The big game hunting season is over and the anti-hunting posters have dropped from the public limelight for now. Why would this be mentioned
in a fishing club newsletter? A brief understanding of the basic animal rights movement would show the relationship between hunting and fishing. These organizations and groups have a basic philosophy in which they believe that all animal species should be allowed to live indepen-dently of humans. Knowing this, it is easy to see why, in their zealous-ness, they protest the use of animals for food, medical testing, and sport hunting.

This protesting will take the form of picketing meat processing plants and university medical schools. As we saw in the fall of 1992 with the harassment of deer hunters in Michigan the issue landed in our backyard.

Media coverage is essential for their demonstrations. Using the deer hunter example, the group involved actually sent out press releases well ahead of the targeted date and an updated release days ahead of the pro-test. By doing this the televison camera crews and press writers and photographers would know exactly where to go and when. It seems that
there is nothing spontaneous about their rallies.

There are many similarities between the activites of hunting and fishing.

Both involve the ‘fair chase’ pursuit of an animal. Good hunters will study the habits and terrain of the animal they want. They will purchase or build the best equipment and accessories possible to make their trip
pleasant and comfortable. In the end, though, the successful hunt is knowing that the hunter did his best and that he enjoyed his time in the field. A good sportfisher learns to read the water and knows the feeding schedule of his favorite fish. He buys rods and reels because they are the best suited for a particular specie and makes his own lures. It is
the fishing trip in itself that will make or break the day and the catch ends up being incidental. An often used phrase is “A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work.”

Sportfishers cannot sit on the side anymore. The individuals who are protesting the use of animals in any form will not leave sportfishing alone. They started by arguing that trapping was cruel. Hunting became the next issue with the claim that this activity is cruel and inhumane.

Is fishing next? After watching a symposium on hunting and conservation at Montana State University in July 1992 a representative of Fund For Animals said: “We’re going to get fishing next.” – Lake Mohave

– Lake Mohave