Friday, February 11, 2005


Each year, in the United States, about 100 people are killed by hunters and approximately 1,000 people are wounded. In 1988, 177 people were killed and 1,719 were injured by hunters. And don't forget the 150 MILLION animals that are shot at, killed and wounded annually in the United States.

A solitary hunter was indicted for starting California's largest wildlfire - called the Cedar Fire - which killed 15 people, destroyed 2,200 homes and charred 273,000 acres! And the hunting industry tells us how safe and careful hunters are! We are told by newspapers and our state wildlife agencies how wonderful hunting is, and that we must recruit children as young as EIGHT YEARS OLD to perpetuate this stupid tradition.

Hunters can and will shoot too close to houses, roads, hikers and campers. Hunters typically hate predators - especially coyotes - but they also hate any number of animals based on arbitrary notions of what constitutes a "good" animal as opposed to a "bad" animal. This type of thinking opens up a whole can of worms. Stray cats and dogs - because they're feral - are perceived as fair game to some people. We'll never know how many domesticated animals have been shot by hunters; there is no record keeping on this matter.

The following information is derived from the booklet "Money, Motherhood, and the Nineteenth Amendment," which is published by the Fund for Animals.

According to the Fund for Animals, wildlife agencies and the hunting industry are targeting women and children. To understand the hunting industry's interest in women as mothers, you have to recognize a very peculiar charactersitic of hunting: people who do not hunt when they are children are very unlikely ever to become hunters. Nationwide, more than half of all hunters, 54 percent, began hunting before they turned thirteen, 69 percent began before they turned sixteen, and 89 percent before they turned nineteen. The reason for this - according to the hunting industry's own studies - is most people find killing animals so repugnant that if they are not desensiitized to it at an early age, by an older family member in whom they vest moral authority, they will never become reconciled to it.

It is a fact that the number of hunters has been in a steady decline for the past quarter century. This reflects the fact that children are not taking up the sport in large enough numbers to replace older hunters who die or drop out. Antipathy toward bloodsports is far more likely to be reinforced by mothers, grandmothers, and aunts, than by fathers, grandfathers, and uncles, since women are more likely to object to children taking up hunting than men, first: because they find killing animals offensive, and second because they believe hunting is dangerous. And in today's family, women's objections have to be taken seriously.

Therefore, if the hunting industry wishes to reverse the decline in the number of children who become hunters, they have no choice but to convince women that hunting is both ethically acceptable and safe. Here the goal of their campaign is less to turn women into hunters than to turn them into supporters of hunting who will encourage - or at least not discourage - their children in taking up the sport.

According to Christine L. Thomas, the creator of BOW (Becoming an Outdoors Woman) : "Why is it important for women to join the hunt? . . . The number of hunters nationwide is shrinking and is expected to shrink as society becomes more urban and more families are headed by single females. Since hunting is an activity that is closely tied to socialization within the family, it is important that women become part of the tradition, if the tradition is to survive at all."


In December 1994, Sports Afield magazine published an article urging hunters to desensitize their children to the suffering and death of animals at the earliest possible age. In these words, the author, Guy Martin, describes his success with his own daughter: "Eliza was two when she watched a hunting party in Texas take the hams and backstraps from a pair of deer we had shot. . . She watched quite happily . . ." The author advises readers "that you have to start them as soon as is practicable; after they've gotten some language . . . but before any fairy tale-based fears or prejudices about the natural world have had a chance to set in."

If this were just the personal philosophy of an individual, it might not be signifucant. But Guy Martin's article in a large circulation hunting magazine coincided with a broader campaign that is continuing and gaining momentum today. Consider the following examples.

* The Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission sponsors special hunts on publlic land for children as young as EIGHT YEARS old. Fourteen states, including Arkansas, Ohio, New Mexico, and Maryland have children's hunts with no minimum age limit. All told, a survey of state wildlife agencies conducted by the Fund for Animals reveals that in 1996, 42 states sponsored children's hunts.

* A growing number of states now offer cut-rate hunting licences to children under a certain age, usually sixteen. Colorado's "Youth Combination Small Game Hunting, Furbearer, and Fishing License" costs just one dollar, as opposed to $15 for an adult license. In an attractive brochure, the Colorado Division of Wildlife announces in boldface type that for this youth license, "There is no minimum age." For example, an 8-year-old with a Hunter Safety/Education Card can buy one of these licenses. Not to be outdone, New Jersey offers residents and non-resident children ages ten through thirteen a hunting license for three dollars, as opposed to $22 for a resident adult license or $100 for non-residents.

*Apparently deciding to play it safe and get their money up front, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries offers for $250 a junior Lifetime Hunting License to children under twelve. As with Colorado, there is no minimum age; the child must simply have passed the state's hunter's education class.

But even this is only a small part of the picture. In public schools, in state and national forests, even on federal lands designated as "wildlife refuges," children all across America are being recruited into recreational hunting by a politically powerful coalition that includes the hunting industry, state wildlife agencies and agencies of the federal government. This massive effort to recruit children into recreational hunting is justified to the public with noble - sounding phrases like "responsible wildlife management," preserving American traditions, and "passing on family values."


Sponsored by state wildlife agencies, children's hunts have become popular recruitment tools since Florida sponsored the first one in 1985. At the end of the first decade of children's hunts, the 1995-96 season, 31 states were conducting these events. For the 1996-97 season, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which regulates the hunting of migratory birds pursuant to the international treaties, issued regulations that allowed states to hold special children's hunts for waterfowl, called National Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day. This contributed to a further increase in states sponsoring children's hunts, from 31 to 42.

Although children's hunts are intented to attract children before they enter their teens, the word "children" is almost never used in describing them. Instead, these events are called "Junior Hunts," "Youth Hunts" or, more bureaucratically, "Special Hunting Opportunities for Young People." An official of one state wildlife agency, who completed the Fund for Animals' 1995 survey on the subject of children's hunts, scratched out the word "Children's" on the questionnaire and wrote in "Youth."


Blogger chicagoastronomer said...

Here's my take on Hunters.

Real hunters who must live off the land, reluctantly I give a pass to. It's the Sport Hunters I would draw a bead on, and this is how...

Let's make it a real sport. Capture the "hunter", strip him naked and without weapons and throw him/her out into the wild with the beasts. Let's see how well they do with an even playing field.

Or even better..again strip him of his weapons, he can remain clothed in this one, and hunt him down like he did with the animals. Let's do it with bow and arrows for more fun and terror on the prey. They would scream like little girls.

They would change tunes rather quickly, but again the mental capacity for logical thinking is limited with them, so I doubt it.

I would seriously squeeze a round into a sport hunter if I came across one, or if I saw someone mistreating an animal. A 2x4 across the nose does wonders.

There...I'm done venting.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Love Canada Geese said...

Well done, Scott! You wrote a great article about something rarely written about: women and children being enticed by the government to take up hunting.

It's tragic how depraved our society has become that the crippling and brutal slaying of animals falls on deaf ears and society so readily believes in all the lies the government continues to spew.

Keep up the good work!

Choo Choo Love

7:00 PM  
Blogger wisconsin crew said...

The funny thing is,you say hunters are only 6 percent of the population.Ok say thats true,whats the % of the popilation that trap,fish,bowhunt,and work in the hunting related field? Ok now whats the % of anti hunters? Whats the % of Peta members? Whats the % of tree huggers in general? The point is even with our "6%" of the population actively deer hunting as faw as a whole we beat your anti hunting stance by great leaps and bounds! I love the freedom of speech although anyone with a brain and a google search could find the outright lies and distortions of the truth. I am proud to live in a country where even the "nutcases" can get a voice heard.I guess the point is you can sit behind your comp and rant all day long but you will never outlaw hunting in the U.S.I would love for you to do some research on how much money goes from hunters towards the protected "not hunted" species in the U.S and world wide.Now do some research on how much money Peta spends on wildlife.Find me ONE group in the U.S that spends even half of the money towards wildlife that is not,and will not ever be hunted.You logic if faulty,your crying is pathetic,and you will never win the war! O ya there is no war,your anti hunting party isnt even big enough to form a scouting expidition.

10:37 PM  

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