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C.A.S.H. Letters to the Editor > 2004

C.A.S.H. Letters

CALIFORNIA WOMAN CHARGED FOR FEEDING DEER

Sent to Northern California newspapers
20 June 2004

We were saddened after being made aware of the situation in which Mrs. Thana Minion of Copco, was jailed and made a criminal after feeding a herd of tame deer on her property. This case calls attention to the moral schizophrenia that our society suffers from - a condition that we hope can be cured by introspection and education.

It is ironic that Fish and Game Department spokeswoman Lorna Bernard said

"Mother Nature has ways of regulating them…If we're artificially feeding them, we're messing with the grand plan." It seems that for years then, the Fish and Game Department has been “messing with the grand plan" by allowing hunters to feed the animals so they can be killed while looking for a bite to eat. In many states, hunters bait the deer and draw them to a given area, so that when hunting season opens there will be plenty of living targets to shoot at. If this is not “messing with the grand plan” I don’t know what is.

This is a prime example of the moral schizophrenia that I mentioned – we permit hunters to feed deer so they can kill them, but we do not permit landowners to feed the deer because they care for them.

The reason why the Fish and Game Department does not want people feeding deer is that when someone feeds them on their private property, it draws the deer away from the areas where they can be legally hunted. Feeding bans are enacted in part because hunters want to kill without anyone giving the animals a better chance at survival.

While some people may think that Mrs. Minion’s actions are not natural, the reality is that hunting and modern wildlife management techniques are extremely unnatural ways of manipulating animal populations to serve a human purpose. State game agencies, including the California Fish and Game Department, set high "bag limits," meaning that they allow the killing of the maximum number of deer while ensuring that the herd will rebound with larger populations the following season. Reality has it that deer hunting creates unnatural deer overpopulation and contributes to starvation rates. When a herd of deer is hunted, it leaves more habitat, more food and more breeding opportunity for the lucky survivors. The birthrate of the remaining deer accelerates and more fawns are born, increasing the deer herd for the next season. Hunters do not help the situation any, because they target the biggest, strongest bucks with the largest antlers for trophies. This leaves the sickest and weakest animals to survive and breed, thus weakening the gene pool.

The Department encourages this unnatural mismanagement of the deer herd because its annual budget, including the salaries of its most highly paid employees, is paid for through the sale of hunting licenses. The larger the deer herd is kept, the more licenses can be sold and the more revenue can be raised. This is the reality of wildlife management as practiced by the California Department of Fish and Game. It has nothing to do stabilizing hunted animal populations and everything to do with money.

We empathize with the compassion shown by Mrs. Minion. We understand that her desire to help animals through acts of kindness is a far better thing for society than the desire to kill animals through acts of extreme violence. For more information regarding the truth behind the hunting programs pushed by state game agencies, please contact the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting at (845) 256-1400 and visit our website at http://www.all-creatures.org/cash/

 

Joe Miele, Vice President
Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
PO Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561
(201) 368-8271


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C.A.S.H.
PO Box 562 New Paltz, NY 12561
Phone 845-256-1400 Fax 845-818-3622
E-mail: cash@cashwildwatch.org
Anne Muller - President

 

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