Sport hunters should know their enemies

In the late 1970s, I was attending the annual West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Regulations Meeting when they were held at the old National Guard Armory. When it came time for questions from all who attended, I asked the question, “What can sport hunting do to neutralize the anti-hunting movement we are hearing about in the national news?”

A few days later, a friend who was at this same meeting asked me, “Why did you ask such a silly question like that?” Well, I can understand why it could seem like a senseless question back then. For the twentieth century, the anti-hunting movement was extremely weak to almost nonexistent in this state. For the twenty first century, the anti-hunting and the animal rights movement has made some advances in West Virginia, particularly in the far Eastern panhandle.

By word of mouth, I have heard that several people from the metropolitan areas of Baltimore and Washington D.C. have purchased some large tracts of acreage in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties. A few of these new landowners have built get-away homes on their acreage and they absolutely don’t want anyone hunting on their land. Sport hunters should not have any problem with this because this is private property and all of us need to respect the property of others.

At the same time, animal rights activists have no right to be harassing people who are legally hunting on private or public acreage at any time. First of all, West Virginia has a hunter harassment law. Any time a hunter or small group of hunters have an encounter with this problem, they need to call the WVDNR police immediately. By all means, they should never consider taking matters into their own hands by getting hostile. This can only make a bad situation worse.

According to a writer with the National Rifle Association website, quite often, these extremist groups will have close ties with organized violence groups. In some parts of the country, these radicals are working around the clock to abolish all sport hunting. The original article can be found at https://www.nrahunting.com/the-animal-rights-dream/

It is a well proven fact that sport hunters are the real conservationists. However, many people who don’t hunt, fail to give this fact any consideration. These anti-hunting activists often claim, “Killing innocent wild animals for some kind of cheap thrill is sick.”

Their real goal is to destroy a multi-million dollar business with their anarchic behavior that has the unlimited support of the mainstream news media. It is important that all sports hunters understand that these organizations are playing to American heartstrings. Not only do they want to abolish sport hunting, they want to redefine hunting as inhumane, insane and perverted.

These activists logic is to put all animals on the same par as people, which some sport hunters deem as twisted. They advocate a Bill of Rights for pets and constitution for barnyard or farm animals. In other words, a turkey that is carved on the Thanksgiving table is the same as the murder of another human being. All sport hunting is total homicide that has the support of the individual states.

Some hunters are now asking, “Just how did this radical idea or movement get started and who are these people?” The modern animal rights movement got its start in the early 1970s in conjunction with the movement to clean up the environment and stop pollution.

Some sport hunters believe that the simple truth behind the animal rights movement is absolutely evil, ugly and violent. If they don’t win with government proceedings or with the court system, then they revert to total anarchy that has no bounds or limitations.

The people who are opposed to sports hunting do have the right to express their opinion on this subject at public gatherings, during government proceedings, in the court system, and with editorial letters in newspapers. They do not have the right to destroy property (private or public), make telephone threats to individual hunters, commit arson, or disturb individuals who are lawfully hunting by making a lot of noise.

Sport hunters need to watch the movement of the anti-hunters and be ready to call on law enforcement any time they are confronted with any kind of appalling activities.

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