Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Up in arms over junior deer hunt

I read this piece in the Sacramento Bee yesterday, where folks are raising a stink about proposing a proposed junior doe hunt (that wasn't a typo) for Southern Placer County.

When I first heard of the proposal, my first instinct was selfish: My child is only two, and I'm, well, not a junior anymore. However, the article is about the 'controversy' of such a proposal, because of the youth focus, the doe focus, and the urban-wildland interface. Of course, the online comments quickly span the range of ridiculousness, with little in the middle.

So, my two cents: Folks, if I hadn't hunted and fished as a kid, I would most likely not have become an environmentalist. In addition, hunting and fishing (and kayaking, of course) are the primary ways in which I continue to interact with the wild. So get your young ones out there with guns in their hands! Teach them ethics, teach them that they need to know how they impact the world, and also sit back and let them learn things for themselves, on their own time, with their own experiences and in unstructured places. That's right, I'm not just condoning, but encouraging that we arm 16 year-olds, and let them run around in the wild. We complain that our kids never seem to grow up, yet we don't let them off the kiddie-leash. You would be surprised at the responsibility many teens can take if they are given the chance. We give them weapons that kill more people in the US every year and let them loose in highly urban, dense neighborhoods (cars), so stop your hypocritical whining.

Second, a doe, as the song goes, is a deer. That folks viscerally react to the notion of culling female deer more than male deer means that our motives have moved away from honest, clear-eyed management decisions to one of emotion, and an emotion based on some pretty sexist thinking, and with some serious violence thrown into that thinking, too.

Third, folks concerned with hunting going on at the urban-wildland interface need to move back to the city. Yes, I said back, because it's obvious where you came from.

My biggest problem with the report was the bias, beginning with referring to opponents not as animal rights activists, but as "animal activists." I am an animal activist, yet I am diametrically opposed to the position and philosophy as described in the article. This first bias of omission belies the angle of the rest of the story, and it gives me the feeling that the reporter is so completely unable to understand hunting that Mr. Fletcher cannot seem to get the balance right (I checked out his Tweets, and the closest thing to hunting he's done is, "Just killed 150 emails.")

So, Mr. Fletcher, if you wish to try to understand it, I am more than willing to take you hunting, especially if you hope to accurately report Placer County. Deer season is just around the corner up there.


Gabe Davis said...

AMEN, I don't understand the reaction to taking does. I eat venison more than beef and I take does not only to keep the herd in balance but because a year and 1/2 old doe tastes pretty good. And special seasons for children not only make it more likely adults will take the children(doesn't interfere with thier hunting) but also can be scheduled to give an advantage to the young hunter. success does make hunting more fun. I intend to link to this post on my blog I hope more people find your writing as interesting as I do.
Your pal the Envirocapitalist.

Josh said...

Hey, thanks, Envirocapitalist! I must agree with you about the taste of the young doe.

For folks who have trouble with that, I recommend they look at the age of most of the beef, pork, and especially chicken they consume. They may be shocked, and I hope they are, and turn to hunting a bit more.

Albert A Rasch said...


Nicely put. If my head wasn't about to split in two, I would try and add my two cents to it, but alas it is not to be tonight!

We definitely have to make a greater effort in exposing youth to the great outdoors, and the only way will be for us outdoorsmen to go ahead and do it.

Best regards,
Mark Osterholt / Wayne Rommel is Stealing Your Content
Protect Yourself Against Plagiarism

Albert A Rasch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh said...

Thanks, Albert! Also, I clicked on your plagiarizing link, and I'll post on that shortly.

Anonymous said...

Well, Josh, I don't know. Our kids are already really busy with priorities like texting, keeping up with T.V., consuming junk food, and playing wii. They have enough entertainment without having to move a muscle and expend a lot of energy, not to mention exercise their brains and expand their souls. Plus I think it's better to have zombie, materialistic consumers in training that are detached from reality, than young warriors with real survival skills who experience things worth fighting for. That way when it's gone because of greed and lack of care, they won't suffer because they never knew what they had in the first place.

Zorro S.

Swamp Thing said...

BRAVO. California and Maryland share so many of these same issues that it's frightening! The fact that your average anti-hunter consumes meat at every single meal tells us that the hunting community has done an atrocious job of sharing our vision for conservation and wildlife management. A

nd you know what? Shame on us for failing to do a better job, and thinking that the 95% of Americans who don't hunt would continue to just "let us be."