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CASH Courier > 2003 Fall / Winter 2004 Issue

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The C.A.S.H. Courier

ASK UNCLE JOE

Dear Readers:

The following letter has been edited for content, not for grammar, spelling or punctuation. It is true to the version that was sent to me, only the name has been changed to protect the incredibly stupid. Trust me when I tell you that this was a real letter - you can't make this stuff up!

- Dear Uncle Joe -

I am a hunter in New Jersey and economically i believe that a bear hunt is the only way to reduce the growing population of bears in this state and also protect humans not to mention live stock and our pets. Think about this the beer hunt is in decmber when most beers are in hibernation do you really think that we are going to kill of the 3000 plus beers in this state ? I highly doubt it. Instead of protesting maybe you should join us (the hunters) in an American tradition since you have all this time anyway.

Elmer
Newfoundland, NJ

Dear Elmer:

Thank you for your letter - it is one for the ages! Now that I've gotten off the floor and have stopped laughing at you, I can address your weak arguments.

Given that no humans have ever been seriously injured by a bear attack in New Jersey, there is simply no reason to believe that bears are a threat. If people would learn how to keep their garbage secure and their companion animals indoors, there would be little reason to fear bears. The statistics on black bears killing humans is remarkable. Over the past 100 years, a bear kills a person in the United States on average every two years. The vast majority of these incidents happen in western states where bear hunting is legal. Clearly, bear hunting has no effect on the rare cases of aggressive black bears. In contrast, hunters kill more people every year than bears. Try as you might to refute this fact, it simply cannot be done.

It would be impossible to kill 3000+ beers in the sate (although I have the feeling that you can kill that many in one weekend just by sitting in front of your TV watching football) because the beer population as you call it, is not that high. One of the main problems with Fish and Wildlife is that their population estimates are based on bad scientific practices. Patrick Carr, the Division's bear biologist was quoted in Field and Stream magazine as saying that his analysis of the bear population would build a case for hunting them. He did not say that he wanted to study the population to assess its health/density; he said he was studying the bears for no reason other than to hunt them. This is a biased approach and as a result, his data should be analyzed very carefully.

There are bears who throw trash around and make a mess. This is undeniable. A general hunt will not target these bears who are habituated to human garbage however, because hunters are not allowed to shoot within 450 feet of a house or building. The bears who are not within 450 feet of houses are not a problem to anyone and killing them will not do anything except put a trophy in a hunter's den, one he can put along side his collection of empty beer cans.

The only bear problem that New Jersey has is with Fish and Wildlife and the pseudo science they use to ram an unwanted bear hunt down everyone's throat. Bears cause less damage when measured in dollars than raccoons cause, and New Jersey already has liberal raccoon hunting and trapping seasons/bag limits. If hunting does not reduce the amount of raccoon damage, it is unlikely that it will prevent bears from rummaging through garbage cans.

Since you have so much free time to go hunting maybe you should help us to protect wildlife from those who wish them nothing but harm and death. Making a switch of this magnitude will be good for your karma and good for the wildlife.

Also, lay off the beers - they seem to have compromised your intellect.

Peace,
Uncle Joe


Dear Uncle Joe:

Are you people crazy hunting is one of the safest sports there is. There currently are more game animals in the US now than there were at the turn of the century and this is due the money that hunters have paid through added taxes on hunting equipment. Wild game meat is much better for you to eat than beef and other domestic raised food. I know all of you eat hamburgers.

Ray,
Little Valley, CA

Dear Ray:

Hunting is one of the safest sports there is? I guess you have not been reading our website, because we keep a running list of hunting accidents/fatalities, precisely to prove that hunters like you are off your rockers.

Yes, hunters pay hefty taxes on ammunition and equipment and all of that money goes back into hunting. Fees generated by the sale of hunting and trapping licenses pay the salaries of game managers and DNR biologists who in turn figure out ways to allow hunters to manipulate wild animal populations so that the number of animals available for hunters to kill remains the same or in many cases, increases. Populations of animals killed for sport are kept at unnatural levels for the benefit of hunters and game agencies.

As for your assertion that "wild game meat" is in any way good for you to eat, you're definitely on crack. Besides being high in saturated fat and cholesterol, "wild game meat" is otherwise unhealthy. After the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets inspected deer meat from a hunt in Rochester, they wrote: “All of the venison which was salvaged from the ‘bait and shoot’ operation in Rochester was found to be unfit for human consumption…We have seized it and will oversee its destruction.” Ray, you are deluding yourself if you think that eating "wild game meat" is healthy.

Even with your final comment ("I know all of you eat hamburgers"), you are wrong yet again. That's a recurring theme in your life, isn't it? I do enjoy the occasional yummy vegan veggie burger topped with prepared horseradish on a toasted bun, but I have little desire, and even less of a need, to eat the charred remains of a dead cow. Yuck.

If you're interested, I can send you some yummy vegan recipes that will make the mouth of even a die-hard (and you will) carrion eater like yourself, water with uncontrollable anticipation. Go ahead, eat that portobello mushroom cap instead of the ground-up dead cow gristle. You know you want to.

Peace,
Uncle Joe

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