September 20, 2020

Jim Beers’ Rebuttal: Why Recruit Hunters?

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*Editor’s Note* This information has been provided by Jim Beers.

The following letter to the editor by a reader of the St. Pail Pioneer Press poses a question well worth considering and answering. What follows his letter is a letter I submitted to the St. Paul Paper in response. Since such letters require brevity, please forgive my less than comprehensive treatment of this matter. Jim Beers 14 Oct.

*Note* – Not fully knowing the copyright infringement rules of the Pioneer Press, I opted instead to provide just a link back to the original Letter to the Editor.

A SELECTIVE SERVICE FOR HUNTERS?

Recently a reader challenged DNR Commissioner Landwehr’s commitment to “recruit more hunters”. Although by reading between the lines I suspect the author is what might be termed an “anti-hunter”, I find myself (an avid hunter) in partial agreement with his position.

I disagree with his statement that, “If the DNR needs more money, just raise the subsidized fees on the current hunters”. In truth the DNR wildlife folks, like other state’s wildlife agencies, and unlike other state functions like Parks, are almost entirely supported by excise taxes on arms, ammunition, archery products, and fishing tackle/products (termed “user fees”) PLUS the license revenue from state licensing of hunters and fishermen. That the wildlife agencies get or require “subsidies” is due to all the non-revenue producing and mandated activities like wolves, songbirds, native species and other activities that appear as somehow worthy but are, in fact, intended to overwhelm and replace hunting and fishing management by state governments.

I do however agree with his incisive question that since “the state doesn’t recruit more golfers” etc., “Why do the fish and wildlife sectors of our economy need to be subsidized by the general population?” As he correctly observes, limits could be “increased” and fees could be “raised” although the latter, like raising taxes, would likely backfire and ultimately result in lower revenue as people adjust. Hunters and fishermen are free Americans, not pawns of the state.

The real answer to “why” is state bureaucrats’ pay, promotions, bonuses, retirement and growth. It is all the Ducks Unlimited’s and Pheasants Forever’s memberships and staff’s pay and benefits. It is the sporting’s goods dealers and their business. It is the federal bureaucrats and all the “strings” they have on state agencies that have made them little more than federal subcontractors. Finally, it is all those state and federal politicians and “wannnabee”-politicians that reap votes and support from unsuspecting hunters and fishermen as they pander to the illusion that catering to the anti-hunters and anti-fishermen is somehow good for hunters, fishermen and the cultural traditions and sport they so love.

Jim Beers
14 October 2013

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Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to: jimbeers7@comcast.net

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