Rule 4

Fellow scribe J.R. Absher has a link to a story on his Outdoor Pressroom website that says at the halfway point of the Colorado elk season 11 moose have been mistakenly shot for elk. Wildlife officials are warning hunters, “if in doubt, don’t pull that trigger.” The story further states that last year 14 moose were killed by elk hunters. My initial reaction was WTsomething or other?

Within the story is a statement that low-light conditions, a long-range or incomplete view of the animal and poor judgment by the hunter are the typical factors leading to these illegal shootings.

I remain incredulous. Anybody remember Rule 4? For those of a forgetful nature it states, “Be sure of your target and what’s behind it.” These are rules, not guidelines. Most of us know, understand and accept the responsibility of gun ownership. Too many do not, and it is their carelessness that gives the rest of us a black eye.

Frankly, any moron who cannot tell the difference between an elk and a moose doesn’t belong in the backcountry. And that also goes for those who refuse to take the time necessary to ensure they know what their target is and what’s behind it.

I’ll bet a dollar against a donut that virtually all of these idiots who were cited for illegal moose kills are laughing it off. “Yeah, I knocked off a moose by mistake and got caught. Gonna cost me a few bucks, but oh well…” What ever happened to shame? Have we as a people devolved to the point that we let the government cover that as well? If so, these sorry folks deserve to have their hunting privileges taken away for at least five years—10 would be better. Maybe that’s enough pain to get their attention and upgrade their judgment.

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1 Response to Rule 4

Rich wrote:
November 10, 2011

Not really all that hard to believe. The cable programs are drawing many neo-hunters into the wilderness, or into the outdoors for the first time. As a simple example I offer this....out crabbing in the back bays of New Jersey a first timer asked me what was the difference between the beautiful blue-green blue claw he had just landed, "and those red ones".