Letter: Cruel to wildlife, dangerous for dogs
Editor of the Reformer:
Vermonters welcome spring for a variety of reasons: We get to spend more time outdoors, usually there's a lot more sunshine, we can get into our gardens, be out on the water, or hit the hiking trails. But it is a challenging time for wildlife.
Those species that hibernate are active again, and almost all species are giving birth and raising and nursing their young. Spring is also the time when hunters train their dogs by letting them loose to chase wild animals. The hound training season for bears runs from June 1 to Sept. 15; the bobcat season is a full nine-and-a-half months, from June 1 to March 15; and, for some smaller species, the season is even longer. Further, hunters are allowed to train dogs at night to hunt raccoons — this poses a serious threat to the many other nocturnal animals who are simply trying to go about their lives while most of us are comfortably sleeping. For the much misunderstood and maligned coyote, the season has no limits whatsoever. Coyotes are relentlessly hunted and killed year round, oftentimes by packs of dogs, ultimately leaving their pups orphaned.
This training season is not only stressful and cruel to wildlife, it is dangerous for the dogs, who don't always fare well in encounters with terrified wildlife. If you share my concern about this practice, please express it directly and bluntly to your state legislators (legislature.vermont.gov) and Vermont Fish & Wildlife (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). They need to hear and listen to the concerns of those who would like to see our wildlife be afforded the ability to raise their young in peace.
Brattleboro, June 14
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