Animal Writes
From 23 January 2005 Issue

Ten Reasons to Oppose Sport Hunting
By Environmentalists Against Recreational Trophy Hunting
From: [email protected]

1. Environmental concern -

Hunting-oriented "game management" is ecologically destructive. Outdated conservation strategy based on pre-ecological thought and faulty science, most conceived over 70 years ago, is still practiced by all state and federal game agencies. Backed by influential hunting groups such as "Ducks Unlimited", hunter-controlled wildlife agencies manipulate ecosystems and wildlife habitat for increased hunter success, while boosting hunting license sale revenues which support their salaries.

In a world desperately trying to understand and heal an increasingly endangered global biosphere, disruptive alterations of the environment intended to stimulate ever greater populations of target animals such as deer is not only bad science, but plain stupidity.

2. Biological degradation -

Employing biologically perverse methods of manipulating deer populations, skewing natural sex ratios of deer (killing mostly bucks) to propagate larger fawn "crops", and genetic breeding to grow larger antlered "trophy" bucks, degrades genetic integrity of hunted species. Hunting leaves smaller and weaker individuals to reproduce and carry on species' vitality, ie., growing numbers of "spike" bucks. Hunting works against the laws of nature and contrary to natural selection by constantly removing prime individuals from a species population. Modern hunting has been called "Evolution in Reverse."

3. Hunting is cruel -

Sport hunting causes immense suffering to individual wild animals and their species. It is gratuitously cruel because unlike natural predation hunters kill for pleasure and other sadistic "kicks." There is no justification for its' existence in a civilized world.

4. Reverence for life -

Sadly, our planet is becoming a much more violent place in which to live, for humans and non-humans alike. Sport hunting is morally indefensible because there is no justification for killing sentient beings in the name of recreation. People who teach their children that it is acceptable to maim and kill animals for fun are exacerbating the growing disrespect for all life that currently plagues humanity. Psychological and sociological studies demonstrate a direct correlation between animal cruelty by young people and antisocial and criminal behavior later in life. This is not a trend society can afford to tolerate.

5. Safety -

Hunting accidents injure and kill thousands of people and companion animals each year. Though accurate records aren't kept by over stretched and disinterested Game Agencies, non-government animal protection organizations (NGO's) are inundated by complaints from fearful and outraged citizens whose pets, homes, properties, livestock, and family members are shot at and killed by reckless and irresponsible hunters.

The fact is Game Agencies work to place millions of trigger-happy hunters into the public domain while they openly admit to shrinking agency budgets which cannot provide for adequate policing for public safety. How long would society tolerate any other sporting activity, such as football or bowling, if it caused such carnage and loss?

6. Constitutional issue -

The Supreme Court of the U.S. declared wildlife a "National treasure held in trust for all citizens". Currently, wildlife agencies manage wildlife and its habitat primarily for the benefit of a small minority known as sport hunters, in violation of that Supreme Court ruling. This is unconstitutional.

Hunter domination over councils of wildlife management must be replaced by democratic representation for the 95% non-hunting public to prevent the continued abuse of government power.

7. The Ecosystem Reserve concept -

Whereas wildlife is managed primarily for recreational hunting and the enhancement of yields, in sharp contrast the ecosystem approach intentionally preserves biological diversity, rather than doing so incidental to maximizing one or a few kinds of organisms for hunting. Concerned citizens must demand their state Game Agencies implement Ecosystem Reserves instead of public deer ranching on "Wildlife Management Units." This reform would ensure the preservation of the broadest degree of life-sustaining biodiversity.

8. Conservation -

Conservation means "the deliberate, planned guarding and protecting of something precious such as wildlife and our environment." In fact, hunters' license fees are used to manipulate a comparatively few game species into overpopulation at the expense of a much larger number of non-game species, which includes the extermination of natural predators. This contributes to the loss of biological diversity, genetic integrity and ecological balance of wildlife. Hunters' licenses pay for environmental degradation and not conservation as is claimed.

9. Looting taxpayer dollars -

Millions of dollars of general tax revenues are allocated to the budgets of state Wildlife Divisions ostensibly to subsidize wildlife "conservation" programs. In the state of Virginia, political hunting pressure has influenced the legislature to impose a 2% sales tax on the purchase of a variety of outdoor goods, including equipment for popular non-hunting activities such as wildlife viewing, backpacking, and other non-consumptive sporting activities. The financial resources are not dedicated to environmental programs or preserving endangered species. Our scarce public dollars are quietly without public knowledge being diverted into traditional hunting programs.

Additionally, State Fish and Game Agencies administer game programs on tens of millions of acres of military land and hundreds of millions of acres of public land and national forests. Virtually all of this land was purchased with general funds, while taxpayers also contribute substantially to the annual administration costs. Most of this land is open to hunting, as are most of our National Wildlife Refuges.

Although the vast majority of taxpayers do not hunt and lack a propaganda apparatus to announce their contributions, they certainly do "pay the tab for wildlife conservation." The question is, why should taxpayers pay the tab for hunter welfare programs?

10. "Taking Back The Woods"!

A strong case needs to be made today by the 95% majority of Americans who do not hunt that sport hunting and wildlife management for that purpose is an unacceptable abuse of animals and our environment. People who have in the past quietly tolerated the annual war against wildlife waged in their communities have begun to question its legitimacy and acceptability in modern life. Many are experiencing rising levels of distaste for the horrendous cruelty and suffering inherent in the blood sports.

The first step towards reclaiming the woods is to challenge hunting programs that are dangerously inconsistent with modern realities and ethics. Biologically degrading hunts that clearly cater to trophy seeking hunters, such as killing threatened wolves, bears, and swans, do not reflect the will or environmental concerns of the majority and should be strongly opposed. Writing letters opposing hunting to the editors of local and national newspapers is a very effective way of raising awareness. Holding lawful demonstrations, even by small groups, against local or regional hunts, generally elevates the issue to high profile and draws helpful publicity.

Taking any initial step on behalf of wildlife and the earth, for any one or all of the above reasons, is an important and courageous act. And don't forget, hunters do not own wildlife or the environment, they are only taking advantage of a state sanctioned privilege. And like all privileges, when abused they should be taken away

Go on to ACT - Animal Concerns of Texas
Return to 23 January 2005 Issue
Return to Newsletters

** Fair Use Notice**
This document may contain copyrighted material, use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Home Page




Your comments and inquiries are welcome

This site is hosted and maintained by:
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
Thank you for visiting

Since date.gif (991 bytes)