Demand an End to "Future Annual Deer Hunts" at the Nature Center (Springfield, MO)
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In brief, The Nature Center had a controlled deer hunt in November 2016, and based on media reports, intend on having one annually. The Nature Center is one of the few places deer have left to live naturally and free of hunting, now this last resort is being taken away from them. Please sign this petition to express your discontent with the “Annual Nature Center Deer Hunt”. Here is the article published in the local NewsLeader to read a little bit more. Also, below I have provided more information about deer hunting. Thank you for your support!
The purpose of a government support Nature Center is to educate community members about the nature and the environment by providing a sanctuary and preservation to wildlife. The Missouri Department of Conservation states on their website that their mission is “Our mission is to protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife resources of the state; to facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources”
However, research has shown that deer hunting is not an efficient way to help the deer population, supply food, or bond with families. In fact, the only “good” it does is raise revenues for an agency who has other alternatives to generate these funds in more humane and ethical methods. Significant amount of information retrieved from: Source: http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/act-c-sh-mythreality.html
The “good for the deer” pitch is really about increasing hunting and license revenues.
Game Commission press releases issued prior to hunting season describe agricultural losses due to wandering herds of hungry deer. The annual public relations blitz talks about car-deer collisions. In response to their own media spin, Fish & Game agencies offer the same old solution: Hunt more to stem deer overpopulation and prevent starvation. According to All-Creatures.org, but looking locally we see this to be the truth-
In this recent news story http://www.ky3.com/content/news/Managed-archery-deer-hunt-to-take-place-at-the-Springfield-Nature-Center-398612181.html)
Urban Wildlife Biologist Ashley Schnake said "Urban populations, we try to maintain them to about 20 to 30 deer per square mile. Right now, south Springfield sees numbers triple that," However, the blog Outdoor Life states that “With great habitat 50-75 or more can do nicely, poor habitat, fewer than 20. Cram 100 deer or more into a square mile and they will generally start destroying their habitat. “The blog also tells how you can assess habitat destruction. Being frequent trail walker and observer of nature at the Springfield Nature Center, its evidence that habitat destruction is NOT an issue here.
Urban Wildlife Biologist Ashley Schnake said also says "Without a predator, you have prey populations increased to the point that disease spreads and then you just have the population controlled through disease and that's something that's not real pleasant to see. You have sick deer and then dying deer.” However, we see CWD could have been started in captive deer - which Missouri imports.
Nature manages itself through size of habitat, availability of food and water, natural predators, severe weather conditions. Urban development’s destruction of wildlife habitat calls for the establishment of refuges—not sport hunting.
If hunting is “necessary” to control overpopulation and prevent “nuisance-animals,” why is this argument applied only to white-tailed deer? Reality: Most states deliberately boost deer populations to provide prey for hunters.
In fact, in an article discussing CWD, the Missouri Department of Conservation admits to allowing the importing of captive deer! https://mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/mdc-seeking-public-comments-protecting-missouri-deer
State game agencies allow hunting to “manage” artificially stimulated “surplus animals.” There are no surpluses in nature. Ecology functions in natural cycles.
Side note: White-tailed deer account for only 2% (6 million) of the 200 million animals killed yearly by hunters. 25% (50 million) are morning doves and 15% (30 million) are squirrels. Millions more are geese and ducks. Have you ever heard the wildlife-management excuse applied to doves, ducks, or geese? In fact, wildlife managers restrict waterfowl killings so that species don’t become extinct!
Sport hunting does not exist to manage wildlife. Sport hunting exists as “enjoyable recreation.” You can see that through the boasting that happens after a deer kill, as in this article the a 15 year is proud to have killed an innocent animal –and know how many points the deer is, but nothing is discuss in regards the main motivation behind the hunt in the first place.
HUNTING TRIGGERS HERD GROWTH. It’s simple science: When part of the animal population is removed, new animals migrate in, or the remaining population rebounds due to food abundance. The deer propagate and the population increases. Since hunters always want more deer to shoot, they kill bucks over does. Pregnant does left with an ample food supply tend to give birth to a higher ratio of fawns. In most states there are 3 does for every buck.
The deer population is not starving! When is the last time you heard a hunter claim to track down the sickest, thinnest deer in an effort to “wean” the herd? Natural selection maintains deer herd size. Starvation is an essential mechanism of natural selection. Without humans, guns, arrows or traps—the weak naturally die off and the strong survive. Some wild areas preserved for hunting alter terrain to favor target animals. For example, intentional forest fires, timber clearing and flooding draw waterfowl. Manipulating nature to favor one species causes the endangerment or extinction of another. According to the Federal Endangered Species Act: “The 2 major causes of extinction are hunting and habitat destruction.”
Hunting is big business, marketed as recreation or sport. Even in rural areas, no one needs hunted meat to survive. It is cruel and inhumane to stalk, injure and murder animals for recreation. Whether the killer actually eats the meat (which he doesn’t need to survive) is frivolous. The first argument hunters make is that the meat bought in stores is slaughter animals, and its true - Billions of animals raised for food already suffer intensive confinement, mutilations such as debeaking and tail-cutting, disease, and violent, painful deaths. Hunting doesn’t change this; it only adds to the many who already suffer. And while you may not be able to control the cruel factory farming industry—you can easily choose to not hunt.
Parents can find another way to bond with their kids. A young child who learns to replace his natural empathy for another creature’s suffering with the bigger prize—a parent’s attention— is desensitized at an early age. Positive bonding experiences between parent, child and nature can center around woodland hikes with a camera or camping trips. Why bond with killing, especially when increasing studies link animal violence to human violence? Appreciation of nature can be passed from parent to child, without the cruelty and death central to hunting.
Hunting is a thing of the past. Under 8% of the current population hunt. 54% claim to be opposed to sport hunting—U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Census, 1994. Between 1990-1998: adults who hunt dropped to 17%. Median age rose, meaning children are not entering the sport at rate they did. “Wallstreet Journal, Sports A field” and other demographic researchers and hunting agencies state: If current trends continue, there will be no sport hunting by 2050. If hunting were genetic, wouldn’t the numbers be larger? Part of what makes us human is our power to choose. Tradition is no excuse for cruelty.
Let’s be on the right side of history! This petition will be deliver to Nature Center manager Linda Chorice (or higher authority, if necessary) to show the demand for a ban on the Nature Center deer hunt.
By signing this petition, you are in expressing your discontent with the Springfield Missouri’s Nature Center Deer Hunt. The purpose of a conservation center is to provide a safe, and natural habitat for people to become educated about nature. Having hunters kill defenseless, and tame deer is not in support of the mission of the organization. There should not be deer hunts in the future. Let’s make the 2016 Nature Center deer hunt the first- AND LAST deer hunt the Nature Center will have.
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