Best opinions on hunting come from people who actually hunt

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Dear Editor: I enjoyed [Clay McCombs’] special on deer hunting and our population decline.

I hope the state takes note of one of West Alabama’s greatest gifts and economic opportunities.

I also hope that they are smart enough to ask the right people for advice with any decisions they make.

Email newsletter signup

People like Ronnie Willingham and other local hunters and landowners have been observing our wildlife population all their lives, and the lives of their fathers before them.

Unfortunately, the state tends to get it’s advice from state paid employees, who get their advice from politicians, who get their advice from lobbyist, and that always gives a slanted agenda.

Let’s not forget who first started pushing the overpopulation propaganda in the first place.

Remember when the large timber companies started putting out the word that we had an exploding deer population that was damaging their seedling tree crops, and how it was going to cost the “state” millions and millions of dollars if left unchecked.

Then the large insurance companies got on board and started crying about the increase in collisions between deer and automobiles, and how we needed to reduce the deer heard in order to save “ourselves” millions and millions in insurance premiums.

I can’t think of anyone in the state that has more political lobbyist than the large timber companies and the large insurance companies.

So when the politicians send their state paid biologist out to find a way to convince the hunters that we need to lower the deer population, then the biologist have no problem convincing the hunters that our deer are underweight, their horns are too small, and our underbrush is over browsed.

The only way to get big bucks is to kill every deer you see.

I’ve seen malnourished deer, and I’ve seen over browsed land, and we don’t have either one. Oak Mountain State Park has that problem, but not West Alabama. Managing our deer heard and our wildlife is an enormous responsibility that we should take very seriously, but lets make sure that we don’t let politicians and lobbyist manage what “they” call a healthy heard.