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The Triumph of Military Technology Over … Bambi?

Posted by at 6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)


deerMaybe you’ve wondered what it’s like to view the world through the eyes of another animal, say a cat, a dog, or, more to the point, a deer. Here’s your chance to do exactly that, or at least to witness how deer see hunters. The scientists who figured this out have been channeling their efforts into the latest camouflage designs, using the same computer-imaging process that protects our armed forces. With this high-tech clothing, hunters are virtually invisible to deer. That’s right: The whole point here is to make it that much easier to slaughter these defenseless creatures.

Not that it was hard before. Using lethal weapons to make it absurdly easy to kill anyone who moves is hardly a new concept (look up the aerial wolf slaughter in Alaska for another timely example). Deer are marvelously nimble and well adapted for fleeing from danger, but they don’t perceive humans as a threat at the killing range of high-powered rifles or modern crossbows. Actually, half of the arrows shot into deer leave their victims wounded and suffering rather than dead, but invisibility won’t change that. Hunters are notorious for coming up with justifications for pursuing their outdated and malicious tradition, in spite of all the evidence against their arguments.

Ah, autumn-when the leaves are changing colors, birds are flocking, and the air is filled with, well, gunshots. Every year, reckless hunters wound or kill hundreds of people, many while walking on their own property. Recently, a 54-year-old hiker in Washington was shot to death by a 14 year old who mistook her for a bear. The hunter’s chaperone was 16 years old. But the times, they are a-changin’. While our tax dollars continue to support the hunting and fishing industries-which supposedly “manage” animal populations-this method of population control is being used by smaller and smaller segments of society. And by and large, the younger generation just isn’t taking up arms against wildlife with the enthusiasm of its parents. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports a steady decline in the numbers of hunters and fishers over the last 20 years. There are now about 12 million hunters in the U.S.-less than 4 percent of the population. But the proportion of public programs and land at their disposal is grotesquely larger than the proportion of the population that uses it. And with the drop-off in popularity of killing for fun, state agencies are clamoring for more business, since they depend on licensing fees to fill their coffers. Meanwhile, there are now over 71 million wildlife-watchers, six times the number of hunters, who enjoy being a part of nature without destroying it or killing anyone. Sooner or later, these statistics are bound to sink in, so that our tax dollars and public lands can be used appropriately-wouldn’t you think?

So I encourage you to speak up to your local, state, and federal officials, and let them know that you support protecting wildlife rather than killing defenseless animals. Let’s use our tax dollars for peaceful coexistence with other living beings and celebrate the diversity of life instead of murdering it.

And please kick the tires of the charities that you support. I was surprised when I discovered that the Sierra Club actively promotes hunting, although I’ve known for some time that World Wildlife Fund sponsors hunting and fishing projects to “manage” wild populations. “Sustainable use of resources” is often used by environmental and wildlife groups as a code-phrase for hunting and fishing. But a vegetarian diet is far more sustainable, anywhere on this planet. In fact, it’s our only hope for the exploding human population. You really can’t eat meat and call yourself an environmentalist, let alone an animal lover. Hunting and fishing have thus become one litmus test for me to narrow down the number of organizations that I personally support-to a very short list.

Have a favorite spot for wildlife-watching? Give us your best recommendations.

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    Mary-Kay Bono, SFC (Ret.), NJ Army National Guard says...

    October 17th, 2008, 8:01 pm

    Several years ago I left early one morning for a National Guard drill. It was around 7:00 AM. Our beautiful black and tan German Shepard wanted to go out just before I left; so I let him out the back door. He normally stayed on the property, did what he had to do, and came up to and knocked on the door to be let back in. That morning was different. I waited as long as I could. He did not come back. I thought he was out playing in the woods behind our yard. I had to leave, so I figured one of my sons would let him in later.

    When I got home, I looked for him around the house. Not seeing him, I asked my children where he was. They said that he had not been home all day. My older son said that he heard a shot fired around 7:20 AM way in back of the wooded area. We all went out to look. No luck. We all prayed that night. I called the ASPCA. Yes, they did have a black and tan German Shepard. I had to leave early again for my National Guard drill; so, I gave my older son some money and told him to go over to the ASPCA and see if the dog they had there was our’s.

    When I got home, he had bad news for me. The dog was definitely not our’s and was very sickly. We spent the next week walking, riding, and searching for him all over the place. We rode all over and asked people before the kids had to go to school. We left signs all over. We tried everything we could think of. Then, approximately 5 or 6 days later, my husband came home after riding through some of the wooded area behind our yard. He said he had found him lying in a ditch–shot in the hind quarters, lying dead on the ground and starting to smell (which was how my husband was able to find him.) He knew he was our dog from the special collar he was wearing. Apparently, some total idiot who has the audacity to call himself a “hunter” shot him and just left him there. He had a license. The slimy coward didn’t even check with the municipal building to ascertain his owner. And what really kicks the hell out of me is: “When is the last time you saw a black deer???” Our dog was friendly and lovable and would not have hurt a fly. He even allowed 5 little kittens who could hardly walk to maneuver around his dinner bowl and eat his food. He just looked at them doing nosedives into his dog food, stood there and looked at them for a few seconds, and then just walked away and allowed them to eat his food. How someone could shoot a beautiful creature like him and then just leave him there to die and not even check out his dog license is just so cowardly and actually repulsive to me. I don’t believe in hunting and never did. Look at the Native Americans–they hunted only for the food to sustain their bodies and the clothes to keep them warm and construct their homes. And when they had to kill a wild creature, before they used it for what they needed for their own health or welfare, they said a pray of thanks to the “spirit” of the animal for giving up his earthly life so that they may partake of food to eat, clothes to wear, and shelter in which to live. They never killed wantonly or needlessly. After the buffalo slaughter of the 1800′s, only about 700 bison remained on this earth. What needless slaughter!!! What purpose did it serve? None! So why was it done? Only God knows.

    My sister-in-law told me about one idiot who shot the biggest dear he had ever seen. So, he took it into the town to show it off. While showing it off, he received a summons for his trophy. The numbskull had killed an elk, not a deer, and killing elk was against the law. How could he have been such a stupid ignoramus–elk are significantly bigger than deer and have completely different antlers. I hope he paid a high price for his stupidity!!!

    One day my older son will be in a bar and hear some drunk boasting about the “black deer” he shot and left to die in a ditch in the woods behind our yard. And, let me tell you, that dumbass guy won’t even know what in blazes hit him when my son knocks his block off for killing our beloved dog!

    I think hunting should not be allowed at all anymore–not at all! Animals are living creatures of God too, and they deserve to live just as we humans do! We are all living creatures and deserve to live the life that God intended for us. No one — no creature on this earth — deserves to be shot or pierced with an arrow or poisoned or trapped and left to starve to death and die of thirst, or anything of the sort. We are all God’s creatures. Why can’t we all just live in peace? Bad enough we’ve got all those crazies following Bin Laden! We also have to deal with nitwits who think it’s “cool” to kill for the fun of it! Dumbasses!!! My stepson used to fish and bring what he caught home. His father cleaned the fish and prepared them for the evening meal. The damn kid wouldn’t even take one bite of them. He just wanted to fish to catch them and watch them die. But he’d never eat them. One time I saw him catch a fish, take it off the hook and lay it on a piece of board near the water. The fish wiggled and got himself off the board and back into the water. The kid was really pissed off. I was smiling and thanking God!

    If a creature must be killed to help sustain a human to avoid starvation or freezing without clothing from the creature’s skin to warm and protect them, one could understand that. However, wanton killing just for the sake of doing it is truly insane, and the practice of hunting should be banned and those who engage in it anyway should be locked up and fined within an inch of their lives! Maybe they should be made to feel the pain the animal feels when a stupid human armed with an automatic rifle, shotgun, pistol, bow and arrow, or cross-bow and arrow must feel when the round or arrow plunges into their innocent, unsuspecting bodies. An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth; and subjected to feeling pain because of being guilty of needlessly inflicting pain!

    Maybe our new president will one day pass a law against needlessly inflicting pain upon innocent creatures. Until that day comes, I’m going to continue putting out food for the beautiful deer who used to have a home behind our yard in the woods which have now been mostly cut down to make way for more buildings and roads. Those poor creatures have less and less places to go to call “home”. It’s no wonder so many of them are lying on the side of the roads dead. Humans are rapidly taking away their habitats and food. They are forcing them into unknown and dangerous territory–the world of humans!!! Put them in state parks, humane zoos, there must be hundreds of places where the animals could be placed rather than just allowing them to be needlessly slaughtered or wounded and die from bleeding to dead in such an inhumane and senseless manner. Those people out there who insist on eating meat–don’t they realize that they are eating the flesh of a dead creature. Would they want to take a bite out of a dead person? Flesh is flesh. Life is life. God has truly blessed us with both. Why needlessly and senselessly throw all that away? Stop the killing! Stop the pain! Stop the insanity! Before more innocent humans get killed because some idiot with a weapon saw a movement behind some trees! God help us all if this madness is allowed to continue!!!

    Mary-Kay Bono, SFC, (Ret.), NJ Army National Guard
    marykaybono@netzero.net

    Jacob Dijkstra, M.D. says...

    October 18th, 2008, 8:36 pm

    Hunters’ claim that they hunt to regulate and sustain wildlife and not because they derive pleasure from it are just as hypocritical as men that claim that they only buy Playboy because of the articles.

    Pamela says...

    October 19th, 2008, 12:49 am

    Mary, I am so sorry about your beautiful german shepard. He certainly did not deserve such a terrible end and I fervently hope you find who did it. It is horrifying that society places so little worth or care to finding and prosecuting the sadistic felony-waiting-to-happen.

    You are right, most with guns are sadistic hypocrites who are too lazy to learn to do anything the right way and not of the mindset that we want in a sucessful community. What is even more appalling is the way that these people are often protected by others that should know better.

    Steve says...

    October 19th, 2008, 6:16 pm

    Mary Kay -

    Thank you for sharing your story with us – what a tragic murder! By the way, I am a veteran too: 4 years USMC, Vietnam. I share your belief that killing animals for any reason is madness. You would appreciate the bumper sicker I just got from PETA: in biblical script, it says: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Then: Go Vegetarian! With a picture of a lamb. I got another one that is a bit more blunt: Meat is Murder. We do indeed live in a bloodthirsty society, but change is coming, as proven by your posting. There was a time, not so many years ago, when SFC’s wouldn’t or couldn’t express such ideas. Our ranks are growing, and our voice is getting stronger. Compassion and peace will win in the end.

    -Steve

    Lynnette Pate says...

    October 23rd, 2008, 10:18 pm

    to answer the question about Luke Dommer’s proposal to incorporate only a “Doe” season. They have done just that in Tennessee and Arkansas.
    I despise trophy hunting and the safari hunts to get for skin and ivory.

    julie n says...

    January 17th, 2010, 5:32 pm

    I am a hunter(huntress) and I respect the wildlife. I hunt to put food on the table for my children. I am sorry if there are those of you who disagree with me and others like me. Of course there are idiots who shoot at anything that moves. I only take what I need and nothing more. I am an omnivore and will continue to be. In these times where the cost of everything is going up and the job market is teetering on disaster I will do what I must to provide.

    I don’t think advocating violence committed by your son Mary-Kay Bono is exactly what you need to be doing. There had to have been a better way to handle that situation. Fortunately this man didn’t have him arrested and charged with assault. Of course the man is a complete jerk but your son did not exercise good judgement either.

    To Lynette Pate, the information you are giving out is completely wrong. The limit for does this past season (2009-2010) was 3 does per day and 3 bucks per season. I only took one doe and 1 buck. Now that doesn’t sound too greedy to me.

    Diane says...

    January 1st, 2011, 8:49 pm

    Animal People had an article about hunting sometime ago. A study showed that in counties of similar size and population, there was a correlation between the number of hunting licenses sold and the number of cases of child abuse. Apparently those who like to maim and kill animals also like to have dominion over women and children.

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