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     Some people call hunting a sport, but a sport is an activity that involves people who want to play.  Some people think hunting is great fun, but how can it be fun to kill an animal?

    Hunters say that they play an important role in keeping animal populations down.  They say if it wasn’t for them, the animals would starve in the winter because there isn’t enough food for them. This isn’t so. Most species of animals regulate their population and have more babies when there’s plenty of food and less babies when there isn’t.  It’s been found that in places where hunting is legal, populations grow faster than in places where hunting isn’t allowed.   Hunters also kill predators of deer including bears, bobcats, mountain lions and coyotes. If they really wanted the population of deer to decrease, they would leave the predators alone.

    In nature, weak, old and injured animals usually die off first and the strongest survive.  Hunters on the other hand usually kill the biggest, healthiest and strongest who probably would have survived the winter anyway. That’s bad for all the animals.

Some hunters are not very responsible.  They will shoot an animal and not kill it and then fail to follow it to finish the job.  These animals die terrible deaths.  Hunters also kill other animals by mistake like dogs.  They also shoot people accidentally on occasion.

    Think very hard about whether you want to kill animals, even bugs.

    If you live in the country, make big signs that say "No Hunting" and post them on your property.  You can even put these signs up if you live in an apartment.  You’ll be letting people know that some people don’t think it’s OK to kill for fun.

    If someone you know hunts, try to persuade them to hunt with a camera instead.  Animals "shot" with a camera can still go home at night to take care of their babies.

    Some pieces of land have been set aside as national wildlife refuges.  These were meant to be safe places for animals.  Some refuges allow people to hunt on them.  You can write to your Congressperson to protest hunting on national wildlife refuges.  Send your letter to the House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515, or to the United States Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510.  You can find out the name of your representative by clicking here. A sample letter would be:

The Honorable (name of representative)
The U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator ______,

    What good are national wildlife refuges to the animals?  People hunt and trap there.  It is a shame because the animals have no place to be safe.   Please make our national wildlife refuges the safe places they were meant to be by making hunting and trapping in them illegal.


                              (Your name)

    You can write to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S.F.W.S. Publications, 130 Webb, 1849 C. St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240 for a free color map showing where national wildlife refuges are in the United States.  Visit their " Especially For Kids" page by clicking here.

    You can also write to the governor of your state.  Ask your governor to choose someone who doesn’t like to hunt to manage the parks and forests.  Tell the governor why!

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