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October 09, 2007 | Deer

Last night, the Warrensburg, Missouri city council indefinitely postponed a plan to allow bow hunters to kill deer from platforms inside the city's Culp Park. There will be no deer hunt in Warrensburg this year.
The city's change of heart reflects a concerted effort by Dr. Susan Pentlin, an emeritus professor at the University of Central Missouri, along with several other activists, including FoA activists and supporters. "We can all sleep better tonight," Dr. Pentlin said.

 Mother and fawns
Mother and fawns

As the park would have remained open during the hunt, it would have also posed a risk to "hikers, pets, children, endangered birds, people in homes near the park and University of Central Missouri students," Pentlin said.
All hunting is dominance taken to extremes, with bow hunting bringing a form of torture into the act: Arrows have razor-sharp points meant to bleed deer to a death that may be slow and painful.

Culp park, a peaceful oasis, was donated to the city by Leland Culp, whose will stipulated that the land be used to safeguard wildlife. "Leland Culp gave the land to the city for people to enjoy nature, not as a hunting preserve," Pentlin explained.

Meeting last night, council members indicated a need for more information, especially about "how many deer there are and safety issues," Pentlin said. At a previous city council meeting, Warrensburg Police Chief Bruce Howey reported only nine city accidents involving deer in 2006, a small percentage of the the total 600 accidents. Hunters can frighten deer, cause them to move into unfamiliar areas, including roadways, and would have likely raised the numbers of accidents. FoA has found strong evidence that hunting exacerbates roadway accidents with deer; about half of occur in just three months: October, November and December -- hunting season.

In an interview today with FoA, Warrensburg City Clerk Cindy Gabel said town officials want to take more time to "thoroughly study the facts and take more time to consider everything involved with the hunt." Gabel said the hunt may come up again next summer, but it could also be cancelled.

At the recent public hearings on the hunt, dissent was heard. "Several people spoke out against it," Gabel noted.

The city council also held an e-mail forum on the hunting proposal. Said Dr. Pentlin, "The council did not indicate the percentage of public e-mail comments for or against, but I have a feeling it was not strongly in favor--probably 60-70% were opposed to a hunt inside city limits. That is the figure I heard."

A special thanks to Lawyers in Defense of Animals.

What you can do:

Call or e-mail the mayor and city council and ask them to leave the deer -- and Leland Culp's memory -- in peace.

Mayor Don Nimmer:
Call the town hall and leave a message for the town council members: 660-747-9131
Chair Pro-Tem Donna DeFrain
Council Member Charlie Rutt
Council Member Deborah Arwood
Council Member Jeff Terry


I think the main issue at hand here is whether hunting is justified. Back in the days, hunting was done for survival purposes, and perhaps a good example is the Native Americans. They would hunt only as much as they can consume to survive, and this would include using almost every part of the hunted animals. Had they not killed these animals, they themselves may have starved or froze to death. They say a prayer of respect and apologize to the animal they killed that they had to take away its life. Nowadays, however, hunting is done for pleasure, thrill, and a sense of conquering. Do hunters need to kill these animals for survival? Most likely not. You may argue that in the long run, hunting helps keep certain animal population from reaching levels that could threaten the wellbeing of other species, but I believe there are other means of doing so without pain and suffering to the animals. You may also argue that hunting is carrying out Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest. However, like Greer Ashton's post said earlier, hunting today is not targeting the weak/young/old but the healthy, in other words -- the fittest. Hunters look for the buck with the bigger antlers, the bear with the best coat, etc. If anything, hunting is doing exactly the opposite of Darwin's theory. The offspring of these hunted fit victims will often perish as a result of losing its parent, and over time, we lose the best specimen of many hunted animals. Yes, we humans are superior in brains, but being a part of nature, a part of the world, we all have a duty to respect everything that's around us. Species thriving today may not be in a few decades, as there are enough changes in the environment caused by human innovations already, and we should all try to make sure that our children and our children's children will get to see as much as possible all inhabitants of earth.

I guess hunters do not know the meaning of "cruelty" so thats why they deny that killing deer is cruelty. Hunters make up their own rules and excuses. Baiting deer and massacring them, what is that? Thats not hunting. Hunters use noises, food, and other means to get the deer in their range so then they can kill them. What category does that fit into? Thrill to Kill. NOT HUNTING.

I've read some of the comments and am hurt by those that depict all hunters as thrill seekers. My admiration of Tom Scholz led me to pursue vegetarianism. The short version of a 10-yr long story, is that I was unable (medically) to convert to complete vegetarianism. Even my much reduced need for meat protein disgusted me, the more I came to understand what had to occur to get heme iron and animal protein in me to keep me strong and healthy. I decided that the most humane and conscious thing I could do was harvest my own meat. Again, the short version of a long story, is that a single adult deer provides my needs for a full year. I hunt with both bow and rifle and have never had full death exceed a minute. And yes, I resort to many tactics (calling, bush pushing, scents) to get one within quick 'kill' range. And yes, I am always elated with a successful kill. Ironically, those who know and have come to know me and understand my stance on harvesting game meat (even those who detest hunting and hunters) actually accept and respect my hunting reasons and methods. The point I'm trying to make is a plea to not 'tar all of us with the same brush'. After my most recent harvest/kill (just a month ago) my sister (also a hunting and hunter hater) called to congratulate me while in the same breath reminding me that she could never kill an animal because she loves them too much. Ironically, I explained that I do my own killing because "I love them so much". I once read "It takes the same degree of intelligence to love all things as it does to hate all things". I truly believe all people should be valued for their merits and not their actions alone. By the way, I despise trophy hunters, thrill seeking killers and those who take "Hail Mary" shots on any living creature. You'd be hard-pressed to illustrate to me a solid justification for any of the above. Peace & Love

Thank you, Mike. Your decision does sound based on a concsious decision, and those who make such a decision have indeed found a way to consume far less animal products than those who simply visit the supermarket and toss groceries in a bag. Are you aware, though, that you are still talking about the harvest of meat? Recall that this is an advocacy forum, and you'll understand our view of this: we're advocating for animal rights. Can we at least agree that the phrase "harvest of meat" would not be one you'd use, or one that others would find acceptable, if there were no other animals on the planet and you were deciding whether to eat other human bodies? George Bernard Shaw was told by a doctor that eating animal products would, in Shaw's case, be necessary for survival. Shaw wrote to the London Daily Chronicle: "My situation is a solemn one: Life is offered to me on condition of eating beefsteaks. But death is better then cannibalism. My will contains directions for my funeral which will be followed not by mourning coaches but by oxen, sheep, flocks of poultry, and a small travelling aquarium of live fish, all wearing scarves in honour of the man who perished rather than eat his fellow-creatures. It will be, with the exception of Noah's Ark, the most remarkable thing of the kind ever seen." Shaw, a lifelong vegetarian, outlived the doctor and passed away at the age of 94. At 84, Shaw wrote, "I am oppressed with a dread of living forever. That is the only disadvantage of vegetarianism."

Thanks you for posting my letter and for that response; though I must admit, it eludes me. I used the term 'harvest' as it relates to my taking of a naturally occurring game animal, in no disrespect. No differently than I would refer to 'harvesting' of a bag of field mushrooms or tub of wild berries. Though I am not a member (yet) of FOA, I truly consider myself a "friend of animals" and have the greatest regard for those who genuinely care about living things. With that, I am lost at how my use of the term 'harvest' advocates disrespect to animals or the FOA or for that matter advocates in favour of canibalism. I hope you don't think I'm being 'cheeky' in asking you to clarify that Lee. With that, I should clarify that though I am in fact repulsed by almost all animal product (specifically flesh) in grocery stores, I bear no judgement towards those who produce or consume it, nor do I advocate (categorically) in favour of hunting. I was simply stating that I believe 'hunter bashing' is as thoughtless as 'hunter loving'; when stated categorically. My observation has been that neither defence is solvent. Peace & Love

Why do you people care what animals feel? I show animals in 4-h and they are pefectly fine with because guess what THEY DONT CARE. deer cant feal it cause there dead! and the deer and other animals like cows will breed and they are ment to be killed. FoA comments: We need to care how animals feel because you obviously don't. And we care for how animals feel because we respect them, and hope one day you will as well.

It makes sense to me to control deer populations by hunting and making a QUICK CLEAN KILL instead of them starving to death in the winter, dying slowly and painfully of a disease, or killing me on the highway.

Enough is enough... It seems that everyone has to fight over something... Why not find a positive solution? Turn your negitives into something positive. Since the beginning of time man has hunted for food and will forever continue. Veggie heads, you use to eat meat at one time or another...but now the fake nasty tasting Tofu. Get real and remember that the ORGANIC actually comes from MEAT not your VEGGIES. Read about the killing...and how many of your Forefathers fought for your freedom that you have and so on... People get real and remember the BASICS that this country was FOUNDED ON... [Blog editors' note: What's positive is nonviolence. Also, great vegan cooking abounds if one bothers to learn how to cook. Time to evolve, Sally.

that is cool

theres nothing wrong with killing a buck! you eat them and hang there heads on you walls like trothys! i got my first deer this fall! and most of my deer is in the freezer for me and my family to eat! i love animals but deer are way to over populated so you all need to stop freking out! im 14 and i think its perfectly fine to kill a deer! =) [Blog editors' note: You're 14 and we hope you develop some decent, thoughtful ideas in the years ahead. Meanwhile, it's a pity you're another teenager with access to a gun. Loving animals isn't about shooting them, Savanah, and it's humans who are encroaching on land and destroying the environment -- not the reverse. Leave the deer alone. The terror and misery you're imposing isn't justified by science or ethics. ]


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