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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


Savanah, You sound like a passionate dude. Congrats on your deer kill. Now that hunting season's over, hit the books and apply that passion to strengthening your language skills. As a hunter, who was weaned around a culture of self-provisal, with respect for the miracle of all life (animal or plant) taken for our consumption, I must say that I've never understood this ritual of displaying any portion of a dead animal for all to see. With deer in particular, it's not as if you saved yourself from some marauding predator who spontaneously appeared before you, challenging your life for theirs. And let's get real, it's not as if the exchange (the deer's life for your's) was on a very even playing field. Do you really think that humans would stand a chance if the deer had guns and could shoot back? Or if the only way you could get wild meat on your plate was to stalk and defeat the animal with what nature provided you? Of course not. Humans didn't rise to the top of the food chain because of our physical supremacy. So where does this perceived bravado come from, that inspires anyone to mount a symbol of their kill? With that I'll corroborate the editor's note, inspiring you to "develope some decent, thoughtful ideas in your years ahead". Peace & Love

I know this might be a bit late to enter this, but here goes a full rebuttal to quit a lot of things these hunters are saying: 1. Greg's October 15, 2007: Your statement about mountain lions was incorrect. Mountain lions formerly lived in Missouri, but were hunted to the point of near extermination in the state. There now are very few in the state. 2. Scott October 18, 2007: "Selectively removeing" animals from the habitat by hunting typically equals the biggest, strongest, healthist animals being taken, whether for trophy or for food. Wolves, mountain lions, and other such carnivores cannot kill the healther deer. If this was not true, it would disprove the theory of natural selection, as this would cause chance to favor weaker animals. Human hunters remove any animal that they want on their wall, which typically isn't a deer without antlers and that is old, or, in the case of food, one that is scrawny and diseased. 3. Do you have a shred of edvidence for this besides what you got off a hunting site? I will now begin rebuttal. a) "76% less likely to commit a violent crime." If this is true, it does not change the fact that hunting exposes children to bloodlust, thereby making killing seem more exceptable. I know this because a lot of kids my age (13) who are outspoken hunting advocates are also the one's threating my personal well-being and cats. b) "Maybe I should point out that statistically hunting is safer than ping pong!" For whom? People with exceptionally thin skulls who are on chemotherapy? I'll continue this later, my dad wants me off.

More on Scott’s long rant from the 18th last year: “Let’s say that there’s no hunting in an area that is overpopulated with deer. Rather than try to understand that deer devastate the habitat - the habitat that they share with other animals…. say, songbirds for example. The deer will shortly start eating all the forage within their reach. Leaving no cover to help the songbirds hide from either birds of prey or other predators.” WRONG, WRONG, WRONG Deer and songbirds have existed in the same place for millennia, and the birds haven’t died out yet. Oh, and “survival of the fittest.” Sound familiar? Also, the ecosystem automatically adjusts to deer population to correct levels. If there are too many deer, deer will naturally emigrate or die off. Also, hormones will keep some deer from breeding. In addition, songbirds are smart enough to hide in trees from predators, and anyway, hunters killed off most of the predators. More on the ping-pong debacle: If you aren’t playing on ice-covered concrete in your socks, you should be fine. Anyway, ping-pong is usually played indoors, which means that there is no risk of falling (oh, and the balls are heavy enough to cause damage unless you have hollow bones). “(here we go again, referring to facts, sorry I’m not playing fair) that children that hunt are 76% less likely to commit a violent crime. Maybe I should point out that statistically hunting is safer than ping pong! Again facts are being used here, google them for yourself. Never has there been a hunter shoot defenseless school children for fun. Yet, it’s the same people that get spit on and have their rights trampled by people that share your beliefs.” Lot of nonsense here, and you probably won’t listen, but here goes: 1. Referring to facts is fair. Unfortunately, you aren’t using many. Here is the article I believe you are referencing. “According to a report from the National Safety Council, hunting, often regarded as dangerous by those unfamiliar with the activity, is actually safer than such mild activities as badminton and ping pong. The council's studies reveal that hunting has fewer accidents per 100,000 participants than football, baseball, cycling, volleyball, swimming, golf, tennis, fishing, bowling, and billiards, as well. Of the activities researched, hunting endures about 7 injuries per 100,00 participants while the next safest, ping pong, has more than 15 injuries per 100,000. As would be expected, football has the most, with about 3,313 injuries per 100,000. Ironically, hunting accidents may get more media attention than injuries in other sports because of their rarity. Mandatory hunter education courses throughout the United States is credited with dramatically reducing the number of hunting accidents in the last 30 years, making it eight times safer than bowling.” That might mean fewer accidents, but in ping-pong the accident would be a sprained wrist, and in hunting, about 40% of accidents (figure from C.A.S.H., or the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting) are fatal. I sincerely doubt anyone has died from a sprained wrist. 2. “Without hunters each family in America would spend an estimated $517 per year in the produce section alone. Airlines would raise their prices in the neighborhood of 30%. Insurance companies would raise their costs to a modest 35% hike.” Where are you getting your figures from? Also, statistics can be very deceiving.


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