Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in outdoor and travel markets. A former small-town newspaper editor and reporter, she constantly hunts for news headlines you need to read. Barbara also publishes Women’s Outdoor News online and pens columns for the National Wild Turkey Federation and Shooting Sports USA. Hailing from the Ozarks of Missouri, this avid hunter is now mentoring the second generation of hunters - her own little bevy of Realtree-wearing grandchildren.
New York 'Squirrel Slam' Will Proceed
Now in its seventh year, a squirrel hunt fundraiser that raises money for a New York state fire department is coming under the, er, gun by anti-hunting groups. According to the "Democrat and Chronicle Online," the Orleans County Holley Fire Department holds this annual hunt to raise funds for equipment for its all-volunteer fire fighting force.
Hunt rules for the “7th Annual Hazzard County Squirrel Slam,” to be held on Sat., Feb. 16, dictate that two-person teams – at a $10 per person entry fee – harvest squirrels and then, win prizes for the heaviest squirrel. Prize monies run from $50 to $200, and the department also runs firearm raffles simultaneously with the event.
Anti-hunters, including the founder of squirrelplanet.org, have been contacting the department to let it know of their disgust regarding the fundraiser. The anti-hunters call it “pointless killing,” and the Humane Society of Greater Rochester sent a letter protesting the event. According to the "Democrat and Chronicle," the president of the Humane Society wrote, “It is our position that events such as the Squirrel Slam display insensitivity to the suffering of animals and condone animal abuse as an acceptable form of entertainment.”
Gray squirrel season runs in New York until Feb. 28. All wildlife rules and regulations will be strictly adhered to and the squirrels get taken home for dinner later. Therefore, there is no trophy hunt involved here, nor is it senseless killing.
What do you think? Should this competition be stopped because it involves hunting, aka the killing of animals in season? Fortunately, the locals plan on continuing with the hunt, regardless of the opposition.