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Jeannette Muzima: There are better ways to bond with your sons

To the editor:

The editorial discussing the possibility of opening Northampton conservation land to hunters calls to our attention this important decision which will be made Thursday by the Conservation Commission at its 5 p.m. meeting.

There are several issues that need to be addressed. The people bringing the petition for hunting said that they want to share the experience they had with their fathers with their sons. It is understandable that fathers want and need to have bonding times with their sons. It is really sad that they may not realize that bonding is not about the event itself, but just spending loving time together with your kid — do we really want to teach our kids to bond with us by killing defenseless creatures? Why not take your kid to the park, to the library, read to them, go to a museum, visit a neighbor or elder in a nursing home. The choices are unlimited.

These same guys also offer this reasoning for hunting on conservation land — they paid for it, so they should be able to hunt on it. Well, does that mean since we paid for the police station that we should be able to use it for our own use? Hey, we paid for their guns, can we use them too?

Hunting is already allowed on other conservation lands, why isn’t that enough? Finally, conservation land ought to protect and respect all animals, including human ones. We love to be in these sacred places and our peace and joy would be destroyed knowing that some innocent animal may be killed any minute, and so could we.

Jeannette Muzima


Kevin Lake: Northampton Conservation Commission chairman explores assumptions and facts about hunting

Monday, October 7, 2013

NORTHAMPTON — Following recent letters and columns in the Gazette about hunting on city conservation land, I want to respond as chairman of Northampton’s Conservation Commission. I don’t know where my colleagues on the commission stand on this issue. Massachusetts’ Open Meeting Law prohibits us from deliberating other than during public meetings. I speak only for myself. Although like most …

Legacy Comments6

Do you not realize that your "sacred" conservation land was hunted on every single year up until last year when it was taken by the city? Ms. Mizuma, with all due respect, your letter is one of the most asinine letters I have ever read. Apparently, you have absolutely no idea what hunting is really about. It is about conservation. It is about protection and respect for the land, the animals, and the humans on it. Until you can wrap your head around what hunting really is, I suggest you keep your ill conceived opinions in your own mind rather than in a public forum. You seem to be incapable of understanding how serene it is for a parent (father OR mother) to enter the silence of the woods, and observe the awakening of the forest with their son or daughter (yes, even little girls enjoy hunting), and then find a place to sit in silence and appreciation of the land. In our family, this is sacred and cannot be compared to visiting a museum, or library, or a public park. If you will- put yourself in their shoes. They sit in silence, quietly directing each others attention to little sounds and movements. They take in the trees, and the air. Their senses are heightened. They wait. And they wait some more. Sometimes for morning after morning. Sometimes season after season. Then they see what they are looking for. During deer season, it would hopefully be a large buck. The antlers don't matter to us. We are not trophy hunters. The one with the gun takes careful aim, only willing to take a shot if they are sure the animal will die quickly and without suffering. We are an ethical family. After the animal dies, we then take our children to the animal. Together we inspect the animal, ever so thankful that we have harvested it to feed us and our family for the winter. Our children then see what we do not see when we purchase meat in the store. They watch and help as we remove the entrails. Those are left in the woods to provide a meal for scavengers. Then they help to remove the animal from the woods. This can be a difficult and lengthy process. Alas, the hard work of hunting has only just begun. They deer is then loaded onto our vehicle and checked in at a station. The data from the kill is then used by the state to further conserve the deer's natural habitat across the state. After that, it is brought home and hung until the butchering process can begin. Then, as a family, we clean the deer. We remove the skin, the legs, and the head. What we are left with is meat. We process the meat ourselves. We cut each steak, and grind each ounce of meat. We can inspect every inch of the animal. We can see if it had been injured in the past, or was diseased etc. We can then report this information to the state. Finally, we are able to wrap the meat and freeze it for ourselves or give it away. We cook the meat we killed and eat it with the utmost respect and thankfulness to the the animal. Our children know first hand where their food comes from as to not take it for granted. This kind of bonding in our family cannot be recreated in any way. It feels good to be able to do this in the city we live in. I encourage you and other readers to further educate yourselves on what hunting is really about, because I assure you, your fear is misleading your mind.

Very well written. There are so many clueless people out there when it comes to the sport of hunting. I don't hunt myself, but the fact there are people that do, to me, is hopeful. Hunters should be respected and revered. People who might find it cruel might not stop to think about how cruel Mother Nature can be. Hunting is about life.

Cruelty not recreation is your thought/opinion. Do I not have the right to my opinion any more????? I thought I still live in America, maybe I don't living in N-Hamp. This is a legal sport whether you like it or not. I guess my opinion doesn't matter. If your right than I must be wrong. We need Environmental Justice for all people not just for the one's that are right all the time.

cruelty is not recreation.

I love it when the Noho's feel entitled enough to counsel fathers on what is appropriate recreation. So refreshing.

Know some facts. Daughters not sons, have no sons. You should read Open Space Plan for Northampton which describes the environmental injustice/balance we have in our city, as stated many times in the plan. The need to increase active recreational opportunities is described in the goals of the plan. You like library, I like hunting, my legal choice. In my city that claims to welcome all types to our community, I don't feel welcomed because of a sport I like to legally enjoy. Facts + Science vs. Opinions + Unfounded Fears.

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