Mojave hunting: more bias


Mar 11, 2001
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MOJAVE, HUNTER SAFETY UPDATES -- Jim Matthews-ONS -- 26jun02

Mojave hunting: more bias

Several environmental groups have petitioned Secretary of Interior Gale Norton to close the Mojave National Preserve to hunting in the spring and summer months under the guise of protecting desert tortoises. They've asked that all hunting for coyotes and bobcats be banned, and that all hunting be stopped from March through August, when tortoises are most active.

Since I doubt there is a single documented incident where a hunter has shot a desert tortoise when hunting other legal game, it is fairly easy to see through the petition's stated reason for closing the preserve to hunting half the year and to restrict what game can be taken. This is an anti-hunting move, but none of them have the courage to simply admit hunting is the issue, so they try to backdoor the problem.

Here are the real issues:

1) Many of the people behind this petition are still fuming that hunting is a part of the preserve at all. They believe hunting -- all hunting -- should be banned, and this is their first step in that process. The tortoise is their excuse.

2) They find it especially deplorable that furbearers are still shot on the preserve. Some of them can swallow the idea that gamebirds and deer, which are eaten by hunters, can be taken, but the idea that we'd shoot predators for their pelts or the mere enjoyment of hunting a great game animal, sickens them.

3) They are against added water in the preserve -- guzzlers and cattle water -- not because they are concerned about their unnatural quality or truly believe there are environmental drawbacks. They even know that man-made water can be a part of the preserve under the diverse and often conflicting guidelines, but they want them removed because these water sources are maintained by hunters and encourage hunters to come to this game-rich area.

4) They want to use the tortoise to portray hunters as bad people who shoot anything out in the desert. I'm sure they will produce tortoise shells with bullet holes as "evidence" that hunters should be banned because we are bumbling Elmer Fudd's who blast away at everything and are careless. Hunters have guns. Here's a tortoise shell with bullet holes. Hunters must be to blame. That's their mentality, however ignorant, prejudicial and wrong it may be.

The outright dishonesty and self-righteousness these people display is frightening. Fifty or 100 years ago these environmental wackos would have been racists and focused their energy in perpetuating lies and control over ethnic groups, touting their own race as the superior one. Today, they are focusing on hunters, portraying us as lesser beings and their environmental cause as the superior one.
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