Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Positive press about hunting - woo hoo!

I really should be grading papers right now, but I found not one, but two cool stories about hunting in major newspapers this morning, and I thought they were worth sharing.

First, my old colleague Paul Rogers at the San Jose Mercury News did a story about the state of hunting in California that featured 14-year-old Natasha Fite killing her first deer. I love her final quote, talking about friends who are uncomfortable with her hunting: "If they say to me that I shouldn't kill animals I hunt, I say to them, 'Well, you eat them, too. If you don't think we should kill animals, you shouldn't eat them.' ''

When I saw Paul's byline I knew I could count on him to write a nice piece. I knew he'd have to quote an animal rights person like HSUS chief Wayne Pacelle - that's pretty much obligatory. But I was just glad to see a discussion of the fact that we eat what we kill. And of course, seeing a huntress in the lead of the story rocked too.

Then, the New York Times decided to take a look at moose hunting, which hardly anyone in America even knew about until Arizona Sen. John McCain tapped Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his runningmate. That, too, is an excellent story because it addresses the importance of moose as a food source in Alaska, and it even dispassionately explains with the connection between moose hunting and the aerial wolf hunting that Palin supports. I don't have a dog in that fight so I haven't really formed an opinion on it. But it is nice to see someone explain why Palin and others in Alaska support a form of hunting that seems shocking to much of the American public.

And while I'm at it, there is one more story out there. Major news! OK, not really.

The other day, I interviewed Jon Schwedler, the head of Sierra Sportsmen, which is an "interest group" of hunters and anglers that's part of the Sierra Club. I wanted to talk to him for a piece for Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors because this new group is controversial among hunters. Why? The Sierra Club sometimes opposes hunting interests, which leaves hunters wondering whether this group is sincere, or just an effort to peel off potential opposition from hunters to some of the Sierra Club's activities.

When I got done with the interview, Schwedler asked me to return the favor and let him interview me for an article for Sierra Sportsmen's newsletter, and that article is now online. When my Schwedler interview goes online, I'll link to that from this blog too.

UPDATE: A friend of mine passed along this story, an op-ed that appeared today in the Washington Post. It's by Steve Sanetti, president and chief executive of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

© Holly A. Heyser 2008


SimplyOutdoors said...

Good to see some positive things in the news that involve hunting.

That is always a good thing, and honestly, quite shocking.

NorCal Cazadora said...

I always brace myself when I see the headlines, but honestly, I've been pleasantly surprised at least half the time.

And once I saw Paul's byline, I knew I could just thunk him on the head if he didn't give hunting fair treatment, because he's a friend (and hey, that's how I show love to my friends).

It's gonna be interesting watching the comments play out through the day. I am, of course, fully engaged in the comment dialog on this one.

Phillip said...

Great responses on your interview with Schwedler! Totally enjoyable.

The San Jose Mercury article was great, and the video clip that accompanies it is really great.

This is the kind of thing we need more of! I hope the folks who read this stuff take the time to send their compliments to the newspaper and writers!

Blessed said...

Thanks for pointing out these stories... looks like I've got some reading to do :)

Anonymous said...

Great stories. It is always wonderful to see something positive about hunting in the mainstream media.

I really liked your interview too. You made a lot of good points. I'm betting what you said influences some people.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Hopefully. I'm not sure who gets that newsletter, but if it's any enviros who are on the fence about hunting, then there's a chance it did some good.

The debate in the Merc story comments section has been fun - quite a thread going there between me and someone who is probably a vegan, by the sound of it. We're waging quite the civil war (civil as in civility). I couldn't care less about persuading the vegan - I'm just hoping some readers who haven't given this issue a lot of thought are paying attention.

NorCal Cazadora said...

To the gentleman who just left two links, I deleted your comment because I was bombarded with popups when I went to one of your sites.

Native said...

I really liked how the Yakima (native american) kid pointed out how her animal rights neighbor built her house upon the best, feeding grounds for the animals upon her property.
The lady's response: The animals understand! Typical and abhorrent!

Good responses to Nad Holly, also if you noticed, at the end when he had no more fuel left for his engine, he resorted to large (Thesaurus derived) verbiage which rambled and led to nowhere.

Phillip said...

Great job on the debate, Holly!

I've held my tongue (fingers?) since, first of all, you've made all my points, and second of all, I just don't have the drive to get wrapped up in a new discussion right now... glad someone is there, taking up my slack when the motivation is down.

NorCal Cazadora said...

I know exactly what you mean - it's VERY DRAINING getting into that. And that discussion coincided with some very draining things going on at work, so I look and feel pretty much like a popped balloon at this moment.

Brandon Darnell said...

I wonder if the surge in Palin's popularity will have a trickle-down effect for hunting.

Josh said...

I'll get into that conversation anytime, anyplace.

This is a great piece, and I'm especially happy with the San Jose' paper picking it up, because I've come across some pretty fatalistic attitudes about the future of California hunting and DFG's inability to get more young people out there.
Considering the upcoming conference on wildlife and hunting in Reno, perhaps we can build on this good media...

Jesses Hunting And Outdoors said...

If you need a good chuckle, read Sierra Club's policy on "Sport Hunting" as they call it.

Funny, I never recall my dad saying "Let's go sport hunting son".

There are so many caveats about hunting in their policy I got dizzy trying to follow it.

Just say no to the Sierra Club, they are carpet baggers looking to boost their member base.

Windyridge said...

That 14 year old is smart! It's the perfect answer and one I plan to use!

Chas S. Clifton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Native said...

Couldn't agree with you more J.H.O.!
Remember the old bumper stickers back in the 80's that said: Sierra Club, go wipe your ass with a spotted owl!

That old sticker said it all for me concerning the Sierra Club and their Hitleresque policies!