||More Wilderness in California
California's growning population and continued urban sprawl make it imperative that we save the last pieces of what is wild and natural now. Future generations will wonder why we didn't have the foresight to save more of the untouched beauty that is available to us at this critical point in time. I am sixty years old and take regular hikes into the wilderness areas to hunt and fish. I don't buy the excuse that the lack of roads and development will limit my access into these areas. All I can say to that defense is, "Get off your ass and take a hike." Your heart, mind, and inner soul will thank you. My hat goes off to the leaders who fight for wilderness preservation and expansion. I will cast a big YES vote for more wilderness.
Dog Comment Reactions
I am responding to Mr. Narayan's comment that he does not think it is "sporting " to use dogs for bear or pigs. I used to think the same thing, but that was before I tried hunting pigs with dogs. He obviously has never tried hunting with dogs. Is it so much more "sporting" shooting a pig or a bear from 100 or more yards away that may have no idea you are around? Or, is it more "sporting" if that same animal has spotted you and is now attempting to run from you while you try and make a "humane" kill from that far away? How many of those pigs you shot from that distance went down immediately and stayed down? I have seen smaller pigs in the 100-pound range not even flinch when hit with 140-grain 7mm. Granted hunting with dogs has a different feel to it, like when the dogs you are trying to keep up with while side hilling it up a canyon choked with a mixture of trees, shrubs, poison oak, and chaparral, strike a scent and now really start running UP that same canyon. You quickly realize that the jogging you do to stay in shape for hunting is not nearly enough. Now the responsibility is all yours to forget that your lungs are on fire and do everything possible to keep those dogs in hearing range while trying to stay out of the poison oak. Then, if your adrenaline has served you well enough to catch up before that pig has injured or killed one or more of the dogs, you need to have enough of your senses left to dispatch him quickly at close range. Ballistics will show you the huge difference in foot-pounds at or near muzzle velocity vs. 200 yards away, but seeing the difference happen right in front of you is stunning.
We as hunters need to support each other in order to help keep the anti-hunters from taking away our "sport " that we all love so much.
Boy, Oh boy could I write a book on Mr. Narayan's opinions on what hunting should and should not be. WHEW! I wonder if this young gentleman has ever heard the phrase "divide and conquer" as it has been employed of late by the anti-hunting crowd. As I have offered to this fine column in the past, we shall either all hang together or we shall certainly all hang separately.
More Dog Comment Reactions
I can tell that you have had little, if any, experience hunting with dogs. Hunting with dogs, at least for myself, is much more than an "unethical and unfair" experience. Speaking for myself only (I hunt pigs with dogs), hog hunting starts with dogs I raise myself either from my own stock or pups I buy. I start training the dogs at home, then they are graduated to the field. The younger dogs learn quickly from the older dogs, how to track, bay and catch. This old/young teaching relationship has been done in the wild for generations in the canine species. The passing down of hunting skills by the pack was an essential part of survival. Amazing how thousands of years of evolution is suddenly "unethical", when a quick, clean kill by a human is added to the mix. And try to tell all the hunters who have had dogs crippled and killed by hogs, how unfair an advantage they had.
Hunting with dogs is one of the purist forms of hunting in existence. We (humans), who are usually at the top of the food chain, are brought down to a level plane with the hogs we admire and respect so much. For a brief time, we are brought into the pack to hunt in the most fair and ethical hunting scenario out there. The quarry is located, tracked, bayed and caught by the dogs. Now it is time to become a productive member of the pack. I grab the hog with my bare hands and flip him and stick him or get a set of hobbles on him (to all you Californians this is not legal in your state). Believe me if you have ever taken a hog this way, fairness is never questioned (only sanity).
Hunting with dogs has been passed down since the beginning of time. After all why do you think dogs are "Man's best friend"? It is because they have been helping put food on our table since we lived in caves.
If you want to talk about comparisons in fairness, let's discuss how wearing cover scent and camoflauge is fair. Let's talk about how the use of 60x power telescopes to spot animals miles away is fair. Let's talk about how an average hunting rifle can shoot one minute angle or less groups out to 1000 yards is fair. And speaking of ethics, there are plenty of idiots out there trying these long-range shots, even on non-guided public ground hunts. You want fair? I carry a pistol and a knife when I hunt with dogs, and the pistol rarely gets used. Otherwise I hunt with a bow. Rarely do I use a rifle unless shooting varmints. I hope you do not misunderstand me. I am not bad mouthing anybody, I am just showing how easy it is to find fault with all things.
I respect your dedication and discipline to your style of hunting. But I also respect others' styles of hunting as long as it is dignified and does not bring bad publicity to the hunting community.
The two things everyone needs to understand is: 1) There are always going to be some irresponsible hunters who are going to screw it up for the rest of us. 2) We, the hunting community, need to band together and be strong against our enemies and tolerant of each other. Remember, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Let us deal with our common enemy first, then we can judge each others' hunting styles later.
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