September brings hell to the deer of our state, for it is the opening day of bowhunting season.


Bowhunting is one of the most vicious and inaccurate ways to kill an animal. Shooting an arrow into a living target is so difficult, that for every deer a bowhunter kills, another is shot, wounded, and escapes. Few deer die quickly.


· "The rule of thumb has long been that we should wait 30 to 45 minutes on heart and lung hits, an hour or more on a suspected liver hit, eight to 12 hours on paunch hits, and that we should follow up immediately on hindquarter and other muscle hits, "to keep the wound open and bleeding"." Glenn Helgeland - Fins and Feathers Winter 1987.

· "For a bow hunter to easily recover a wounded deer, the blood loss must be extensive." Rob Wegner - Deer and Deer Hunting August, 1991.


Such violence, such crippling pain. And for what? Recreation. Sport. Fun.  


So, on September 7, when the light of day touches your face, and the sky may be clear, the air clean, and you think to yourself what a beautiful day it is...know that at that moment thousands of deer have already fallen from razor arrow death. At that moment hundreds more deer are bleeding, shot, wounded, dying with each step they take. 


The horror that overwhelms this is that all this torture is but a precursor: it is only opening day.


Those who kill and profit from killing are so afraid of your emotions that they berate you for having them. Refuse this! Our feelings are our strength and the spirit that guides our conscience. Feel then, for the deer, for their suffering, for the mothers who watch children destroyed, and are only reunited when both hang as trophies on their killer's wall. Feel for all the deer, for the one million souls already stolen, and for the hundreds of thousands more that shall come to ruination by such an unnatural and unkind death. Feel for these poor creatures, and then with an armed conscience, act.


The NJ Division of Fish and Game, the so-called experts, tell you that you must allow hunting -though they never mention that their salaries are paid for by the sale of hunting licenses. Remember this: it is for their personal sake, and little more, that hunting must be allowed. 


This letter is a plea. The power to break this cruelty will be born in our hearts. I know that there are many people who care and, yes, even dare love deer. If we all but stood and let it be known...


Deer are a species that have been and are being bred for the sole purpose of recreational hunting. They have been demonized, vilified, so that good people will say nothing and allow the slaughter to continue. For 100 years The Division of Fish and Game and their hunter-patrons have succeeded.


Let them succeed no more.