Hunting causes overpopulation

An editorial about the start of big-game hunting season mentioned "hunting helps control deer population, leading to fewer car-deer accidents and less damage to crops." (Put safety first when hunting, Nov. 16). To the contrary, hunting creates overpopulation in "big game," which leads to increased car-deer accidents and crop losses.

North American Hunter magazine (October 1995) reported the experience of a former biologist who "managed" deer on a ranch: "After shooting 100 does, the ranch actually had more fawns than it did the year before. Because of the significant doe harvest, the fawn survival rate increased from 25 percent (four does to rear one fawn to weaning age) to 120 percent (1.2 fawns per doe)."

In the Central New York Outdoor Journal, former Pennsylvania Game Commission biologist Gary Alt said that state wildlife agencies have responded to hunters who ask for more deer to kill, keeping hunters happy but ruining the forest in the process (December 2005).

The DEC profits from wildlife overpopulation by selling hunting licenses.

This cannot last forever. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the number of hunters in New York has declined by more than 5 percent over the past decade. In that same time, the number of New Yorkers who participate in nonviolent wildlife-watching programs has increased by almost 7 percent while contributing more than twice as much to the local economy than hunters do.

The taxes on weapons and ammunition would be better spent helping the victims of gun violence and their families rather than being put into programs that promote more state-sanctioned violence. Similar taxes could be placed on equipment used by wildlife watchers, with those monies being dedicated to protecting and preserving wildlife and the areas where they live. To protect wildlife and promote a more-peaceful world, visit www.cashwildwatch.org.

Joe Miele

New Paltz

Miele is vice president of the committee to Abolish Sport Hunting.

Hard to study in study hall

Study hall classes seem to be overly packed this year. The purpose of a study hall is to be able to quietly get work done.

However, there are always the few people who don't use their time for work and goof off. In a room with more than 30 kids, it seems like the handful of nonworkers gets much bigger.

At the beginning of the year, 38 students were placed into a regular-sized English classroom. This classroom was too small for the study hall of 38. Eventually, teachers realized that our class should be placed into the empty study hall room downstairs; this new study hall room being larger in size. Why we weren't placed there the first time, I don't know.

This new placement still hasn't changed the atmosphere of the study hall class. Every day, people are being written up and yelled at for their loud voices and actions. Just recently our only study hall teacher forbid us from sitting in the back of the room at the longer tables. On some days it doesn't matter, but other days there just aren't enough desks for students to sit at.

What was supposed to be 45-minute work period for some turned into a 45-minute free-for-all.

Chelsie Dalton

Unadilla

Dalton is a senior at Unatego Junior-Senior High School. Dalton and other students have written letters to the editor as part of Kevin DiBartolomeo's Participation in Government class.

Gardasil doesn't protect girls

This is in reply to Mrs. Ayres' letter of Nov. 5 regarding Gardasil.

If your child dresses modestly, doesn't drink, do drugs, hang out with the wrong crowd or put herself into dangerous situations, the likelihood that she would be assaulted is microscopic. She is much more likely to suffer serious, even permanent injury with this vaccine. This vaccine doesn't even protect against a whopping 30 percent of those HPV strains that do cause cancer, it is the most expensive vaccine ever created and if she chooses a spouse that has it, the best protection from cervical cancer is Pap smears.

Also, the side effects of Gardasil are just the tip of a very large iceberg. Gardasil is not going to protect your child against all the other STDs that can have lifelong (or life-shortening) consequences, such as death, infertility, cancers, warts, etc. HIV for example, is still incurable. If your child gets HIV/AIDS, she will die an early death. Gardasil does not prevent pregnancy. The single biggest predictor of lifelong poverty is single motherhood. Lifelong poverty is linked to increased risks of children's behavior and health problems, and reduction of life span. And what about abortion? Many women who have abortions suffer serious side effects, physical, mental and/or emotional.

Kids who engage in high-risk behaviors do so because they lack attention, affection, self-respect, respect for others and self-discipline. You, as a parent, can help. Cultivate a relationship with your child. She needs time, attention and goals for her future. Children will live up (or down) according to your expectations.

According to Leslee Unruh, founder of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, "It has been proven over and over that a clear and consistent message is what is most effective in guiding teen behavior." We can't control other people's behavior, but we can control our own.

Arline Saiki

Edmeston

Saiki is director of the Abstinence Education Council in Oneonta.

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