In the wake of a disgusting poaching incident in which a mountain lion was killed and brutally mutilated, the California Department of Fish and Game organized the Cal-TIP program which offers financial rewards to people who turn in poachers or polluters. Cal-TIP funded the program with $2,500.
Some California hunters are upset by the fact that Cal-TIP accepted a matching funding donation from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). (See story.) I have a different take on this story. I would ask, why didn’t we hunters beat HSUS to the punch?
Why couldn’t some pro-hunting or sportsman’s organization—either national or local—have come up with $2,500 to “partner” with fish and game on this initiative first? Why are the many law-abiding hunters so often silent when faced with transgressions of the detestable few on our fringe? If there is to be a war on poaching, why can’t hunters be the ones to wage it?
Support for hunting is slowly but steadily eroding among the general population, and I believe it would help the cause of hunting if hunters themselves would visibly make a greater effort to take the initiative in righting some of the wrongs perpetrated by the renegades among us. I fear that if we don’t make an effort to clean our own house, someone else will do it for us, and we will ultimately lose the battle for the hearts and minds of our neighbors.
Posted November 6, 2011