Letter From the President – Fall-Winter 2014

When I sat down to write this column I did so by reviewing what we’ve done since the last issue of the Courier, including the people with whom we’ve interacted, and the situations in which we’ve been helpful. There are some constants: requests for information from students and non-students who just want to learn more; inquiries through our Facebook page from people who need some immediate help to a pressing situation; and whacky comments from trolls and other assorted people.  But every so often someone contacts us with something that really bothers me, and I am reminded of this as I write this column.

I received a call from a woman who was upset with us for posting a news article about her son who died when he fell from his tree stand.  She was angry but remained rational, and it was clear that she was still grieving from losing her son. I listened to her tell me how her son lived for the outdoors and how he was the best son a mother could hope for. She asked why we would post hunting accidents when reliving the accidents causes people pain and suffering.  What was our purpose, she wanted to know, and why would we pick on her son when neither she nor he had ever heard of our organization.

I told her we were sorry for her tragic loss and that one of the reasons we are fighting against hunting is so that similar accidents will not happen to others.  I listened some more and volunteered to modify the article on our website by removing her son’s name, as the accident is what we are documenting and the identity of the victim is not entirely necessary.

That satisfied her and she thanked me for understanding her point of view.

Not long after this call came in we received an e-mail from another woman who had lost her son in a hunting accident.  She was angrier and less rational, and threatened us with legal action if we did not pull the article that featured the accident that killed her son.

C.A.S.H. feels for these mothers, and we hope to hasten the day when hunting accidents are a thing of the past.

However, we also feel for the non-human victims of hunting, and the suffering they must endure at the hands of hunters who find killing and violence to be a form of recreation. While engaging in one particularly intense thread on our Facebook page (by the way, please “Like” us if you have not done so already) I felt the need to dig up some factual information on what animals go through when hunted. The research I did went from becoming a post on a Facebook thread to a lengthier article,  Wounding and Suffering in Hunted Animals: The Dirty Secret Hunters Do Not Want You to Know, which you can read in this issue. It’s difficult to understand what the animals go through without hearing it described in detail and seeing some of the photographs. Warning: Some of the details are disturbing, as are the photos.

While this is a difficult time of year for many of us, it’s the animals who truly suffer and who need our help. They suffer without help, without sympathy, without acknowledgement. They are the legal victims of a system that will continue until the brutal hoax is exposed and condemned.

SOME OF WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

• Posted dozens of informative articles to our Facebook page and have fielded hundreds of comments both pro and con.

• Appeared on Dr. Lori Kirchner’s Animals Today radio show. You can hear the program at this website: http://www.animalstodayradio.com/liveshows.html.
It was recorded on 11/23/2014. The interview was about Eva Shockey’s vile killing of a bear.  Eva Shockey is the daughter of Jim Shockey and co-host of the Outdoor Channel’s “Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures.”

• C.A.S.H. tabled at Pits for Peace in Las Cruces, and reached out to organizers of street fairs in the El Paso, TX area so C.A.S.H. can bring the message of humane wildlife solutions to a wider audience.

• Sent scores of letters to the editor to newspapers from New York to Oregon and many places in between, addressing issues as varied as prairie dog hunting, coyote killing contests, Canada goose eradication, and humane wildlife education.

• Responded to requests from students in Massachusetts (about hunting’s spreading disease, contributing to habitat destruction, and creating overpopulation), New Hampshire (bobcat hunting and trapping), Maine (Bear hunting and trapping), and Texas (canned hunting).

• Researched and provided information on the cruelty of bow hunting for an activist in northern Virginia seeking to fight her homeowners association’s plans to allow “sharpshooters” to kill deer.

Added hunting violations to the C.A.S.H. website, and updated our hunting accident database to a total of 7,406 hunting accidents. Yes, 7,406 hunting accidents!!

• The C.A.S.H. Accident Page has gotten the positive attention of media. The Virginia Gazette Editorial on 12/9/2014 countered reports that hunting accidents are declining by referring to the C.A.S.H. website.  The editor said, “Obvious slant aside, for 2014 the site documents close to 100 incidents in October and November combined, and roughly 200 for the year.  Three of the November reports were from Virginia, two of them resulted in hunter deaths… As careful as any hunter can be, accidents can and do happen ….”

With your help, we’ll be able to do so much more!

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Contact Us

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561
845/256-1400