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Real hunters respect the law and conservation

By Jason Strickland
Posted Monday, November 27, 2006

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Chatham County, NC - Please do not confuse the white trash that has been trespassing on your property for real hunters who respect the law and the conservation of nature around us. All it takes is one bad seed to ruin it for the rest of us. Hunters as a whole are a honest lot whose only wish is to continue the traditions that have been passed down to us from previous generations so that we can one day pass those same values on to our own children.

There have never been as many white tailed deer in North American as there are now, even before whites ever came here. Agriculture is the number one reason for this. Left unchecked there will be (not could be) famine and disease that will wipe out entire herds. It has happened here in NC before back around the turn of the century. There was at one point almost no hunting of whitetails allowed because of the lack of any substantial quantity of stock. Only in the last 40 years has the hunting of deer in NC been allowed to evolve to what it is today.

Have you noticed in the recent month the increase in dead deer on the side of the road?

It is not because we hunters have pushed them out of the woods with our activities. It is breeding season and with the unchecked deforestation and residential development that is allowed here in Chatham the deer have to roam further and in areas they would normally avoid. Most of the deer you see dead are struck at night while foraging for food or mates.

Normally the loss of habitat would result in the loss of food as well and force the deer to move to other locations in search of substance. But with the large food sources available in the form of agriculture the deer can still sustain their numbers but with less room to live. With the increase in traffic brought on by residential development more deer collisions are inevitable.

As hunters we realize that we have to have a good relationship with the citizens who live around us. No one should have to deal with litterbugs and trespassers. Spotlighting is illegal and immoral. The wildlife dept. has agents who deal with these cases and are only a call away. The number in Raleigh to call is 919-662-4381.

You can go one step further, which will also help in an investigation, and take a page from us hunters and buy what is known as a game cam. It is essentially an infrared digital camera that is mounted to a tree that is motion activated and takes pictures of anything that triggers it. You will want to get one that is infrared because the flash is invisible to humans and animals. They can be expensive but you will get crystal clear images of your trespassers and can be used as positive identification in an investigation.

It is also up to you to clearly mark your property as a no hunting zone by posting signs every 50 or so feet along your property line. The law is that a person can only be issued a warning the first time and after that liable to criminal trespass charges on any other transgressions. Once you have the camera set up you will be amazed at the wildlife photos that you will get.

In closing, please do not blame all hunters for the inappropriate actions of a few individuals with no home training or respect of others. If it were not for hunters the game populations would rage out of control and many of the state parks that we enjoy would have to close for lack of funding.

Hunters contribute and estimated 5 billion dollars a year to the nations economy with purchases and licensing. Every dollar that is spent on firearms and ammo has an included tax that funds federal and state conservation programs that otherwise would not exist if it were not for our dollars. We are proud of the fact that every person can enjoy our natural parks and recreation because of the money that we spend in pursuit of our passions. We don't expect everyone to condone what we do, but we do wish to be able to continue in peace without some individual ruining it for us.

As for Sunday hunting, my opinion is it should be an individuals decision as to hunt or not. With the limited leisure time I have, an extra day of hunting each week would be a benefit. Only seven states prohibit Sunday hunting and I don't see where the world would end if it were allowed. Again, personal preference.

 
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