Letter: Take up target shooting instead of killing animals

To the editor:

No offense, but there is really not that much difference between hunters and poachers. One pays a minimal fee and the other does not (“Poachers give hunters bad name,” Brandon Butler sports column, Feb. 25).

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 that 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. Hunting license fees and taxes are used to fund law enforcement which 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 at the coliseum in Rome.

People who glorify hunting should not be published in the sport pages next to decent activities such as swimming, basketball and gymnastics; they should be on the opinion page, next to some kind of opposition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, its just that I would like to see more wildlife around here, and out-of-state 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 it 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.

Adam Cooper