CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Bill Karr – EDITOR'S NOTES

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‘Wildlife’ becoming much bigger than ‘game’ for Department
Well, it sure hasn’t taken very long for the good ol’ Department of Fish and Game to try and live up to its new moniker of Department of Fish and Wildlife. And in all the bad ways.

First, the DFW cancelled a predator hunting clinic that it had scheduled for last week in Davis, bowing to pressure from the radical Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other anti-hunting groups. This was unprecedented in the history of the old DFG. But looks like it might become commonplace for the new DFW.

The old DFG was into managing wildlife, and providing clinics to help sportsmen in their efforts to do so, since there certainly aren’t enough DFG employees to send out into the field when there’s an over-population of certain predators — in this case coyotes. The new DFW? Well, we’re still watching, but we didn’t have to wait too long.

The Sacramento Bee has also published a series of stories about predator control by a writer named Tom Knudson. Rather than take an open view on the subject, Knudson contended that killing coyotes does not help anything, and that the void created is soon filled with new coyotes. He suggested non-lethal control, and even trying to fence off lands so they can’t get onto the land! Obviously Mr. Knudson has never been outdoors, and if he ever has been, it certainly wasn’t out of the city limits.

The reality is, when a ranch wants to increase its wildlife population in the realm of deer, turkey, wild pig and other species, the very first thing to do is eliminate the coyotes. Case after case is on record of rapidly-expanding deer populations once an aggressive coyote hunting program was instituted. Rock Springs Ranch down in the coastal range was a prime example. And about re-population problems? Easy — keep killing them.

I actually called him to discuss the first hit piece he wrote, and he contended that he was, indeed, up on the subject and had input from other folks qualified to speak on the subject. Well, if those other folks are as “qualified” as the ones he referenced in his most recent Sac. Bee hit piece, then he gets an “F” for failure in who he talked to.

He spoke with Jennifer Fearing, California head of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Now, HSUS is not your city-run shelter that takes in pets. All HSUS takes in is money, and they spend it litigating against hunters, ranchers, farmers and even those who want to have pets at home. HSUS is a radical anti-hunting, animal-rights group. Not animal-welfare….animal-rights. As such, Fearing and her group are the very last place to go for any reasonable discussion on controlling predators. They do not support hunting of anything, and in fact don’t support eating meat or you owning a pet.

The other person he went to for comments on predator control? Well, Fearing’s own buddy, Judd Hanna, who Knudson referred to as a “sportsman” and ex Fish and Game Commissioner. Hanna is outspoken about his beliefs, but they are not the beliefs of the vast majority of sportsmen in California. He is against hunting bears with dogs, and apparently now he’s against hunting coyotes. He says he’s against hunting pen-raised birds, and yet he shot plenty of them himself — over dogs — at Red Bank Ale & Quail over the years. He’s a hypocrite, and more of an animal-rights supporter than an outdoorsman. He is certainly not representative of what the sportsmen of California think or believe.

While the Department of Fish and Game was originally concerned and involved with ensuring proper management of wildlife species and fisheries in California, it now appears the new Department of Fish and Wildlife is rapidly becoming a politically-correct puppet of the special interest groups in California, quite willing to bow and scrape before those who say anything negative about them. Even if what they are doing is in the best interests of California wildlife. Which, I believe, is their job.

More to come on the “new” Department of Fish and Wildlife, too. Just wait until you hear who they’re teaming up with next!
Reader Comments
If you do not believe Ca. Fish and WILDLIFE is becoming more and more anti-hunter and eventually anti-fish, just wait and watch these nuts taking over the commission, making the laws and getting Gov Brown to back them, signing laws/bills, etc. Bill K
Bill Kauffman
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