Buddhists have a term, samma sankappa, which loosely interpreted speaks to "RIGHT INTENT": the intent of goodwill and harmlessness. That's obviously an over-simplification. But in deciding what to share without completely withholding, intent and possible outcome inform my wildlife choices. Will sharing this information have the effect of harm or harmlessness? Or better yet, can sharing this achieve some possible benefit to the animals?
This is my annual re-post -- on the first weekend of waterfowl hunting season in both Washington (where I'm living now) and California (my home). I've been lightly tweaking the post each year, adding new information or links. My reason for re-posting this piece is to bring attention to some of the lesser discussed aspects of duck hunting. The most significant issue for me is the enormous injury rate in all wing shooting -- a facet rarely brought forth voluntarily, and one that's inadequately studied. I provide additional details on that subject in this post.
When I went looking for information on songbird fatalities and backyard guns, there are no statistics as far as I could find. But I did come upon this post from The Digiscoper entitled They Did Not Need to Die. There, Mike detailed the very same problem I was seeing: YouTube videos of illegal songbird shootings. Mike went the extra mile and contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service himself, and this was the reply:
As we inched our way toward the cranes, I heard the sound that always shatters my serenity like, well, a shotgun. Because it was a shotgun -- very close by. In a clearing across the river, just a hop and a skip from where we were ...
Recalling a sad confluence of elk (wapiti) and hunter in the enclaves of Colorado -- in Estes Park. We weren't expecting harm to come to these elk, meandering through a residential neighborhood of Estes Park, just blocks from the Stanley Hotel where the elk herds draw tourists with cameras, not lethal suburban adversaries.