Letter to the Editor: Using dogs to hunt is cruel | SierraSun.com

Letter to the Editor: Using dogs to hunt is cruel

In response to the Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 article “Gov. Brown bans hound hunting of bears, bobcats,” the title of your article is misleading, if not false. Governor Brown did not ban hound hunting, he merely signed a law passed by both houses of the legislature, and supported by more than 80 percent of Californians according to polls.

The ban on hound hunting also does not take away anyone’s job. The unsporting practice of chasing bears and bobcats with packs of dogs, often with GPS devices on their collars, as the guide in the article states, “helps ensure success.”

Now all hunting guides will be on a level playing field, and competent guides will theoretically be more in demand, since shooters will need more assistance from competent guides if they cannot use dogs. Fourteen states, including Montana, Colorado, Oregon and Washington conduct successful hunting seasons without this inhumane and unnecessary practice.

Using packs of dogs to hunt is cruel to both wildlife and dogs. There is nothing “fair-chase” about a pack of hounds wearing radio collars running down a wild animal, or shooting exhausted animals at point blank range off tree limbs. Hounds also may chase, harass, injure, and kill “non-target” animals like cubs, other wildlife, pets, and farm animals.

Bears are very poor distance runners and often may tire and attack or be attacked by dogs before reaching a tree, no different from animal fighting rightfully banned almost everywhere. It is past time for California to ban this unsporting practice.

Sherry Guzzi

Tahoe City

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