As an environmentalist opposed to sport and trophy hunting for reasons of ecological and humane concern, I have in the past been outspoken and politically active against hunting in my community--and more broadly. Recently I have remained mostly unspoken and non-confrontational on the issue, choosing to moderate for reasons that have nothing to do with retraction or reversal of my position.
However, I must speak out anew due to events uncovered while walking in the woods the other day. It has been said that in silence there is complicity, therefore I can no longer remain silent when unacceptable activities are taking place in what remains of our natural world.
Recently, as my dogs and I hiked behind our home--it was on a Sunday of course, the only day of the week in Virginia when hunting is not permitted during hunting season and it is safe to enter the woodlands--we came across one of the prime examples why more people today believe the time has come for public hunting to be banned.
A hunter, or hunters, had slain a deer not far behind my house. The animal was gutted directly on the old woods path that we enjoy our quiet walks on. We found the animal's entrails, the rotting remains of a godforsaken deer, carelessly and thoughtlessly strewn into the open after the so-called hunter finished a "field dressing." Of course my dogs, being typical dogs, immediately began to roll in the decaying parts. This was bad enough, although the worst was yet to come. As I stood looking at the grisly scene, I began growing angrier and more disgusted by the moment.
Something bright and glaringly artificial caught my eye in the woods adjacent to the path. I turned and walked over to the curious object and saw that it was a bright blue, inside out, rubber glove. Then I saw its' match a few feet further away.
Puzzled at first, I poked them with my walking stick...and then finally made the connection; still caked with blood and deer hair, they were surgical-like gloves used during the morbid deed and then afterwards tossed aside into the environment.
Not only did this slob of a hunter unnecessarily destroy an animal, but then in a despicable act of moral, biological, and environmental desecration, demonstrated zero respect for the animal he/she had slaughtered or the environment he had littered.
It is nearly impossible to conceive that in this day and age when so many animals and the natural world are fast deteriorating and being threatened, and unknown numbers of species are endangered with extinction by the constant accumulation of ecologically degrading human impacts, such as sport hunting and game management itself, that the unconscionable perpetrator of this crime against Nature, ie., the hunter, could merely pull off his filthy gloves and toss them into the woods.
Not a mere thought or care given to any possible deleterious effects on other animals or any persons who would inevitably come across their garbage. Imagine had a predator or scavenger come across the scene before I had. They might have ingested one or both of the hazardous gloves and certain death would be have resulted. Now think of this pitiful act multiplied by thousands or even millions of slovenly hunters.
Even a non-hunter knows that a responsible hunter, at least during earlier times when hunting was sometimes a necessary adjunct to survival, would have buried the animal's remains off to the side of the trail, if only just under some leaf litter. This simple act of respect would offer the animal a small shred of dignity in death, while also sparing any future passerby the indignity and possible hazard of discovery.
I believe it is the acts of these kind of hunters, who are ignorant, careless people, that show absolutely no respect for anything, anyone, or the Earth, which offer adequate reason for the general non-hunting and environmentally concerned public to demand an eventual end to mass public hunting.
Hunters: In the interim period, put your hazardous and infectious materials in a bag or container and dispose of them properly.