Hunting and survival of the species
The article by Slim Smith regarding gator hunting was interesting, but not surprising. There isn’t much gator hunting around here, at least not that I know of, anyway.
People hunt for a variety of reasons, sometimes more than just one. Hunting to put meat on the table has been a human endeavor ever since there have been humans. Even many animals hunt other animals in order to eat, and the human being is an animal. A lot of people hunt for recreation. Getting “back to nature” and pitting your hunting skills against the survival instincts of an animal provides enjoyment. Some people “cull” herds so that more animals may survive and be healthier than they otherwise would be if the land was overpopulated, making food scarce. The biggie for a lot of hunters is the trophy. Bragging rights go with the biggest set of antlers, or horns, or spurs, or whatever means is used to measure the success of the hunt.
I don’t hunt much any more, for a variety of reasons. Hunting has gotten to be big time. If you don’t own or lease land, preferably in the hundreds or thousands of acres, you have virtually no place to hunt. Leasing good land is ultra-expensive. Big money to be made, and it’s a sellers’ market. What public land is available for hunting is very risky. You have no idea who is out there or where, or if they are safe and responsible hunters or not. It’s a real crap(py) shoot, pardon the pun. There are so many slob hunters today that finding true hunters has become difficult, to say the least. People will ignore game limits or legal size and act like it’s no big deal.
One animal that exists in tremendous numbers, but is only hunted by landowners’ permission or lease is wild hog. Farmers ought to pay hunters to kill these predators, but if there’s money involved, greed rears it’s ugly head again. Hunters need to be responsible, no matter what game they’re hunting. Don’t leave trash behind. Don’t leave a wounded animal to suffer a lingering death. Be a good shot.
If somebody really wants to do something useful about the survival of the species, advocate stopping over-populating humankind. Inner cities are bursting at the seams with people who have no direction or hope. They hunt and kill other humans for drug territories, or whatever cash or pawnable geegaws they can steal. Those are the “hunters” who need attention.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.