Thursday, December 18, 2008

An Unusual Menu Item Is on Its Way to New York Soup Kitchens

I read a feel good story that made my stomach turn today. The title of the article was: An Unusual Menu Item Is on Its Way to New York Soup Kitchens

The story was written by the "Editorial Board" of the New York Times and the first thing that strikes me as funny is the writer wasn't brave enough to sign their name. Anyway, the article was about how the Governer of New York was shutting down a state run pheasant breading operation and donating all the birds to a soup kitchen. The author went on to say that birds from this operation cost tax payers $100 each and they clipped the wings before releasing the birds into the field (No sources sited)

"In the past, the Reynolds Game Farm near Ithica raised pheasants that were released for bird hunters who could go out to the woods in season and shoot one of nature’s most elegant of winged creatures. (In most cases, these pheasants had their wings clipped, so in reality it was about as sporting as shooting squirrels in Central Park)."

You can read the complete article here:

I posted a comment but since I don't agree with them it will proabally never get published so I felt like I should rebut the article. Here are my comments on the issue:

If I had to guess I would say you have never been hunting in your life. Many of the states in the US raise and release pheasants for hunters. Were did you get your facts related to the wings of the birds being clipped? I have worked with 100’s of different bird breading operations across the country and none of them clip the birds wings. Hunters want birds that fly. The second point that you completely missed is that most of the money used to support these operations comes from hunters paying a special fee through their license purchase in the form of a pheasant stamp or habitat management fee. The fees collected help not only pay to support the game farms that raise the birds but also help pay to maintain undeveloped wild life areas and habitat restoration for hunters and non-hunters alike to enjoy. Not to mention all the people at the breeding operation that will be loosing their jobs and the revenue generated from hunters purchasing sporting goods, gas, lodging etc for their pheasant hunting trips. If you plan to write a article like this I suggest you check your facts and consider both sides of the coin.

Jon Ballard

What do you think? Should states be cutting their budgets on pheasant breading operations with the economy the way it is currently?


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