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.
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