Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Thu, Sept. 19

Columnist decides to go hunting – fast

It's deer season, so I'll say my piece and be quiet about it. I fear the traditions my family has held for generations are under constant siege from those who want to tell me how to live.

Don't believe me? Then read on. . .

This from opponents of Proposition 102, which limits deceptive animal rights groups from manipulating wildlife:

"Animals are just like people. They need love and affection; however, in today's consumer- based society, the divine, God-given rights of the animal populations are overlooked. Americans continue to be the largest consumers of animal products: everything from leather shoes and belts to the millions of burgers that we eat daily. Who are we to put the flesh of an animal in our mouths and call it food? When will we realize MEAT IS MURDER!

"A good argument in favor of hunting and fishing does not exist...It's time to put an end to it all."

– Sam Gordon, Scottsdale

These groups oppose Prop. 102: The Humane Society, the Sierra Club, Cry in the Wilderness, Wild At Heart, For the Birds, the Bradshaw Mountain Wildlife Association (in Mayer), Desert Cry, the Green Party, and this list goes on.

These groups and people support Prop. 102: The Arizona Farm Bureau, Congressman John Shaddegg, Rena Westenburg of Becoming an Outdoors Woman (in Tucson), the Wildlife Conser-vation Council, Arizonans for Wildlife Conservation, Trout Unlimited/Bass Anglers Sports-man's Society in Mesa, the Arizona Mule Deer Association, the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, the Arizona Antelope Foundation, and the list goes on.

Surely you see the differences just in the two lists of organizations and people. One list represents the anti-hunting, environmentalist left, the other represents pro-hunting, conservationist factions.

Opponents maintain this measure attempts to circumvent the will of the simple majority.

However, I agree with the proponent argument that this proposition ensures that our state's game management will remain in the hands of the professionals of the Arizona Game and Fish Department and not a handful of well-financed animal and environmental activists.

The Humane Society of the United States, one of the groups which would take away your right to hunt, says: "sport hunting – the killing of wild animals as recreation – is fundamentally at odds with the values of a humane, just and caring society."

Because I am a hunter, the Humane Society has labeled me inhumane and uncaring. I don't believe I am either of these.

The Humane Society and other anti-hunting organizations have hindered hunting and predator control in this state, California, Colorado and other states to the point where the population of mountain lions, coyotes and other predators is growing unchecked.

This leads to degradation of game herds, which in turn leads to starvation of the very predators the anti-hunters were trying to protect.

It is all a very simple scenario. If we are to live in this world with an ever-burgeoning population, then we must manage the land not only for our sustenance, but also for the habitat of the wild animal.

Since 1929 the Arizona Game and Fish Department has been managing the state's herds and habitat adequately. While I personally haven't agreed with everything the department has done, I believe that this organization overall has done an outstanding job for the state's hunters, anglers and wildlife.

Proposition 102 would allow Game and Fish to continue to manage as it sees best, and it would deter wealthy, uninformed anti-hunting factions from encroaching further on a list of deteriorating rights in this state.

Vote "yes" on 102. If you believe meat is murder, vote "no."

In the meantime, I'm going hunting - while I can.

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