Letter: A Preserve Is No Place for Hunting
To the Editor:
We still don’t seem to “get it”: that human life needs to be lived alongside nature. The current decision in Hanover to open the Balch Hill preserve to hunting (by archers) is not acceptable, especially in light of the definition of the term “preserve” — “an area maintained for the protection of wildlife or natural resources” (American Heritage Dictionary). It seems to me that we should look beyond our human wants (no ticks, no deer eating our flowers and gardens) to what may be tipping the balance in terms of more deer in town this year. Increasing habitat loss as more development surrounds the town of Hanover and climate change both bring added numbers of deer, ticks and mice to the environs of our backyards.
Allowing bow hunters into Balch Hill offends me because that is one of the few natural places I (and others) can go to walk with children and pets and be able to think quietly during hunting season. Dare I suggest that gardeners (like me) find deer-resistant plants to grow instead of constantly blaming deer for following their instincts? For those worried about ticks, how about wearing proper clothing when working alongside plant life? And how can it be sport to go to a preserve — where deer expect preservation — to kill them? This is reminiscent of my youth in Nebraska where hunters would line up outside a wildlife refuge to bag their geese and ducks as they flew in and out of the refuge.