Covington News Sports Editor Josh Briggs ignited a firestorm on Wednesday with his column on deer hunting. In case you missed it, Briggs questioned the need and the motivations of hunting deer as a sport. Read the article: What if the hunted was the hunter?.
By far most readers took Briggs to task, saying he missed the point of hunting. Here is a response from Matt Fry, a wildlife biologist in Covington, GA with WildCo LLC.
It's time to get a clue about deer hunting
By Matt Fry email@example.com
As a wildlife biologist and an educated human being I would like to inform you that your article entitled, "What if the hunted was the hunter?" was extremely distasteful and more importantly, showed a great deal of ignorance on your part.
White-tailed deer are wild animals, and as such, have what biologists call a "carrying capacity" meaning there is a limit to the number of deer that a given habitat can support. If the deer population reaches or exceeds that limit, disease and starvation are nature's way of bringing it down.
Deer hunting, although it is a sport, is the scientifically proven BEST method of controlling these populations without letting starvation and disease do it for us. Unfortunately, many of our natural predators, such as the panther and red wolf (all but a few captive animals are extinct) have been extirpated and now have no affect on deer populations. This is the reason deer hunting is ESSENTIAL to our state. Some of the diseases that deer carry, such as Lyme's Disease, increase as deer populations rise and these diseases can cause human sickness and fatalities.
Deer hunters are responsible for a large percentage of funding for wildlife and habitat conservation throughout Georgia and the rest of the US. These funds go to game and non-game conservation include birds, amphibians, parks, nature trails, and the list goes on forever. Without hunting license fees, you may not have the wonderful natural resources that we are blessed with in this state.
Deer hunting is a sport that allows everyone, including children, to develop a love for the outdoors so that we can continue to conserve our natural resources for years to come. The sport is not about killing the animal, it is about learning about nature and enjoying it. Your comment that "hunting deer is the same as hunting humans" is appalling to me and reflects the ideals of those that are responsible for our decaying society.
I cannot believe that CovNews would even publish such ridiculous article and I will be boycotting the entire newspaper because of this article and will be persuading my friends and family to do so as well.
You should educate yourself on a subject before you write about it, sir.