Letter from the CASH President, Fall-Winter 2018
Article posted by C.A.S.H. Committee To Abolish Sport Hunting

CLICK HERE for more from CASH COURIER NEWSLETTER, Fall-Winter 2018

By Jim Robertson, CASH President

Season’s Greetings to our wonderful supporters who are observing peaceful, selfless seasons like Christmas and New Years, as opposed to partaking in cruel, kill-happy hunting seasons. Of course, with any hunting season (and there are many) comes the inevitable hunting accident season, with its inherent potential to put the occasional would-be wildlife-killer out of commission, at least for a while. Fewer hunters this time of year might be welcome news to any ambulance or hearse drivers wanting to spend the holidays at home with their families, rather than working overtime for the duration of the “season.”

Injured Hunter
Paramedics work on injured hunter

In terms of sheer numbers, some are predicting this will be a banner year for hunting accidents. There have been a heck of a lot of them so far (especially on each state’s opening day of deer season), but one would have to check the archives recently uploaded onto C.A.S.H.s’ new website to see how this year’s head count stacks up to all the other years....

That’s right, the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting has a new website. Please feel free to visit it: http://abolishsporthunting.org and browse not only the ridiculous number of hunting accidents and hunting violations uploaded there, but also the wealth of wildlife facts and references you’ll find.

And you may want to add your name to our blog site (also new this year), https://committeetoabolishsporthunting.wordpress.com/ and join the email list so you can get up to date information on the latest news and events as they happen.

I’ve had more than my share of experiences with hunting and trapping accidents throughout my life. For twenty-five years I lived in a remote cabin in Washington’s North Cascades mountains. My place was the last human dwelling on a gravel forest service road that dead-ended at a wilderness area boundary. Almost no one drove out that way and far fewer ever stopped by for a visit, so I was surprised one autumn morning when a truck drove down my long, dusty driveway.

It turned out to be a young hunter who frantically explained that he just shot his father-in-law (mistaking him for a deer) and asked to use my phone. I told him I was sorry, but the nearest telephone was at my neighbor’s cabin, two miles downriver. He raced off to call for an ambulance, but it was too late. Like so many hunting accidents, this one proved fatal for the victim.

It’s a sad story that’s played out time and again—a woman hiking a well-used trail on August 1st is shot and killed by a bear hunter; a forest worker is fatally shot by a nimrod who heard “rustling in the bushes;” an unpopular Vice President blasts his partner in the face with a shotgun—yet the perpetrators are almost never charged with manslaughter or any lesser crimes. As long as they are “lawfully” hunting, the shooting of their fellow sportsmen, or an innocent bystander, is considered acceptable.

I should cite some of the multitudes of accidents that have happened just this fall. Speaking of fall, falling from a tree stand is one of the leading causes of death or serious injury on our list of hunting accidents in this country. Here’s one example: ‘Hunter rescued after hanging upside down for 2 days.’ Meanwhile, in a classic case of sport-hunter karma, on November 9th a hunter in North Carolina using an electronic animal caller was fatally shot by a man with an AR-15 who said he mistook the sound for coyotes. Sometimes it seems the animals are trying to get even for years of domination and abuse. These are the media’s actual headlines now: Dog shoots hunter at Box Elder County duck club, and Grizzly attacks elk hunter in mountains north of Yellowstone.

Clearly, it’s not all fun and games out there, although—in terms of body count and injury rates—it’s starting to seem like the ancient Roman games. The question that should be on a lot of hunters’ minds these days: Is the sport really worth it?

For the record, just so nobody gets the idea that we here at C.A.S.H. are a bunch of spiteful people who cheer at every hunter’s misfortune, we would love nothing more than to know that hunting accidents are on the steep decline—because people were laying down their arms en mass and turning their backs on the sport once and for all. Until then, every time a hunter falls out of a tree stand, mistakes his partner for a deer, or gets lost and has a coronary in a field somewhere, it gives us hope that one day all this wanton killing will be in the dark recesses of the past, safely buried away like all other aberrant human behavior.

Jim Robertson is the author of Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport. Please visit his website, Animals in the Wild.

CLICK HERE for more from CASH COURIER NEWSLETTER, Fall-Winter 2018

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