“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” —Genesis 1:26 (NIV)
Yet another anti-hunting hit piece. The ever-dependable Concord Monitor features such fare. In writing for the Monitor, Barbara Bonsignore provides the straw argument, “Hunters claim that they kill the weak and starving animals, thus helping the population.” I have never heard any hunter make that argument. Ethical hunters are consumptive hunters and our hunting ethos recognizes game animals as a resource not to be wasted.
Bonsignore…well-connected to the New Hamsphire Animal Rights League, (one source indicates she was its’ President at one time) makes several fallacious arguments and claims against hunting.
Bonsignore implies that we hunters rest on our laurels that, “Hunting prevents the overpopulation of animals.” Fact is, we do. It does not require complicated statistical math to figure out elimination of one animal from several, leaves one with less animals. But more importantly More Deer are killed by cars than hunters annually than Hunters.
The New Hampshire Deer kill rates by hunters hovers right around 10,000 to 11,000 animals annually, according to New Hampshire Fish & Game. Across the nation, a significant number of motorists die as a result of collisions with Deer. So the hard cold fact is that we hunters do contribute in a some way to reduce local deer populations, along with cars. Ms. Bonsignore need not worry about those weak deer because some Coyotes will violate their rights to exist and make a meal of them.
Bonsignore then calls false, “Hunted animals don’t suffer.” Suffer? suffering is a human emotion…to suffer….Again the facts belie the assertion. If I shoot a deer through its heart and lungs, that deer is going to die very quickly…and if I took a shot like that, the deer was not likely panicked or alerted to my presence. She say, “Wild animals are terrorized by the chase and agonized by the kill. Their families, herds and flocks are disrupted.” “flocks?” are we talking about birds or deer? Terrorized?….Agonized?…again human emotive descriptors. This is mere anthropomorphism and we have all the talking animal movies to thank for that. But, to engage in a bit of anthropomorphism myself, Animals in general are “paranoid,” to use the term loosely. They have a generally heightened sense of awareness and not mainly from hunters, but from hikers, bicyclists, kayakers, and the host of others who go outdoors occupying the woods when hunters are not.
Bonsignore then goes on to call the Wildlife Restoration Act a myth. Hunters pay the majority of the tab for conservation. Fact is, they do. The Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 collects fees from hunting licenses, hunting equipment, and fishing gear and that money is returned to the states for conservation efforts. Bonsignore is partially right, but dishonest wholly in context. Taxes do pay for most of the conservation efforts, but in the form of an excise tax on sportsmen and women.
Bonsignore calls a myth, ” Hunters “help feed the homeless by donating meat from their kills.” but counters with, a study by Dr. Michael Gregor, (an advocate of Veganism) claiming that 80 percent of the game meat tested had lead bullet fragments in the samples. 80 percent of what? Most know that exponentially more road-killed deer are donated to food pantries than hunters donate. Hunting seasons run for only two to three months in most states. Another lie by eco-terrorists like Bonsignor.
And then Bonsignor’s final gross mischaracterization is aimed at Fish and Game when she states,
“It is encouraging that every year fewer people hunt in the United States. The state Fish and Game Department’s income has decreased considerably, which is why the agency is constantly reaching out to get women, youth and the handicapped to purchase hunting licenses.”
The State Fish & Game Department experiences revenue decreases because people have less time to hunt. For others, the licenses are an expense foregone in tough economic times.
I teach Hunter Education for New Hampshire Fish & Game. The one trend that does not seem to be letting up is the numbers of people taking Hunter Education and Bow Hunter Education. Men, and women…Many in their late thirties and early forties, having never hunted before. Not to mention the fact that Fish & Game has been asked to do much more with those dollars, such as rescue the unprepared persons who find themselves lost in the Wilderness, or enforce OHRV laws and Snowmobile laws.
Hunting is time-consuming. It is called “Hunting” because it is hard to do. Animals are hard to find. To kill a deer, one really has to know what one is doing and how to do it. To employ a skill. More who buy licenses don’t kill a deer than those who do. That is why we call it, “Hunting” and not, “Killing.” It is difficult.
Hunting seasons only last a short period throughout the year. All other deer killed are by other means, not hunting. Yet, so-called, “Animal lovers” do harm to deer by feeding them in their yards, often removing from the animal its natural aversion to humans and some predators.
Hunting is who we are. Our bodies rely on animal proteins to be healthy (never met a vegan who wasn’t pale, pasty or sickly and for every doctor who says otherwise there are five more to say they are wrong). We began as “hunters and gatherers” We obtained food and sustenance from hunting. There are still indigenous peoples around the world today who rely on hunting to sustain them and their families. Hunting in our present-day society, sharpens the senses dumbed-down by social media, computer games, and other included indoor activities.
Barbara Bonsignore totally ignores the larger context of community, fellowship with man and nature, revisiting of personal ethics and the sharpening of ones’ senses gained from hunting. But what is worse is her veiled advocacy of veganism in such a rank dishonest context. It is the corrupt minions such as these that we give credit to revisiting why we hunt…a worthy thought process any day of the week.