The Holley Fire Department (NY) held its 7th Annual Hazzard County Squirrel Slam yesterday. The event sold out its 1,000 tickets for the event at $10 per person. The prizes ranged from $50-$200. Firearms were also raffled off at the event.
Basically, for those of you who don’t know what a “squirrel slam” is (including me), it is where you kill squirrels and turn them in to see if you won. Each person who bought a ticket can turn in up to 5 squirrels and they must have been killed the day of the event.
In theory, 5000 squirrels might have died yesterday in the Holley area. Each year it has gotten bigger. Last year there were only 200 tickets.
The Holley FD mandates that all New York State Hunting and Licensing rules are to be followed. I believe the kill limit is 6 squirrels per day per person.
Yesterday, during the event, there were groups on hand to protest the event. There was even a petition on Change.org to stop the event with over 15k petitioners.
Apparently no one even noticed the event for the past 6 years…
Holley Police Chief William Murphy said the FBI is investigating death threats against village and fire officials. “People have issues with squirrels,” he said.
Stoking the outrage was the introduction of a new prize category that rewards children 14 years and younger with $50 for the heaviest squirrel.
A Blog by Davy V. has also offered his spin of the “Squirrel Slam” as children being rewarded for killing. Read about that here. He somehow relates the event to the ambush in West Webster, NY that left two of our brothers dead.
I fail to see any similarities between the two. Nor do I appreciate the attempt at comparing them.
Among the guns will be an AR-15 “Assault Rifle” in .22 caliber, a similar version of the one used in the West Webster, NY ambush and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
“People around here they do kill these animals but they eat them, they use their pelts, they’re not going to waste and as far as these people? They can go back home where they come from,” said
Kendall, NY resident Urb Bennett. “We don’t go to their community and protest. All we want to do is come out here and be left alone.”
This is what I think:
I have never killed a squirrel, nor have I eaten one or used its pelt. I have only been hunting once. I killed a turkey…then cooked it and ate it for dinner. From what I have read, the FD utilizes the event as a fundraiser and the community supports it. The animals don’t go to waste and they are used for food.
Hunting…that is what it seems like to me.
Fathers probably take their sons, brothers might venture out together. Grandfathers might be involved. Let’s not forget the granddaughters, sisters, daughters, mothers, and others who might partake in this event.
I might even go so far as to say that families might partake in the event. Drawing kids out of in front of their tv’s and into the great outdoors.
Bad? More like unfortunate if you were a squirrel yesterday. Just as unfortunate as the chicken I had for lunch or the fish I am having for dinner.
The only thing I might say to the Holley FD is to raise the price of the tickets to increase the fundraising. I am not sure that I would increase the amount of tickets next year, 5,000 is a lot of squirrels. Maybe they should even check with the wildlife conversationalists to make sure they aren’t impacting the squirrel population to a point that there aren’t enough for the following year.
I realize that there are many who have differing opinions. You are entitled to your thoughts as well.
Here are some videos of the events