Be Mindful This Spring of Litter

Posted by admin On April - 5 - 2010

Spring has sprung. There is no denying it. The snow is melting. The ice is either gone or rapidly disappearing off of the lakes. Trout and salmon are running.

And, of course, the ticks are out.

This is the perfect time of year for hunters who are out traversing the woods to keep their eyes peeled and scanning the ground. For mushrooms? Sure, but for something else, too: Litter.

Litter is not a hunter’s friend. It damages the environment that sustains the animals and it detracts from the beauty and serenity of the wild.

As the snow retreats, it often leaves behind easy to find litter. Cans, bottles, plastic bags and more are scattered throughout the woods.

While there is no way to point a finger at who may have put it there, it is important to try and help clean it up. Bring a sack with you into the woods when you go to check out your favorite hunting spots, or when you go out into the woods after small game.

Do your best to pick up any litter you see while you are on your way through the area. The next time you come through, that hard work will make it a much nicer place.

It is unfortunate that litter ends up being scattered. Out of landfills, the backs of trucks and out car windows, garbage is picked up by the wind, thrown off the roadways by tires and strewn about.

It is something that has proven not to be preventable, despite best efforts by law enforcement and environmental agencies. To combat this problem, hunters who enjoy the woods, fields, streams and lakes of the Northeast should take the time to pick up anything they come across.

It is not just random people throwing garbage out of their cars causing this problem, either. Careless hunters, most unfortunately, contribute to this problem at times.

Shotgun shells and bullet casings are often the largest culprit, forgotten in the heat of the moment. Litter, sometimes, is left behind after a long days hunt, too.

Try to be conscious about keeping your area clean, picking up your spent casings and double checking before you leave your hunting spot for the day. A beautiful wilderness leads to beautiful hunts, something that all of us can enjoy.

Make a point, also, of reporting any littering you see taking place. Jot down license plate numbers and call hotlines to turn those people in. Make note of the time, the place and what was thrown out.

Being a rat is never satisfying to anyone, but sometimes it is the only way repeat offenders will learn their lesson.

And, of course, lead by example. Do not bring items into the woods that need to be unwrapped. Sandwiches and snacks can be kept in simple reusable containers. Shells and other hunting items should be removed from their packaging before being brought out.

Take care of your environment and, in turn, the environment will take care of you. Healthy trees, woods and water lead to healthy game for hunters. That is what everyone wants and what everyone can enjoy.

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