New York Officials Want ‘Cruel Hunt’ of ‘Helpless Animals’ To End
Some want a legal upcoming hunting event in the Hudson Valley to be canceled because it promotes the "destruction of helpless animals."
The Germantown Sportsman Club is set to host its 7th annual Squirrel Scramble on Saturday, Feb. 27. The New York State Humane Association wants the event to be canceled.
"NYSHA opposes squirrel killing contest in Columbia County. Club refuses to call off (the) cruel hunt," New York State Humane Association wrote on Facebook.
The entry fee is $20 for a two-person team. The 7th annual Squirrel Scramble is open to men, women and youth hunters, according to the Germantown Sportsman Club. All legal firearms are allowed. A 1st-place cash prize will be awarded for the "heaviest set of legal limit" squirrels with a "bonus weight for black and red squirrels," according to the event's flyer.
New York State Humane Association believes the event promoted the "destruction of helpless animals." Harold Hovel would like to see the squirrel hunt be replaced by an event “promoting family values.'
“Killing in the name of fun and family bonding seems contradictory and lacking in respect for living beings and their place in nature, and squirrels have their place in nature like all wildlife,” Hovel said, according to the Times Union.
Squirrels are not considered endangered in New York. Hunting squirrels in New York is legal from Sept. 1 until Feb. 28, according to NYUP. Officials from the Germantown Sportsman Club say they received some threats about the event.
“We’re looking for ideas on how to bring people back into the outdoors rather than sitting on the computer and on Facebook. Just because you’re out hunting doesn’t mean you want to kill something. It opens up the opportunity to see things you ordinarily wouldn’t get to see," a Germantown Sportsman Club spokesperson told the Times Union.
The Germantown Sportsman Club has no plans to cancel its legal hunt and is using the publicity in hopes of getting more people signed up.
"Squirrel hunting is something that has been around for a long time," the Germantown Sportsman Club wrote on Facebook while sharing photos of hunters. "Not one person in the photos have ever killed anyone, nor turned into a serial killer. It’s ok to disagree but this is something we do. We promote youth hunting and teach them the proper way."