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Norm Fine's Blog

nodh.klmIn the wake of a disgusting poaching incident in which a mountain lion was killed and brutally mutilated, the California Department of Fish and Game organized the Cal-TIP program which offers financial rewards to people who turn in poachers or polluters. Cal-TIP funded the program with $2,500.

Some California hunters are upset by the fact that Cal-TIP accepted a matching funding donation from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  (See story.) I have a different take on this story. I would ask, why didn’t we hunters beat HSUS to the punch?

Why couldn’t some pro-hunting or sportsman’s organization—either national or local—have come up with $2,500 to “partner” with fish and game on this initiative first? Why are the many law-abiding hunters so often silent when faced with transgressions of the detestable few on our fringe? If there is to be a war on poaching, why can’t hunters be the ones to wage it?

Support for hunting is slowly but steadily eroding among the general population, and I believe it would help the cause of hunting if hunters themselves would visibly make a greater effort to take the initiative in righting some of the wrongs perpetrated by the renegades among us. I fear that if we don’t make an effort to clean our own house, someone else will do it for us, and we will ultimately lose the battle for the hearts and minds of our neighbors.

Posted November 6, 2011

Comments   

+1 # Allison Kotzig 2011-11-08 05:02
I couldn't agree more. It is frightening to see how few school children in urban areas have any clue as to how their food (meat) reaches their plate. It would be great to see some kind of initiative by hunters organisations that would coordinate with schools for an education session on this topic. Vegetables could also be included as few in the city see farms.
I am troubled, however, by the tone this magazine takes in regards to the HSUS. We are all animal lovers and it would be great to see more understanding between hunters of all kinds and the HSUS. After all, they are not a vegan or vegetarian organisation and so should have no real problem with hunters. Especially as the amount of land conservation and animal management undertaken by various hunting clubs dovetails with animal care by the HSUS
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+1 # Karen Myers 2011-11-08 10:15
"Killed and brutally mutilated?" What are you, Norman, Walt Disney? Since hunting lions was banned in California via a ballot initiative sponsored by anti-hunting fanatics and enviromentalist whackos, lions have lost their fear of man and routinely invade California residential areas where they wind up being shot by police. There have been a dozen attacks on human beings by mountain lions in California and four people have been killed.

Appropriate game management and hunting regulations have been preempted in California by its resident activist loonies. Poaching in that state constitutes resistance to tyranny and stupidity. My sympathies are entirely with the poacher(s).

How about foxes, Norman? If we lived in England (or Nazi Germany, which introduced the first hunt ban) , do you believe we should passively submit and faithfully obey every detail of the hunting ban? Aren't foxes "brutally mutilated" when the pack catches them?

If I were a subscriber to your on-line magazine, I would be cancelling my subscription.

David Zincavage
Reply
+2 # Norman Fine 2011-11-08 17:34
David, you may well be correct about California game laws banning all hunting of mountain lions. If so, thank you for that information.

The point of my article, however, is that game laws in most instances are for the purpose of promoting the health of the species. Poaching in those situations is not something I'm in favor of. I would like to see hunting organizations be more proactive and visible in discouraging bad behavior among hunters.
Reply
+1 # Karen Myers 2011-11-09 07:35
Who knows what the circumstances were? Perhaps a local person with hunting skills lost a pet or livestock to a mountain lion that was seen regularly and took revenge. Maybe someone with kids living nearby saw that lion stalking one of his kids and blew it away,

I do know that the Humane Society of the United States is a radical and extremist group of crackpots who oppose not only all field sports, but even agriculture and pet ownership, and who successfully raise enormous sums used for furthering their repulsive political agenda (and feathering the personal nests of the extremists in command) by preying on the sentimentality and credulity of ordinary people. Their budget overwhelmingly is used for publicity, lobbying, and fund raising. They do nothing for local humane societies and animal shelters. Lending aid and comfort to HSUS is a lot more serious offense in my book than poaching.

Back in Pennsylvania where I grew up and where I still have a farm, a lot of poor people have always taken deer (and other game) contrary to game regulations for the pot, No real sportsman ever thought the game laws were an absolute in every time and circumstance and no one in my family ever begrudged the jacklighted, out-of-season deer to the person who needed it to eat.

That "brutally mutilated" stuff really lit my fuse. When you field dress a rabbit, did you brutally mutilate him? When hounds break up a fox, should they be indicted for atrocities by the World Court?

The rewards you were applauding in print were offered by grandstanding anti-hunting bigots.

David
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