September 29, 2020

When Addressing Property Rights And Hunting Issues, Get That Facts Right

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Yesterday, I read a letter to the editor in the Boston Globe from a New Hampshire native by the name of Lee Perrault, who now resides in Rye. Perrault, now 56, reminisces about the days hunting while growing up in rural New Hampshire near the Connecticut River. Mr. Perrault believes that it is too populated, at least in southern New Hampshire, to make hunting safe.

I in no way would take issue with Mr. Perrault’s property rights and his opinion on whether he thinks it’s safe to hunt in southern New Hampshire but I would like to point out a couple things in his letter that I feel should be corrected.

Perrault says that he believes that hunters force deer into the roadways during the hunting season causing more auto/deer accidents.

Regarding car-related deer accidents, there is no doubt in my mind that this number increases during hunting season, when deer are harassed and displaced from their normal terrain. Who are these hunters kidding, anyway? Times have changed, folks — southern and central New Hampshire have become too populated for hunting to be safe in most areas, posted or not.

He’s not totally correct. As a matter of fact he is only correct in a pretty small percentage of time on this matter. I wouldn’t be so naive as to think that in some cases, a hunter or hunters would force a deer to escape and make a hasty retreat across a busy highway resulting in an accident. The holes in Perrault’s theory is that if you look at the statistics, the overwhelming majority of auto/deer accidents result at night, long after the hunter has retreated to his home.

The second problem with this false accusation is that hunting season coincides with the annual rutting season when the deer are the most active. This forces deer to travel, sometimes crossing busy highways. Don’t blame hunters for auto/deer accidents. If it wasn’t for hunting, there certainly would be a lot more.

Perrault then addresses the issue on how best to deal with an overpopulation of deer in humanly overpopulated areas.

If the deer population is an issue, the state or towns can hire professional marksmen to thin the herd. The resulting meat can be donated to food kitchens or those who might otherwise go hungry. This eliminates the “sport” of killing and hopefully some of the suffering caused by lousy or careless shots.

Mr. Perrault’s idea of hiring sharpshooters isn’t unique. This has been going on across America for some time now but he kind of misses the mark when he states that hiring sharpshooters would “eliminates the “sport” of killing”. This is a descriptive term used by just about every anti-hunter known to mankind. Let’s label a hunter as a killer or better yet, how about a blood thirsty animal murderer. What’s bizarre is that Perrault must think that a sharpshooter, who’s objective is to use any means available to round up and slaughter, without considering “fair chase”, as being ethical and humane. Give me a break here!

Perrault says that bringing in sharpshooters would also eliminate the “suffering caused by lousy or careless shots”. I can agree that it may reduce it some but Mr. Perrault’s anti-hunting tactic to paint all hunters as “lousy” and “careless” shots is outrageous. This simply is not true.

If the human population is southern New Hampshire is dense enough that hunting shouldn’t be allowed, then the appropriate towns need to take a look at this issue and decide how to deal with it. If they want to restrict hunting in this manner, that is the business of the town. This will not make the problem of too many deer go away. Mr. Perrault must realize as should all other residents, that should the town opt for hiring sharpshooters or trying birth control methods, this is an expensive operation and one that would have to be paid for with town money not money that comes from license fees of hunters.

Mr. Perrault is entitled to his thoughts and opinions based on facts. He’s also entitled to do with his own property as he sees fit and as a citizen and taxpayer, he can lobby for change. This is America. What I take issue with is making statements that aren’t true in order to paint hunters in a negative light that is not the reflection of the majority of hunters. It would be the same as if I characterized all anti-hunters as over-the-edge, left-wing, radicals.

Tom Remington

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