Friday, April 04, 2008


Reading this post on The War on Guns, I was surprised to see gun owners defending the idea that government owns the wildlife in the country. "Poaching" is the act of not recognizing government's claim over something it does not own: the wildlife that lives within the country's borders. Buying a license from the government to hunt is admitting that you think government owns the animals. I suppose it is not surprising that they think they own the deer, since they also think they own the humans, but it is a concept we should correct when we run into it.

Hunting is something that teaches people to provide for themselves. It short-circuits the welfare cycle that government depends upon for loyalty and dependence. Pretending to own the wildlife and then "selling" it to hunters simply gives them more unwarranted power over the people. It is another way to take money from productive people and give it to government. Plus, in order to hunt, people need to own effective weapons and have the skills to use them. That is more reason for government to require a license: to keep track of armed people.

I am not advocating mindless slaughter of wildlife. I hate waste. If you shoot it, you had better be prepared to eat it. I also know that some of the money from licenses goes toward habitat and such, but the amount is a tiny percentage (that which is left over after all the bureaucracy is paid for) and could be done much better by the market. Mostly your license fees go to support those who want to exercise control over you and your guns. Wildlife management is often a joke. I have some insight into this, having taken wildlife management in college. I was horrified at their idea of "management".