Letter: Preservation not what hunters are all about

From: Adam Cooper


Wildlife museums, the hunting industry, outfitters and retailers like to tell everyone all the good things that hunters have done for wild animals. But they neglect to mention all the terrible things that hunters have done to wild animals. That sort of information would not be good for their multi-billion dollar outdoor sports business.

Environmental history shows that hunters wiped out most of the native wild animals populations around the country, nearly to the point of no return. And now they credit themselves with bringing some of it back. The main reason that some of these species have returned is that they are being hunted less than before.

Where is the proud tradition of sport and trophy hunting in America? White European settlers and hunters did not do the wildlife any favors. The introduction of firearms and shotguns, and steel and poison traps did not help to preserve wildlife. The people who continue to make their living from wild animals are not doing as much good as they want us to believe.

Most of Indiana lands are privately owned. This almost completely subverts the conservation system and any perceived benefit that may come from it. The relatively small amount of funding that hunters must donate to conservation may occasionally get used to reconstruct areas of habitat, but the actual hunting itself is often unnecessary.

Indiana has enough environmental problems without glorifying and promoting these relics of our past. Today’s hunters are not quite the guiding light to preservation efforts around the world as they purport. And wildlife museums that keep animals in cages or behind glass walls for the amusement of the people has nothing to do with it.