Letter: Don’t glorify hunting animals … try target shooting

From: Adam Cooper


No offense, but there is really not that much difference between hunters and poachers. One pays a minimal fee and the other does not. The laws of the land should always be followed, but it doesn’t matter to the animal if someone paid their license fees or not. Modern hunters abuse words like “ethics,” responsibility” and “conservation” when they are not so dissimilar from the hunters and trappers who nearly wiped out the bison and other animals in early American history.

Regulations have since been enacted, but given the opportunity, history would repeat itself. The desire to hunt must be irresistible. Hunting is a practice that is almost completely unnecessary these days. Deer may need obligatory population reduction due to human-related factors, but most wild animals do not. Wildlife is already at a minimum in many areas, and much of the original habitat in Indiana has long since vanished. What good can come from hunting the remnants of our natural environments?

The hunting license fees and taxes that are used to fund law enforcement are used to protect wildlife from people such as hunters and poachers. Where else does the money go? I see no habitat restoration anywhere around here. Private landowners are not required to pay any fees at all for hunting. This is not a favorable contribution to humanity; it’s a vice, like the games of the Colosseum in Rome. People who glorify hunting should not be published in the sports pages next to decent activities like swimming, basketball and gymnastics; they should be in the opinion page, next to some kind of opposition by anti-hunters to balance things out.

Not trying to be mean or hateful toward anyone, it’s just that I would like to see more wildlife around here, and pro-hunting journalists are not helping. If it were up to people like this, everyone in America would be out hunting. Why is it promoted anyway? Is it for the money they make writing articles? Why else would someone who claims to care about wildlife tell everyone in the Midwest that they should be consuming more wild animals. If it was a selfless service, or a harmless activity, or beneficial in a major way, then maybe people should look the other way, but history reminds us that humans have been very unkind to the defenseless things in this world. Hunting only perpetuates this tradition.

Americans are free to hunt as permitted by law, but the discretion of many aspects of wildlife management decisions are typically left to the individual. Supposing that a species becomes obviously overpopulated in a specific area, or is unable to achieve an ecological balance due to lack of natural predators, or is an invasive and exotic animal, then maybe that would adequately justify its reduction or removal. Otherwise, take up target or skeet shooting and spare God’s creation.