Good and bad side of hunting

in

To The Editor:
I read with interest both letters to the editor over the past two weeks addressing the hunting of pheasants.

I work with Robin Williams and she is a very intelligent and caring person, and yes she can be very passionate and zealous in her beliefs, which works both as her asset and detriment.  I am a hunter and she is a vegan so I cannot say that we share much in common concerning diet or the rights or wrongs of hunting.

However, if her focus is targeted to just pheasant hunting, I will rise to her defense. I have hunted pheasants twice; once was a very sporting, enjoyable, fair-chase scenario; the other was pretty much like shooting fish in a bathtub, in which I did not care to participate. So I can see from personal experience some of her points made.

However, generally speaking on hunting itself, it seems a measure of tolerance is needed on either side. What a pleasure it was when this subject came up in conversation when dining with some new friends who asked why I hunt, but did so with an open mind and in a non-judgmental way. Instead of being put on the normal defensive posture, I was instead able to articulate my reasons in a nice open conversation free of being cast as a Neanderthal throwback.

Hunters understand hunters because we share something in common, actual time and experience spent in the field. We have a reference point. Anti-hunters usually do not have a reference point other than another anti-hunter’s views.

I think it would be interesting if nonhunters spent an afternoon one day with the goal of taking a photo of a buck deer, coyote, or other elusive game animal within 50 feet in a state-land parcel just as a litmus test to the difficulty of successful hunting. Take the challenge!

Robin may get her wish someday, but be careful what you wish for. The hunter population is dwindling with the younger generation more interested in “Call to Duty III” Playstation games than spending a day outdoors in the woods, my sons included. Looking back historically to the amazing and scary scenario of the rabbit explosion that occurred in Australia in the late 1940s, reduced hunting may be good news for a single deer who escapes to live another day, but probably bad news for the general deer population.  

Michael Tanner,
Arkville