Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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Letters to the Editor and Others

Another Child Dies

Submitted to Louisiana's Times-Picayune

12/7/03

A recent article reported on the terrible tragedy of a grandfather shooting and killing his thirteen-year old grandson when he mistook the boy for a doe. (Ouachita Parish hunting death apparently accidental 11/27)

Investigators said the victim was wearing an orange vest and had bent over near a deer feeder to look for deer tracks when his grandfather fired. It is unfortunate that a tragic event like this is needed to highlight the grim fact that wearing clothes with hunter orange is obviously not enough to prevent hunters from killing each other. One may question why it is accepted practice for hunters to feed deer to lure them in for the kill, but not for those who love the deer and feed them to keep them safe through the winter? Feeding animals only to make them easier targets not only satisfies the hunters' bloodlust, but this is a perversion that pays the salaries of wildlife managers who thrive not only on the death and injury of wildlife, but of humans as well. This is a case in point. And another child dies; it is a tragedy on so many different levels.

This incident joins many others in which children have been killed in hunting accidents. According to the International Hunter Education Association, 196 children aged nineteen and under were reported killed or injured nationwide in hunting accidents during 2001, the latest year for which the organization has made its data public. Just in the past six weeks, six children between the ages of ten and sixteen have been killed in hunting accidents.

If parents allowed their children to engage in other activities that resulted in so many fatalities, they would rightly be brought up on charges of child abuse. It is time that society recognized hunting as an activity that endangers the welfare of children, and parents who take their children hunting should face charges of child abuse and reckless endangerment.

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