Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting


Letters to the Editor and Others

Bow Hunting Contradictions

Sent to Philadelphia Inquirer 10/29/03

In his op-ed “In defense of bow hunting,” Scott Benek contradicts himself when talking about how animals are killed with arrows. Mr. Benek wrote "Most animals succumb within seconds. Rapid loss of blood decreases oxygen flow to the brain, causing blackout and quick death." Several lines later, he wrote "How else can one explain the times I have shot a deer, only to have it jump a few steps, then start feeding again?" Mr. Benek - which one is it? Do animals succumb within seconds, or do they jump up and start feeding again, unaware that they were hit? Contradictions such as these make one believe that hunters will say anything to justify their bloodlust.

Mr. Benek states that "tree stands offer the safest way to shoot..." If tree stands work so well for archers why do so many shooters fail to use them? If shooting from tree stands is safer than other forms of hunting, rifle hunters should be required to use them, especially since bullets travel so much farther than arrows and therefore have a greater capacity to cause an accident.

Mr. Benek was correct when he said "Many studies have been done on the number of deer that archers shoot but fail to recover." One such study was made public by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Game. 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 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 implies 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. At least Mr. Benek comes clean about many hunters hitting and not recovering the animals, and he sheds some light on the fact that hunters will not admit this.

Mr. Benek also states that the deer herd in Pennsylvania is increasing. Yes, the deer herd continues to grow because the Pennsylvania Game Commission, in their quest for increased revenue earned through the sale of hunting licenses, puts hunting opportunities before wildlife and is enlarging the herd.

When the truth is told, hunting is exposed to be a violent practice that destroys wildlife and has no place in a modern, ethical society. For information on how state wildlife “management” agencies manipulate wild animal populations to benefit hunters, please visit our website at

Joe Miele, Vice President
The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561

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