Friday, March 16, 2012

Bow Hunting for Bambi

It’s that time of year again; the CT Legislative Session is in full swing. While we go about our daily routine there are lobbyists, big corporations, special interest groups, individuals and elected officials, who are all trying to get new laws enacted. They are feverishly drafting language while locked behind closed doors and (sometimes secretly) plotting their course to be presented for review, favors to be granted, potential public hearings, committee votes, and if luck has it, a Governor’s signature that turns the bill into a law.

Ever search through some of the proposed bills (yawn city) or listen to the local news reporters interviewing an elected official about the latest (and sometimes kooky) proposed bill? Over the years, while visiting the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, I have read some rather interesting proposed bills. And this year, another, what I consider, unreasonable bill has been brought to my attention; a bill to kill Bambi. Yep, that’s right, another attempt from pro hunting coalitions and misguided sportsmen to kill a shy and vulnerable creature, while endangering the safety of people, right here in Connecticut.

This proposed bill will allow Sunday bow & arrow hunting in CT. Follow the link to read the proposed bill: it is SB 0083 ‘An Act Authorizing Bow & Arrow Hunting on Sunday under certain circumstances.’

Bow and arrow hunting is an extremely inhumane sport. It often times causes injury and long term suffering to the animal if the arrow does not immediately kill its target and the prey animal runs off, they end up dying a slow and painful death.

To some, deer can be a minor nuisance. They sometimes dart into oncoming traffic, eat ornamental plants and painstakingly planted gardens, graze at your neighbor’s bird feeder and encroach on humans’ living space. We have taken away much of their natural habitat, so what should we expect?

Personally, I like to see the deer frolic amongst the (limited) open space at Silver Sands State park and take privilege to know that nature has not been totally snuffed out by human encroachment into undeveloped property.
So to allow Sunday hunting and endanger the lives of the average outdoor enthusiast, confuses and appalls me.

According to the article, ‘Managing urban deer in CT/ DEP Wildlife Division’, the only requirement that I have found in order for bow hunters to get a permit is that they take a required 8 hour CE/FS (conservation education/firearm safety) course. Currently hunters are also allowed to use bait (on private land), to attract unassuming deer to be better positioned for the hunter to slaughter them.

Now, given that there are only about 60,000 hunting permits issued every year in CT, I don’t really understand why this bill has even been proposed. That small number equates to less than 1% of CT residents, leaving the 29 to 1 ratio majority who are wildlife enthusiasts, hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, dog walkers and nature lovers who don’t hunt. These nature enthusiasts outspend hunters by seven to one, and contribute over $500,000 million dollars to the state’s economy every year (The United States Fish & Wildlife Service).

Just the safety factor alone would be reason enough for our legislators to ignore this bill or make it disappear by voting against it, yet there are 6 co-sponsors on this dangerous and inhumane bill.

There was already a public hearing on this Senate Bill 0083, Sunday Hunting with Bow & Arrows proposal, but it’s not too late for you as a voter and concerned citizen to call your elected official (even if they aren’t one of the co-sponsors) and encourage them to not only vote against this bill if it shows up in front of them, but to encourage fellow legislators to abandon this bill in the name of public safety and our freedom to be out outdoors with our pets, horses and children.

Both Milford (118th) District and Stratford (122nd) District have co-sponsors (elected officials) who support this bill, as does the 52nd, 80th, 81st, 135th Districts. Call them, tell them to stop supporting this bill and not listen to special interest groups. In case you aren’t sure what district you live in or who your elected officials are, these are some important phone numbers to have handy. Legislative Information Center: 860. 240.0555. Senate: 860.240.0500 House of Representatives: 860.240.0400
Make the call now, you or possibly someone else’s safety could depend on it.

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