Nothing gives some hunters (including this writer) much more pleasure in life than watching animal-rights nutjobs get their panties in a wad over someone’s hunting successes. Without exception, such displays of intolerance expose these fringe individuals for what they are—hypocrites who are hopelessly out of touch with the real world.
A recent incident occurring in the undisputed home of radical movements and bizarre activism—California—is a textbook example of how hopelessly misguided the animal-rights/anti-hunting movement has become in America.
Mountain lion hunting has been strictly prohibited in California since 1990, when the passage the activist-promoted initiative, Proposition 117, was approved by voters. An effort to repeal the ban through a subsequent initiative in 1996 was unsuccessful.
As a result, if any California resident has a desire to hunt a lion, he or she must do so in another Western state or province. And that’s the option chosen by Daniel W. Richards, who serves as president of the California Fish and Game Commission, appointed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In what he referred to as “a hunt of a lifetime,” Richards recently travelled to Idaho to participate in a guided mountain lion hunt. He successfully killed a big lion “over iron sights using a Winchester Centennial lever action .45 carbine,” according to an article that accompanied a photo (used above) appearing in the California-based “Western Outdoor News” on February 9.
Since the appearance of the article and photo, animal-rights leaders and followers have gone ballistic, calling for Richards’ immediate resignation from the commission, and even launching an online petition drive demanding that Gov. Jerry Brown dismiss him.
“[Richards has] thumbed his nose at the people of California,” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, told the “San Jose Mercury News” last week. “He’s supposed to be representing the interests of all California citizens. It seems like such a tone-deaf action. What part of ‘no’ doesn’t he understand?”
Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, chairman of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, said Friday that he is considering introducing a resolution in the legislature to remove Richards.
“He’s thumbing his nose at California law,” Huffman said. “He’s mocking it. Frankly, I think he should face the music and step down. He’s done something that’s a disgrace to his position and to responsible hunters in California.”
We’d like to remind Pacelle, Huffman and the others that Richards hunted in Idaho, as a licensed nonresident, and during a legal hunting season.
If the critics flinging arrows at Richards want an example of a true double standard, they need look no further than their ridiculous ban on mountain lion hunting that has stood since 1990. The passage of Proposition 117—while a feel-good issue for the animal-rights crowd—did relatively nothing to protect the predator in The Golden State. Fact is, since managed lion hunting was banned, the California Department of Fish and Game has issued depredation permits for the killing of more than 2,000 big cats to protect humans and livestock.
So hundreds of cougars continue to be killed there, but at a high cost to the taxpayers and without the revenue that could be generated by hunters’ licenses and permits.
Now THAT’S hypocrisy!