Letter: Restriction of shed hunting a good policy
The CPW Commission has made the right call in limiting shed antler hunting during the most difficult time of the year for our wildlife. As reported by the Post Independent on Jan. 30 in the article “Game officials restrict shed antler hunting,” the new rules certainly impose a restriction on the activity until spring, but they don’t eliminate it for those that enjoy the pursuit.
I recognize shed hunting as an activity that can connect people with the natural world. The activity gets friends and families together enjoying the woods, the weather and the wildlife. That in itself is a wonderful thing. It needs to be done in a way that respects and protects the environment and the species that produce these majestic antlers. This seems to be the objective that CPW is attempting to accomplish through this restriction.
Wildlife have more than enough to contend with through the winter where scant food supplies limit energy stores. Some hunters, however, use snowmobiles, horses and dogs to find shed antlers, creating disturbances that can force wildlife to use valuable energy evading hunters. Injuries, starvation and loss of pregnancies can result. Healthy, sustainable populations of elk, deer and other species are absolutely critical for strong, resilient ecosystems.
We have the privilege to live in an ecologically rich area of the world. It’s important that we take appropriate steps to safeguard this treasure that we all enjoy, not only for ourselves but also for the wildlife. When we take care of nature we can enjoy tremendous benefits. The wildlife we appreciate are a privilege that we can’t take for granted. Regardless of our hobbies or careers, healthy ecosystems certainly benefit our communities.
Kudos to the CPW for taking the necessary steps to advocate for nature on this topic. Good luck to all the shed hunters … after March 15.
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