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Trump Administration Hunting Rule Change: Making it Easier to Execute Alaska’s Bears in National Parks

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Trump Administration Hunting Rule Change: Making it Easier to Execute Alaska’s Bears in National Parks

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By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

While doing a troll through the excellent jurist.org website, I noticed the following hunting rule change,  US National Park Service removes prohibitions on hunting practices in Alaska :

The US National Park Service (NPS) published a new rule in the Federal Register on Tuesday that will remove certain prohibitions against hunting and trapping practices that are otherwise allowed by Alaska state law.

The NPS is removing paragraphs (f) and (g) of 36 C.F.R. § 13.42, which deal with the taking of wildlife in national preserves. While most of the methods prohibited by paragraph (g) were also prohibited by the State of Alaska, the NPS found that some conflicted with authorizations by the State of Alaska. Among other practices, hunters can take black bears with artificial light at den sites, take wolves and coyotes during denning season, and take swimming animals under the new rule.

The rule was originally published on May 22, 2018 for comments, and the comment period was open for 168 days. The NPS received approximately 211, 780 pieces of correspondence on the proposed rule. The NPS also consulted with the State of Alaska and Alaska Native tribes and corporations.

The new rule will take effect on July 9.

Now, I’m not a hunter, but the first thing that struck me. Are the now allowed practices fair?Sporting, even? It’s one thing to execute the animalls, but still…

To repeat: “Among other practices, hunters can take black bears with artificial light at den sites, take wolves and coyotes during denning season, and take swimming animals under the new rule.”

Hunting Issues

I grew up in a rural community, located sixty miles (and sixty years) from mid-town Manhattan. And not in a hunting family – although there was Uncle George. Who went to Alaska or Canada to snag bear. Closer to home, he sometimes shot with a bow and arrow. He occasionally gave us some venison. but my mother who, if truth be told, was never the best of cooks for food outside her comfort zone – just really didn’t know what to do with it.

My more immediate encounter with hunters – hoped fpr non-encounter, really, was the annual arrival of hunting season. We lived close to state game land.  And hunters came up from the city – not knowledgeable, nor skilled nor sporting, and often pretty well-lubed – to try their hand at kiilling local deer.

From my free-range childhood,I well rememeber the hunting season days. When Mom – and other responsible parents – locked us down. Because every once in a while, a local kid got shot. – at least every year or so. And killed even.

So. if you say hunting season to me, I still reflexively bristle.

Dick Worth

But to bristle is not to reject. I’ll telll you some other time how my fear of water has led me to become an avid diver,

Onto my main point. Now, I often found myself hanging around the high school at odd times, and as editor of the school newspaper, was often sniffing around for a story. So I got to know the staff pretty well. Including a senior janitor, Dick Worth. We became buddies. And discussed many things

And I decided I wanted to learn how to fire a gun. I thought that was something everyone should understand how to do. In case I ever had to. I didn’t want to find myself, at crecuh time saying, now how does this work?

And Dick was happy to take me out and teach me how to fire a rifle.

Something I continued to pursue casually while an MIT undergraduate. MIT requires all its undergraduates to complete four athletics units – or at least did while I was a student.  As well as pass a swim test to earn a degree. In fact, IIRC, the then-captain of the water polo team refused to take the test, even though a member of the dean’s staff begged him to. She begged; he refused. Not entirely sure how that one worked out.

If one wanted to sign up for sailing lessons or ballroom dancing – this after all, was MIT – one had to get in line early. And I was a typical lazy teenager and valued my sleep. As for rifle clasees or pistol, one could sign up later, So I did both. And I have good eyesight – even better then – so I was good enough to be asked to try out for the teams. That was more of an honor than you might think, because at that time, we typically placed top-5 in national contests (and that included the military academies).

Hunting and Hyprocisy

I eat meat, but I don’t want direct responsibility for killing animals.

Which may speak to a certain hypocrisy.

If so, I stand convicted.

Never joined either the MIT pistol or rifle teams, Nor did I ever take a shot at Bambi or any  other living creature.

And I haven’t fired a gun now in at least forty years.

That said, I still question how sporting it is to kill denning or swimming animals.

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