Las Vegas Sun

November 24, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Hunting, trapping to manage wildlife

The litany of attacks on trappers and hunters by animal rights activists lately are usually based on the claim that trapping and hunting are inhumane. One needs to ask the question: compared to what? Compared to the standards of Walt Disney productions where Bambi and his deer family think and talk things over and where Lion Kings rule? Perhaps so, but in the real world of nature and wildlife, it is a different story.

Every wild animal will die someday. If animal rights activists think wild animals die comfortably in their beds surrounded by loving family members, they are sadly mistaken. Disease, starvation, dehydration and predation are the most probable causes, and in the absence of management tools like hunting and trapping, entire wildlife populations suffer horribly.

That is the reason the entire wildlife management profession and every conservation association support regulated hunting and trapping.

Professionals know that regulated hunting and trapping are far more humane than letting nature run its course unimpeded. The animal rights activists beg to differ, but how is it more humane to allow (or mandate) that wild animals must die by disease, starvation or predation, or, much worse, allow (or mandate) entire populations to suffer this way when there is a much better way?

Drought, fires, disease and the fluctuations of wildlife populations have to be managed carefully in order to have any chance for a healthy and sustainable environment.

Since 1937, it’s been proved that regulated hunting and trapping programs are the essential tools of modern wildlife management.

The writer is president of the Southern Nevada Coalition for Wildlife.

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