No sportsmanship in ray hunting
A bloody spectacle took place June 26 in St. Mary’s County: The American Bowhunters Extreme Bowfishing Big 5 Stingray Tournament was staged at Clarke’s Landing in Hollywood. This macabre contest involved participants shooting cownose rays from a boat, then hoisting them on board and often clubbing them to death to finish the job. Video taken from the event shows the poor animals flapping their wings and writhing in pain.
Cownose rays are not eaten — this event appears to be run entirely for the thrill of the kill and for prizes. There is no oversight as to how many rays can be slaughtered and many of the animals killed are pregnant females that have traveled to the Chesapeake Bay to give birth. There is no sportsmanship in this point-blank, wasteful killing.
Southern Maryland is a special place, and a well-kept secret. It would be unfortunate if it became known for these shameful tournaments. Let’s ensure this year’s cownose ray killing event is its last.
Lynne Gillis, Huntingtown