Wildlife is the barometer of the environment when its flourishes so does the surrounding areas but when humans abuse wildlife they are not only abusing the animals, they are abusing the entire ecosystem that includes man. It is important as hunters to be aware of all aspects of the sport. Hunters should take as good a care of the animals they hunt as they do their guns. There are some situations that are called sport but are not and are not advocated by responsible hunters. Some hunting sports are abusive though the hunters are not aware of the abuse like dove hunting, rattlesnake round-ups and pheasant stocking. In any of these situations individuals should not take any direct action, particularly in the instance of poaching, but contact the appropriate authorities like a game warden or call 911. Hunters should have these contact numbers with them to accurately describe the situation.
Dove hunting is one of the most popular hunts and most hunters do not take into consideration the repercussions of the sport. The hunt specifically targets Mourning Doves, a species that benefit man. Farmers welcome them because they feed on weed seeds helping the growth of food crops. Many hunters use them for live target practice and call them cheap skeet. Spring dove hunts kill both parents leaving chicks unattended in the nest and resulting in their death. It is documented that more than twenty million dove are killed annually in the United States a significant number since they are not an overpopulated species.
For the fall hunt, some states dump hundreds of thousand non-native pheasants into hunting areas. These birds are barn raised and kept in large groups in pens or boxes, beaks are cut off to prevent peaking. These birds do not have survival skills resulting in starvation if not killed by predators or hunters. This is known as pheasant stocking and is a costly and cruel industry with no benefit to wildlife. At the release site hunters line up by their trucks and shoot the birds as the crates are opened violating a main hunting principal of fair chase.
Rattlesnake roundups are another sport that hunters feel that it benefits the environment. This is a fallacy and hunters need to be educated as to what they are really doing. Theses roundup started as snake control for farmers and have evolved into public spectacles. Collectors pull snakes from their dens using poles tipped with fish hooks or they spray gasoline or other toxic substances into the den which also poisons local endangered species and threatens wildlife. The snakes are crated together and those that survive are used in exhibitions or served as exotic meat which can be contaminated with Salmonella. Rattlesnakes are beneficial to the environment keeping the small rodent population in check.
Though Wisconsin laws cover many of these situations if any violations are seen by Milwaukee area residents it is advised that they contact the proper authorities.