Reasons like this are why millions of animals are shot and flee wounded into the woods where they suffer in agony with many either dying from their wounds or being killed by hungry predator animals eager to find easy prey.
It is also self-evident that even the most expert hunters shoot at animals which then vanish in a flash so that the hunters have no idea of whether or not they hit their mark.
A 2006 national survey put out by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows that only four percent of the country’s population hunts, with hunting on the decline more and more with each passing year.
The hunting season is here once again. And while hunters strap on their boots, don their hunting gear, take out their guns and head for the woods, it is hardly a time of celebration for the animals soon to be victimized by the hunting exploits of the hunters. No, for the animals it is the season of the nightmare.
Though they would be the last to admit it, most hunters are amateur shooters whose weapons lie unused except during the hunting season. But, as with any skill, it takes practice to achieve expert marksmanship, and very few hunters keep up their skills. That’s why most hunters are far from expert. And that applies equally to hunters as they age and their vision begins to lose its focus. Reasons like this are why millions of animals are shot and flee wounded into the woods where they suffer in agony with many either dying from their wounds or being killed by hungry predator animals eager to find easy prey.
One hunter told this writer that most regular hunters, if they are honest, will admit that they have shot animals which then escape wounded into the underbrush and woods. That particular hunter could count at least five times where it had happened with him and he was an expert shot. It is also self-evident that even the most expert hunters shoot at animals which then vanish in a flash so that the hunters have no idea of whether or not they hit their mark.
Some hunters stalk their prey with bows and arrows. But according to the nonprofit Animal Rescue Society, a member of the Maine Bowhunters Alliance estimated that 50 percent of animals who are shot with crossbows are wounded but not killed. Another study of radio-collared, white-tailed deer conducted by the Department of Zoology and Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Oklahoma State University, found that of 22 deer which had been shot with arrows, 11 were wounded but escaped from the hunters. Some hunters have no hesitation in admitting that they have wounded deer and then could not track them as indicated by comments on the website Rub N Scrapes - How to Track Deer After the Shot. For readers with computers who want photographic evidence of such incidences try the following link www.denverpost.com/search/ci_11298584 or type in www.google.com in your browser window and when that window opens search for “deer shot with an arrow.”
Hunters rationalize shooting deer with the claim that they are just culling
excessive animal populations. But this is mostly nothing but a pretext for
hunting promoted by local and state governments in order to increase revenues
from licensing and add to the profits of businesses related to hunting. Food
shortages are sometimes responsible for increased deer populations, but these
shortages invariably turn out to be human-made and can be alleviated by many
nonlethal methods including contraception and deer relocation programs. Claims
made by some hunters that their kill is donated to government programs for
feeding the needy have little merit when measured against costs and just serve
as additional excuses for hunting. Similarly, hunting websites claiming that
venison is a healthy low-cholesterol food are false, according to USDA
statistics that show deer with a far higher cholesterol count than beef, pork,
or chicken. Deer, like all animal protein, when consumed is also a disease
producing substance in relation to cancer, heart disease, and the other killer
diseases that plague society as revealed by the most progressive scientific
Hunting is a $1.5 billion industry which pushes the idea that hunting is an heroic sport with roots that somehow trace back to frontier days where men sought to prove their manhood by setting out on some wilderness trail. But a noncompetitive activity that just involves the strong killing the weak is hardly a sport. A sport constitutes fair play in which both sides have an equal chance. Hunting is designated a sport only because the media mindlessly and dutifully continues to repeat this fantasy mantra proclaimed by hunters and the hunting industry.
Another false concept that needs to be challenged is the idea that hunting is approved by almost everyone. Those who oppose hunting should recognize that they comprise the vast majority, not a small minority. A 2006 national survey put out by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows that only four percent of the country’s population hunts, with hunting on the decline more and more with each passing year. Much of the reason for the decline concerns the ethics of using superior human technology to kill and cause so much suffering to innocent animals that have harmed no one and have no means of defense. Claims by hunters that it doesn’t matter because animals do not really suffer have no basis in fact and have been disproved in many scientific studies.
People who are concerned with living righteously take the following words by the great 20th century theologian Albert Schweitzer to heart: “Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to humankind.” The humane treatment of animals is not only a large part of the equation for maintaining the necessary biodiversity required for meeting the challenges facing our planet in the 21st century, but it is important for the sense that as individuals we are leading a responsible and fulfilled life that has an ethical basis at its core. Let us remember this each and every time the hunting season rolls around until the majority rules and the nightmare of hurting and killing innocent animals in that infamous “sport” called hunting comes to an end.
David Irving is the author of The Protein Myth: Significantly Reducing the Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes While Saving the Animals and Building a Better World, forthcoming in 2011 by O-books.