Friday, October 7, 2011

Spears, again and again

In what can only be described as a complete lack of understanding to the concerns of hunters and anglers, Montana State Representative Kris Hansen of Havre has a strange little opinion piece in the Helena IR today about the benefits of Atlatl throwing.

Out of all the issues facing Montana's hunters and anglers today; from loss of access and chained public roads, to bills in congress trying to eliminate elk from the Mountain, or even turning wildlife management over to the legislature (remember how well the 62nd MT Legislature acted on wildlife management? We'd be hunting Cougars with spears and no tags, while still having a listed wolf population.), this is what the good Representative from Havre spends her time worrying about. She's apparently not worried about the fact that her constituents are locked out of hundreds of thousands of acres of public land. She's not worrying that a lack of access caused an overpopulation of whitetail deer, which ultimately lead to an outbreak of EHD. She's not too concerned over having her constituents voices muffled by the almighty dollar when it comes to the scientific management of wildlife.

Nope. She's upset that she can't kill a deer with an Atlatl and that the mean old Governor made fun of the strangest, most off the wall legislative session in Montana's history. The 62nd was so strange and combative, that we made not only CNN and Fox, but the Colbert Report and the Daily Show.

Representative Hansen, like so many others in the 62nd still don't get it. Thousands of Montanan's showed up to protest the attempts to privatize wildlife. Over 450 people attended the Senate Ag hearing on the Dirty Ditch Bill which would have eroded the public's right to access our own rivers and streams. The House and Senate email and phone systems crashed repeatedly with the outrage of public lands hunters and anglers. Committee hearings were packed to the gills more often than not. Hearings went late in to the evening as people lined up 15 deep to tell the Legislature that they needed to get their paws off of our wildlife, and public lands.

But I guess what really resonated with the folks like Representative Hansen were that we don't have the freedom to wing a spear at an elk. I think there's a disconnect there somewhere.


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