Well, I'm glad that circus is over. I'd like to clarify really quick why I posted that.
1.) First and foremost, I'm a news junkie. I check the news 10 times a day from at least 5 sources. I saw a relevant major news story about hunting, so I shared it.
2.) I really couldn't care less who it was or his background, the only significance was a widely known and recognized person was charged with a hunting violation. I personally think it was bigger deal that our own director of fish and game was convicted of violations, but I could foresee a lot of attention coming to this case. I've been proven right, as this story has gone on to many major outlets, even Glenn Beck. Don't be tempted to get into a different argument about government, this was a hunting issue first, I think. It was an existing reg when he went into the field. Let's avoid the political discussion here.
3.) This drives home the point: There are more cameras, reporters, bloggers, activists and groups with agendas here than ever has been before. We're no longer the disconnected state that we once were. Publicity surrounding hunting issues used to only reach our state. That is absolutely no longer the case. Alaska news is big news now, particularly hot-issues, and our state is loaded with them. We shoot wolves, drill for oil, cut down trees, dig mines and exert significant political influence for our small population size. This naturally attracts the attention of the aforementioned groups. Everyone should be reminded that whatever you are, (hunter, subsistence fisher, sport fisher, anti-mining activist, Tea-Partier, serial killer, lost hiker, hunting violator, hunting protester, occupier, housewife, CEO, bushdweller, military transplant, church club, whatever...) the media eye is on us up here in a whole entire new way, specifically since 2008. The cameras are here, looking for footage, the 'new journalists' are here, trying to make a name for themselves and they know how to make a small story into a national one. Yikes.
4.) Our law enforcement and court system is also under a whole new level of media saturation. I have a lot of confidence that our LEO's are professional and outstanding, but anyone changes, at least a little bit, when they are in front of the camera. There are few things that unsettle me like the idea of law enforcement with 'what's good TV' in the back of their heads. Haven't yet had a bad experience because of that, but that doesn't mean it's not worth considering.
All of this creates my main intent and goal of the original post:
5.) ETHICS & PREPARATION. It was a very timely incident to remind us all to double down on our ethics and our preperation. We're all a week or so of from charging out of our snow lined driveways into the great outdoors to begin hunting, fishing and exploring. This is the perfect time to remember, 'If you get sloppy, it could happen to you'.
Everybody needs to read the regulations like a Pharisee, memorize every single word of your units regs and take two copies with you into the field. Shove the regs down your hunting partners throats, make sure they know it too. Prepare yourself to do the painfully ethical thing of walking away, or marking your tag and going home empty handed, whatever the case may be.
This applies to safety as well. As much as I hate headlines about people who are sloppy, uneducated and unprepared, I REALLY hate to see the headlines where those people end up dead or hypothermic.
Forget about Ted Nugent and his history. I'm challenging all of the members on this forum, on an individual level. Let's make sure we're not the ones in the headlines this year. Let's issue the same challenge to every other hunter/fisher/outdoorsman we know. Let's give the anti's nothing to use against us this season. Also, go vote.
God bless and happy trails this year! - highestview