The “Draw of Bows” (Jan. 20, Conn. Post) highlighted one person’s morbid fascination with shooting arrows into deer following personal tragedies — explaining she and her spouse were at peace when they lured deer with corn, and then killed them. Afterward, they post Instagram photos of holding bloody dead deer.
Frankly, that’s horrifying.
Although a volunteer with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) claims that “if people ever lose the desire to hunt, then (they) won’t be human anymore” that spurious argument is out-of-touch with what’s happening in Connecticut and across the country.
DEEP profits from hunter licensing and federal excise taxes on weapons and ammunition, which drives their arguments, but hunting has lost its appeal in our state for two decades — mirroring a country wide trend.
Fewer than one percent of Connecticut residents hunt. Nationwide, hunting has declined 16 percent since 2011 to 11.5 million, or 5 percent of U.S. residents, while wildlife-watching has increased to 86 million, or 35 percent of U.S. residents who observe and photograph birds, deer and other wildlife as opposed to shooting them to death.
Without new generations becoming licensed hunters, state agencies will be forced to talk about more than the interests of a shrinking minority who chase deer with bows and rifles.
Since it’s no longer acceptable to call hunting recreation, hunters invent social benefits to excuse the bloodletting. We hear about the need to defend wildflowers from over-browsing. We hear about heading off collisions between automobiles and deer. We’re told hunters feed the hungry. We hear that hunters protect our communities from Lyme disease.
There are substantive common sense arguments to show that limits to food and sheltering foliage causes animal populations to limit themselves. In truth, nature is being managed to death and it’s time for communities to call for ceasefires.
Let’s stop DEEP from catering to less than one percent of those who just like making wildlife dead.
The writer is president of Friends of Animals.