Your Opinion: Don’t criticize hunters

Dear Editor:

I was a bit offended by Mr. Winter’s letter regarding hunters. I do not hunt, but I am surrounded by family members who do.

First of all, if there was no harvesting of deer then the numbers of these animals would be so great that they would either die of starvation for lack of food or they would venture out of the borders of the woods even more in their desperate search for food. This would cause even more accidents involving vehicles and deer.

Also, there are people who “live off the land” eating food from their gardens and meat from wild animals. Sometimes this is survival. Have you looked at the cost of meat in the stores? Often those who don’t eat the wild game, donate the deer to the “Share the Harvest” program, which gives the meat to needy and very hungry families. Is this not a great service?

Deer meat is extremely healthy; very lean and high in protein. The Missouri Department of Conservation does a great job of wildlife management. Hunters don’t shoot animals year-round. There are specific seasons for specific animals-usually just weeks at a time.

My husband commented once, “Non-hunters really don’t understand hunting. They think we are a bunch of blood-thirsty killers. They don’t understand that hunting is about the whole experience in the woods, especially in the pre-dawn hours; the waking up of nature, seeing little animals run across your path, the birds singing, the beauty of the sunrise, the peace and quiet in the outdoors.”

I read Winter’s letter of apology in this column also. I admire him for his heartfelt apology for writing a letter not based on fact. But his letter on hunters is another example of misinformation. I urge him to talk to any acquaintances who might deer hunt, before coming to uninformed assumptions. We are not asking others to hunt, or to eat deer meat if they choose not to.

Please don’t criticize those who choose this way of life.

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