Cormorants

Letter | Cormorant hunt necessary to keep wildlife in balance

February 7, 2014 

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Re: Jan. 25 letter from Norman L. Brunswig, “Upcoming cormorant hunt reflects unnecessary slaughter of native birds”

I read Mr. Brunswig’s letter and would like to offer another view.

First, let me state that I am a hunter, fisherman and conservationist. I do not want to kill any animal unless my intention is to eat what I kill. That being said, this is a special circumstance. I do not have any of the scientific evidence to back my statements but I do have property on the lake where the hunt for the cormorant will take place and I have common sense.

On my last trip to the lake about 2 weeks ago the cormorants were so many that literally you could not see the water. When they took flight 3 feet off the water, it looked as if the water had risen up as all you could see for as far as you could see was the large raft of thousands upon thousands of cormorants. This is not a problem of a couple hundred or several hundred birds but a problem of thousands and thousands.

These birds eat 5-7 pounds of bait fish daily, so if you love the cormorant I assume you also love the fish. The fish cannot survive when 50,000-70,000 pounds of baitfish is taken from the waters daily, and that is a conservative estimate as I have seen information that puts the cormorant population on the lake at 35,000 – 50,000 birds or 175,000 pounds of baitfish daily.

Simply put, the system cannot survive this, and without man and DNR’s getting involved, the delicate balance could be destroyed. The birds need to be reduced for the betterment of the larger picture. I myself, as many hunters hate to see any animal killed for the sake of killing but if the problem is not addressed the ending result will likely be much worse than the killing of these birds.

Again, no scientific evidence but just some common sense and economic study about more demand for the resources than resources available. For all the doubters, I challenge you to ride to the lake where you can easily see the amount of birds I am talking about.

One other thing, if any hunter mistakes the cormorant for a large duck, geese or bald eagle as some have stated, I agree they do not need to be hunting. The distinction is very clear between the birds.

The writer lives in Summerton.

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