April 13, 2008

NRA's Misplaced Hysteria on Colorado Hunting Regs

The National Rifle Association does a pretty good job reminding politicians that the Second Amendment is part of the Constitution. (That's why I am a member, like my daddy before me.)

By contrast, the NRA trips over its boot laces when it tries to get involved in Colorado public lands and wildlife-management issues.

In the April 2008 issue of its magazine American Hunter, Darren LaSorte, NRA-ILA manager of hunting policy, waxes hysterical about the Colorado Wildlife Commission's decision to prohibit black-powder hunters from using rifles with the CVA Electra built-in electronic ignition system.

Why, this single decision is solely responsible for any drop in the percentage of Coloradans who hunt, rants LaSorte from his northern Virginia office.

Evidently Darren LaSorte does not understand the concept of a primitive weapons hunting season.

Archers hunting big game need to be quiet, careful of the wind, and take shots typically from inside 30 yards' range. The difficulty of doing that successfully is one reason why they are given a four-week season, late August to late September.

Meanwhile, hunters with black-power muzzleloading rifles get only eight days (longer on the prairie). In exchange for getting their slice of September--when the elk rut is still in progress--they accept certain limitations. Essentially, their technology is frozen at about 1850 levels: a single-shot rife, no telescopic sights or laser sights, no two-piece sabot bullets, no pre-formed powder pellets, no breach-loading rifles.

But there are always people who want to push the regulatory envelope, and LaSorte supports them, I suppose largely because they might buy ads in his magazine.

Likewise, the NRA's misinformed clamor over roadless areas might just be connected to the large number of advertising pages purchased by ATV manufacturers. Like we should let Kawasaki dictate America's public-lands management.

These are the problems you see when a very top-down organization tries to jump into local issues where it has little knowledge on the ground.

Groups such as Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, the Colorado Wildlife Federation, or the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership have much more credibility in wildlife-management issues.


mdmnm said...

Like you, I'm a member, though I get the Rifleman and not the Hunter. Like you, the NRA's stance on the road issue bugs the heck out of me. I also find it hard to fault Colorado for prohibiting primitive season use of an electric ignition muzzleloader, which must be three words that were never meant to go together, never mind a device the longhunters and mountain men would have likely laughed at, what with the numerous sources for spare batteries on the frontier. What a strange issue for the NRA to even care about.

Chas S. Clifton said...

I can only guess that this protest is all about keeping Connecticut Valley Arms happy as an advertiser.

"See, we are doing everything we can to help you sell your product!"

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

I say leave game control to the wolves and the cougars.

Chas S. Clifton said...

But some of us like to eat the game. You might say it controls us. As Gary Snyder wrote in his poem "Long Hair,"

Hunting Season:

Once every year, the Deer catch human beings. They
do various things which irresistibly draw men near them;
each one selects a certain man. The Deer shoots the man,
who is then compelled to skin it and carry its meat home
and eat it. Then the deer is inside the man. He waits and
hides in there, but the man doesn't know it. When
enough Deer have occupied enough men, they will strike all
at once. The men who don't have Deer in them will
also be taken by surprise, and everything will change some.
This is called "takeover from inside".

(The line breaks are probably all awry in this little box.)

mdmnm said...

Re: CVA, likely. I've noticed a decline, in the last few years, of the Rifleman's previously excellent and exacting technical reviews, which would also occasionally close with something along the lines of "as an expensive, heavy pistol not really suited for competitive shooting and not chambered in a particularly useful hunting round, we have to wonder at the market for this boomstick". Now, everything reviewed seems to be always good, and useful.

Re: Synder's Poem- bravo!