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(OR) Bunny hunt bugs animal-rights advocates

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Drizzt, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. Drizzt

    Drizzt Well-Known Member

    Bunny hunt bugs animal-rights advocates



    Mom, kids, the family beagle -- who could object?

    Other than, say, Thumper.

    Try Oregon's animal-rights community.

    The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife ran low on its luck this week with an otherwise popular women's program that promotes fishing and hunting as safe, family-friendly sports and features events such as a mother-child hunting day Saturday in a state wildlife area north of Corvallis.

    State officials assumed no one would mind a modest hunt for a species not known for reproductive difficulties.

    But they didn't reckon on the urban image of bunny rabbits, a symbol of Easter and all that is cuddly.

    Protesters took aim Monday, and by Tuesday morning, the event was postponed, pending a full meeting of the wildlife commission Friday.

    A dozen protesters outside the agency's Portland headquarters Wednesday said rabbit hunting is not something children need to learn. They cheered the postponement but want the hunt canceled.

    Ann Snyder, a Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman, characterized the protest as a sign of an increasing chasm between the state's rural roots and its growing urban population.

    "There are merging cultural differences," Snyder said. "The state is urbanizing, and not as much is known about hunting."

    In urban areas, rabbits are pets or a fixture in a child's classroom. In rural Oregon, rabbits are not only fair game, they have helped form hunting foundations for many youths.

    "It also speaks to our concept of what is a pet, what's wild? All those arguments are there under the surface. Rabbits in particular," Snyder said. "Some people wear them, some eat them, some have them as pets."

    "I wouldn't protest an individual hunter," said protest organizer Matt Rossell of the Portland office of In Defense of Animals, "but promoting the hunting of rabbits as a family fun event is crossing the line."

    Rossell, the California-based organization's Northwest outreach coordinator, called the event a "canned hunt on a refuge."

    Protesters will state their case to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission at 1 p.m. Friday during the commission's regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

    This was the agency's second attempt to expose women to rabbit hunting.

    In 2002, a adult-only rabbit hunting class was canceled after only five women and one man registered.

    Nevertheless, all six were taken on a daylong hunt by the Marys Peak Hound Club, sparking this year's more popular offer to include children.

    "It's a beagle seminar and rabbit hunt combined," said Jerry Ray of the hound club. "We're not just going out there and shoot rabbits, puff up our chests about being great hunters and leave. And it's a lot easier than climbing up a mountain on an elk hunt. It encourages mothers and kids to get involved in raising and training beagles and in the activity of hunting at the same time."

    When asked if he would testify Friday, Ray said, "I don't know what to say. How can you defend yourself when you haven't done a single thing wrong?"

    Women and children make up 58,000 of Oregon's licensed hunters, Snyder said.

    "The folks opposed to this must think they're all males," she said.

    She said the hunt was postponed because of safety concerns for protesters unaccustomed to being in a hunting area and because the participants "didn't sign up for disruptions and protests."

    Snyder said one of her staff received a death threat from an unidentified protester. Oregon State Police were notified.

    The event was organized to teach 19 pre-registered parents and eight children about raising and using beagles to hunt on the E. E. Wilson Wildlife Management Area north of Corvallis.

    It cost registrants $50 per adult and one child, and $10 for an additional child to cover costs and food for the daylong event, one of several organized annually under the 10-year-old "Becoming an Outdoor Woman" program. All eight children, ages 12-18, have passed a state-required hunter's safety course and exam.

    Dave Budeau, who manages the department's wildlife area on a former World War II Army training camp, said the area is laced with miles of easily walked asphalt roads and a checkerboard of blackberry thickets. Dogs, usually beagles originally bred to hunt small game, work through the thickets to force rabbits into the open, where the hunters can shoot them.

    "There are plenty of rabbits out here," Budeau said. "It's the second-most popular hunt we have after pheasants. Dads come out here with their kids all the time."

    Mary Huey, a Beaverton grandmother and former teacher, who rescues pet rabbits and heard about the hunt, thinks it's wrong to put firearms into the hands of youngsters.

    "There are better things they can learn about than how to go out and kill," she said.

    But Suzanne Trott of Hillsboro, who registered for Saturday's hunt along with her 15-year-old son and deer-hunting companion, James, said she was disappointed at delaying the chance to see beagles work in the field and share the day with her son.

    "They protested a rabbit hunt?" she said. "That's a pretty sad thing."

  2. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    I guess Suzanne summed it up as politely as I could...

  3. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Well-Known Member

    Good grief! I thought Madison, Wisconsin was the national capital of The Easily Offended. Guess the Ory-gun chapter is quite active also. :)
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Must be the Californians moving up there. :rolleyes:
  5. OF

    OF Well-Known Member


    - Gabe
  6. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Well-Known Member

    The Californian Anti is a nuisance species that has migrated over a period of decades to displace the indigenous Oregonian. Sadly, there are not many native Orgonian breeding pairs left; unfortunately they are soon to become extinct. :(
  7. Seeker

    Seeker Well-Known Member

    :banghead: This is nuts, don't these people have anyhting better to do?

    As a second generation Oregonian, I will agree with 'too many :cuss: califorinios' assessment!
  8. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    I was raised in the notion that you minded your own business, absent cruelty to an animal in the dictionary sense of cruelty. It still bugs the heck out of me, regardless of my observing the phenomenon over the last thirty years, that people will travel hundreds or thousands of miles to protest other people's enjoyments.

    In my day, such protestors were welcomed and fed--with knuckle sandwiches.

    :), Art
  9. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

    Wish I lived in Oregon and owned property. I'd tell them to have the hunt at my place. I could ask the protestors if they felt strongly enough about to trespass on private land.

    Well, they certainly looked like rabbits to me.
  10. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    Ever wonder why this never seems to happen down south?
  11. MeekandMild

    MeekandMild Well-Known Member


    The proper name for them is PETAphiles. As in pedophiles except they have a perverted love for PETA. ;)
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Well-Known Member

    A pet store owner was amused when a little girl entered his shop and asked him if he had any "wabbits" for sale.

    He asked the little girl, did she want a cute white bunny-wunny or a fluffy black wabbit?

    She answered, "It doesn't matter, my python likes them both." :D
  13. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    The sad thing is that one cannot be a full-fledged believer in the ideas of a group like PETA without being very ignorant of biology and very immature in one's view of the world. It is worse that those who pay attention to them--on political issues, particularly--give heed, "Because they vote."

    I don't know if the penchant on the part of today's politicos to stand on their own hind legs and say, "Ma'am, you are wrong!" stems from ignorance or cowardice.

  14. ahenry

    ahenry Well-Known Member


    HAHAHAHA, That's the way us Texans have felt for a looong time ('cept we call 'em all "ferners"). Welcome to the club, it never gets any better. :(

    Said only slightly in jest
  15. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    ahenry, what's odd about the politics of Texas is that the Republican/conservative voting strength has increased with the influx of "ferners", ever since the Rustbelt exodus of the 1970s. Go figure.

    Dunno were you around when Sissy Farenthold ran for Gubner against Dolph Briscoe, with the Creekmore Fath et al crowd of supporters. Ralph Yarborough was a US Rep and Molly Ivins was a Young Thing. Compared to that bunch, Ann Richards was a Reaganite...

    Even today, Lloyd Doggett is a home-grown product. :(

  16. Thats what happened to Washington State during the mid to late 1980's.

    Back about '85, the liberals were contained in Seattle. The rest of Western Washington was Blue Collar Reagan Democrat with a solid GOP base in the Bellevue - Redmond area across Lake Washington from Seattle.

    Since the Californians moved here enmasse during the late 80's, the liberals have become the voting majority of Western Washington.

    Urbans sprawl and liberal politics... We have been Californicated!
  17. DadOfThree

    DadOfThree Well-Known Member

    I say let natural selection take it's course. :D
    She could have asked "Which one tastes better?
  18. ahenry

    ahenry Well-Known Member


    Nothing against “older†folks, but my personal thought on this issue is that as “older†folks have become less and less of a voting segment (due to natural causes) the political trend has become more republican. In other words, while I am sure a lot of “ferners†come to Texas because of its conservative image, I don’t consider the republican trend to be due solely to these “fernersâ€. For instance, in my extended family we have several democrat voters and they are all from the WWII generation. Ironically, not one of these democrat voters is actually liberal in mindset. If you discuss a particular issue with them in a non republican vs. democrat manner, and just get their opinion on the issue, they all actually think very conservatively. I’ve never really been able to explain it, but my best guess is a hold over from the way the parties used to be. When the two party’s more or less swapped philosophies on gov’t I think some people never really clued in. At least thats the best answer I have.

    Molly Ivins was a young thing? I thought she was born old. I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with her politics, but she sure is funny to read.
  19. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    I haven't checked the U.S. Census site for it, but I'd bet that there's a lot more old folks in Texas than you might think.

    The conservative/rightward/Republican shift in voting patterns began with the influx of folks running from the rustbelt to the sunbelt. And, with the influx of retirees who first came as "snowbirds" and who then made the move permanent.

    I met Molly when she and Kaye Northcutt were the "main men" at the Texas Observer. I think Jim Hightower had taken over from Ronnie Dugger, about that time. Kaye was sort of a grim little thing, although not all the time. Molly's been a hell-raiser, all her life. (I think she was raised somewhere around the Big Spring area.) They were two of the best investigative reporters who ever made legislators nervous.

    One of my more favorite stories is of the KKK rally at the Capitol, a few years back. Molly drove; from the passenger window, Steve Fromholz mooned the KKKers. Somebody asked an Austin cop why no arrest was made; didn't they know the perp? "Aw, naw, nobody could spell Fromholz." Molly's a hoot to party with--and poltics or no, very bright.

    :), Art
  20. ahenry

    ahenry Well-Known Member

    You might be right. I’m just basing my opinion on my relatives. All I can tell you is that I have more than a few that are conservative minded, but vote democrat. Since I know some of them maintained the same political view, but changed parties way back when, when they considered the party views to have changed, I’ve just sorta thought that that was a significant part of the reason Texas has been shifting republican. It’s always been conservative, just not always republican. I can’t give you any hard numbers, and I realize I’m basing an opinion of an entire segment of Texas’ population on my relatives, which isn’t exactly accurate. Just personal anecdotal evidence to support my pet theory.

    I’m not surprised. Anybody that says villages are missing their idiots when the Texas legislature is in session has to be a blast to visit with. I’m still glad she got banned from the A&M campus though. :D

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