The relatively new invention of the automobile was producing unforeseen consequences for hunters. William T. Hornaday, director of the New York Zoological Park, thought that lawmakers should ban the practice:
“There is not the slightest doubt,” he said, “that if things are allowed to remain for the next three years as they have been during the last three, there will be no wild game left excepting wolves and coyotes, skunk, and weasels.” This deplorable state of things is due, according to Mr. Hornaday, to crude and ineffective game laws, which allow ridiculously liberal bag limits, open seasons which are nothing less than exterminatory, the use of automatic and pump guns, and worst of all, the automobile: swift, silent, and terrible in its efficacy as a destroying agent.
Today, New York state law says “It is illegal to take or hunt wildlife while in or on a motor vehicle,” according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. When exactly this law was passed, and whether or not it was passed shortly after this article, I couldn’t easily ascertain.
Hunters in Autos Exterminating Big Game: Unless Law Prevents Slaughter by “Sportsmen” in Motor Cars Our Wild Game Will Disappear, Says William T. Hornaday (PDF)
Published Sunday, April 1, 1917
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