April 24, 2012

Mike North: Hunters getting dogged yet again

I know what it's like to be hunted -- liberals have been after my kind for a long time.

The eco-terrorist agenda was on full display in recent months as they harassed Dan Richards -- the California Fish and Game president ridiculed for (legally) killing a mountain lion in Idaho.

It's become clear that Richards won't be ousted from the commission anytime soon, but that isn't stopping liberals from focusing their attention somewhere else.

On the economy, perhaps? No.

On fighting childhood hunger? Nope.

On ridding our communities of gangs? Nah.

Though these folks could be dedicating more of their time to these issues, they've instead set their sights on banning the use of dogs while hunting.

The recently-created bill was co-authored by Sen. Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Sen. Ted Lieu -- both are Democrats.

If it gains steam, the move could ban the use of dog packs to tree bears and bobcats while hunting. However, it would still allow for the use of hounds to hunt other animals, such as wild pigs.

Of course, I've had the pleasure of hunting with my dogs during many pheasant hunts, and I've even had the privilege of big-game hunting alongside man's best friend once in a while. But I've never gone after an animal with a pack of dogs.

I've seen plenty of others do it, though, and from what I hear, it takes a lot of exertion.

But the payoff can be worth it, since many guides who take people hunting with dog packs experience a high rate of success.

From past conversations I've had with guides who use dogs, I'm amazed at the amount of work they put into training and caring for their animals. Many have their own guide businesses and they rely on the income to put food on their tables.

Now, this legislation could ban what they do for a living.

Unemployment has been in the double-digits in California for a long time, and more legislation from Democrats that would stifle the flow of money, take away jobs from honest people and further harm the California economy is an upsetting thought to me.

Similar legislation has been brought up in the past, but never succeeded. The reason it's being brought up again is Richards' out-of-state-hunting trip.

This legislation is obviously retribution by the Democrats after their tiff with Richards.

My advice to Lieu and Steinberg -- focus on helping your human constituents before fighting so hard to protect animals.

Hell, they can't even vote.

Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or mnorth@mercedsunstar.com.

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