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Paul Lebowitz – IT'S JUST FISHING

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Monday, March 05, 2012
HUNTING FOR THE TRUTH
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
LIVE FROM THE FISH AND GAME COMMISSION


TRUTH HUNTED
Is it the missing piece of information that puts the fizzle to the Fair Political Practices complaint against Dan Richards? Kathy Bowler, a former executive director of the California Democratic Party, accused embattled Fish and Game Commissioner Richards of violating the state's $420 annual gift limit for politicos when he went a' lion hunting.

While Richards has defiantly defended his legal hunt far and wide, he has refused to clear up questions surrounding the complaint, choosing only to maintain his innocence.

It looks very much like he's right, and the complaint is little more than political mud slung at the behest of the shrill anti-hunters at the Humane Society of the United States and those who were gunning for Richards' spot on the commission since who knows when - but certainly predating the cat controversy. 

The key is an Associated Press interview of Flying B Ranch manager Joseph Peterson. Peterson told the AP that Richards paid for a two-day bird hunting trip at $3,200.

Peterson denied that it was a gift. "It (the mountain lion) was going to die anyway. I was going to kill it. The purpose of shooting it was to reduce the population. I don't do much for gifts. I'm here to turn a profit and keep people employed," Richards said.

That $3,200 rate matches the Flying B price list found on the Internet. A wing-shooting trip includes two days and three nights including lodging and no meals for that price - that's $1,600 a day. The $6,800 that Bowler cites is for a 7-day, 8-night cougar hunt lists for $6,800, or $975 a day.

Assuming Richards didn't extend his 3-night stay, it looks from here that Richards is due a $625 rebate per day of cougar hunting - but Peterson and his hands should keep it to make up for all the HSUS fuss. 

For further details, read the prior story "Hunting for the Truth."
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