Thursday, November 17, 2016

Day One on the Ducks for the 2016 Season

I've been feeling a little guilty as of late. Cutter has been sitting at home while I've been tromping around the hills looking for mule deer so I took him to the Lake Helena Wildlife Management Area for a walk to see if there were any birds in there. I saw plenty of ducks and geese on the lake but not a lot in the backwaters yet. The local birds are pretty smart and know where they are safe so we need the weather to bring some fresh birds in. We did get a few gadwall on one of the ponds. This is Cutter's first retrieve of the year.
I'm not really sure what to do with Gadwall. They are puddle ducks but get pretty gamey. Jill bought me a book on cooking waterfowl so I'm going to do some experimenting. I'll let you know how it turns out.
I've gone back and forth about this strategy on my blog of being safe and not alienating people for the good of my business but you know what, screw it. I've got something to say. Feel free to keep reading or just look at the pics and move on.
I feel like there is a lot of misinformation out there and to be real, just all-out lying from our politicians and our leaders and I think it's important to clear some of this up so that we can truly make informed decisions in future. I saw a couple adds from NRA's president, Wayne LaPierre last night that makes me sick because lies like these muddy the issues and keep many people from voting for who is in their best interest. In the adds he states emphatically that the Democrats want to take ALL of your guns away and that we need to keep fighting to stop this from happening. You have to ask yourself, why would he say such things because to be honest, many Democrats including myself, are sportsmen and women who own guns and none of us want to take your hunting guns away.
If I'm going to be completely honest, I think there are some weapons out there that are not for the general public. The vast majority of Americans agree with this and it is true that Dem's in general, want to make our streets and neighborhoods safer by removing some of these weapons. I support that. What I never heard however, is a Democrat wanting to take all your hunting guns and most believe that as long as it's done within the boundaries of the law, people can keep guns for their own protection, i.e. handguns. So why is LaPierre spreading these lies?
LaPierre is the president of an organization that brought in nearly $230 million in 2010 according to this Forbes article, He got paid almost a million to do that. His executive director of general operations was paid over a million and his executive director of lobbying efforts was paid $666,000, which is a little ironic; don't you think? (666?) The NRA also has almost 800 fulltime employees they have to pay as well. Where does this money come from? The biggest contributions come from memberships, which is also where the majority of the money they spend goes outside of their own salaries. Basically, the NRA is this perpetual machine that generates a ton of money by manipulating people so that they have the money to keep that machine turning and to keep paying their own salaries.
Here's how it works. The NRA spends almost $100 million on outreach, including mailings and 'educational' programs that are really meant to scare the bejesus out of people in order to get them on board with their 'mission'. They spend all this money to fuel a fire that intern, makes them more money to throw back into the machine. Of the nearly $230 million dollars, only about $10 million went the lobbying arm that would actual go in front of congress to fight for their mission, which is “To protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.”
I have never been an NRA member because when I was first introduced to them a couple decades ago, I got a weird feeling about just how radical of an organization it was and what they were saying just didn't sit right with me--it didn't pass the 'smell test'. I knew a lot of what they were saying was complete bullshit and I really felt that if they cared about protecting my rights, then they would be less divisive and would promote ideals that instead of inciting opposition, would bring leaders to the table to come up with real solutions that would protect us all. In essence, what the NRA has done is drawn a line in the sand where there is absolutely no room for compromise in order to build a platform that they now can use to scare people into feeding their machine. It has nothing to do with actually protecting anyone but their own self-interests, making the NRA a ton of money and in the end, you're rights are not being protected any more by the NRA than they are a heard of sheep. And that's what we've all become.
If sportsmen and women really want to protect their rights, they need to lead the efforts to protect all of our rights and keep all our people safe. I've said this before but I really believe we have an opportunity to protect our heritage and our way of life as hunters and fishermen and women by leading the charge to develop legislation that really protects our communities as well as preserving our rights to own guns that is based on fact and not fear. This doesn't happen by using scare tactics and drawing lines in the sand but by bringing leaders together and putting what truly is in all of our best interests on the table and going from there.
Keep 'em where they live...

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