Let's Not Forget
Down and Feathers
Unlike 10,000 years ago, today the vast majority of hunters does not
need to hunt in order to survive. Most hunters hunt just for fun. They
will even bring their children on their hunting trips, teaching them a
complete disrespect for life by needlessly killing innocent creatures.
Hunters spend billions of
dollars each years on guns, ammunition, travel and other expenses, making
hunting a very profitable industry.
Unlike what some people might believe, hunting is not an effective
method to manage and conserve wildlife. When left alone, nature is
very capable of keeping a good balance. Natural predators kill of the
sickest and weakest animals. And in cases of overpopulation,
starvation and disease are nature's (unfortunate) way of removing the
weakest and bringing back a good balance.
Hunters don't try to kill only the weaker animals. They often kill
the strongest and healthiest animals. They prefer the bucks with the
largest rack. The weaker and genetically inferior bucks are left to
propagate the species, weakening the overall health of the herd.
Killing of a large number of mature males also creates a
disproportionate ratio of females to males, impacting the social
structure of a herd.
After the hunting season, the smaller deer population will respond by
having more young, which will survive because of the reduced competition
for food and habitat. Areas where deer are hunted most experience higher
deer densities than ever before.
Realizing that hunting is ineffective, wildlife agencies are now
considering other management techniques. One method that is being tried
out is called TNR (trap, neuter and return).
A very large number of animals are wounded, but not killed
by hunters. These animals have to suffer prolonged and painful deaths. One
especially cruel hunting method is bowhunting. A member of the Maine
Bowhunters Alliance estimates that 50% of animals who are shot with
crossbows are wounded but not killed. A South Dakota Department of Game,
Fish and Parks biologist estimates that more than 3 million wounded ducks go
"unretrieved" every year. A British study of deer hunting found that 11% of
deer who had been killed by hunters died only after being shot two or more
times and that some wounded deer suffered for more than 15 minutes before
Deer Hanging to Cool and Age
Destroying Family Units
Animals like Canada geese and wolves for
instance, mate for life and live in close-knit family units. When a member
of this unit is killed by hunters, it can devastate the entire community.
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