Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Hunting"...and Ultrarunning

Seems that "hunting" news is, well, in the news, both in my home state of Pennsylvania as well as in Maine.  I am loosely summarizing from a couple of recent pieces in the Chambersburg Public Opinion newspaper:

PA Fails Again to End Cruel Pigeon Shoots:  Legislation in the PA House of Representatives failed to be brought out of committee and thus will not be voted on this session.  The law would have ended the practice of allowing live-target shooting of pigeons, something that is legal in no other state.  Supporters of the bill believe it represents the success of gun advocacy groups to keep the measure from a vote, for fear of starting what they perceive to be a slippery slope that could limiting gun and hunting rights.

Maine Proposed Black Bear Hunting Restrictions: And in Maine, a vote is coming up dealing with some controversial practices currently legal in bear hunting.  The bill would ban the use of bait, pursuit by dogs, and use of leg traps.  Believers in these practices point to an increasing level of human-bear encounters and the need to keep the bear population low; folks who want the bans point to the logical fallacy that baiting bears with donuts, among other things, can only serve to draw bears closer to people and thereby increase potential interactions.

For me, the pro-hunting position (and I use the term "hunting" very loosely) are symptomatic of something broken in these people, that they somehow could look at these practices and think they're OK and sporting.  Reminds me of previous posts (here and here) where I think that something must have happened to these people as children that extinguished their empathy.

The link to Ultrarunning?  When I'm in the backcountry--or even along my local roads--the sighting of a critter fills me with joy and wonder.  The last thing that comes to mind is "Man, I'd really like to shoot me one of those!"

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