Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Today’s blog will take a serious note, as I intend to ask you all to write your political representatives demanding new legislature to boycott skeet shooting. This horrible and inhumane sport must come to an end. Let’s look at some facts.
For those who don’t know, skeet are usually very plain looking. They’re certainly not colorful, and while they fly quickly, they’re not acrobatic. They’re not known for their plumage, songs or antics, but just because they’re rather plain doesn’t mean we should indiscriminately make a sport of shooting them. Did you know that you don’t even need a license to shoot skeet? There is no skeet season, and no laws regarding minimum size or age to shoot skeet. What’s more, sometimes these skeet shooters won’t even seek out the skeet they only “wing” so they can put it out of their misery. No, they’re just left to die of their injuries, or be picked off by predators if there were predators that actually hunted them, which there are not.
The National Park Service or Fish and Wildlife Service never ask hunters to seek skeet for the purpose of population control. The reality is that skeet rarely propagate, and the gestation period is so long that nobody is quite sure how it happens. As such, they do not eat crops or other animals, and pose no danger to crops, farm animals, pets or endangered species. They pretty much keep to themselves, mostly resting in fields. There is absolutely no danger of them biting anybody even if small children happen upon one.
They are not airport pests. They don’t startle and never are found flocking or flying around airports. While other birds might be a danger by flying into jet engines or plane propellers, there has never been a recorded incident of a collision between any form of aircraft and a flying skeet. They seem perfectly at ease around loud noises such as that made by aircraft, and do not wander onto the landing strips. They are so docile, in fact, that no individuals have ever had to go chase them away from airports, and not only is there no technology to scare them away from airports, but nobody is even looking into developing such devices.
Skeet are so rare that they are almost never seen in the wild. Surely, they belong on the endangered species list so they can be protected from hunters. Nobody has ever even seen a skeet nest. They’re so elusive, and so rare, that nobody knows if they build nests, or burrow, or lay eggs. And yet, as rare as they are, hunters seem to take great pleasure in shooting them. Usually, they are kept in captivity, but are so docile that they don’t even need a cage to be kept near the humans that they seem to trust so completely that they don’t even try to escape. A trust that is betrayed when these same humans release them just so they can be shot. The skeet are released through a special device to force them to fly just so sadistic and evil hunters can shoot at them. And these are not gentle devices either. They are cruel, abrupt and so harsh that they could easily injure a person. It’s amazing to me that the skeet even survive the devices.
Even skeet droppings are rare and harmless. Unlike geese leaving their mess all over public parks and places, or animals leaving surprises for people to walk on, it’s rare to even see a skeet dropping. Well, they drop out of the sky sometimes, but they don’t land on statues just to make a mess on them. Their droppings are not high in phosphates or nitrates, so they do not contribute to problems like algae blooms or burned out farmlands from an overabundance of these nutrients.
Perhaps the worst and most inhumane aspect of the practice of shooting these gentle and harmless skeet is that it is never done for food. They have a gritty, kind of dirt like taste and are never eaten by the skeet hunters. There are no recipes for skeet. The reality is that people just shoot them to shoot them. It’s simply barbaric to hunt skeet just for the pleasure of shooting them.
Please, write your representatives today and tell them to stand against the shooting of skeet. Legislation is needed today to protect skeet. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. This has been brought to you as a tongue in cheek public service announcement.