Comment letters opposing the Utah crow hunt, part two

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To read part one first, click here.

For information about the July 29 Public Hearing and how to send a comment, please see below at the end.

Here is another of the many comment letters that have been sent to oppose the Utah crow hunt. It was written by a Utah resident and was signed, but the name has been withheld here, by request.

 

Dear Mr. Sheehan,

 

I was disappointed when I learned that the Utah Wildlife Board approved the Crow Hunt. The fact that the vote was 3 members in favor of and 2 members opposed to the hunt, and the time allotted for further comment suggests that there may be the possibility of changing the decision.

 

I have read many convincing arguments in opposition to the hunt, and none that would explain why it is an acceptable proposal. No doubt you have done the same – with perhaps a different perspective. I appreciate your efforts to fully understand the impact of allowing the hunt to take place and the time you may have spent reading comments from interested individuals like myself. This letter is sent with the hope that I might change your perspective.

 

In researching articles about hunting crows I was struck by a comment that appeared more than once. Apparently crow hunting is thought to be a good introductory hunting experience for children.  That point of view led me to further research, and to question why any agency in the state of Utah would consider approving an activity that could endanger the well being of its young people.

 

Every year there are approximately 800 to 1,000 reported non-fatal hunting accidents and approximately 100 fatal hunting accidents in the U.S.  Some of those accidents and fatalities involve children.  The two main causes of those accidents/fatalities are hunters’ failure to properly identify a target, and shooters “swinging” on game.  That occurs most often in bird hunting when a shooter uses an arc pattern combined with spreadshot in order to shoot over a wide area. A bystander in the arc can be shot or injured by falling shrapnel.  Hunting crows would undoubtedly involve shooting in a swinging pattern.  Crow hunting has an innate danger unlike other hunting practices and allowing it to happen in Utah will endanger children’s lives.

 

An Online article from About.com Pediatrics written by Dr. Vincent Lanelli directly addresses the dangers children are exposed to in hunting:

 

Childhood gun and shooting accidents are not rare. [In the U.S.] they are one of the top ten leading causes of accidental death for all age groups outside newborns and infants. In 2007 there were 122 unintentional firearm deaths in children, and an additional 3,060 non-fatal gun and shooting accidents, which resulted in an estimated 1,375 children needing to be hospitalized for their injuries. Unintentional firearm deaths in children have remained at about the same levels since, with 144 deaths in children less than age 18 in 2010. How many childhood hunting accidents are there? That is hard to say, as there doesn’t seem to be a national database with hunting accident statistics. The Hunter Incident Clearinghouse of the International Hunter Education Association, which hasn’t been updated recently, reports 27 hunting-related shooting accidents in 2007 in children and teens less than 18 years old.  This includes at least one death.  In 2006, the Hunter Clearinghouse reported 3 deaths and 38 hunting-related shooting accidents in kids and teens.  The youngest victim was just 5 years old.

 

Why risk the well-being, even the life of one Utah child by introducing a new, unwarranted, and inherently dangerous hunt that encourages the participation of children?  How could any one of us not be shocked at the thought that a child might die in an accident that would never have happened if the crow hunt had not been allowed in our state?  Please reconsider all the comments in opposition to the crow hunt, and give special consideration to this additional viewpoint. The vote needs to be rescinded and the justifications for doing that are valid.

Sincerely,

(Name withheld by request.)

 

Photo: Michael Migos / Dreamstime.com

 

Public hearing: A special public hearing on the crow hunt has been called and will be held on Tuesday, July 29, in Salt Lake City at the DNR Salt Lake office auditorium, 1594 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, from 10am – 12 noon. Please attend if you can.

 

How to comment on the crow hunt

The comment period is for Utah residents only. Please indicate, along with your signature that you are a Utah resident.

Please send a polite comment, in your own words, before July 29, to

Staci Coons

UDWR Wildlife Coordinator

by phone at 801-538-4718

by FAX at 801-538-4709

or by email to stacicoons@utah.gov

 

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