Letter: Dwindling wildlife population doesn’t support hunting

To the editor:

Why would anyone want to hunt these days? 200 years ago, all sorts of wild animals roamed freely around this part of the state. Today, Hancock County doesn’t see much wildlife.

In the last 10 years, I have seen one turkey, two groundhogs, about two dozen raccoons, four foxes, one huge red-tailed hawk, about a dozen rabbits and opossums, the usual songbirds and the annual flock of 10 doves, a few ducks, three large herds of deer and some individual deer.

We have a healthy community of squirrels in our little country neighborhood but not much else. This isn’t exactly what I would call a plentiful supply!

Months can go by without a single sighting. I remember when someone reported a mink in the Thornwood Preserve. Whatever wildlife may be in other parts of the county, their numbers can’t possibly justify shooting them for sport.

Farmers may kill deer to protect their crops and such, but most agricultural pests are not exactly a problem these days. So, I have to wonder why I keep getting advertisements for hunting gear in my mailbox every week.

Maybe some other areas of the state have sizable numbers of wild animals, but I haven’t seen it.

I have traveled around southern Indiana to hike and camp, mostly in the Hoosier National Forest, and I have never witnessed what I would call an abundance — certainly not enough to publicly advocate for hunting. Personally, I question the ethics of driving halfway across the state to kill a bird.

Adam Cooper