Dec. 24, 2008: Hunting in Catskills is a way of life

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To The Editor:
I am writing this letter in reference to the article in last week’s issue about banning hunting. This woman doesn’t realize that she happens to live in one of the largest hunting meccas of New York State, the Catskill Mountains.
Hunting is a way of life for a lot of mountain folk. Wild game is a very healthy, organic source of food that feeds many people and families who choose not to eat color enhanced meats and other meats that contain steroids. Let’s face it, without hunting and trapping some of the small hamlets we know of would not have been settled.
Hunting has been passed down for generations from Indians and settlers to the present day to remind us that there is a way to sustain life without the dependence of necessities. If all the necessities we have today were taken away tomorrow like grocery stores, phones, TV, etc., then people who don’t hunt or live off the land would probably have a slim chance of survival. Hunting reminds some of us that we can still fend for ourselves and feed our families and friends.
It is hard for some people to grasp what hunting is all about. I feel sorry for the dog that was caught in the trap. I too am a dog owner. There is such a thing as a leash law and people who own pets should take extra precautions during the hunting seasons. If you wish your pet to have free running time, then bring it to the park during the hunting season. If you love your pets then be aware of their safety; it’s only fair to them.
And let’s not forget the comment that stereotypes all hunters as being under the influence. That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. That’s like saying everyone who drives a car is under the influence. This just is not true! Granted, some hunters may choose to be under the influence, but it is against the law just like drinking and driving. I do agree that there is no place for these actions. But just like drinking and driving, people are victims of their own circumstances and people make poor choices every day, good or bad. That’s just life.
You know the old saying, “a handful ruins the bunch.” To all those out there who enjoy hunting, fishing, etc. and being afield, I suggest you join the NRA to keep our rights protected.

Aaron Engel,
Margaretville