Editorial: Hunting eliminates life

By Becky Embry-Ross
Sports Editor

Murderer! That’s right. I said it. How many Bambi’s does it take to fulfill your twisted desires as you squeeze a trigger? I personally think that it takes a twisted mind to look an animal in the eye and kill it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like to eat meat as much as the next person does, but I just do not have what it takes to hunt down an animal in their natural habitat and kill them. I suppose it’s the blood. Gross.

However, my counterpart Logan, has noted that, “…not just any average Joe who picks up a gun is allowed to hunt.” And he continues to add, “…a person who wishes to hunt must take hunter-education program…in order to purchase game licenses.”

However, it is easy for the “average Joe” to indeed pick up a gun and hunt and it seems to be targeting the young generation also.

“When I was in seventh grade, for a week we had to take the hunters safety course,” said Chris Catron, sophomore alternative energy/solar major. “At the end of the week, if you passed, graduation, then we were able to bring our gun to school and shoot clay pigeons.”

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) web site, http://mdc.mo.gov/permits, there are a few examples given for gun crazed “Joes” to run amuck with fully loaded firearms.

According to the MDC, “Qualifying landowners and lessees hunting on their own land do not need to be hunter-education certified; however, when mentoring a firearms hunter who is not hunter-education certified and not hunting on a landowner permit, all mentors, including landowners and lessees hunting on their own land, must be at least 18 years old and hunter-education certified unless they were born before Jan. 1, 1967.”

Also, “who” is regulating people with this program? MDC has a reward system offering up to $1000 for help in catching violators, although there is no guarantee. It still sounds more like a “if we catch you, you’re busted” system.

Isn’t this already a prime example of how “murderers” can easily roam around this time of the year with guns as long as they are wearing camouflage? Face it, not all poachers can be caught.

If those landowners/lessees are not buying the permits and allow others to hunt on their land, and are not being turned in, this is technically poaching.

The MDC also has another program that doesn’t regulate the “average Joe” to get certified in any way, shape or form called the, Apprentice hunter program. For only a small amount of cash you too can purchase a firearms hunting permit and shoot your way to happiness.

The Apprentice hunter program, according to the MDC website is defined as, “To allow the purchase of firearms hunting permits (except the Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit) by persons born on or after January 1, 1967, and at least sixteen (16) years of age without display of a hunter education certificate card. The holder of this authorization also must purchase a firearms hunting permit and hunt in the immediate presence of an appropriately licensed adult age 18 or older who is hunter education certified. This authorization may be purchased annually for no more than two (2) permit years (March 1 through the last day of February).”

And, what exactly is the point to trophy hunting? To have an everlasting memory of the innocent life that you took from this world just to pay an absurd amount of money to have it stuffed and mounted? Is this how you’d like to be remembered? Hanging above someone’s fireplace? I personally think that a picture would suffice.

Hunting might be a way for “population control” but what happens when people are just looking for something larger than an 8 by 10 picture frame to hang on the wall? Remember the buffalo? Have we, as a new generation, not learned from mistakes made by our ancestors?

One of the hunting resorts, The Hunting Grounds, found online, states that their animals are, “…breeding and raising genetically superior animals…”

They continue by stating, “Our programs focus on maximum antler and body growth through high protein diet and selective mineral supplements. We also strive to achieve quality and longevity of our herd through many specific programs centered around habitat management, herd monitoring and management, and careful harvest planning and execution.”

“I don’t think it’s right to raise an animal just to kill it,” said Tracy Gideon, sophomore social work major.

Catron agrees, calling it, “A fenced in zoo.”

“It is some people’s psychological Napoleon complex,” said Catron.