or clubs into something that will be healthy for them.

Thirdly, it seems to me that this would be a good way to “waste money” in the school systems. After all, money is wasted all the time on things that are completely useless. I for one would like to see them, if they are going to go beyond what schools were originally designed for, to put it to something that I can support. We as hunters are often the brunt of social prejudice, so it would be nice to have a program in place that would put us in a good light from the beginning. Of course, the animal rights people are going nuts over this proposal, since they believe they are the only ones with a right to access children at such a young age, and on the tax payers dollar.

Fourthly, the chances are that the students who participate in the program would be hunters in the end anyway, so this is a good way to make sure that they learn proper gun handling, and safety techniques, as well as good ethics from the start. While most hunters are safe, and ethical, the truth is there are some who are not, and they pass on their own set of ethics. If this program is instituted, I hope that it is run in a qualified way by qualified people. It has the potential to make a great impact on hunting in the Mountain State, but as with any thing run by the government, it also has the potential to be a colossal failure.

Fifthly, this type of program has the real potential of softening the anti-hunting biases that we face. There are many people who are non-hunters, but not anti-hunters, and there is a big difference. If we can convince those that are not really inclined to hunt that we are really and truly concerned about our environment, the health and welfare of the animals, and the people in the areas we hunt, then we may snuff out those anti-hunting feelings before they have a chance to get going. I am convinced that the anti-hunting agenda thrives off of lack of information and misinformation. If we could do even little things that would help defeat their agenda, it is a victory for us!

So, I think, in the long run, this plan has some real potential for good. I just hope that the government does not mess it up (if it is indeed passed). There would be nothing worse than allowing animal rights nuts, with their agendas, to teach these types of classes. And that is a possibility if State DNR offices are going to be run by the wrong people!

A Win for Washington Hunters?

Monday, February 4th, 2008

The Seattle Times has an interesting story posted this morning. It seems that hunters are actually being given some leeway to hunt cougars with dogs. We all know how hound hunting has fallen under the ire of anti-hunting organizations. Personally, I currently do not hunt anything with dogs, but I have hunted birds over dogs, as well as rabbits on occasion. It is interesting that hunting those game animals has not fallen under the same criticism that hunting deer, bear and cougars have.

It appears that the number of cougar attacks have gone up in the state, and so lawmakers are reconsidering the idea of banning hunting with dogs. As this article points out, since banning the use of dogs for hunting the cougars, the number of cougars killed has actually gone up. That is a result of some of the other changes that have been made in Washington, such as cheaper tags, and more available tags. However, there have also been a lot more younger cats shot, and a lot more females. You see, when hunters are using dogs to hunt with, they have the ability to examine an animal that is treed, and can decide if it is a good animal to shoot, or not. Now that the number of cougar attacks have increased the lawmakers want to use dog hunting as a tool for chasing “problem animals”. In other words, the hunters had been keeping the animals in control, but when their conservation method was taken away, the number of problem cats increased. Now, the lawmakers want their help, so they are giving the hunters their tool back once again.

Sometimes, those of us who are so far away from the situation may have a harder time trying to figure out what is best. But, then we read an article like this one, and quickly discover what is right. Anytime I see that the Humane Society of United States is opposing the legislation, I know it must be good. So, I am happy to see that hunters in Washington State may have this method of hunting returned to them, both for the sake of the sport, the sake of the health of the cougar population, and the safety of the communities that are troubled by dangerous cats.

The ranchers of this area also came out to support the legislation. These are people whose lively hood and safety are directly impacted by the cougars, and their attacks. One rancher had this to say concerning the statement made by the Humane Society of America representative:

“She sits in an office somewhere, clapping her hands and saying we should leave the cougar alone,” said former Okanogan County Commissioner Ed Thiele, describing livestock predation on his brother-in-law’s ranch. “Let her come out and see what is happening out there in the real world.”

Unfortunately, the problem is that people in the “real world” don’t get to make the rules most of the time. How often is it that legislators in big cities have more control over what happens with wildlife than those who are out there working to make it the best it can be? How often are those same legislators more influenced by big organizations with deep pockets (but no real experience when it comes to dealing with conservation), than they are with those of us with little money to contribute, but who work hard on conservation issues? When animal control becomes a problem for these people, then and only then will they suggest dealing with it in reasonable ways. They don’t care if a rancher’s sheep are destroyed by rogue cats…that one cat is more important to them than all the sheep on the West Coast. They often do not even care if a human is maimed or killed by a rogue animal. Question that? What happened when a tiger killed a man in a zoo recently? There were groups who gathered for a vigil for the tiger! Who thinks of these things?  I am all for showing compassion, but lets have a bit of common sense.  Which is more important?  A human life lost, or a tiger life lost?  I am afraid that in our deluded society, we often think of the animal life as more important than the human.

I am glad to see steps in the right direction for Washington.  It will be interesting to see how many rural counties sign up for the “program” that allows for the hunting of cougars for dogs, at least under certain situations.

New Jersey Planning to “Thin the Herd”

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

Well, it seems like every time we turn around, New Jersey is making some controversial decision about hunting or fishing. This time, they are making plans to “thin the deer herd” by allowing what the AP calls “sharpshooters” to come into a public park, the South Mountain Reservation. The deer herd is evidently ridiculously out of kilter with the carrying capacity of the land. The park is some 2000 acres, but wildlife managers believe the herd size should be limited to about 60 animals. However, there are somewhere between 300 and 400 animals present.New Jersey’s solution is to allow 15 volunteer “hunters” to come in and shoot the deer every Tuesday and Thursday from January 29th through February 28th. Bait has already been placed near “tree perches” (I guess those are what we educated hunters call tree stands). You can go and read the article from the AP to get some more of the details.

Reading this article, I had a couple of questions. I am wondering if the article is simply slanted as most media reports are, or if it accurately depicts what is about to happen in New Jersey. This article does not make it sound like this is hunting, even though we are told that “hunters” are going to be shooting the deer. These hunters are also referred to as “sharpshooters”, which leaves me with the impression of a sniper, rather than a true hunter. That bothers me because it leaves a bad impression with non-hunters, and anti-hunters about hunters in general. If we are looked on as nothing more than snipers, picking off animals at will, we will never gain favor with the general public. It won’t take much of this type of writing to turn those non-hunters into the anti-hunters.Now, you all know that I am not against hunting. I am not against extra regulations to thin out a herd of deer when it is overpopulated. What bothers me is the perception of hunters in this hunt. This article may completely misrepresent what is happening over in New Jersey. Judging from what I have read recently in the news, it wouldn’t surprise me. But, if all that is going to happen is that sharpshooters are going to bait in tame deer to a corn pile, and then shoot them indiscriminately, I as a hunter don’t want to be associated with it. That is not what I do as a hunter, and I don’t want people thinking that it is.

So, you all tell me what you think. Is this something that is good for hunting? If you don’t mind, vote on the poll, and let me know what you think. Leave me a comment if you want to elaborate on your answer!

Rantings of the Uninformed…

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

You know what? I am tired of the uninformed spouting off about things that they know nothing about. As a case in point, take a look at this article from the Independent, a New Jersey newspaper. In this article, the author rants against the prospect of a portion of her beloved park being closed to her skiing for the purpose of allowing an archery hunt. The ignorance of the author is expressed simply by the subtitle given to the article: Hunting closes parkland to recreational use. This indicates that hunting is not a justifiable recreational use of the land. My guess is that the state of New Jersey infringes on the rights of the hunters to use this land for their recreational purposes a whole lot more than this disenfranchised cross country skier. This mentality does reflect the agenda of most of the anti-hunting activists of our day: ban hunting as a “recreational activity”. Think about it. What happens if these anti-hunters are able to designate that hunting is not a justifiable recreational activity on other state and federal lands? No more hunting in State Forests? No more hunting in National Forests? No more hunting on State Managed Game Lands? Folks, this is a real challenge to our hunting freedoms and rights. We cannot simply give up one kind of land, thinking that these people will stop here! We have the obligation to defend our rights to hunt on public lands. Our recreational activity is just as protected as someone else’s! In fact, most of the land designated as state and national parks were done so to preserve the sporting life of hunting and fishing!

Continuing through the article reveals the absurdity of this author. First, the author makes this statement: When pressed for actual damage done by deer that justifies allowing hunting in the parks, Walsh could only cite damage to vegetation. This indicates that the damage done to the vegetation is insignificant, and should not even be under consideration. How irresponsible is that? Obviously this person does not understand the “food chain” at all. If the native vegetation is irreparably harmed, and replaced by foreign vegetation, that will not only destroy the deer population, but the populations of many other animals that rely upon the native vegetation. The Park Ecologists cited stated that the browse line was at about 4 feet. That in and of itself indicates that the deer population is way too high…the land simply cannot bear it. If the deer were not hunted to thin the herd down a bit, many more deer would die of lack of food (that is, starvation, a slow, very painful death) by the end of the winter. Which do you think is more humane? Kill a few deer now, or allow 2-3 times more deer die of starvation over the winter?

Next, this author complains about the number of “hunting violations” that that occurred during the season, and caused her to be disturbed. There were 742 permits issued for the hunting season last year, and 56 hunting offenses. That is a 7.5% offense rate (if I have done my math correctly). That certainly seems too high…until you begin to look at the offenses that are cited. There were 3 hunting permits revoked. The first was for repeated failure to show a hunting permit. The second was for possession of alcohol. The third was for having a loaded gun in a safety zone and hunting from the ground. The first offense should have never happened, but doesn’t seem to have produced any danger. The second and third were far more serious, and did produce a dangerous situation. That is 2 out of 742. Again, if my math is correct, that means a .2% offense rate. Don’t get me wrong, that is still too much, but not an exorbitant amount! I wonder what the offense rate is for all the people who possess driver’s license in the state of New Jersey? Probably higher than 7.5%, and certainly higher than .2%. Maybe we should start protesting the right of people to drive? After all, they are limiting my ability to go for a hike on the interstate! By the way, most of the other offenses were very minor indeed. For example, one was for not putting a tag on a treestand properly, and another was for not carrying a treestand out soon enough after the season had ended. There are some real potential hazards to the general populace!

Finally, this author suggests that there are other options besides hunting to stop the 40% herd increase of the deer. As so many of these type of people do, she suggests some sort of deer contraceptive. Anyone who has looked at these options understands that they are completely infeasible. As one quote from this article suggests, the mortality rate of trial runs of this plan have resulted in 50%. That means that one out of every two deer caught died from the stress, or some other related aspect of the procedure. Do you think the hunters are killing 50% of the deer in this park? I don’t think so, since last year only 303 deer were taken!

When will common sense return to our society? This type of article shows just how far some people will go to stop hunting. But, hunting will not be stopped, because it is too valuable of a tool to the conservation of game animals. I find it ironic that just last year, I wrote a post about the New Jersey Audubon Society wanting hunting to reduce the number of animals because of the damage they were doing. Perhaps, we will eventually have that common sense after all. But, don’t hold your breath for it!

by: Kris Brewer