I will never change the mind of the lady who wrote in last week's Mailbag that hunting creates more problems than it solves so I won't try.
That she doesn't like hunters or hunting is painfully obvious. But I would like to try to dispel a few of the statements she's put forth as fact.
If she feels deer starvation is a myth, let me take her for a walk some late winter day. She'll see things that will tear her heart out. Deer die of starvation in a year with even a mild winter. A harsh winter will kill thousands. There can only be as many deer as the winter range will allow.
In a poor mast (acorn) year in a mature forest, there's virtually nothing for a deer to eat in the winter woods.
And if any deer starve over the winter, it means there were more deer than that particular range could handle. If she were to get her way and hunting were to be eliminated, you could add the over 300,000 deer which are harvested each year to that population.
The following year those 300,000 would balloon to over a million. It's the pyramid effect with no natural predators in the mix. And predators are hunted in PA, but the ones that are hunted prey primarily on small animals. I know coyotes and bears do take deer at times, but they are not a major factor in controlling the population.
The deer's natural predators (wolves and mountain lions) are no longer present in PA. The hunter must become the natural predator if the numbers are to be kept in check. An out of control population is susceptible to starvation and disease and will ruin the diverse habitat of its range in short order.
And why is a hunter harvesting a deer (which is almost always a more humane way than Mother Nature provides) and using it for sustenance such a bad thing?
There are not hundreds of thousands of animals "crippled and wounded" and "lying terrorized" in the woods. Wounded animals are an unfortunate part of hunting, but did she ever watch a deer starve to death or be eaten alive by a pack of coyotes or even feral dogs?
It is wise to remember that "almost no animal dies of old age in nature."
A fawn which loses its mother during hunting season is more susceptible to malnutrition? They are less likely to starve with the doe out of the equation. The does eat first, fawns second. It's survival of the fittest in the winter woods, and nature knows that the mature doe will weather the rigors better than the smaller, weaker fawns.
I've seen does chase her fawns away so she could eat first. They eat after she's full.
The Game Commission "creates the overpopulation of deer?" Ask any hunter lately if he feels PA is overpopulated with deer.
The Good Lord put animals on the earth for our use.
But hunters don't hunt because of a sense of responsibility to control the populations. They hunt because they love the sport, and they love the outdoors, and they respect the animal they pursue. (And they should not have to apologize for themselves).
That's hard for a non-hunter or an anti-hunter to understand, but that's just the way it is. And that is no myth. It's a fact!
Letter full of nonsense
I rarely respond to some of the idiocy that is put in print, but every once in awhile someone says something that has to be called for the sheer absurdity of their opinion.
The letter about "Hunting can't solve its problems" by Silvie Pomicter has to be in the top five of all time for people's opinions that are based solely on their own point of view and have no basis in any kind of scientific research or proof of any kind.
My own opinion is that quite possibly this person used a Quija Board to come up with this letter full of the most ridiculous statements ever uttered by a human being. I would love to know which anti-hunting or anti-shooting group Silvie researched to come up with this exorbitant pack of nonsense and lies.
I feel sorry for Silvie, and hope that he/she enjoys their strictly vegetarian diet for many years to come. It's great to live in a country where you can voice what is strictly your own opinion with no chance of rebuttal, but when it is so absolutely ridiculous, it has to be called on the table for the pure nonsense it is.