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Nugent Takes P&Y To Task

Spirit of Wild star says stance fragments hunting brotherhood

By: Mike Suchan, OutdoorChannel.com

The Pope & Young Club released it official position statement this week on fair chase and canned hunting, condemning such practices. We asked Ted Nugent of Spirit of the Wild questions pertaining to the move. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: Can you speak of the relevance of Pope & Young’s recent condemnation of the captive cervid industry?

A: “Though I have many diehard dedicated bowhunting friends who have been active members in the Pope & Young Club since its inception whom I deeply respect, and I also admire the many P&Y members who live the bowhunting lifestyle with all their heart and soul, I’m afraid this is yet another example of some very unsophisticated elitist “leaders” in the organization making a foolish and backward thinking decision.

“Clearly the tail wags the dog here. The raising and breeding of cervids is the fastest growing segment of the agriculture industry in North America, driven by good families who are fascinated by and have deep reverence for the deer species that bring so many of us a higher quality of life. To find fault with, much less condemn this industry, is truly bizarre. Sadly, P&Y is the same organization that doesn't acknowledge or respect a legal trophy kill if the hunter uses a lighted nock. This is strange, strange thinking. I read the official P&Y statement on this issue and it can best be described as ignorant and absurd. I have hunted pretty much under every imaginable hunting experience, terrain and conditions the world has to offer, and their blanket statements about “ethics” and “fair chase” in high fence operations are utterly false and presumptuous at best. It greatly saddens me that the good members of P&Y are so poorly represented in this instance.

“Fortunately, they have very little if any sway in real world wildlife management decisions or any influence whatsoever on the vast majority of hunting families in America.”

Q: With reports showing direct links of disease at deer breeders’ facilities, what steps should be taken to protect our deer herds?

A: “This too is an absurd notion, when in fact the confirmed incidents of disease on deer breeding operations isn't but a minute fraction of the numbers found in the wild, particularly in the CWD original hot zone of NW CO & SE WY, the original outbreak a direct result of bureaucrat's irresponsible experimentation with scrapies intentionally injected into mule deer that eventually escaped the ineptly "secured" test area. The fact is that all scientific studies show that the deer breeders are the victims of failed state game agencies mishandling of bovine TB, CWD, EHD and other real world cervid diseases, not the perpetrators. How this can be so dishonestly turned around is yet another manifestation of manipulated politics spitting in the face of science. How can anyone ignore the scourge of EHD that has severely impacted deer herds across the country while falsely pointing the finger at breeders? Somebody better get the truth police involved here.”

Q: Do you have any other thoughts on this issue that you would like brought to the forefront?

A: “I write a weekly blog at deeranddeerhunting.com based on a gungho, hardcore dedicated 65-year deer hunting life. I communicate with the world's most respected wildlife and deer authorities like Dr. James Kroll, Richard P. Smith, Charles Alsheimer, John Ozaga and other real world hands-on deer masters. I am saddened to see such intentional class warfare further fragmenting our hunting brotherhood. That anyone would presume that high-fence hunting equals put and take or unfair conditions is simply absurd. The easiest deer I've ever killed were free range in IL, MI, MT, CA, TX and elsewhere. With long running accurate records to prove it, the most difficult deer I have ever hunted were in high-fence operations with real world escape habitat. Why someone would think otherwise and viciously condemn other's choices is inexcusable and downright unAmerican.

“If P&Y or other organizations wish to exclude from their record books game hunted with lighted nocks, or with a watch taped to a bowlimb, or killed in a high-fence operation, that is surely their prerogative. But to viciously condemn such choices as unethical is just plain wrong. The hundreds of thousands of American families that hunt high fence operations are good, decent, ethical, legal, fair chase hunters. Case closed.”

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