Conservation is for the animals, not the hunters

To the editor:

I would like to see more conservation come to Hancock County but without all the sport hunting that sometimes comes along with it.

For example, I enjoy walking the trails of Beckenholdt Park. The tall-grass prairie and native trees are a nice place to spend the afternoon.

In other counties around the state, parks like this one are planted mostly with sunflowers to attract doves for sport hunting, and the release of caged birds for shooting games is not what I would use a family park for.

I would like to see the construction of more lakes, ponds and wetlands but not for sport fishermen who catch dozens of fish only to throw them back.

I would like to see this county take more of an interest in providing habitat for the hundreds of Indiana’s rare or endangered species, until the trucks loaded with camouflaged sportsmen roll in with their shotguns.

I would like to see more foxes and other wild animals in our countryside but not the sport hunters who run them down with their dogs.

Nature is a wonderful thing, but it often doesn’t get much respect. I have seen creeks and woodlots in our township emptied out by over-enthusiastic young hunters and trappers, and years later, these animals have still not returned.

Almost every Sunday afternoon when the weather is warm, I hear target shooters firing off hundreds of rounds of ammunition, no doubt dreaming about all the little animals they would like to shoot.

Friends, if you can’t sight your weapon in with three bullets, you have no business owning a rifle.

Hunting for food or necessary reductions at state parks is one thing; killing wild animals only for entertainment is another.

The line is often blurred where they meet. Leaving all the typical rhetoric behind, sport hunting should be called what it really is — excessive and completely unnecessary.

However, with a professional hunter/conservationist in our newspaper, you will likely hear all its benefits. I’m sure there are a few, but what good can this disgusting hobby do for Hancock County?

Colby Cochran