Ask Uncle Joe – Fall 2007

By Joe Miele



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Letters are printed as received. They are unedited.

Dear Uncle Joe:

We, us trappers, have been preparing all year for trapping season. You folks should participate for a few years and then make an informed opinion of the activity. It is highly regulated and only the hard working participate in it. We have an appreciation for the animals we harvest that other sportsman and non sportsman have cannot share in. On example that maybe you can appreciate…beaver are now view by many suburbanites as a pest and a problem…”get rid of them”. Before trapping laws changed, which made trapping more difficult, beavers were viewed as a special viewing experience.

Athens, OH

Dear Don:

Our experience has indeed given us an informed opinion of trapping.  We regularly receive calls on our wildlife help line from people looking to assist wildlife and domestic animals who have been injured by traps.  We have seen animals, alive and suffering, with Conibear traps clamped across their faces, abdomens and genitals.  Given the indiscriminate and inexact nature of trapping, there is no trapper who can prevent such things from occurring.

Additionally, trapping is perhaps the most unregulated wildlife activity of them all.  In Ohio there are no bag limits on how many furbearers can be killed during trapping season (with the exception of otters), and when coyotes are the victims, there are no kill limits and no closed season. If anything, this is the complete absence of regulation. Sadly for wildlife, this is true in more states than just Ohio.

Your “appreciation for the animals” puzzles me. Maybe you “appreciate” the $14.50 you can expect to get from a coyote pelt (that was the 2007 average in Ohio) but to millions of people, coyotes are priceless. Hopefully you will be able to see that one day.

Uncle Joe

Dear Uncle Joe:

I read your letter in the paper and you don’t know what youre talking about. In the early 1970s the (NJ) fish and game council under the recomendation from the fish and game biologists stopped the hunting of black bears to the low numbers of bears in the wild. in 1997 the bear population rose dramatically and with newer technology in keeping track of bear populations warrented for hunting to once again control bear numbers while providing recreational oppourtunities to the sporting public. The descision to hunt black bears like all species hunted is that it is about using the best science available to balance wildlife numbers that the land can support while allowing those who take the enjoyment of hunting and trapping pursue the recreation of thier choice, this is the land of the free isnt it?  America is the land of the free if you dont like to hunt you dont have to but I do so DONT TREAD ON ME, I am a free man that can make my own choices in life, if you dont like it move to france.

Wantage, NJ

Hello Eric:

Yes, the NJ Fish and Game Council did end the bear hunt in the early 1970s, but that was because hunters were killing bears faster than they could re-populate. Had the hunt not been suspended, you hunters would have pushed Ursus Americanus to extinction in the state. That’s been a theme with you folks ever since the dawn of time, and it is why the Lacey Act was established in 1900 – to protect wildlife from hunters who were wiping them out (see the history of the Passenger pigeon, a bird driven to extinction by hunters after once being thought to have been the most populous species in North America).

As for your claims of using “the best science available to balance wildlife numbers,” you must know that this “science” is used to manipulate wildlife populations for the benefit of hunters who want to kill animals, and Fish and Game which wants to collect license fees. This is the only “science” involved with modern wildlife management; it is a “business” and not a “balance.”

I’m not sure what France has to do with bears in New Jersey, but I too am a free man and I am free to change the things that I do not like.  That’s the essence of America, isn’t it?  The right to change the things we don’t like is something that all of us should defend, no? Seems to me that hunters such as you who do not want to acknowledge the right of the public to influence government would be better off living under a totalitarian regime where all dissent is crushed. That’s the most anti-American thing I can think of.

Uncle Joe

Dear Uncle Joe:

Please post this for all members to see.  Hunting IS tranquil, for 99.9% of the time you are sitting/standing still in the wild, observing nature.  If one is lucky, they may get to see a family of cute deer go by.  We are not cold blooded killers, we don’t kill any animal or any deer even.  I myself chooses to harvest a large antlered deer when I get the opportunity.  Please reconsider your fight!  I feel as though you are out to ruin others lives.  I would be completely broken hearted if I could not hunt. I don’t try to stop anyone from doing what they consider fun.  Why is there always someone trying to stop me!?  Find something better to do, enjoy life, you’re wasting it trying to ruin others!!!!

Lincoln, IL

Dear Dan:

In many cases what you say is correct – that the majority of time spent “hunting” is done doing things other than killing, gutting, etc., but as the target species changes, the amount of time spent killing changes. Coyote hunters spend more time killing than moose hunters do, squirrel hunters kill more often than coyote hunters, and prairie dog hunters kill more often than squirrel hunters. So it is all relative.
I’m sure there are other things you can do that you’d find fun. Since you love the outdoors, why not find enjoyment in wildlife photography, or hiking, or camping? The only parts of hunting that we’re looking to stop are the parts that contribute to environmental degradation and killing. Reading signs, sitting in a tree stand and observing wildlife is fine with us. Rest assured that I’m not out to ruin anyone’s good time, unless the only way they can have a good time is by killing and bringing suffering upon others.

Uncle Joe

i’m not going to votes for animals right or send a donations if a animal kill a human being they shall get the same pentaly

Farmington, MO

Dear Gary:


Uncle Joe

Dear Uncle Joe:

I have been hunting and fishing all my life.  It will continue to be a family event that I will pass along to my children and grand children.   If you want to stop something, get your priorities in order.  You have people killing and terrorizing people everyday in the US.  Soldiers are dying fighting terrorist.  Go after those things…they are more important than your present cause.  When you get those things solved, then worry about other stuff.

Besides, animals die of disease when they become over populated.  Hunting is one of nature’s control of over population.  Would you rather those animals die starving or from disease?  And hunting accidents.  Compared to the people that hunt, those numbers are minute.  You’ve put a lot of effort in your cause.  Get a worthy cause. Leave my culture alone.

Lovettsville, VA

Dear Celeste:

Yours is a specious argument, I’m afraid.  What is “important” is subjective and highly individualized.  You say the fight against terrorism is important, but plenty of people believe that fighting against the destruction of our environment and the exploitation of wildlife is more important, since it is unlikely that terrorists will have a direct effect on the public the way environmental degradation will.  What C.A.S.H. feels is “important” is that we do something to make the world a better place.  By advocating for wildlife we’re working toward a better world with less violence and suffering, and therefore less terrorism.

If you read through the back-issues of the Courier and look at our website (I know you have it bookmarked, don’t you?), you’ll learn that wildlife overpopulation is intentionally caused by state fish and game agencies. By artificially manipulating hunted animal populations they sell more hunting licenses, as well as encouraging sales of weapons and ammunition.  When this happens, the game agencies make money and the weapons industry makes money.  That’s all they are interested in.  Think about this for a moment – how come the only species that are said to be “overpopulated” are the ones that Fish and Game agencies set hunting seasons for?  I’ve never heard of hawks or salamanders being overpopulated, most likely because Fish and Game does not make money from hunting them.

For a more detailed explanation, please see the articles posted to and

And while more people die in car accidents than are killed while hunting, automobiles are a vital and irreplaceable (at this point in time) part of society.  Hunting is not necessary in any way and could be eliminated tomorrow without any long-lasting negative effects.

While automobiles are part of our culture (touché!), there is nothing about culture that is sacred and cannot be eliminated.  The Mayan culture practiced human sacrifice.  Part of the culture in ancient Rome was to feed Christians to the lions.  Oriental cultures crippled girls by binding their feet.  Some African cultures still practice slavery.  If a cultural practice is cruel, inhumane or significantly harmful in some way it should be eliminated as quickly as possible. The cultural practices that we’re fighting strongly against are hunting and the exploitation and abuse of wildlife and nature by state and federal hunting agencies.

Uncle Joe


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