Hunting is Murder on Animals
Part VIII -- How The Starvation Argument Misrepresents the True Goal of Hunting
The Starvation Argument: 1. Does Not Work 2. Is Not the True Goal 3. Is Immoral

Americans spend thirty-eight billion dollars a year hunting and fishing. Could it be that wildlife managers are not as concerned with the welfare of the animals as they are with the revenues that hunters generate? Could the starvation argument simply be a phony excuse to keep the public at bay while the states reap these huge revenues from the hunters?

If we were to find that their real goal was to increase the populations of the hunted species, then we would know that their motives have little to do with animal welfare and much to do with money.

In their own publications we find such damning evidence.

Here's one example from an article entitled The Philosophy of Deer Management from New York State's periodical The Conservationist:

Ideally, if the number of antlered and antler less deer are taken each year, the population will comprise the highest number of breeding females and the lowest number of adult males that collectively can be supported on the critical winter range. As a result, the maximum fawn crop will be produced each summer.

Also in New York state, wildlife manager Terry Morris stated:

We will attempt to increase the number of deer until we experience high incidences of deer-car collisions, depredation of agricultural crops becomes intolerable, and/or the effects of deer habitat begin to result in deterioration.

Four years after that statement was made, New York's Department of Fish and Wildlife thought it necessary to issue a record quarter-million hunting-party permits. According to Clark Pell, an official of the service, this was done to prevent thousands of deer starving that winter. He then admitted that there had been:

A deliberate attempt on our part to increase the deer population through management programs.

In Michigan, during the early seventies, the deer population was declining due to natural causes. The state forests were reaching maturity: blocking the low-level growth that deer feed upon. Instead of rejoicing in the fact that the deer population was adjusting to the existing habitat, the DNR instituted a program specifically designed to increase the number of deer from 200,000 to one million by the year 1981. They accomplished this goal by massive clear-cutting of state forests. The result? By 1980 there were 19,000 car-collisions with deer. By 1982 the damage done to orchards by the overpopulated deer reached into the millions. And that same year the DNR was able to sell 750,000 hunting licenses, resulting in the murder of 175,000 deer.
Steve in studio

There are large areas in the Pacific Northwest that could support greater numbers of deer, and yet hunting seasons are held there, although there is little or no danger of any deer starving.
A bear

In 1982, the Massachusetts Fish and Game Board extended the hunting season on bears by one week, and authorized the use of 357 magnum handguns in addition to the usual arsenal of rifles, shotguns, and bows and arrows used in murdering these magnificent animals. The Board's stated purpose for these actions?

To create recreation for those who can go hunting.

Incredibly, the total bear population in the state at that time was less than 100!
A white rabbit

Back in 1982, hunters in Rhode Island had evidently done such a good job of preventing rabbits from starving that they actually ran out of rabbits to murder! Not to be cheated out of the great humanitarian work they were doing, the resourceful Fish and Wildlife Department imported snowshoe rabbits from New Brunswick, so hunters could continue their fine work by murdering these.
A racoon

In 1977 raccoons were purposely brought into the Appalachians for hunters to murder. The raccoons, carrying rabies, have been steadily migrating north ever since, and have recently reached New York. New York residents can thank the hunters for this new health hazard.
A pheasant

Fred Marhinson, of the Washington Department of Game, was quoted in Outdoor Life as saying:

With carefully controlled shooting of pheasant hens, we could put an additional 50,000 birds in the bag each year. It is simply a way of giving the hunters a little more, and to use a resource that is now going to waste.

It is very revealing that the lives of animals are considered "wasted" unless hunters have the opportunity of ending them. With pheasants, it's hard to see how anyone could fall for the "starvation argument." The Ring-necked pheasant is not a native of North America. These birds were purposely imported for hunters from China in 1882. 29 states now run "pheasant farms" were the birds are bred for the sole purpose of being gunned down by hunters. The Wildlife Department of Texas put it point blank:

The stocking of pheasants is done in an effort to establish huntable populations of pheasants.

Peter Duncan, the executive commissioner of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, stated:

Farm-raised pheasants are anything but wild, and are so susceptible to predation and other mortality that they have almost no chance of surviving in the wild.

An article in Pennsylvania Game News stated:

Research has shown that only one out of four birds stocked in the Fall ends up in the hunters' bag. The other three, or seventy-five percent, succumb to: predation, starvation, or just an inability to survive in the wild.

If there were no hunting, these thousands of animals -- purposely bred for hunters -- would not be out there starving. So this is another way in which hunting causes starvation.

In addition to the state-run pheasant farms, there are about 2,000 private "shooting preserves" in this country. Hunting preserves in general are places where animals are bred and raised to be murdered by hunters on the very same premises. They completely contradict the notion that hunting exists for the sake of preventing starvation amongst wild animals.
Contents   Prev   Next: Part IX -- Why the Starvation Argument is Immoral
This site is concerned with: ethics, compassion, empathy, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Watchtower, poetry, philosophy, atheism, and animal rights.