The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
Why am I Pissed and Disgusted?
They confirmed that a panther killed last year in Georgia was a Florida Panther.
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"On Sunday, November 16, 2008, a sportsman observed a mature panther or cougar while he was hunting deer in the woods of Troup County, Georgia. The hunter observed the cat from his stand and shot it, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR). The hunter who shot the panther reported the incident to the Department of Natural Resources and has not been charged in the case." (Columbus Ledger-Enquirer) Further more,"DNA tests show the cougar a Newnan man shot in Troup County last November was a Florida panther, and apparently not, as authorities initially suspected, an animal that had been held captive."
Alright, correct me if I am wrong. Panthers are near extinct in Florida, non-existent in Georgia. Everyone knows that they are an endangered species here in Florida. Georgia is just north of Florida. Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, when you are deer hunting in Georgia, your license says "DEER," not panther, elk, buffalo, or passenger pigeon.
So explain to me why this "sportsman" shot the panther, and why he isn't being charged?
I don't know about you guys, but I was taught never to point a firearm at something I didn't intend to kill, never to kill something unless I had a good reason, and to always know the law. This kind of irresponsibility is exactly why we have to constantly explain why we have a right to hunt. This is what makes activists of all stripes jump up and down and say "SEE we told you so; all they care about is killing something!
The 140-pound, 88-inch cat was shot by David Adams of Newnan while deer hunting on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land near the Georgia-Alabama border on November 16, 2008. When Adams, up in a treestand, got a scared, he decided to shoot the cat... with a muzzleloader.
I can't help myself. I'm pissed that he shot the Florida Panther for no better reason than he claims he was scared. I don't know about you guys, but I might have waited for that panther to pause at the base of my tree and actually threaten me before I decided it was time to kill him. I probably would have growled first and then maybe hollered at the cat. Hell, I've come face to face with oversized bobcats, manhandled seven foot gators, and relocated cottonmouths, rattlers, and turtles.
For the love of Pete, I'm from New York City, not rural Georgia!
Years ago my wife and kids swear that a panther was on our property, sitting at the base of a tree staring right at us. Two things about that: I have seen a panther twice on highway 301 within a couple of miles of the Hacienda, and I can't deny what they claim to have seen. They have far sharper eyes than I, and Bubby in particular seems to have x-ray vision because nothing escapes his bright blue eyes. As they nervously tried to point him out, I took a blocking position and herded them back towards the house, all the time walking backwards and wondering where my good for nothing dogs where.
To this day they still get shivers when they bring it up.
I don't know... I'm disgusted is what I am... I want the Florida Panther to reclaim his territory, I want him to roam the cypress swamps, hickory swales, and oak hammocks again. I want him to ghost around the palmetto stands and through the scrub and tangles of the ranchlands I hike and hunt.
I want to tread the wilds with the certain knowledge that there are still creatures mightier than I. Creatures that can pounce on you and plunge their dagger like canines into you reducing you to nothing more than fresh cuts of red meat. I don't want a sanitized and safe walk through the woods. I want to feel the hairs on my neck raise when that panther's gaze locks with my eyes, where I feel the same emotion my distant relatives felt when confronting that same panther with nothing more than a hickory stick and pointy piece of glassy rock.
Now I know, what you're thinking. "Albert dang it, you weren't there! How do you know if he was threatened or not?"
That is true, I wasn't there. I don't know the exact details, and I probably wouldn't buy the "I feel threatened" defense unless you were damn near disemboweled. But by golly I am entitled to my opinion, and in my opinion being scared isn't a good enough reason to kill a Florida Panther. Either master your fears, or stay out of my woods!
Damn you David Adams, for stealing that from me, my kids, and ultimately yourself.
What do you think?