By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has once again submitted to absurdity, this time by declaring that the hunting of bear and turkey presents a threat to public safety.
No, it is not that bears and their natural allies–the gobblers of Washington–have formed an alliance and threatened retaliation against suburbia if hunters invaded their lands. It is more insidious. Hunting outdoors spreads COVID-19 among the human population.
I am sorry to report this is not a hang-fire April Fool’s joke from days ago. The WDFW has gone beyond simply banning fishing and razor clam harvests, now the bear hunt and the youth turkey shoot are its next targets.
On March 30th, Director Susewind banned the hunt, announcing that travel to hunt, which is obviously outside the permitted human being reserve relegated the general pouplation, is propogating COVID-19 viruses:
“The Department is taking these steps to limit the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19 per Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s order to Stay Home, Stay Healthy.
Many in the public have shared disappointment tied to previous public land and resource closures, pointing to exercise as an exemption. WDFW Director Susewind understands the need to spend time outdoors but notes that while hunting itself can be a solitary activity, many people have to travel from urban to rural areas to enjoy it.
“Every stop for gas, food, or a restroom break can introduce the virus to areas it hasn’t yet reached,” said Susewind. “It was a tough decision, but we want to ensure that people are properly encouraged to stay home at this time.”
As I commented in my prior article on the Fishing Ban, this latest restriction enforced against the citizens of Washington is further proof that the administrative state in Washington is being used as another tool by the executive branch to restrict the freedom of citizens here without the consent of the Washington Legislature, or the people.
There are two points of disconnect with the real world.
First, the justification for the bear hunt ban claimed by the WDFW seems to be that travelling to hunt, involves stopping for gas, food and restroom breaks and thus spreads viruses. I do not see how this is any different from buying gas or groceries at a big box store anywhere in the state. But how could we possibly be better protected by having hundreds of customers concurrently in a confined area, whereas in the alternative a person could hunt for food in the wild, hundreds of yards apart from any other person and have obviously much less risk of conveying disease? The most probable transmission vector presently challenging the average person is through community contact. I would think the most likely place a person might contract COVID-19 is in a crowded grocery store during a rush to purchase short supplies, not being far into the woods.
Second, the cancelling of the Youth Turkey Shoot runs into the tired, yet time honored claim to “save the children” through abrupt action. In this case the April 4th through 5th Turkey Shoot was nixed. Yet, in another administrative action that seems an almost comical contradiction, the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board administratively allowed parents who are employed at marijuana farms to bring their children to work–yes that means at the marijuana grow operations–because parents might have difficulty securing a babysitter during the COVID pandemic.
Marijuana farms and retail shops are considered an essential service by the governor’s proclamation. (Clothing stores are not. ) The basis for this is the state proffers that weed is considered a necessary medicine, prescribed and needed by various patients. I suppose it has nothing to do with the fact that the state rakes in tens of millions of dollars in value added excise taxes at the producer, processor and retailer levels. Did I mention that liquor retailers are also considered an essential service as well?
So in Washington we protect our children by banning them from hunting turkeys or fishing for trout but permit them to roam the Marijuana Grows as a form of babysitting. The spice must flow! We couldn’t allow production\taxation to suffer because weed workers were unable to find a sitter.
I suppose it is for the better that children cannot be schooled, given preventative dental care, allowed to attend church, have their parents gainfully employed, visit their doctor for a routine checkup, hunt for food, attend their neighbor’s funeral, or learn from the example of a benevolent, and free society. All of this has been denied them by Governor Inslee’s various proclamations. The state is considering cancelling the entire school year rather than have make-up classes held during the summer. So much for the Washington Supreme Court’s mandate that the primary responsibility of the state is providing primary education to its children. It is better it seems to send them to the marijuana farm and learn the drug trade.
By Darren Smith
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor