A tip of the hat to "Newshound" J.R. Absher for an excellent blog entry, titled, "Sierra Club: We Support Hunting But ... ."
J.R. exposes the hypocrisy of an organization that increasingly tries to portray itself as pro-hunting yet pulls the rug out from under sportsmen at every opportunity.
The Sierra Club's latest anti-hunting campaign is in opposition to a proposal to expand bear hunting with hounds in California. From the Sierra Club press release:
“We strongly oppose uncontrolled hounding of bears, a practice which results in gruesome injuries to bears and dogs ... The use of dogs to hunt bears is the favored method of bear poachers.”
Is it just me or is the Sierra Club painting houndsmen and poachers with the same green brush?
Now, I'm an upland bird and duck hunter. I've never hunted with hounds, but I'll be darned if I'm going to condemn the man who has. And I know that if bear hunting with dogs is banned, bird hunting will be that much higher on the anti-hunting agenda.
Make no mistake: I consider the Sierra Club an anti-hunting group. Let's say I'm wrong, however, and the group really does support hunting, albeit conditionally. Maybe it really is just opposed to the use of hounds for bear hunting. Why, then, would the Sierra Club fight New Jersey's first bear hunt in five years? The Garden State has arguably the worst bear overpopulation in North America, and if the Sierra Club will oppose bear hunting there, it will oppose it anywhere.
The Sierra Club's positions in California and New Jersey defy the basic tenets of wildlife management. As J.R. writes:
The professional biologists with California Fish and Game correctly understand that the best and most effective method to control burgeoning bear numbers in the rugged California backcountry is pursuit with trained hounds by experienced hunters. In the vast Western landscapes, it’s simply not practical to hunt bears through drives or spot-and-stalk.
We’ll side with the professionals on this one.