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No to bowhunting

July 1, 1993

No to bowhunting

By Rod Myers, Naturalist

Once again, the bowhunters are trying to get permission to hunt in Winnebago County forest preserves, and once again, I am opposed. I acknowledge that the forest preserves are overrun with deer, but let’s let the county hire sharpshooters to deal with them. Or they could try some sterilization methods for birth control.

I am not anti-hunting unless it is inefficient because inefficiency in hunting is cruel. Simply put, bow hunting cripples too many mammals and a few game birds, too.

I come from a long line of hunters who, as recently as 40 years ago, hunted because food was scarce, and the bounties collected from non-edible game were their only source of income during the winter. These relatives were my mother’s parents and younger siblings who never used bow and arrows during those needy times because it meant a much bigger chance of coming home empty-handed.

And what of the tremendous liability the county would have if bowhunters hunted in the preserves? No matter how hard you try to keep non-hunters out during the hunt period, some will always get in. Who’s going to compensate the trespasser when he comes stumping out of the forest preserve doing a Steve Martin impression with a real arrow?

If the bowhunters get in, then other groups will want to follow. With the mentality of people running the Winnebago County preserves, these special interest groups have their best chance ever at getting a piece of the resource. But we must not let this happen.

Our forest preserves are threatened from a myriad of things from alien plants to over-development. If only deer ate alien plants instead of native ones, especially garlic mustard. A public bow hunt in Winnebago County forest preserves will not eliminate any of the preserves’ threats; it will only create new ones. Our preserves need large four-legged predators, not two-legged ones.

Before you can grill it, you must be able to kill it.

Rod Myers is a local resident with an interest in the environment and disability issues. He has an associate’s degree in science and a bachelor’s in fine arts. Rod is a member of the Audubon Society, the Wild Ones Natural Landscapers and Rockford Amateur Astronomers, Inc.

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