Hunters Not Guilty
My wife and I are hunters. We have an animal trophy room, and we live in a gated community. We have hunted around the world and have never witnessed or participated in the type of "canned hunts" described by Earle D. Hightower in his Sept. 14 letter.
We have not discussed hunting with Hightower, yet we feel he is placing false blame on us.
Most of our hunts have been free-range, with the meat used for food. In Zimbabwe, Africa, we fed many hungry people who were oppressed by Robert Mugabe, dictator. The natives eat everything, including parts we wouldn't consume.
In Nicaragua, the ducks we hunted were given to people. We witnessed their joy at the chance for adding protein to their diets.
We have hunted on a few game ranches. However, the hunts were always fair chase and on thousands of acres, nothing like the things mentioned by Hightower. The ranches we are familiar with are working to improve genetics, balance the animal herds with available food, and provide good habitat for them.
In 1973 there were 1.3 million wild turkeys in the United States. Today we probably have more turkeys than when Columbus landed. The National Wild Turkey Federation is responsible for preserving 13.9 million acres of habitat.
We are members of Ducks Unlimited (founded in 1937). Since then, DU has invested $2.7 billion in conservation, restoration and management of wetlands habitats for North American waterfowl.
We live in a great country and are privileged to have the right to hunt. It is our hope that this hunting heritage can be passed on to future generations. We would like to remind Hightower that hunters are great conservationists. My wife and I would never do the things mentioned in his article.
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