After posting “Crippling Animals Should Weigh on One’s Conscience” yesterday, I remembered that I actually do know someone who said he swore off bowhunting after his arrow went clear through a deer, which ran off somewhere far away to die. He was an avid “modern rifle” hunter and Forest Service employee I worked with in Montana.
He certainly wasn’t going to go so far as to quit hunting completely—every time we saw a deer his eyes would glaze over; he was clearly daydreaming about hunting season. I didn’t get the idea he felt all that bad about the deer he mortally wounded—he just thought it was a “waste of meat” to shoot an animal with a weapon that’s not up to the task of outright killing.
Unfortunately, bowhunting is growing in popularity. Because local governments and town councils don’t want people getting shot by stray bullets in parks or other semi-urban areas where “game” animals thrive—yet they don’t want to upset hunters by outlawing hunting—they all-too-often allow bowhunting, just to pacify the bloodthirsty, who in turn are fond of portraying themselves as selfless do-gooders out to save the animals from overpopulation. (Funny that you never hear them mention immunocontraception, or the fact that hunting unnaturally increases ungulate populations.)
A case in point of a city council deciding to allow bowhunting is found in the article I mentioned yesterday with a headline that reads, “Shotguns and bow hunting will be allowed in Ecola reserve.”
Here are a few highlights from that article:
CANNON BEACH — Hunters using either bows and arrows or shotguns with slugs will be allowed to hunt in the Ecola Creek Forest Reserve for the next five years.
Although hunting had been allowed temporarily for bow hunters only during the deer and elk season last fall, the Cannon Beach City Council agreed 4-1 Tuesday night to extend the hunting period five years. The council also decided to allow hunters who use shotguns with slugs as well.
The proposed area set aside for hunting in the reserve took up half of the reserve’s acreage… (One city council member) said she supported a public survey taken by a professional survey company that indicated most of the respondents opposed hunting in the reserve. In addition, (Councilmember) Cadwallader said, hunting didn’t meet the definition of the “passive recreation” promised during the campaign to seek voter support for the ballot measure. Using “a firearm on a wild creature in the reserve does not seem to be passive to me,” Cadwallader said.
Herman Bierderbeck, district wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the council that shotgun slugs had an effective range of 80 yards for killing an elk or a deer. The slugs travel about 150 yards, he said.
Although the council had closed the hearing several weeks ago and didn’t accept public testimony Tuesday night, Cannon Beach resident Ed Johnson told the council he was “very upset” at the decision. He suggested the council submit a referendum to voters.
“I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face,” Johnson said. “You not only included bow hunting, you went further and allowed shotguns.”
“The bottom of my heart aches,” he said. “Guns are not the answer.”