Printed letters, October 1, 2013
I recently returned from my annual elk hunt in Colorado. A couple friends and I, all from South Carolina, bowhunt in Gunnison National Forest every year. Some years we harvest an elk, and some years we are content to enjoy the awesome scenery and cool weather that Colorado offers.
This year a friend showed me the article in your paper regarding the four men from South Carolina who were arrested for using arrows tipped with a “poison pod” and for various other illegal hunting methods.
The most troubling thing about the article, not to diminish the seriousness of the charges, was the statement by one of the men, Cole, who said, “Back in South Carolina everybody hunts with (poison arrows).”
Well, I have got to tell you that not everyone in South Carolina hunts with poison pods on the end of their arrows. As a matter of fact, I have been bowhunting for about 15 years and I know of no one who does.
None of my other bowhunting buddies knows of anyone who does either. Several years ago I heard of the practice, but that’s it. If it is a method of bowhunting in South Carolina, it is a very well-kept secret.
I hate that Cole painted all South Carolina bowhunters with this very untrue picture. He and his buddies are a very, very small minority.
In addition to writing this letter to the editor of your paper, I have advised a reporter of The State, central South Carolina’s major newspaper, of The Daily Sentinel story, and the paper has indicated it will run an article on it here in South Carolina.
For all of you Colorado bowhunters and citizens of the state, please don’t write off all bowhunters from South Carolina as a bunch of crazies who will turn to any means of harvesting a wild animal. The overwhelming majority of South Carolina bowhunters are law- abiding, ethical hunters who abide by the game laws of this and any other state in which we hunt.
JIM MATTHEWS, Sheriff
Horse neglect is real and should be reported
A recent horse abuse story that aired on local television shortchanged the public, especially those compassionate enough to speak up when they see malnourished or visibly suffering horses.
It was reported that only a very small percentage of reported abuse was actually abuse, but rather a lack of education. Excuse me, but anyone owning an animal that cannot fend for itself needs to be accountable and not just excused as uneducated. There is no excuse for ignorance in these situations. Many of us feel that abuse includes neglect and an indifference to another’s life.
The veterinarian interviewed could have gone a step further when she mentioned that sometimes a horse has “teeth” issues, and sometimes needs to be put down. Horse owners need to be aware that a horse needs its teeth “floated” (filed) occasionally, as points develop on the teeth that rub the inside of the animal’s cheek raw when it tries to chew, causing pain on a regular basis. The pain is multiplied if animals are not fed enough to sustain themselves.
The high cost of hay has been made worse by the consistent rain experienced by hay growers. There are no easy answers, but letting an animal starve is not an option. Those who care enough to report suspected suffering should not hesitate to make that call, even though the aired report stressed that most cases are due to “uneducated” owners, and not abuse. Keep your eyes open, and make that call when your conscience tells you to. Abuse is abuse.
City, county leaders should make clean air top priority
Applause for the League of Women Voters, Alpine Bank and Citizens for Clean Air for their excellent educational presentation on air quality in the Grand Valley.
For those of us who wrestled with the effects of pollution during last winter’s inversion layer, the forum was a welcome insight into what is happening here at home.
Four knowledgeable speakers presented information on Pollutants and Known Sources, Human Health Effects, Economic Effects of Air Pollution on Agriculture and the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, followed by a period of questions and answers.
The facts are sobering: We live in an environmental air trap. And most of the pollution is created by us: vehicle emissions, wood stoves, industrial pollution, effects of drilling and dust.
Local officials could institute any number of regulations to improve air quality, including the testing of auto emissions.
When we breathe particles emitted from exhaust pipes, our breathing is affected. often resulting in bronchitis and asthma. Perhaps officials could also investigate the possibility of a county-wide regulation requiring coal cars to be covered, thus preventing coal dust polluting our air.
Winter is coming. Another inversion? Ask your city and county officials to put air quality No. 1 on their agenda. They, as well as we, breathe the same air. As Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”