I’m about brain dead at this point. After a crazy day at work I fought the rush hour traffic to get out to the Graham NC Courthouse for the public meeting on the wildlife proposals. Many of them I covered in previous posts, Fishing Proposed Changes, Turkey Proposed Changes, and Big Game Changes.
I took these photos just prior to the start of the meeting and it was a rather full house really once it started standing room only. I won’t go through everything at this point but just some highlights.
The first 30 minutes was taken up with another Sunday Hunting Proposal to allow Sunday Hunting on a limited number of Game Lands only. There is no additional information because if they decided to go with it the Wildlife Commission will have to decide which ones and how to go about doing it. Not knowing which game lands they my select you get into the issue of dog hunting, no specifics on whether it would be normal hours or start after church time, very ambiguous to say the least. With out going back and reviewing my notes I’d guess that more then 80% of the comments had little to do with the question they asked rather most of the comments were about the study and Sunday Hunting in general. I won’t say it was a waste of time but I doubt they got much useful relevant information for the specific question they asked. The other thing I gathered, not only at this meeting but it was certainly reinforced, is we as hunters are very divided on the topic of Sunday Hunting.
The split turkey season was not well received and it probably got the lion share of public comment over any of the other proposals. I will go into this in much more detail at a latter date but the motivation behind this is strictly political. Vice Chairman Steve Windom was not at this meeting but some folks made it perfectly clear that his involvement and pushing this issue for the third year in a row despite the opposition from the biologists, NWTF, and the general public was getting old. They asked by a show of hands who supported this proposal not a single hand was raised, then they asked for a show of hands who opposed it to raise their hands. I did not see a single individual other then wildlife staff who did not have their hands raised. The moderator said “about 95%” and I think he short changed us a bit.
After the meeting I talked with a NWTF representative who said that at the district 4 meeting on Monday there was not a single person who spoke in favor of the proposal. That’s the District that the hunters are supposedly asking for the early season. Seems funny that not a one stood up in that district to support it but then again Vice Chairman Steve Windom wasn’t at that meeting either.
It is going to take me a few days to work through all the details I got and I’ll make additional posts. Anyone that attended I’d be interested to hear your comments on the meeting.