December 4, 2022

Black Bear Blog – Year In Review

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Isn’t this what all media outlets do is take a look back at the year we are soon to leave behind for another new one just ahead? I began looking at some stories last night and soon realized that my task ahead would be too time-consuming. Instead of trying to find what might be considered the top stories of the year, I decided to just pick a few things that kind of stuck with me over the year.

Let’s look at the funny, the bizarre and the outrageous first. Something I did just recently that was quite enjoyable, was to list 20 things that I find offensive. This of course was in response to a proposed bill that would require hunters to cover up their deer out of fear it might offend someone.

Who can forget the silly nonsense of “Rapid Honk“? Honk those deer right out of your way. And if you don’t want to avoid running into a deer maybe you could learn to smuggle exotic animals into this country by stuffing monkeys down your pants.

On the National scene, “Duck” Cheney was tarred and feathered for shooting his hunting partner but the funniest part of the whole incident was when he invited Helen Thomas, the cantankerous, old, Bush-hating, White House correspondent, to go hunting with him.

The legend will live on in the form of “Maine’s Mystery Beast“.

The one story, that really wasn’t my story, was the bear in the cornfield story. I had just returned from my Maine hunting trip and I found some photos in my email box of the bear that got trapped under the tire of combine. I threw the photos up on the site and asked readers if they knew anything about it. It became a snowballing Internet fiasco.

Going along with simple photos and short stories was the one of the guy from Idaho who went polar bear hunting and shot a half polar bear half grizzly. The antis wanted the man shot on sight but when it was all said and done, no charges were filed and he got to keep his bear.

Probably the one story that got the most of my attention was the Rex Rammell escaped elk story which has now blossomed into a lobbying effort to put all elk farmers in Idaho out of business. This story went far beyond hunting, ethics and the fear of spreading of diseases. It has become anti-American and a case of government control taking away the individual rights of its people. Stay tuned. This isn’t over yet.

In Oregon, the highly debated Cougar Management Plan got approval, Wyoming is still tied up in court over a plan to manage its wolf packs and the hunters are mad at the Pennsylvania Game Commission for allowing too many deer to be killed off.

New Jersey led the way for the most brazen, outright state sponsored anti-hunting attack by shutting down a court approved bear hunting season. Governor Corzine promised during his campaign that he would shut down the bear hunt and his puppet leader of the Department of Environmental Protection did just as he asked. The case will be heard later this year sometime in the New Jersey Supreme Court.

In Arizona, illegal immigrants are destroying wildlife habitat and the so-called animal rights groups and conservationists are nowhere to be found. In Colorado, the Rocky Mountain National Park has too many elk and they are going to spend millions of dollars to slaughter the animals when hunters would do it and the Park could make money.

Several states passed gun rights laws. The one that got the most attention was one called the “Castle Doctrine“, which basically says you don’t have to run out the back door when someone breaks into your home. Another that got some serious attention happened as a result of hurricane Katrina. Police officials under the order of Mayor Ray Nagin, began systematically confiscating the guns of lawful citizens in the city.

One of the most time consuming and in depth stories I did this year was interviewing Maine’s candidates for governor. I asked three candidates six questions that would concern hunters, fishermen as well as outdoor enthusiasts and gun owners. They sent me back their responses and I posted them and analyzed them.

I know I have passed over tons of stories that were of interest to a lot of my readers but these were the ones that stuck with me. It has been a great year. I have grown and the Black Bear Blog has grown. I have met a lot of people and through cyberspace have reached many readers who share much of the same interests. I have also run into some opposition and have been called some pretty nasty names but I guess that’s what goes with the job. I have never asked anyone not to disagree with me, I just don’t like personal insults.

I now look forward to 2007. I have no idea where this path will lead, who I will meet and what stories will transpire. My only hope and dream is that through bringing information to the readers, I can better inform, educate and instill a sense of pride in our heritage of hunting that will preserve it for the future.

Tom Remington