Article taken from the Maryland - Delaware - Virginia - West Virginia FISH
FINDER & Hunting News - October 1990.
Some Thoughts for an Anti-Hunter
You've been pretty quiet recently. At least at the local level. But the
winds are shifting more frequently to the north now, and there's a hint of
autumn in the air. Not much. But enough to tickle the spines of those for
whom hunting and its rich tradition mold a way of life.
Soon the guns will begin popping-mostly dove hunters in the grain fields,
but also a few echos from the rail marshes. Those milder reports from the
hickory groves will be .22 rifle fans plinking away at evasive gray
squirrels. Welcome sounds to hunters who have suffered through a hot and
Sights and sounds to arouse you from your long slumber. Pretty soon
you'll be pecking away at your typewriter and cranking out twisted sentences
and shallow paragraphs putting down hunters and hunting. Many of your
possibly well-intentioned misconceptions will make the editorial pages
Do you really understand what you are trying to accomplish? I don't
think you will be, but let's suppose for a moment you are successful.
Hunting is outlawed in Virginia. Will all hunters accept that? Have you
thought that through? Looked at the consequences?
An immediate loss would be the crack law enforcement force and the
dedicated game biologists of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
There would be no money to pay their salaries, purchase patrol cars, and
provide biological support these highly trained professionals need to
protect those deer, ducks, turkeys, and other critters you insist hunters
Bearing the Cost
Are you and your fellow anti-hunters willing to assume that financial
load, to cough up anywhere from $5 to $50 each to match the money hunters
shell out annually for licenses, permits, stamps, and tags for the privilege
of hunting in Virginia? That money is needed to manage the state's wildlife
resources and to protect it from illegal hunters. It's no small amount.
Last year hunters paid $9,640,465 for various kinds of licenses or permits.
Here we are talking about Virginia alone. Nationally, the figure was
$400,000,000. Over the years hunters have shouldered the burden of paying
for the nations conservation programs. And you would eliminate that?
In Virginia approximately 400,000 hunters carry the load. And they do so
willingly for the most part. Oh, there are always a few who grumble when
the costs of hunting licenses are jacked-but never the serious hunter.
Would the average taxpayer, many of whom do not hunt, be willing to
assume the financial responsibility?
No Protection for Wildlife
Conservation programs supported by hunter's money provide for all
wildlife, not just for game species. Bird watching is a growing outdoor
recreation, and a healthy one. Songbirds benefit from game habitat
improvement and they are protected from hunting. But who's there to hand
out a ticket when some unscrupulous person shoots a songbird? The
hunter-supported warden, of course. And you would take away this protection
for the birds you profess a love for?
Picture, if you can, a Virginia November when there is no hunting.
Hunting has been banned and law-abiding hunters have put away their guns.
But poachers haven't. They've always ignored the law, but now there are no
wardens to apprehend them. Is this the goal you are seeking?
And no biologist to halt an epidemic that's hammering the deer
populations... I could go on.
I don't think you'll win, Mr. Anti-Hunter. Your case is too weak.