Hunters and the Hunted
Letter to Editor,
After reading about the recently staged deer hunting protest at Town Hall, I came to a realization -- the hunting/anti-hunting debate will likely never end. Much of what is said, I think, is based on emotion, with neither side providing solid, scientific evidence. At times, false, misleading and/or incorrect information is put forth. Case in point – the anti-hunters' handout stated that, "numerous studies around the country have found that about half the deer hit by arrows are wounded and left to die a slow, agonizing death." That statement is purely intended to stir emotions and is sheer propaganda lacking scientific backing.
Someone once said the hunting/anti-hunting argument almost invariably leads to a draw, because the heart of the whole thing is an emotional decision. It is truly a belief system, just like religion, and systems of belief cannot be conclusively debated.
I am a responsible, ethical hunter and believe the idea that outlawing legal forms of hunting is impractical and misguided. No other method of wildlife management is as practical or as effective. The monies generated from hunting and fishing licenses, permits and taxes go a long way toward the protection of habitat, law enforcement and the management of wildlife populations which would otherwise explode to unhealthy levels. Without those dollars, as well as contributions by organizations like Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, many of the wild places and wildlife numbers would simply not exist.
Hunting and fishing are legitimate, traditional outdoor activities enjoyed by millions of good moral people. I've been hunting for 50 years and shared that passion with family, friends, artists, carpenters, doctors, policemen, lawyers, teachers, a psychiatrist and even a judge. We are your neighbors. We enjoy nature and its bounty of fish and game around the dinner table. We also donate deer to the local food pantry. We do not wish to force everyone to share our beliefs or commitment to our outdoor heritage; we wish simply to be left alone to enjoy this intimate connection with nature.
I am a member and advocate of The East Hampton Sportsmen's Alliance, a NYS Not for Profit Corporation formed to preserve and protect the longstanding traditions of hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities in East Hampton. The Alliance is dedicated to responsible and ethical hunting and fishing and promotes donating deer to the local food pantries.
The State recognizes responsible hunting as the most valuable method of deer herd management. Hunters are regulated by the State's Department of Environmental Conservation and are required to report all deer taken. This invaluable information is used by the State for deer herd evaluation and management. The gross overpopulation of deer in East Hampton is documented by the NYSDEC and is very obvious by the decline of their natural food sources and the increased destruction of our crops, nurseries and landscaping. A quote from a 2002 NYSDEC article on the white tailed deer perfectly describes today's conditions in East Hampton: "A burgeoning deer population causes increased problems for people and impairs the condition of individual animals. High deer populations also reduce biodiversity and damage the habitat for themselves as well as that of other wildlife. Each year, white-tailed deer cause millions of dollars in damage to crops and personal property in New York, and are involved in tens of thousands of deer/vehicle collisions."
The hunter/anti-hunter debate is an emotional issue, just like religion, and it will continue. My hope is that my fellow hunters and I can all practice our traditions.
The East Hampton Sportsmen's Alliance
Your editorial re: Illegal housing was/is excellent. While I wish that I had read your comments prior to sending my own to the board yesterday with copies to you our views are very similar. Thank you for placing this issue up and in front of everyone and stating what so many beleaguered taxpayers are feeling today. This is as important as the financial crisis that you exposed.
Distorted And Abused
It's about time. An attempt is finally being made to return the distorted and much abused filibuster to its original intent. It is being pursued by Democrats; little surprise. The goal is to return the Filibuster to its original intent and form; a "Mr. Smith Comes to Washington" format of standing up, speaking continuously, "Talking out a bill." For political expediency it has been distorted to merely suggest the Filibuster procedure, sit down and assume a Filibuster. Never has this distorted procedure been more abused than by our last Republican minority Congress. They have raised their "Up Yours" filibuster finger to an art form never even closely equaled in the history of the procedure thus destroying any bill proposed by President Obama. Indeed killing any bill even of their own, if presented by President Obama. Shameful but not surprisingly so.
Obviously this Weapon of Massive Bill Destruction could not be altered while the Republicans maintained and abused it. But now it may be returned to it's original form. The Democrats are now the minority in the House. They are willing to do the honorable thing and deprive themselves of this underhanded political scam. They would revert the Filibuster to its original form. Republicans one would think, would be happy to agree. It may require some time however since the Republican "NO" House of Representatives would have to resort to a thesaurus to learn how to express and spell that unfamiliar, elusive but positive three letter word. I'm not going to say what it is. Let them do the research themselves.
Bravo for your Editorial on Quigley's "Accessory Apartment" legislation. Thank you for outlining the problems so clearly and succinctly. And, you can add another reason to that list: the environment is not only affected by "how" we use it, but by how many people are using it. East Hampton has far outstripped its capacity under our current infrastructure. We are not a sustainable community, and have no hope of being one if our overall population is increased.
Thank you again,
Dear Rick and the Powers That Be,
What a difference one word can make!
Thanks for publishing my letter (1-5-11) titled "Fringe Groups" about religious communities,' "commitment towards protection of marriage as a union of one man and one woman." Religious leaders affirmed the importance of preserving marriage's unique meaning and reinforcing the fundamental cell of human society.
So far so good, Rick. But someone blew it at the Indy and changed one important word of my letter in the next to last paragraph. It should have read, "stand up for marriage, and true values, and their unchangeable meanings. By your writing the word "interchangeable" the Pope gave me a call from the Vatican: I've been ex-communicated. Thanks a lot!
Editor's Note: You can apply to The Commissioner of Baseball for reinstatement.