SACRAMENTO — SB 1221, banning the use of hounds for hunting bears, was passed by the Senate on a 22-15 vote on Monday, May 21, because of deceit and lies brought to the State Capitol by Jennifer Fearing, California head of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
The fact that Fearing lied is not a surprise, as the very existence of HSUS is based on lying about who they are, what they do, how "strong" they are and their ultimate goal to stop hunting.
But for our state Senators to be duped by such an organization is reprehensible. They did nothing to find out the truth about bear hunting with hounds, nor did they do even a cursory examination into the goals of HSUS, or they would have realized they were being used as pawns in their hands. But what's new? These are the same politicians re-elected every term by California voters. Yep, the ones who have us in a $16 billion hole they don't even try to dig us out of.
How did HSUS lie? Easy. First, they found a gullible lawmaker in Senator Ted Lieu of Redondo Beach — which is dead center of California bear country, by the way, so he's well-versed in bears and hunting them — then they obviously fed him a line. And most certainly, a big campaign pledge.
Among the lies? That most Californian's oppose hunting with hounds — not true, but could be with their anti campaigns; That dogs run in packs — not often and not many, since only one dog is allowed per licensed hunter; That dogs are outfitted by GPS collars — an absolute lie, as that is against California law; That hunting bears with hounds is not necessary — well, it is, if you want to shoot a bear and provide any control on numbers in California.
The biggest lie is that they have "no intention" of extending this to the use of other hunting dogs, like pointers, setters and retrievers. HSUS has already said publicly that they want game bird clubs shut down, and make it illegal to raise game birds for hunting. That would be easy if we couldn't hunt with our bird dogs.
Let's take a look at hunting with dogs: A hunter and dog set out into the field. The dog gets a scent of game that it is trained to locate. The dog sets off on the trail, hunter following. The dog finds the game and through vocalization or physical actions shows that it has located the quarry. The hunter approaches and shoots it. A bear? Maybe. Or a pheasant, quail or chukar tracked by a pointer, setter or retriever. No difference whatsoever! None!!
HSUS points out that some states outlaw hunting bears with hounds, but they don't say that most of those states allow spring bear hunting, and/or the baiting of bears, to draw them to an area to be shot. To be able to hunt bears effectively, hunters must have some type of advantage or very few, if any, would be killed.
Here's the scenario last week before the vote: HSUS provided Senator Lieu with a photo of a pack of dogs surrounding a bobcat, which he then carried around the Capitol, showing to other legislators trying to gain their support. The problem here? The photo was from a different state, and all the dogs were wearing orange collars with a locating device on them, and he said they were "GPS units." Again, that is illegal in California, and hound hunters can only have one dog per hunting license along with them — no big packs of dogs.
The passage of SB 1221 shows the susceptibility of the general public, and even elected politicians to the undue influence of a well thought-out campaign lodged by a big special interest group with its mind on one thing — in this case, stopping all hunting in California. The worst thing, is that they have succeeded in duping a majority of California's State Senators!
This was the first step in SB 1221 becoming law. Now, it still has to pass some various committees, then it goes to the Assembly for a vote, then to the governor for a signature. The odds of passage are better than 50/50 based on the liberal-leaning politicians in this state, who want to control every facet of our lives anyway. Unless, concerned sportsmen and women double their efforts in putting pressure on our politicians!
The general tendency of voters in California is to vote based on emotion, reacting to commercials and sound bites, without ever finding out the details of what they are voting on. It's up to us to educate them, and to gather all the forces we can to get this thing stopped before the goal of HSUS — "to stop all hunting in California" — can come to fruition.
Look for a complete listing of the names and contacts of those Senators who voted "for" and "against" the bill either in the June 1 issue of WON or CLICK HERE, and put pressure on them! You'll be surprised to find out that votes for and against came from both sides of the isle, based on the politicians personal knowledge and association with hunting.
Bottom line, this should not be a political issue in the first place, it should be left up to the DFG and the Fish and Game Commission and their trained wildlife biologists and scientists. But now that the issue has been put on the table, we need to make sure it goes no further! Gather your friends, relatives and acquaintances and begin the battle — it's not only for sportsmen and women in California, but for proper management of our wildlife species, which will suffer greatly if politicians begin to manage wildlife!