Yesterday at the Capital

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katqanna

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I just got an email from Joe Perry, of the MSA, this afternoon. I called and asked if he was going to post it here. He gave permission for me to post it for him. They have been very busy at the legislature helping to defend sportsmens issues. But heres the rub...

Morning All,

Yesterday was another trying day. I have struggled with getting specific about some of our problems with other organizations. After some consultation, I decided to call a spade a spade. You folks will never know if someone doesn’t tell you. Some things you can only dance around so long. So, no dancing on this one. If changes are to be made, it will take an active role by all of you!


Kurt Alt, Sam Milodragovich, John Borgreen, Debby Perry, and Joe Perry (all MSA) were all in Helena yesterday, joining George Golie, Nick Gevock, Jerry Davis, and Amy Seaman, our normal allies. We testified in 3 committees at once. I hope Kurt, Sam, and John will report on their day. They were on fencing HB 557 Bill Harris, reclassifying critters (Fielder) SB 334, and recognizing non-residents for their financial contributions while ignoring resident contributions (MOGA) SB 333, Sen. Jedidiah Hinkle.
Deb, George and I were in Senate F&G for Sen. Blasdel’s Apprentice Hunter bill, SB 395. The bill once again mandates giving a permit to folks 10 and older to hunt without taking Hunters Ed.

This is the survey whose results prove Montanan’s are opposed to this concept.
It also mandates some youth seasons, taking authority from the FWP commission.

Proponents were MOGA, Rocky Mtn Elk Foundation, WSF, Sportsmen for F&W, SCI, NRA, *Mont Shooting Sports Assn*, Flathead Wildlife? (Warren Illi without authorization), and many others. MWF and MSA testified against. These organizations profess to represent Montana Sportsmen….I beg to differ. They also obviously think it unimportant to work with our groups. They most certainly don’t value our Hunter Ed instructors and the program! MWA did not testify against us on this one but have done so a number of times; their legislative crew and board needs to pay attention.

This is the 2nd time RMEF has weighed in against us on legislation this session. They are supporting SB 245 by Sen. Doug Kary… [email protected] on a Paul Ellis bill, now in House F&G, to allow late season hunts for outfitter relief even though they don’t have skin in the game and they want us to pay all bills. Next step, mandating. VP Blake Henning <[email protected]> is the man to talk with at RMEF. Also ask him about policy on transferrable tags (ranching for rich guys) and the leasing of 7 million acres in E. Montana by outfitters. Is RMEF pushing that direction?? In my opinion, RMEF has been a wonderful partner on many issues since Randy Newberg came on board, including the Fed Lands debacle, but testifying at the request of MOGA or a Senator who does absolutely nothing for wildlife without any dialog with sister conservation groups is shaky policy. Partnering against MWF, MSA, PLWA, LRGC, RFWA, CSA, etc. is perplexing at best. Wonder what Charlie Decker would think?

While we hear a lot from our Hunter Safety Instructors on their opposition, only one was in attendance (Mac Minard, MOGA) and he testified in favor. I have testified on these bills for 3 sessions. There is rarely a HS instructor in attendance. Disappointing at best. For you Hunter Ed. instructors out there, we can not carry the ball for you on this. You will need to help in a big way/ that requires not only lobbying but testifying! Everyone, Look at the organizations supporting and let them know how you feel. Contact all your Senators and Reps, and Sen. Blasdel…[email protected] This bill will likely pass to the Senate Floor and if not stopped there, to House F&G.

For entertainment Brenden style, listen to the questions at the end of the Sen. F&G. hearing yesterday. ( http://montanalegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=53&clip_id=16640) He was so condescending and rude to George Golie as is his normal treatment of sportsmen! George handled it well but it is embarrassing to have a committee chair who treats Montana citizens like this. He is a true sportsmen hater and a real embarrassment to his party and to this state! Remember these folks when you vote….only time you have a real voice!!!

And for the FWP Dept., you folks need to question who comes to your rescue all the time and who is in Helena during sessions and commission meetings. Bite the hand that feeds you? Certainly some of you folks who badmouth us behind our backs, try visiting with us directly. Your lack of support on some of these bills is irritating at best! We’d rather have really bad bills come forward to get whipped then have you amend and then testify against us!

A disappointing day on several fronts.

Joe
 

Eric Albus

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Joe, why don't you call Charlie Decker and ask him yourself....then report back.

As to the hunter apprentice bill.....there is no "doing away w/ hunters safety requirements"... I missed out on years of hunting w/ my sons on account of not having an apprentice license....years I will never get back....thanks to short sighted fear mongering tactics. Other states are allowing kids under 12 to hunt, and I hear no great clamor to do away w/ "mentored hunting"...and have heard of no great abuses.....sounds to me like sour grapes on MSA, MWF, that they are finally not getting their way w/ RMEF, Mt F&G....

Late season cow hunts are proven to work in other states, yet you and your crew try to make it a landowner/outfitter issue. The late season cow hunts (at last tally) will open over 1 MILLION acres. What have your or your groups done to open more access?
Most Montana sportsmen I talk w/ would rather have access to hunt a cow in late season than no access at all.
 

tjones

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Joe, why don't you call Charlie Decker and ask him yourself....then report back.

As to the hunter apprentice bill.....there is no "doing away w/ hunters safety requirements"... I missed out on years of hunting w/ my sons on account of not having an apprentice license....years I will never get back....thanks to short sighted fear mongering tactics. Other states are allowing kids under 12 to hunt, and I hear no great clamor to do away w/ "mentored hunting"...and have heard of no great abuses.....sounds to me like sour grapes on MSA, MWF, that they are finally not getting their way w/ RMEF, Mt F&G....

.


Apparently you didn't hear about the youth shoot out and abuse here in the Bitterroot in 2013. Landowners closed land and pulled BM because of it. All mentors are not good mentors. Google it.

You didn't "miss out" on anything more then all previous generations of Montana folks "missed out" on by waiting till kids are 12. Its worked this long.

Just because "other states do it" doesn't make it right for Montana, but then as an outfitter I can see why you would support it.
 

Straight Arrow

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Why don't we just do away with the waste-of-time Montana Hunter Education program for new hunters in this state then and just let the "mentors" teach them the ropes? After all, the twelve year old hunters are more mature than ten year old hunters, who according to you, do not need any hunting or safety education ... other than your wise advice and accompaniment in the field.
Heck, why have any rules, regulations, or related training at all? Just let the good ol' boys (some of whom are real slob hunters who are creating more and more anti-hunters) "mentor" kids of any age to hunt like they do? Let's just pass on the "hunting heritage" word-of-mouth ... kind of like a dirty joke.
 

double_a85

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So you didn't take your sons into the field just because they couldn't pull the trigger?

Exactly- I was out hunting with my family well before I was 12. I think I was able to learn so much more about the outdoors and hunting by not carrying a gun.

My friend takes his 6 year old out hunting with him--- says since he has done that he hasn't got close to an elk bow hunting.... but has never had more fun in the field--- even if he is out there with "the band" as he calls it.
 

Greenhorn

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I missed out on years of hunting w/ my sons on account of not having an apprentice license....years I will never get back....

You shoulda spent less time with team realtree during the fall. Maybe there's hope yet for your family hunts if you can get that special late cow hunt.
 

Straight Arrow

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My son, whose license plate now reads "HNT MAX", began hunting with me when he was six yrs old. Initially he chased rabbits with rocks, then with BB gun, then with 22 and evolved into an ethical and highly successful hunter. Our times together hiking, hunting, learning together during Hunter Ed classes ... and now in the field with his six yr old son have been and are still so very precious and meaningful. We did not need a "hunter apprentice" state law to make that happen.
 

James Riley

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Just let the good ol' boys (some of whom are real slob hunters who are creating more and more anti-hunters) "mentor" kids of any age to hunt like they do? Let's just pass on the "hunting heritage" word-of-mouth ... kind of like a dirty joke.

Truer words were never spoken.

Of course, many to the far side specifically hate the idea of public education for that very reason: "Don't want the damn guvmn't teachin' ma boy how stoopid I is. Pappy done it thisa way and so don't I. I swears, if ma boy comes home and rolls my socks in an argument at the dinner table there will be hell to pay!" :D

Seriously though, a little exposure to another's ethics from outside the fold can open a mind and protect the hunt. Generational socialization can compound just like interest: to the positive or the negative. Some folks are quick to want compounding $ interest for their kids, but personal growth, not so much.
 
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BuzzH

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Eric,

A couple comments:

1. You make me appreciate my parents and grandparents, sure glad they didn't leave me at home when they went hunting before I turned 12.

2. The FWP already has a mechanism in place to conduct late hunts, you know this, but ignore it.

3. Montana isn't "other states" this dumb mentor idea has been killed in the past, and needs to be done away with again.

Finally, thank you MSA and MWF for maintaining common sense in Montana.

Reminds me, I need to send another check to MSA...
 

RobG

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I missed out on years of hunting w/ my sons on account of not having an apprentice license....years I will never get back....thanks to short sighted fear mongering tactics.

Eric, just when I think you can't write anything more stupid you write this. My son has been going out with me since age 9 and has done everything but pull the trigger. This year is the year he finally gets to pull the trigger and it is made even more sweet by the fact that he had to wait.
 

roadhunter

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MinnesotaHunter

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Eric, just when I think you can't write anything more stupid you write this. My son has been going out with me since age 9 and has done everything but pull the trigger. This year is the year he finally gets to pull the trigger and it is made even more sweet by the fact that he had to wait.

Truth....
 

Big Fin

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I got in late last night and I was copied on Joe's email. Now, I see the same crap posted here, with Joe's approval. To preface what I am about to write, I want everyone to understand that this is me talking as an individual, not in any official role or position I hold anywhere else.

The email that started this post, and possibly the original post herein, were not provided to talk about the Hunter Apprentice bill. From my perspective, the email comes across as a personal attack on some very good people and based on frustration that some are not getting their way with every bill in the legislature.

There seems to be a growing problem with some people understanding that organizations can represent the interest of their membership and at times end up on different sides of certain issues. For some, that evidently requires personal attacks, innuendo, and the kind of BS that is included in Joe's email; an email that he wanted to go viral and now it has. Joe has sent other emails similar to this one over the last month, asking that they go viral. I tired of them and asked to be taken off the list.

For Joe to use Blake Henning as some sort of whipping post to air out his dirty laundry is third-grade level. No other way to put it. Least Joe could have done is sent the email to Blake. To make it sound like Blake is somehow supporting landowner tags and encouraging leasing is completely false.

I've known Blake for more years than I have known Joe. Blake is one of the most decent, respectful, professional people you will ever encounter. He is trained in wildlife science (Masters Degree if I recall correctly). He is a straight shooter. Hunters are lucky to have a guy like Blake Henning speaking on their behalf, not just in state legislatures, but in DC. Blake is representing a different group that has different membership and different mission than the groups Joe claims he speaks for. Not every group marches in lockstep with the groups Joe claims to represent.

For Joe to make some innuendo that Blake is promoting landowner tags is huge betrayal of his position as Chairman of the PLPW. Betrayal enough that if I was Governor, Joe would no longer be a chair of the PLPW. Here is why.

In his role as PLPW Chairman, Joe asked PLPW members (Blake being a member) to provide some input on how HB 454 could be improved. HB 454 is a bill that MT has where landowners can get permits in exchange for public access. As of the time the PLPW took up the discussion, only one landowner was participating in 454, providing some obvious evidence that there was not enough in that bill to attract landowners.

I was one of the people Blake called for input on how HB 454 might be improved. Blake was concerned that any ideas to improve 454 might be seen as somehow promoting a Ranching For Wildlife perspective. Blake spent considerable time seeking opinions to help with what the Chairman of the PLPW asked of members.

Now, that same Chairman is using the work Blake did at his request, as a way to try lessen Blake's credibility. That is a joke. It makes the entire PLPW process a joke.

And for Joe to then give Kat permission to air his dirty laundry on this forum, is another notch lower. Joe just got my email stating such.

As for the groups Joe says he represents, many of whom read threads on this forum, you can take me off your email chains. I don't need to be copied on any more emails from MWF, MSA, or other groups who Joe claims he speaks for. Spare me any phone calls or other requests. Go start your own forum if this is the kind of response you provide whenever someone has a different opinion than you do.

I appreciate the passion and commitment of volunteers who go and fight for what they believe. Yet, when passion becomes emotion and personal attacks, the credibility is gone. That is what this email is, emotion. That is what many of the viral emails of the past month have been.

The pettiness of this stuff would be laughable, if it were no so damaging. Adolescent is too mature of a word to describe this type of behavior.

If some people want to make the world so small that the future of hunting lives and dies on the two bills that Joe is so pissed about, then they have a much different view of the hunting world than I do. They have a much different approach as to how hunters can interact. Evidently I have a different perspective, one where we can disagree yet still work toward the much larger common goals.

If people want to pile on Blake, or others who are representing their memberships, then expect me to be on the opposite side of your position. We can have differences of opinion without this kind of crap. Or, at least I thought we could.

If we can’t have differences on some bills, then count me out of that witch hunting, also. I’ve been on the receiving end of the witch hunt by some of the same folks who were upset that I opposed I-161, the ballot initiative that raised prices on NRs and removed the outfitter set aside licenses. For me to have a different perspective and a different opinion was grounds for personal attacks. Fortunately many others were able to see it as a difference of perspective, not a personal issue.

Kat, when anyone asks you to come and swing their hatchet on this website, you might want to do a bit of your own fact checking. To take the spoon feeding that is represented in that email, much of which is flat out untrue, and post it as some sort of fact does not lend itself to a high level of credibility.

And for those who want to use this forum to air dirty laundry, take it elsewhere. The challenges facing hunters are so much bigger than the two issues that are being used as the litmus test by Joe, MWF, and MSA.

This thread is now locked. If folks want to discuss the two bills in question, start a new thread and keep to the facts and issues.
 

Big Fin

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Joe Perry sent me this email earlier today, which is an email he sent to those he was apologizing to for his comments that started this thread. When he sent it to me, he asked that I post it to this thread. So, for that, I have opened the thread for this one post to honor his request.

No need to dwell any longer on this event. It's a bump in the road. Publicly apologizing is a difficult thing to do. Anyone who hasn't stepped in it a time or two probably isn't in the battle. If it's any consolation, I've got plenty of knots on my noggin for the times I've stepped in it.

Time to move forward, Joe. Thanks for the work you do.

To all the folks I have offended:

As I was reflecting after several admonishments, I admit that I made some mistakes and I apologize. I broke my own rules and let emotion overrun my objectivity regarding issues, and as Randy mentioned, perhaps that has been coming for some time. I spend a huge amount of my time on sportsmen/sportswomen issues, and I am constantly working and talking with many individuals and groups. As an advocate, I often get unbearably frustrated.
I truly realize that timely dialog between conservation groups is more critical today than it has ever been and that, painful as it might be, dialog must include those with whom we are not in total agreement. Although we may differ on issues, we share a great deal in common. As Mr. Allen pointed out, the threats from outside are real. Stress and frustration is no excuse. I am a big boy and know better.

First, let me say that I was speaking only for myself…definitely not MSA or MWF. When I provide testimony, I try to be very clear who I am representing. I also realize that my connection with both organizations reflects on both. To both organizations, I am sorry I have caused you so much grief. Both are such wonderful organizations, do so many positive things, and represent a ton of sportsmen. While these two groups share some board members and are often aligned in their positions, they are independent and there are huge differences between them! I hope everyone can give credit to these organizations for all they do. Please, do not blame either for any of my missteps.

I could go into detail about what I said and folks’ interpretation of statements made, but it wouldn’t serve any useful purpose. Rest assured I have gone thru all in detail and I clearly owe a number of apologies. To all of you, I am truly sorry I have stepped over that edge between responsible passionate advocacy and fell victim to emotion.

Blake, I apologize: I am sorry for any grief I have caused you or RMEF and any negative statements made. RMEF has been so good on so many fronts. Dialog is tough but necessary on both ends. I hope you’ll accept this apology and we can move forward. I know you are a good man.

Randy, I apologize to you too - for all the same reasons above. I hope we also can move forward.

I arrived on this earth with a fiery passion which is a good thing when expressed appropriately. Regrettably, I was never blessed with enough patience or tolerance, but I will do better! I will continue to fight for proper management of Montana’s amazing wildlife resources, the habitat needed to sustain them, and the public’s diverse opportunities to enjoy them. I hope you can all accept my apologies and move forward in our endeavors to do just that, TOGETHER. As JW Westman says, “ISSUES DIVIDE US, VALUES UNITE US”.
Sincerely,

Joe L. Perry
 
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