To the Congressional members making life difficult for sportsmen (you know who you are), it seems that at the very least, you and I have a misunderstanding.
As a sportswoman who hunts and fishes on public lands, you have been relentless this week. You killed a fully funded bill (The Sportsman’s Act) that would have increased much needed access for hunters and anglers. You’ve supported cutting conservation funds. And then there was that threat to sell public lands all to fix a debt that is apparently so great that we must sell the very soul of our country to pay it.
Certainly, there are better ways?
Maybe it’s all that post-election pent-up partisanship, but suddenly you have become the Ghostbusters’ Stay-Puft Marshmalllow Man bent on destroying the city. Only in this version, you are still you and the city is my backyard—the places I love to hunt and fish.
I suppose you think I should feel grateful you have saved our country from “out-of-control spending.” But I don’t.
I can only reckon that the reason you work so hard against these things—these things I and millions of others so love—is because you have not experienced them.
Perhaps you don’t know what it’s like to stand in the middle of a river with a fresh-from-the-sea steelhead on your line, reel screaming, as you watch your entire fish-less week flash before your eyes and feel your stomach drop to your butt and utter a prayer… “Please, God let that knot be tight…”
Maybe you don’t know what it’s like to walk up on your dog that you trained with your very own hand as he stands at attention, tail feathers flapping in the wind as a pheasant comes screaming out of the brush, shooting like a missile into a cloudless sky.
Maybe you don’t know what it’s like to contemplate life—your very existence—on a cold rock overlooking a whole mess of mountains.
It’s really the only explanation I can come up with for you being able to tell me with a straight face that sportsmen don’t matter—that moments like these don’t matter—that my kids won’t be able to experience the same amazing wonder I have on our public lands.
Like I said, perhaps you Congress people and I just have a misunderstanding. So to clear it up, let me just say this: Sportsmen and women are immensely important. We care for the land, the fish and the wildlife. And we remember those who don’t.