Thursday, November 10, 2011

Change is the Only Constant

Every year, in nearly every state, there are changes in laws and regulations that relate to hunting, and every year Whitetails Unlimited receives many inquiries as to what our position is regarding these changes.
For the most part the callers are disappointed, because the answer is pretty consistent: we don’t have a position. The callers are often frustrated with that answer, because they want Whitetails Unlimited to support their position. Lets face it –  having a national conservation organization in their corner would be a big stick to swing.
Now, there are pretty good reasons we don’t get involved in these types of issues, and it’s not because we are gutless, uninterested, in the pocket of the DNR, a particular political party, not real hunters, unethical, or have been paid off by one side or the other. (These are just some of the more recent accusations that I’ve heard – believe me, I’ve never had an envelope stuffed with cash slid under my desk!)
There are three basic reasons we don’t take positions on the myriad changes in laws and regulations that are proposed each year:
  1. We don’t know enough about each case, and we don’t have the resources available to properly evaluate the countless proposals and issues that arise throughout the U.S., each of which includes unique cultural, historical, legislative, regulatory and scientific components. The vast majority of these issues are best settled through the local and state regulatory and legislative process, which itself can vary from one area of the country to another.
  2. Our membership is spread across the nation, and when we come out with one stand on an issue, we are speaking as the voice of our entire membership. Should we poll our members on each issue and just mirror their voice, and would it need to be a simple majority, a majority of those responding, or some sort of supermajority to put the WTU stamp on an issue? The logistics of that would be a nightmare. Or to make it simple, should we just decide in the office, have a vote of the board of directors, or have one person in the headquarters decide? That would be pretty arrogant to impose that kind of opinion upon the WTU membership.
  3. Hunting traditions can change drastically from one area of the country to another, and what may be a blazing controversy in one place is old news in another. Hunters are convinced that they way they hunt is the “right” way to do it, but should everything be the same in Georgia as it is in Minnesota?
However, we do present information through our publications and web site on issues in an attempt to educate and inform our membership on issues facing the white-tailed deer and deer management, rather than advocating for a particular position. The next step is up to you. WTU strongly encourages individual members, outside of their membership in WTU, to become active in the political and regulatory process with issues that relate to hunting and conservation on the local, state and national levels.

No comments:

Post a Comment