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Stop Maryland's season of cruelty: fall bow hunting

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  • Pat Scala
    FORWARDED MESSAGE: Submit letters to: letters@baltsun.com Fax: 410-332-6977 http://www.baltimor esun.com/ news/opinion/
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 13, 2007

      Submit letters to:

      Fax: 410-332-6977

      http://www.baltimor esun.com/ news/opinion/
      61151.story> oped/bal-op.bowhunting12sep1 2,0,3461151. story


      Stop Maryland's season of cruelty: fall bow hunting

      By E. Joseph Lamp

      September 12, 2007

      Anticipating autumn's bounty of cooler weather, glorious sunshine and
      majestic foliage also brings sadness to my heart, knowing the suffering
      about to be inflicted by Maryland's bow hunters on our deer starting Friday
      and continuing through January.

      In the 2006-2007 season, bow hunters reported killing 21,991 deer in
      Maryland. But how many deer got away wounded, left to run around in the
      woods with arrows sticking in them, or to die a slow and agonizing death
      days or weeks later? Well-documented studies testify that wounding and
      suffering happen time and again when the bow is the weapon of choice.

      Even former Sun outdoor sports columnist Bill Burton has stated that bow
      hunting does not support clean kills. He wrote in his Maryland Deer Hunting
      Guide, "By necessity, most bowmen have become adept at tracking cripples -
      they have no choice. Seldom do their deer drop in their tracks."

      The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recommends waiting at least an hour
      after a deer is shot with an arrow and runs off. If the deer was hit outside
      the heart or lungs, the hunter should wait four to six hours before
      attempting to track it.

      All the while, the animal suffers. Many are never found.

      As veterinarian Steve Nusbaum has written: "The presence of the same
      neurochemicals in deer as in humans similarly demands that they feel pain as
      we do." Imagine the pain of walking around in the woods for weeks on end
      with an arrow sticking out of your side or your head.

      Nevertheless, Maryland's hunters - a mere 3 percent to 4 percent of the
      state's population - hold the purse strings, the votes and the political
      clout inside the Department of Natural Resources and the state legislature
      when it comes to killing our deer, including hunting on Sundays. Hunting
      license fees - not your tax dollars - provide most funding for the DNR's
      Wildlife and Heritage Division, the agency overseeing hunting and deer
      management in Maryland.

      The bow hunters' voices are heard through lobby-type groups such as the
      Maryland Sportsmen's Association, which calls itself the "sportsmen's voice
      in Annapolis," and the Maryland Bowhunters Society. These groups can wield
      their collective political clout in our legislature through the Maryland
      Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus.

      Dying and wounded deer, on the other hand, have no money or votes to offer,
      and thus no political clout to wield. All they get is suffering cloaked as
      sport and recreation for hunters.

      As a nonhunter, I am the lone voice opposing bow hunting on DNR's
      nine-member Wildlife Advisory Commission. The eight other hunters and
      farmers serving on the commission always outvote me when I stand up for the
      deer. Yet few people on the animals' side know the Wildlife Advisory
      Commission exists.

      Let's put this tragic little secret of autumn behind us forever by ending
      bow hunting in Maryland.

      E. Joseph Lamp, a commissioner of the Maryland Department of Natural
      Resources' Wildlife Advisory Commission, is a professor at Anne Arundel
      Community College. His e-mail is j19lamp@....


      Please copy this link into your browser for Joe Lamps piece and take a
      minute of your time to comment at the end. I just went to it and the hunters
      are out in force against him and questioning his position on the WAC. The
      last thing we need is for him to be replaced. He took a real risk for us and
      the deer, so we need to speak in support of what he said. I am working on my
      rebuttal and I will respond as a member of the DNR Deer Management Task
      Force. There are multiple scientific
      studies that support his position on the high wounding and crippling rate. I
      personally had two deer shot in the head and neck last year. I sent Joe the
      pictures and they are quite disturbing to say the least. I also have copies
      of the studies he references and many more and I have given Joe copies. So
      go get them. Thanks, Enid

      61151.story> http://www.baltimor esun.com/ news/opinion/
      oped/bal-op.bowhunting12sep1 2,0,3461151. story

      And from Joe Lamp, who wrote the editorial:

      If you want the truth about bow-hunting in Maryland that is about to start
      up again on Saturday for Maryland's deer, please read my piece on the Op-Ed
      page of today's (Wed) Baltimore Sun newspaper. If you want to express your
      outrage over this please call Governor O'Malley's office directly at
      410-974-3901 and email the DNR's Wildlife Advisory Commission at

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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