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Liberals and Hunting

So, most hunters are of the red-state mentality...or so say the polls. This story is a great read on how liberal politicians might have a better solution to the future of hunting than conservatives. Hopefully I'll have more time to post on this later.



I think this article is very timely and informative. Access to hunting land is by far the greatest threat to the future of hunting.

I grew up hunting on farms and timber company land in West Virginia. Most of those farms have now been sold to developers, and virtually all of the timber company land is now tied up in leases. In addition, during the recent period of high timber prices many areas of the state that once supported abundant numbers of game animals have been clear cut.

I now live in Pennsylvania, where it seems that the government is somewhat more committed to preserving public hunting lands. However, I tend to think that many of the areas that are set aside for public use recieve too much traffic. It would be nice if a system could be developed that compensated land owners for not developing green spaces, and for allowing the public access to these lands.

This issue is too important too all of us to let party identification trump finding ways to preserve habitat and ensure public access.


Garrick, there is a program similar to the one you mention and is employed by many western states. It's called Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Landowners are compensated for for devoting agricultural land to public hunting. Google it and you'll find all kinds of information about it.



Thank you very much for the information on the programs in the western part of the country, it was quite informative.

I tend to agree with the article, in that I believe it will take an effort by the federal government to make any significant headway. Sometimes states are more flexible and can react quicker, but with my homestate of West Virginia money is always an issue.

Then you have the people who refuse to take care of anything or obey any regulations. My family is lucky enough to have a small farm; however, we don't live on it. I am willing to guess that we spend at least $2500 a year fixing fences that people cut, and removing trash that they leave behind. Knowing this, I don't know whether I would lease my property or not.

Jackson Landers

I'm a hunter, NRA member and I hold a federal license as a firearms collector. And I pretty much always vote for Democrats. Liberals generally want to preserve open, wild spaces and conservatives are generally against having the government involved in that. If open, green spaces aren't protected then pretty soon there won't be any place left where I can shoot targets, let alone deer.

Most Democrats don't seem interested in taking anyone's guns away anymore. Just a couple of fringe characters. But if there's no place left where I can shoot, the second amendment won't do me much good.



I am so glad to know that there is someone else who feels the same way that I do. I was beginning to think that I was the only Democrat left in the world who hunts.

I have had the same conversation with many of my friends, and while I respect their positions, I feel that they are short sighted. Access to land on which to hunt and habitat loss are a far greater threats to the future of hunting.

Greg Russell

As I read all the propaganda in the article by Christina Larson, I felt I was being taken for a ride. For instance, she makes the statement: “In November, a Hmong immigrant was sentenced to life in prison for killing six hunters in Wisconsin after a trespassing dispute erupted when he wandered onto their land.”
If you read the accounts that even the mainstream, liberal media reported, he didn`t “wander” onto the land he was trespassing on. It was a common occurrence, since an entire ethnic group in that area held total disregard for land owners, and their rights, and helped themselves to any hunting spot they wanted whenever they wanted. To say he “wandered” onto the land the murders took place on is akin to the media calling Rodney King a “motorist” instead of the fleeing felon he was.

Then the article states: “In American politics, few causes are more potent than those defending threatened heritage symbols. Real or perceived attacks on school prayer, the pledge of allegiance, and the etiquette of saying "Merry Christmas" have all been whipped into political maelstroms. That's largely because conservatives recognized, and then exploited, a latent but largely unorganized anger. A comparable frustration exists among hunters over land access. But conservatives haven't tapped into it because the source of this anxiety isn't a liberal bogeyman, like elitism or big government. Instead, it's the closing-off of private property and sale of public land, something many on the right defend. That means progressives could find themselves in the unexpected position of being the champions of hunters. Those states that have effectively slowed or reversed the hunting decline have done so with programs that use government to open up private lands voluntarily to public recreation. This time, it may be progressive government that holds out the best hope for preserving an American tradition.”

Real or “perceived” attacks on school prayer, and the pledge of allegiance? An extremely subtle way of insinuating that the issue may really be imagined by all us conservatives.
Finally, the author writes: “For the last two years, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) have introduced an "Open Fields" bill. The measure would provide $20 million a year for five years in federal money for states to establish or expand access programs for "hunting, fishing, bird-watching, and related outdoor activities." That any elected official would fail to support such an inexpensive, uncontroversial, and potentially popular bill might be hard to imagine. Yet in both GOP-dominated houses of Congress the measure has garnered nearly twice as many Democratic co-sponsors as Republican, and consequently not gone very far.
As long as the conservative ethos reigns in Washington and in state capitals, then America's hunting, fishing, and outdoors culture will almost certainly continue to decline. The best hope for protecting this heritage probably rests with elected officials of a progressive bent, Republicans as well as Democrats--officials who are ideologically comfortable using government to assert a right bequeathed by America's political forefathers: that wildlife belongs not to private interests but to the public. “

Another seemingly innocuous statement, but one that has deeper implications. To state that demoncrats generally are more supportive of environmentally friendly legislation is extremely misleading, and irresponsible. The platform of the democratic party is extremely anti-gun. If you have any memory of recent political events, you recall that bill clinton was one of the most anti-gun Presidents in modern history. And more recently, john kerry tried, unsuccessfully, to pass himself off as an outdoorsman and hunter. His actual agenda, no surprise to anyone, especially as a politician from the liberal north east, is very anti-gun, and anti gun owner.
I don`t agree with many, many of the environmental policies of the Republican Party, but at least I feel confident the Republican Party isn`t bent on taking away my Second Amendment rights. To those who mistakenly think the Second Amendment is tied to hunting, you are buying into the lie they want you to believe. That without a place to hunt, your firearms are worthless. Be clear on this, the Second Amendment is about anything but hunting. The Founding Fathers understood full well that the republic was safe as long as the common, law abiding man had arms.

Lastly, I would like to encourage all of you to read Charlton Heston’s: “The Courage to Be Free”. It is an extremely profound and thoughtful essay intended to make you think, and to challenge the status quo. To bring us all back to the truth that politically correct is simply the myth of the liberal, mainstream media, and that we need to learn to think for ourselves once again.

Greg Russell

Posted by John-Garrick, "there is a program similar to the one you mention and is employed by many western states. It's called Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Landowners are compensated for for devoting agricultural land to public hunting. Google it and you'll find all kinds of information about it."
CRP is nothing to do about making land available for public use. The Conservation Reserve Program simply pays landowners, typically farmers, for removing certain parcials of land from production and setting it aside as wildlife habitat.

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