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The C.A.S.H. Courier Newsletter

Winter 2013 Issue
Ask Uncle Joe

GOT A QUESTION FOR UNCLE JOE? YOU CAN E-MAIL IT TO  CASH@ABOLISHSPORTHUNTING.COM.

WOULD YOU RATHER SNAIL MAIL YOUR QUESTION? SEND IT TO: ASK UNCLE JOE, P.O. BOX 13815, LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO 88013

UNCLE JOE GETS A LOT OF MAIL SO DONíT BE OFFENDED IF HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR QUESTION IN THE COURIER. HECK, HEíS GOTTA WORK A DAY JOB, TOO. LETTERS ARE PRINTED AS RECEIVED. THEY ARE UNEDITED.  

Dear Uncle Joe:

I donít think you understand the importance of hunting in minimizing the incidence of diseases such as CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease). It has been discovered in the southeastern part of Minnesota and would be more widespread if not for hunting. Itís really a terrible disease. It turns the brains of deer into sponges and causes them to lose weight and suffer. I have been hunting for ten years and I never want to see an animal suffer. I have a keen interest in keeping the herd as disease free as possible since I want to make sure that the meat I eat is healthy and clean. I donít agree with everything hunters do. Drinking and hunting is inexcusable and insane. Spotliking deer is unsportsmanlike. Fenced hunting ranches and safariís where trained guides bring you to tame animals is a blight on the sport. We can agree on those things. But there are good things about hunting, and minimizing the spread of CWD is one of them.

Jackson
Maple Grove, MN

 
Dear Jackson:

I see we are in agreement on several key points including that CWD is a terrible disease, but we disagree on how itís best controlled. First discovered in Colorado in 1967, CWD has been documented in 22 states and Canadian provinces. The disease is transferred from deer to deer through nose to nose contact, through social grooming as when one deer licks another, and also through contaminated soil. Hunters actually spread the disease when they provide supplemental bait piles or salt/mineral licks for wildlife. These activities concentrate many animals in one area and in such circumstances the disease is likely to spread. Hunters who improperly dispose of spinal tissue also spread CWD to healthy herds.

As a hunter you know that the average hunter will be unlikely to waste a tag on an animal visibly sick who may not be safe to eat. When hunters intentionally pass up these animals for healthy and stronger deer, they allow the sick animal to not only suffer longer, but to pass their condition to others.
What can be done? Isolating and possibly humanely euthanizing infected and hopelessly ill animals while simultaneously banning recreational hunting would go far in preventing the spread of CWD.

Peace,
Uncle Joe


Dear Uncle Joe:

Iím an ethical hunter. I am not here to cuss or call you names so my letter will probably not be printed in your newsletter, but I wanted your thoughts on something. I have been hunting for several decades and have taken college-level courses in wildlife conservation and know that wildlife biologists are tasked with not only maintaining adequate numbers of wildlife, but also they work hard to strengthen the herd. Iím not a trophy hunter. I do have one mount in my den (a state record at the time) but I have never seen the sense in hunting just for a trophy. Seriously Joe, our deer herd is as strong as it is because of the efforts of hunters

Mark,  Dubuque, IA

 
Hello Mark Ė thanks for writing.

Itís not uncommon for hunters and those who support hunting to sincerely believe that hunting has strengthened the condition of the deer herd. Hereís something for you to think about, however. A study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. [Simone Ciuti et al, Human selection of elk behavioural traits in a landscape of fear] showed that hunting is having a detrimental effect upon elk herds. Back when cavemen were hunting with stones and spears, speed and boldness among wildlife were survival assets, and those animals survived longer to pass on their genes. But in todayís age of high-powered rifles, speedy and bold animals are more at risk than those who are shyer and more secretive. Of 122 elk who were fitted with GPS collars, those who were characterized as "shy hiders" were more likely to avoid hunters. This poses a problem for elk because while hunters are more likely to kill those who are ďbold runnersĒ as the study labeled them, the ďshy hidersĒ were more likely to fall prey to wolves and grizzlies. By targeting bolder animals, hunters are not only weakening the herd but they are putting its survival at risk.

Peace,
Uncle Joe


Dear Uncle Joe:

Iím a student writing a paper for my Wildlife Sciences class and I would like to ask you a few questions.

1. What are the effects of legal hunting of game animals (not including poaching or illegal harvest)?

2. What would be the outcome if the hunting animals was banned? Would there also be negative outcomes?

3. Do you think there could ever be a compromise between the C.A.S.H. movement and Hunters?

Thank you so much,
Joran,  Raleigh, NC

 
Dear Joran,

Thanks for writing, Joran. We are always happy to answer questions asked by students.

1. The effects of legal hunting are different depending on the species being hunted. Animals such as deer and coyotes increase their populations in response to hunting pressure, but wolf hunting can devastate the species since killing the alpha members of a wolf pack can result in the population taking years to rebound.

The increase in the deer population due to hunting increases the risk of deer/car collisions, increased damage to ornamental foliage in people's yards, and an expansion of their range to areas where they normally would not live.

Also to be considered is the number of wounded animals who are not retrieved. These add to the kill total though they are not counted in the official numbers. Studies have shown duck wounding to be upwards of 30% and bow hunting stats indicate that wounding rates could be as high as 50%.

2. If hunting were banned, wildlife would no longer be managed for the purpose of killing them for recreation. Pheasant breeding farms would go out of business, saving hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Other wildlife would no longer be bred for the canned hunting industry - saving thousands more lives. It would take several seasons, but free-living wildlife would fall into balance with the biological carrying capacity of the area. With hunting off the table, people would learn to live in peaceful coexistence with wildlife, and would learn to solve human/wildlife conflict issues humanely.

I'd predict that the number of domestic violence cases would increase. As there are clearly some hunters who kill animals because it is a legal outlet for them to express violence and rage, those hunters would take their rage out on their family members if they were unable to do it to wildlife

3. C.A.S.H. has worked with hunters on campaigns to ban federal trappers from using Compound 1080 and we've worked with hunters to oppose the opening of canned hunting ranches. We have no problem working with anyone who shares our vision, even if it is in only one area. We will continue to work with hunters as the need arises, but working with them will always be on our terms.

Sincerely,
Uncle Joe

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