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Monday, October 25, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 45

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Hunting can't be considered a sport

By Rohith Nandagiri

Two years ago, I wrote an opinion column in the sports section which drew a pretty heated response from people. I choose to revisit the subject because of events that occurred last week.

The issue is hunting and its benefits and side effects to society and the sporting world. To me, it's just not a very "sporting" thing to do, simply because you are hunting animals with no weapons of their own.

Last week, Indiana basketball head coach Bobby Knight, who is respected in the college basketball world, shot a friend of his while hunting birds. Apparently, he didn't even care to see if his friend was OK before leaving the Wisconsin clinic. And, he didn't even report the incident to authorities. I think he was too busy seeing if he could still shoot down one of the birds.

Also last week, Astros third baseman Ken Caminiti fell out of his tower set up to kill deer roaming freely in a west Texas forest. It seems he was using a bow and arrow to kill the deer, because the firearm deer hunting season has not started yet.

I wonder if the animals point and laugh, yelling proudly when something like this happens. Almost like when a human shoots an animal and high-five's his friends to celebrate the moment.

Hunting is barbaric and inhumane. It is simply a way to prove that man is superior to animals. I know what is coming from hunters out there. I will get hundreds of e-mails saying hunting is necessary for population control and such.

There are now six billion people on this planet, I think human beings should learn some population control before they inflict their wishes upon a few birds or deer.

Also, why are there hunting seasons? Because the government knows that during the off-season animals need to reproduce in order to have enough game to kill during the season. If they did not invoke these seasons, some species could become extinct.

I can understand how hunting might be a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors. But one of the reasons people like the outdoors is because of the wildlife. If hunters kill them off, what is there to enjoy?

Now getting to my point. Hunting would only be a sport if the animals could fight back. In the battle story of David and Goliath, David needed a weapon, too.

With such a large advantage, a real sportsman could never enjoy killing a rabbit. How sporty is it if you get to camouflage yourself in the woods or hide in a tree and pick off unsuspecting animals? Where is the sport in that?

It can't be a sport if the only athletic thing you do is aim, shoot and drag the carcass across the ground to your destination. Where is the hand-eye coordination, where is the speed, where is the athleticism?

I do not understand why hunting is in the sports page. Every week I open up the paper and pull out a thick sports section and think, "Great, I have a lot of stuff to read about sports." All of this to find out that half of the paper is the hunting guide and ads for guns and rifles.

I know hunting is ingrained in our society. It will not go away as long as there are people who think about mounting deer heads on the wall as decorations. It will not go away as long as taxidermists are around to stuff everything from possums to lions.

But I guess hunting animals is better than hunting people. It is probably not easy to kill your first animal. You look at the deer, the deer looks at you, and you pull the trigger. It is probably pretty hard the first time.

But once you take another being's life away, you are a killer. What is stopping you from killing another type of being?
 

Nandagiri, a senior MIS major,
can be reached at nandagiri@hotmail.com.
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