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Fish and Game needs new outlook

October 22. 2017 10:35PM

To the Editor: The residents of New Hampshire deserve better representation than they are currently receiving from the Fish and Game commissioners. The commissioners, too often, make it quite clear that they view wildlife not as a collection of living, breathing, sentient creatures, but as a “harvest”, a commodity, or a nuisance to be baited and shot, trapped, and chased with dogs, at the will of man.

It was clearly demonstrated during the bobcat hearings that many in the state disagree with that view and see wildlife as a treasure to be respected and protected. Most people who enjoy the outdoors do so through activities such as hiking, boating, camping, wildlife watching, and nature photography. Ecologists, forestry experts, and environmentalists, for example, need to be appointed to the commission for a more balanced and diverse approach to protecting our wildlife.

Recently, one of the commissioners was heard to comment, following a proposal to close the coyote hunting season during the months when pups are born and raised, that “I hate coyotes.”

This type of undisguised and unprofessional bias totally disregards the science. Studies have shown that the more coyotes are killed, the faster they reproduce in response. As these animals are hunted day and night, 12 months a year in New Hampshire, and are still thriving, the science suggests that backing off on hunting them might help to stabilize their numbers. But the commission must pay attention to the science with an open mind. Something must change!



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