Hunting: It's a lot about the gun

  I read Tom Reed’s essay in the Oct. 11 issue and was struck with the anti-gun rhetoric and the doom and gloom about the state of hunting in the West.

First, although Tom considers the National Rifle Association a mere dispenser of propaganda, he should understand that it’s one of the few organizations that fights for the citizen’s individual right under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. This right is not at all about hunting; it’s all about guns, specifically those that may help protect us from tyrants.

And thanks in great part to this amendment, our violent crime rates are not increasing as are those in countries where only law enforcement officers have the right to possess firearms.

Second, populations of many game animals, most notably white-tailed deer and Canada geese, are estimated to be higher than they were before Europeans began exploiting the New World. Here in North Dakota, the number of deer tags issued has increased from none in 1953 to over 145,000 this year. Moose, bighorn sheep and elk have all been added to the list of game animals in recent years, and we have a healthy population of pronghorn.

Finally, I find it hard to believe Tom doesn’t feel the slightest bit of nostalgia about the rifles and shotguns he has used to harvest game over the decades. Most hunters can tell you exactly what firearm they used for their first deer, or pride themselves in keeping grandpa’s old guns as treasured family heirlooms.

Hal Kantrud
Jamestown, North Dakota