Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Saved by the Hunter

Here's a cool story about an American Avocet who was rescued thanks to a duck hunter and his dog. There are many rude and selfish hunters on this planet, as there are many rude and selfish birders; indeed, every group has rude and selfish members. But most people who spend their time in duck blinds every fall are there because they truly love wetlands. Hunters provide money to set aside wetlands by buying Duck Stamps, and they also provide much of the passion necessary to protect wild spaces.

I'm not a hunter, and never will be one. I get a queasy feeling at the thought of killing for sport, as I discussed in my essay, About Hunting. But as I also discussed in that essay, life is filled with contradictions.

If you want to do your part to protect our National Wildlife Refuges, please please PLEASE buy a Duck Stamp.


  1. That's both a great story and a great essay. I've been seeing "meat" in popular culture a lot recently, with exhortations to eat less meat to save the planet. But I think the real message is to eat meat more thoughtfully.

    My mother hunts deer and antelope in Wyoming. She can't eat it all, so she splits it with us. She enjoys the act of hunting, as well as the rewards, but is not a trophy hunter. That wild game sustains her meat needs for the year until the next hunting season. Deer and antelope are not protected species, and the hunting helps keep populations under control.

    While I know I could not hunt myself (I kill pretty much exactly the way you do...mosquitos and ticks), I feel no guilt or shame in partaking of my mother's successful hunts.

    MN is lucky in that we also have license plates to support wildlife habitat, but then, you knew that, didn't you? :-)

  2. My gut reaction to the story was, "Good dog, Zoe!" Of course, I know that Zoe handled the Avocet so gently because people took the time and trouble to train her well. All around, this story shows the bond that people can form with animals. We're all in this world together.

  3. I so loved the story of the rescue - very heartwarming!