From the letter in the

Email and phone messages are flying around the state among animal activists. New Jersey’s Senate and Environment and Energy Committee will vote Thursday on S1181 ˜ cutting from 450 to 150 feet the bow-hunting safety zone, giving bow hunters access to more land, closer to homes. Activists are urging one another to urge committee members to vote NO on S1181 before Thursday’s action on this critical issue. _Angi Metler, Executive Director of the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, says “The hunters’ point of view is everywhere. We’re having a hard time getting ours out. We sent out releases about this legislation to every newspaper in the state. No one was interested. Amazing.”

That’s the word for it: “amazing.” From the activists’ side, key arguments against S1181 go like this:

* The weapon’s range exceeds the proposed safety distance.

* Among the weapons being used are archaic, dangerous cross bows, approved by the New Jersey Fish and Game Council before the 2009-10 deer-hunting season. (Cross bows in our backyards?!)

* An arrow can travel an average of 184 mph, or 270 feet per second.

* Bow hunting is exceptionally cruel, inflicting maximum tissue, tendon, muscle and nerve damage. For instance, broadhead arrows are constructed of two to four sharp, razor-blade tips. Their purpose is to induce bleeding by inflicting gaping wounds. Targeted animals die of hemorrhage.

* S1181 exposes New Jersey’s families and companion animals to gratuitous danger for strictly recreational purposes.

New Jersey residents should be asking: what are these hunters after, and why. The answers: first, deer and any other animal that can be hit with an arrow, and second, the hunters’ own recreation. If this were about cutting overpopulation, which deer hunters sometimes claims as their motive, they wouldn’t be bow-hunting. New Jersey residents should be saying loud and clear: S1181 ˜ not in MY backyard!_