Re: “Hunting: Tactics and strategies change late in turkey season,” May 26.

A recent study published by The Washington Post found that wild turkey populations are rapidly declining due to a combination of factors that include habitat loss, climate change, and hunting. These animals were pursued to endangered status once; should we really be aiming to put them there again?

John James Audubon called turkeys “one of the most interesting of the birds indigenous to the United States of America.” People who’ve spent time with them at sanctuaries have found that they love music and often sing along, make purring sounds like cats, blush, and will play with a round piece of fruit like a ball. They also care deeply about their friends and family members. Wild turkeys like to sleep in trees with their extended family flocks to keep everyone safe. In the morning, one bird initiates a roll call to make sure the rest of the group is OK.

While hunting may have been essential for survival at one point in time, now, most hunters kill animals simply for the thrill of killing. And as the utter failures of the consumptive model of “conservation” continue to become more obvious, it’s clear that the only “change in tactics” we need is to leave wildlife in peace.

Michelle Reynolds

Research Specialist, Hunting and Wildlife Issues

The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Virginia

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