Hunting is one of those things that is part of humanity in a way that many people never realize. We, as a species, have hunted pretty much from the moment we realized we could take a sharp stick and stab a created with it to get food. Since thing, it’s been everything from a necessity of human existence to training for war to recreation.
However, there are also those who think hunting is downright barbaric and we shouldn’t do it. They’ll throw up every roadblock they can to try and prevent people from being able to hunt. Barring that, they’ll try to minimize it.
And a recent petition seeks to do pretty much that, and Gun Owners of America are already opposing the concept.
From a press release sent out by GOA:
GOA Opposes Effort to Cripple American Hunting
Springfield, VA – Gun Owners of America (GOA) is announcing its opposition to a petition that would heavily restrict the importation of legally harvested wildlife into the United States as well as prohibit or heavily restrict the transportation of legally harvested wildlife across state lines.
This petition was sent to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USDOI/USFWS), as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Mark Jones, a Certified Wildlife Biologist and GOA’s National Hunting Outreach Director, commented, “This petition threatens to change hunting as we know it in America and also represents a backdoor attack on gun owners. This petition, if it were to go into effect, would cripple many hunting opportunities and damage the American economy. Further, it would damage the authority of the 50 state Fish and Wildlife Agencies that have a great track record of managing the nation’s wildlife for generations. All hunters and Second Amendment supporters stand to be severely impacted if this petition were implemented, and the American tradition of hunting would never be the same.”
GOA has sent letters to both USDOI/USFWS and the CDC detailing the detrimental consequences of this petition for hunters and the United States economy. From the letter:
…..sportsmen and women would be restricted from many hunting activities. This would cripple wildlife conservation funding and deal a death blow to rural economies. Hunters that were restricted from transporting harvests (i.e., meat, antlers, hides, etc.), without unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles, would be less likely to take part in such pursuits. Long-term consequences for hunting are unknown but sure to be damaging…..Gun Owners of America urges the USDOI/USFWS and CDC to reject the CBD/NRDC petition.
It’s one thing to try and restrict meat from lawfully taken game from exotic locations like Africa or what have you, but this would go beyond that. It would bar someone from Maine bringing home an elk they took in Canada, mere miles away from their house.
Not only that, but it would stop me from going into Alabama, taking a deer, then bringing it home to Georgia.
Let’s be clear, there are a lot of people who travel for hunting. Floridians often come here to hunt deer since the whitetail population is much larger here, for example.
These out-of-state hunters bring in a lot of money to the state’s economy, including putting money directly in state coffers by buying hunting licenses.
Remove their ability to bring meat home and you remove their incentive to actually do a damn thing to benefit a state not their own. Brilliant.
Of course, these folks consider this kind of thing a victory. What they’re not thinking about is that money for game licenses go to game conservation. Remove that money, remove the state’s ability to not just maintain habitat for these animals, but also to enforce game laws in general.
Then again, no one ever accused people like those behind the petition of being smart.