Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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Letters to the Editor and Others

NJ Fish and Wildlife Brags About Deer Kill Estimate

Sent in to several New Jersey papers by Anne Spoden

11/2/03

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (the Division) issued a press release on October 21, boasting about the number of deer bow hunters are estimated to kill this season.

The Division reports that the number of deer killed on opening day was lower than the number killed last year (745 compared to 983), but the total number of deer killed through September 27 increased by more than 33% to 6,235. This insane bloodshed is encouraged by the Division so that hunters may "enjoy countless hours of hunting opportunity."

The Division stated that New Jersey has more than 37,000 bow hunters, less than one-half of one percent of the state's more than seven million residents. Yet, the amount of suffering caused by this small minority is staggering. Bow hunters hit and wound many deer that they do not retrieve. In their report “An Assessment of Deer Hunting in New Jersey” the NJ Division of Fish and Game documented the percentage of deer that bow hunters shoot but do not eventually find: “Langenau (1986) found that archery deer hunters were estimated to have retrieved 43% of the deer hit by arrows..." If we extrapolate these numbers, bow hunters hit and wounded another 8,265 deer on opening day that they failed to retrieve. What happened to these deer? Did they run into roads to be hit by cars? Did they wander off and die slowly of infection or massive blood loss? No one will ever know, because New Jersey's troop of inept hunters was unable to retrieve them.

That the Division finds this as something to be proud of shows that there are some sick minds at work in its press office.

The Division also states in their press release "New Jersey is recognized nationally for its deer management program," and "Hunters should take pride in the fact that they are one of the main reasons for the success of New Jersey's deer management program." It is obvious that farmers and land owners were not consulted on this matter. Every year before deer hunting begins, the media reports farmers and property owners complaining about overpopulation and damaged and ornamental hedges. If the public perceives the deer to be in a constant state of overpopulation, how is it that the Division's killing programs are a "nationally recognized success?" They are a success only to hunters and the Division. The hunters win by being able to exercise their bloodlust, and the Division wins by reaping the revenue raised by the sale of hunting licenses, ammunition and guns. It is a simple equation: deer hunting increases the deer herd for the next hunting season, which in turn helps the Division to sell hunting licenses and raise more money. Hunting increases the following season, and more deer are born the year after than. It is a cycle that can only be broken if sport hunting is abolished.

The losers in this sport are the vast majority of New Jersey's residents who do not hunt, the land owners whose property is being destroyed by the mismanaged deer herd, of course the animals who are the innocent victims, and the many people injured in hunting accidents every year. When you add to this all the violations of the hunting codes that are issued summonses each year, the sum is that hunting is a violent, barbaric practice that has no place in a civilized society. We are no longer cave dwellers who need to hunt to survive. To learn what you can do to help end the cancer of sport hunting, please contact the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting at:
http://www.all-creatures.org/cash/
or 845-256-1400.

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