Deer hunting won't heal America's wounded warriors

August 16, 2012

Anyone can understand that sharing experiences helps people bond, especially when it involves an outdoors activity. But doing so by teaching wounded veterans to kill innocent whitetail deer with bows and arrows is inhumane and should stop ("Helping veterans to recover with hunting," Aug. 11).

Helping our nation's wounded warriors rehabilitate is a noble calling. Taking them into the woods together, rebuilding their self-confidence, enjoying a sunrise, and watching wildlife can only help. But haven't our soldiers already endured enough suffering, cruelty and killing?

Does this program teach the truth behind bow hunting? That the kill is predicated on a bleed-out whereby deer run off, hurt and suffering? They either bleed to death, or worse, wander off wounded and are never found.

Knowing those outcomes, how can soldiers returning with PTSD, lost limbs, lost confidence and lost buddies heal their own physical and psychological wounds by inflicting pain and suffering on defenseless animals?

Keep the arrows aimed at paper targets, and send our veterans into the woods with cameras. That's a win-win for everyone.

E. Joseph Lamp

The writer is a former member of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Advisory Commission.

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