24 October 2004

From the Mailbag

Dear Keith,

Officials at the University of Illinois claim that there is a deer overpopulation at U of I's Allerton Park. They have proposed to remedy the situation with a bow hunt. [See here and here.] Rest assured that the people participating in this bow hunt will not be Olympic archers. They will be recreational hunters of varying abilities where archery is concerned. That means many animals will be shot in non-vital parts of their bodies. Some of the wounded animals will no doubt escape into the woods where they will die slow lingering deaths. Some of the other wounded animals, those too severely wounded to flee, will be shot again and perhaps several times before being brought down. Such a way of dealing with deer population problems is cruel and inhumane, especially when there are much more humane alternatives available. Some of the animals could be relocated, a more costly, but much more humane alternative. If the overpopulation problem is so severe that some of the animals must be murdered (there is no other term for it), then it should be done by professional marksmen who work for the forest service. These marksmen are able to kill the animals instantaneously—a fatal end for an innocent animal but at least it minimizes the animal's suffering.

Remember, the University of Illinois is a PUBLIC institution. It is funded with tax dollars, and not just tax dollars from people in the state of Illinois. Much of the research conducted at the University of Illinois is funded by federal research dollars which come from all taxpayers in America. If you don't think that a publicly funded institution of higher learning should be sponsoring a seven-week long deer bow hunt, please take a moment to write/email and call the people listed below. Also, please consider posting this information on your blog. Your readers' tax dollars fund research at U of I, and many of your readers might be opposed to such an inhumane way of dealing with an alleged deer-overpopulation problem. If U of I gets enough bad press on this matter and if enough people write David Schejbal, Associate Vice Chancellor at U of I, and the U of I Office of Public Affairs at the addresses below [schejbal@ad.uiuc.edu and r-kaler@ad.uiuc.edu, respectively], the officials at the U of I might cancel the hunt. Together, we might be able to prevent the senseless killing of these innocent animals. Thanks for you help.

Mylan Engel

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