This was written in response to an article that appeared in the
Sacramento Bee on September 2, 2005, entitled: “Yolo Resident Uses His
Land to Help Kids Hunt”
BY MARILYN JASPER
A landowner in Winters, California, has opened up his 1,440 acres to
hunting in a misguided attempt to “help kids.” Good intentions are
admirable, but outcomes are another story.
According to a recent newspaper article, the owner, a Brian Stucker,
claims his own introduction to duck hunting inspired a love of nature,
so he wants to do something nice for hunting. He has built ponds, which
attract unsuspecting deer, and decided to allow hunting for kids.
Although the connection between loving nature, building attractions for
animals, and then having kids kill them remains unclear, there is a much
more ominous aspect to this story.
Teaching kids to kill innocent animals instills a lack of respect for
nature. In fact, it reinforces a dominance approach to life. If only he
had provided a place for kids to hunt with a camera or binoculars, to
experience nature as it is, and to leave it that way for the benefit of
all, his efforts would be applauded. Instead, he is instilling a sense
that animals are disposable for human recreational activities as well as
reinforcing a disrespect for life itself.
The mentality that supports hunting grabs at many straws to validate
the killing of other sentient beings. They claim they are culling out
the weak, strengthening the species by reducing overpopulation that
leads to disease. Are they always assured of killing the weakest or the
sickest? Do we have any scientific studies that prove indiscriminate
hunting has “healed” a sick population?
The buck with the biggest rack is probably genetically the best
specimen for a herd’s continued survival, yet he will be the most sought
To try to understand the workings of the mind of a hunter is to try
to understand the mind of a killer. There may not be a pathology per se
(although that is certainly the case in some instances), but very likely
there is a huge disconnect between the act of killing, of pulling the
trigger or releasing the arrow, and the actual consequences.
There is a very similar disconnect between other reckless behaviors,
until there is an accident, and then, possibly, there may be a
Fortunately, many former hunters are waking up, as indicated by the
decline in the issuance of hunting licenses.
Meanwhile, in deep denial, the hunting industry frantically recruits
women and children, and attempts to make hunting the new family get
together. Do not be surprised by “The family that hunts together stays
together” slogans. Until the wake up is more profound, animals will
continue to suffer.
To contact Marilyn Jasper, please e-mail her at