Ask Uncle Joe Fall 2015/Winter 2016

Got a question for Uncle Joe (C.A.S.H. President)?
Would you rather  snail mail your question? Send it to:
Ask Uncle Joe, P.O. Box 13815, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88013

Uncle Joe gets a lot of mail so don’t be offended if he cannot answer your question in the Courier. Letters are printed as received. They are unedited.

Dear Uncle Joe:

I keep reading about contraception programs for deer and how they can effectively reduce deer populations and I don’t understand why such programs are not more commonplace. Hunters obviously are not in favor of them, but why won’t towns support them when most people would rather see contraception than hunting?
Annie G.
Lancaster, PA

Hello Annie:

From everything I’ve read, the primary reason more towns do not use immunocontraception programs is the expense of such programs. Some township officials claim to oppose immunocontraception for other reasons (the drugs are still considered “experimental”), but for the most part it comes down to dollars and cents. In addition to the initial cost of drugs and the labor to trap deer and administer the drugs, certain drugs are effective for only five or six years, after which the deer will have to be re-trapped and injected once again. It’s a labor-intensive practice, and when compared with the relatively low cost or costless options of hiring “sharpshooters” or allowing hunters to kill the deer, many municipalities prefer to go the cheaper route.

A technique that shows promise for the future of humane deer control is surgically spaying the does. It’s a program that is showing to be effective everywhere it’s tried and it can be done with volunteer veterinarians and vet techs to reduce the cost of the program. Since the surgeries only need to be done once, no follow-up is needed once the deer are released. Surgical spaying is less expensive and more effective than immunocontraception in the long run, and while it’s a program we’d like to see more of, we’d really like to see more understanding of wildlife by those who now complain about deer and other species. That will cause less killing than anything else.

Uncle Joe

Dear Uncle Joe:

The residents of my city are causing a ruckus at City Council meetings because there have been a few recent occurrences of coyotes wandering neighborhoods at night and running off with small dogs. They want to start trapping the coyotes and shooting them just outside the city limits and have suggested that police officers could carry out the killing. Because I’ve spoken up at the meetings and have told the city just what I think of their plan, I’m now being harassed by hunters who have been leaving notes on my car and on my front door. I’m not afraid of them because I know it takes a coward to kill a helpless animal, but I did report it to the police, who told me they can’t do anything about it without knowing who is leaving the notes. I didn’t really expect anything from them in the first place. Sorry to vent, but I hate the way people jump to the conclusion of “kill them” any time something happens with a coyote around here.

Anytown, USA

Dear Margaret:

What you write about is typical of the mentality of the slimeball hunter — when someone disagrees and is willing to fight them about it, they begin making anonymous threats without having the guts to say anything to your face.

Because coyotes have adapted very well to human development, conflicts sometimes arise. Reports of dogs and cats going missing after coyote sightings are not uncommon, but what’s tragic is that such incidents can be avoided entirely by keeping Fluffy and Fido indoors when not closely supervised or leashed. We hate hearing reports of coyotes running off with pets, not just because we feel for the pets, but because we know that such incidents will be seized upon by hunting cartels that will attempt to frighten residents into thinking that coyotes are bloodthirsty monsters who are eating cats and dogs only because they can’t sink their teeth into children.
We suggest you keep speaking out on behalf of the coyotes and at the next City Council meeting, bringing with you some factual information about the canines and what people can do to increase their appreciation of wildlife and protect their companion animals from harm. Also be sure to bring information proving that coyote killing increases their populations — you can find plenty on the C.A.S.H. website by using our search feature. And keep documenting the threatening notes. Even though you’re most likely right that the cowards will not do anything, you can use the notes to build a nice case against them should you catch them in the act.

Uncle Joe

Dear Uncle Joe:

I read on your Facebook page that the perpetrator of a recent mass shooting was a hunter. I cannot say that I am surprised. What does surprise me is that the link between animal abuse and people killing people is not taken seriously enough. There have been Facebook petitions to create a national animal abuse registry but I don’t think anything has resulted from them. What I would like to see is hunting recognized as an animal abuse crime. Then we could watch these people and possibly prevent future terrorist attacks.

Ben G.
Gilbert, AZ

Dear Ben:

Little by little, law enforcement is catching up with what we already know — that cruelty to animals is often a precursor to violent crimes against people. That’s not to say that animal cruelty is only a problem because it might lead to violence against people, but that it’s being recognized that those who are cruel to animals can easily become dangerous to people. Will hunting, trapping, and fishing soon be put in the same category as other forms of violence against animals? We probably will not see that any time soon, but perhaps things will start moving in that direction as authorities begin to recognize that mass shooters tend to be hunters more often than not.
We’d like to see the psychiatric community recognize the desire to hunt, trap, and fish as a mental illness that requires serious attention. Most would consider someone to be mentally ill if he or she enjoys killing dogs and cats the way “sportsmen” routinely enjoy killing other animals, but we don’t understand why the difference in species makes any difference to mental-health professionals. If recreational wildlife killing were to be recognized as a mental disorder, perhaps such sick people could get the therapy and perhaps the medication they need to be able to act as responsible citizens.

Uncle Joe


Contact Us

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