Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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Letters to the Editor and Others

Letter about the Southeastern Ohio Hunting and Trapping Expo. Sent to the Coshocton Tribune.

August 17, 2003

To The Editor:

Jim Barstrow's recent column on the upcoming hunting and trapping expo (Southeastern Ohio Hunting and Trapping Expo coming soon – July, 31) left out a few important details about the sports, mainly, the effect they have on the animals who are killed.

Hunting is one of the most extreme examples of cruelty to animals that one can imagine, with bow hunting being one of the least accurate and most barbaric forms of all modern recreational hunting. In its report “An Assessment of Deer Hunting in New Jersey,” the NJ Division of Fish and Game documented the percentage of deer that bow hunters are unable to track down: "Langenau (1986) found that archery deer hunters were estimated to have retrieved 43% of the deer hit by arrows..." This article proves that 57% of deer hit with arrows are not collected by experienced hunters. Reality is that these animals will either bleed to death or slowly die after the arrow wound becomes infected. Exposing children to this atrocity through the Hunting and Trapping Expo is disgraceful. "For a bow hunter to easily recover a wounded deer,” another study reports, “the blood loss must be extensive. A deer will have to lose at least 35 percent of its total blood volume for the hunter to recover it rapidly." (Rob Wegner - Deer and Deer Hunting August, 1991) This is not something that responsible parents should be teaching their young children.

There is a very good reason why the hunting fraternity is desperately trying to recruit women and children to their blood sport: Their “sport” is dying. According to an article in the July, 2003 issue of Field and Stream magazine, the number of hunters fell from 27 million to 13 million over the last five years. Only 6 percent of Americans aged sixteen and over hunt, and only fourteen percent of those are between sixteen and twenty-four years old. This spells trouble for those who want to keep the “tradition” of sport hunting alive and active into the future.

The most widely used device in the Ohio trappers' basket is the steel jaw leghold trap. This trap is deemed inhumane by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and has been banned in over 88 countries and several US states. Its' use has been known to cause broken bones, torn tendons and skin lacerations in the animals unfortunate enough to fall victim to its deadly steel jaws. Victims of these traps are not limited to the species that the trapper is looking to kill. Legally placed traps designed to attract other animals have trapped companion dogs and cats, and endangered and threatened species. Given the indiscriminate nature of trapping, there is not a trapper in the world who can prevent such occurrences from happening.

Another kind of trap commonly used by Ohio trappers is the conibear trap. Many trappers believe that this trap is humane because it supposedly kills an animal instantly upon being trapped in its cold steel grip. This, however, is not the case. An article in American Trapper magazine describes how beavers can be caught in the most powerful of these traps (a #330) and still be alive when released some time later. In cases of these traps being used to kill beavers, the beaver is held underwater until she drowns. Beavers commonly hold their breath for long periods of time in the course of their day-to-day activities, so drowning them is a prolonged, terrifying process.

Clearly, hunting and trapping are sports that are in the twilight of their lives, and it will be a good day for all when the last state game agency closes its doors because there is no one left to buy its hunting and trapping licenses.

Joe Miele
Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12563
201-368-8271

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