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Fire Department’s Squirrel Hunt Game Draws Complaints

Gray squirrels are being hunted

A squirrel hunt game in upstate New York has drawn several complaints from local citizens. The event is being put on by volunteer Holley Fire Department and has been dubbed the “Hazzard County Squirrel Slam.” Yahoo News is reporting that the event is a sellout, despite animal rights groups openly protesting the event.

The squirrel hunt game is being put on for the 7th year in a row and the Holley Valley fire department has sold all 1,000 tickets that were available. Prizes will be given for accomplishments such as shooting the biggest squirrel and getting the heaviest group of five squirrels. Prizes will range from $50 to $200.

The upstate New York fire department says that the contest, which targets red and gray squirrels is open to anyone over the age of 12. Young children being involved in the event is one of the reasons some groups have a problem. According to the Montana Standard the New York Human Society has written a letter opposing the event.

Brian Shapiro, New York state director of the Humane Society of the United States wrote that:

“Declaring someone a winner for killing the most animals influences children and the wider community to believe that wildlife is unimportant and killing for a monetary prize is meritorious.”

For their part, the fire department doesn’t see anything wrong with having this kind of a contest. The event’s chairwoman, Tina Reed told the media that, “This is a community of hunters and they’re going to hunt anyways. Why not hold a fundraiser that will reach our community.”

Reed also pointed out that the contest is gaining popularity. The 1,000 tickets made available this year was a steep increase from the 200 sold in 2012.

Does a squirrel hunt game sound like something you would be a part of? Would you allow your children to take part in something like this?

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