Hunting isn’t criminal
As I finished reading the article and letters in the Press about duck hunters, I can’t figure out why this time I’m so upset. It’s nothing new that antihunters write the exact opposite of the truth. As a hunter I’ve been depicted as a monster, lawbreaker, polluter and someone who would shoot children playing. Why this time am I so upset?
Many hunters are volunteers in Jamestown. Some of the EMS volunteers who brought my father back to life twice are hunters. Men and women who volunteer to put themselves in harm’s way for the safety of others are heroes to me. They are a great part of what makes Jamestown the wonderful place that it is. When I read the negativity spewed about hunters, these are the people that come to my mind. These family men and women who contribute so much to our community are being discussed as criminals and monsters.
With that said, let me state some facts about hunting. I have been hunting the marshes in Jamestown for 32 years. They are as pristine today as they were back then. Still full of ducks. This is a testament to what we are taught as hunters. Leave only your footprints. Leave the marsh cleaner than you found it. The exact opposite of a polluter. No children playing have ever been shot in Jamestown. A hunter is taught to identify in flight not only the species of duck but also its gender. Rest assured that if your child flies into my decoy spread, I am trained to tell the difference between a child and a duck.
It was stated that hunters took more than their limit of four ducks. The limit on ducks is 11. If convicted of taking more than the limit of ducks, hunters face losing their gear, truck, trailer, boat and right to hunt. This is not what drives us to follow the bag limits that we help to create. In fact it is the very thing that the article stated hunters are lacking: morality. To take more would be against everything we are taught and believe in. Again, the exact opposite of a criminal.
Threatening hunters with legal trouble will not get them to leave Jamestown. Hunters are protective of their environment. We obey the rules so that we can continue to do what we love: put fresh, healthy food on our children’s plates. A great question was asked: What message are we sending our children? Next time you see a young hunter, strike up a conversation. I guarantee it won’t take long to answer that question.