Letter: Hunters take care of habitat, protect species
To the editor:
Connie Mahoney’s recent letter admonishing hunters to leave their guns at home and take a camera instead, caught my attention recently.
The thought of someone actually going afield with governmental permission to harvest, steroid/antibiotic-free venison for their family, appears to be a radical concept to some of our suburban friends.
In B.C. alone the British Columbia Wildlife Federation, with a membership of approximately 50,000 men and women, take great care of “what little habitat they have left,” as mentioned by Ms. Mahoney. These are the people who work tirelessly in restoring streams, planting new shrubs, providing feed when needed, etc. Their commitment is also reflected in millions of dollars spent in many communities all over B.C. in the lawful pursuit of fishing, hunting, hiking, teaching youth groups about the magnificent province we live in, etc.
You will also see BCWF members involved in Wilderness Watch Programs, helping out with spot checks and road blocks for those using and abusing our backcountry areas. These same “rednecks” are the ones you will find cleaning up trashed campsites after a weekend rage by irresponsible bush pigs, or by removing burned out/stolen cars and reporting poaching incidents.
However, I do concede that the camera idea is one that could catch on providing, of course, that you are willing to lead the way by taking photographs of that weekend roast you once planned to buy or perhaps the convenient KFC dinner the family requested.
With regard to her “ethical” comments, if Ms. Mahoney is an omnivore, then someone else must do her dirty work in order that she may enjoy a balanced, meat-inclusive diet and those nice fashionable leather shoes. Meat packing plants, poultry farms, hog farms etc. are all realities and the employees have little time for photography sessions.
Personally speaking, I am grateful for the privilege of living in a country that allows the freedom along with the responsibility to take only what is needed, dispatch it humanely and feed my family and friends with the best and healthiest meat available.
As for “preying on innocent animals:” I have never shot an innocent animal in my 50 years of hunting. They were all guilty—and delicious.
Brian R. Mellis,