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By Michael Byrne - August, 2014

This time of year, eager, hard working hunters have been prepping for the upcoming season by diligently scouting hunting spots, planting food plots, shooting countless arrows in the center bullseye and hanging tree stands in the optimal kill zone. There is however a lazy bunch of wretched parasites amongst us who choose to take advantage of others hard work and sacrifice by any means necessary. There is a growing epidemic that plagues Long Island deer hunters. It is not the dreaded deer tick, Chronic Wasting Disease or even poaching (however poaching is an altogether different topic), it is something that has greater cause for concern. It is theft among fellow hunters.

As I follow the local forums, I hear numerous accounts of tree stands, trail cams and other hunting gear being stolen almost as fast as it can be put up. Despite best efforts to deter theft with safety locks, descent hard working, honest hunters are left shaking their heads in disbelief.  I have heard stories of thieves going as far as cutting down trees to take trail cams that are securely locked. They have such a high disregard for others and for the habitat, they would resort to such drastic measures to snatch their ill gotten gains. These types of behaviors are not only despicable and pathetic, they border on the psychopathic. But it doesn’t end with that. In addition to the stealing, private property is being destroyed, trucks are being keyed and tires are being slashed. Lets face it, there are more bow hunters per square mile in Suffolk county then most places in the lower 48, but if we are to continue the sport we love, this mind set of hunter against hunter has got to change. Contempt merely breads contempt. It’s already bad enough the anti hunters are hell bent on taking us down. Let’s not hand them the proverbial golden egg.

When I was a young lad, I learned that you have a greater respect for the things you own when they are earned and well deserved. This simple philosophy has however glazed over a few who have chosen to hoard others hard earned property without remorse. The hardest pill to swallow is not so much the loss of property as it is the fact that these low lifes walk the same woods as our true blood brothers do. They are unfortunately our fellow Long Islanders and we are forced to co-exist along side them, not only during the hunting season, but year round. We all know who they are. They are ones who steal from the Sunday church collection plate, they park illegally in the handicap spots, steal candy from babies and cut off the hearse during a funeral procession.

For the most part, I firmly believe the majority of us hunters are honest and decent. It is but a few who have tainted our good name and I am certain that the Karma train will come around at some point. There is a larger band of brothers who are keeping a vigilant eye. So thieves be fair warned…. you are being watched. Eventually, you will be rejected from our ranks.... quite possibly with a fat lip or two.





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