© 2009 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
I had an interesting reply on my post on the Florida Panther that was killed recently in Georgia by David Adams of Newnan GA while deer hunting. The subject has been contentious, but responses are approximately eight to one against what Adams did. By the way, that's from Sportsmen not Animal Rights Activists. I receive an e-mail on the subject about once a week. This reply comes from an animal welfare and rehabilitation person.
Miss Anonymous wrote,
"I'm not a hunter but I don't intend to use this comment field to rail against hunters. On the contrary. I agree with you, Albert, on all fronts. It's in expressing opinions like yours . . . on this, on the Michael Vick issue, and on other topics you've addressed here . . . that some semblance of alignment between hunters and us non-hunters can exist. I thank you for sticking your neck out for the animals on multiple occasions -- in the face of dubious actions by people. I think it's a courageous stand, given your interest as a hunter.
From my perspective, your type of diligence and compassion -- with attention to legality and ethics -- tends to help people like me reclaim respect for hunters as a whole. I'm someone who has seen a lot of bad crap out here in the wild west. And I fully realize not everyone with a gun shooting animals can rightfully call themselves hunters. You obviously take your responsibility and power as a sportsman very seriously, and I'm in appreciation and admiration of that.
Let me add, I am a wildlife rescuer -- yep, I save them to be patched up after they've been injured, shot, hit by cars, you name it. And I've encountered any number of potentially dangerous animals throughout my life, including mountain lions, rattlesnakes, etc. I don't carry a gun or weapon. And I'm a smallish woman. So you'd think if anyone could cop to the "I was afraid" tactic, it would be someone like me. Even in my most precarious moments, I have never had to harm any animal in self defense (thank goodness). And like you, I would certainly wait until no other option was possible before I acted against the animal. Because of that, I find a guy pleading this particular line, from a blind, at some distance, to be a pretty lame rationalization.
Like you, I don't know the whole story. But it strikes me as misguided at best, and malicious at worst. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
Anyway, thanks for taking a stand when I know it isn't easy to make certain commentary about other sportsmen -- or people calling themselves sportsmen, as the case may be here.
btw: I shared your sentiments about Vick until I learned a few days ago that he was doing positive PR for some anti-dog-fighting campaigns. Now my feelings are mixed. I definitely see what you are saying and concur wholeheartedly. I also see the potential power of turning some kids around by way of his celebrity. I guess we'll see . . ."
That was a very gracious commentary and one that I really appreciate. We the field sports enthusiasts are more of an ally to any conservationist, and even animal welfare proponents, than most environmentalists.
But as I mentioned in my response, I really want to remind people that Vick has millions of dollars at stake here. People have been killed for three-or-four-zeros-knocked-off-the-back-end less, than what he will earn in a game! So let's not be so quick to let him get off the proverbial hook just because his agent got him a gig with the HSUS. Vick can say anything he wants; he can say he's a pilot, but I'm not getting on that plane.
Let's face it people, the NFL isn't about to let any talent escape without a fight. Mass marketing and media assets are being used by the NFL in the same fashion as the HSUS is.
"Sell the sizzle," Lomasky said. And that is what they're doing. "It doesn't matter what he did, what is in it for us." Both the NFL and HSUS are after the big bucks. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.
Interestingly, I heard this morning that the football commissioner has ruled to allow Vick to play starting game three as opposed to his previous rule where Vick would have had to wait six games... What does that tell you.
Albert A Rasch
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...