Letter to the Editor: Put an end to wasteful, cruel “canned” pheasant hunt

Published in the Conway Daily Sun
Oct 2, 2018

From Oct. 1-Dec. 31, hunters and their dogs will go to 64 different locations around New Hampshire that have been stocked with a total of 11,535 adult, farm-raised, non-native red-necked pheasants and “hunt” them.

This is essentially a “canned hunt” as these farm-raised birds have no survival skills. Hunters are told when and where the birds are stocked, and they begin showing up and shooting as soon as the birds are taking their first flights of freedom.
There is no challenge to hunting these birds. Some hunters kick the birds to get them to fly so they can kill them. It caters particularly to unskilled hunters who want an easy kill.

Pheasant hunting license fees pay for the birds each year, but overhead costs are paid for by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. This yearly hunt is quite expensive to orchestrate, as one might imagine. To run the hunt, the additional expenses include salaries for those supervising, trucks, truck drivers, biologists, F&G employees to distribute the birds, to mention just a few. One could surmise that the cost has increased substantially over the years.

There are many problems with this Fish and Game “event”: This is not a fair chase hunt but is basically a “canned hunt.” Salaries to Fish and Game employees and other overhead expenses to run this event are NOT covered by the fees that the hunters pay.

This is animal cruelty in that a number of the birds don’t survive the journey from farm to field. Many have broken wings, broken legs and other serious injuries when they arrive from the farm.

The Fish and Game Department has been struggling with keeping itself relevant and funded. Ending this hunt would save the department thousands of dollars that could be siphoned into essential services like the Search and Rescue Program.

I find it abhorrent that my tax money may be used to subsidize this farce of a hunt. If you agree, please contact the Fish and Game Department.

With enough public pressure perhaps we can put an end to this wasteful, unnecessary and cruel “event.”

Elizabeth Marino

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