The author, hoping for better luck this hunting season…

By Michael Mottern

In Western New York, NY Governor Kathy Hochul takes the lead on all things conservation, especially when it comes to the state troopers and conservation police.  After all, it is the state government with the help of the town clerks’ office that issues the licenses for deer hunting during shotgun season in Western New York which includes most parts of Erie and Niagara county. 

What is Shotgun Season? It is a particular season in the South zone of New York State, (the area that encompasses the greater Buffalo area) and is practiced primarily because of the geographic nature of the land. Buffalo and Niagara counties are mostly flat land, so naturally you can’t use a rifle that would be in a more hilly area with mountainous terrain. That’s alien to hunters from Pennsylvania and the Adirondacks that are more used to rifles instead of shotguns for deer hunting, and are part of the various regulations that go with New York State stringent gun laws. Shotgun season encompasses Erie and Niagara county during bow and regular season, regular season being shotgun season for deer.

In America, hunting is not the same as it is in Europe. In the United States local hunting for deer and turkey is primarily a very common person’s thing to do in the sticks. In Europe however, hunting is more reserved for the aristocrats that generally take a more center-right conservative point of view when it comes to government. There, people that hunt are more doctors or lawyers or others from the upper classes, where here the only thing you can call an aristocrat is either the Kennedy family or a corporate executive.

So local hunting for deer is more a commoner’s activity than that of a very rich person who would prefer to either go abroad or to another state to hunt where it’s more expensive. Whatever it is: it’s not cheaper than the local hunting of deer especially in a place like Western New York which is strictly a shotgun zone. I once met an individual that hunted on the state public land with me, that lived in the Sheridan Park housing project and was a volunteer firefighter in the Town of Tonawanda. I myself could never afford to go hunting in other states like bison hunting, or elk hunting, or moose hunting in Maine – that’s very expensive! The license, the guide, the horse (because it’s such a mountainous terrain), you’ve got to pay to ship your rifle, and you have to pay for a lodge. So the prices are mounting and get more difficult the further out you go, whereas, local hunting is the very opposite.

To purchase a doe permit in the state of New York, you must first be licensed with a course that is about 4 days long, then purchase your license depending on the season, that alone will cost you $45; if you’re not a disabled veteran then it’s $25 sometimes even free if you’re a lifetime member, and you’re allowed to harvest up to five animals four female, one male. Or, four does and one buck. That’s several hundred pounds of meat, and all for the cost of $45. More if you want extra tags for turkey or muzzle loading, but affordable no doubt if you know somebody and have been collecting safety gear like clothing for a number of years since you were 16 if you’re raising a hunting family.

The fact is at least 23% of leftists are firearms owners that include assault weapons that are military grade like, AR-15s or any other type of assault weapon. We even know that the National Rifle Association from its inception was about safety, now arguably less about safety and more about John Locke. Lockianism, is when a political philosophy that actually influenced Thomas Jefferson makes it onto the center stage when it comes to gun rights in America because Jefferson himself was influenced by the 18th century philosopher. The philosophy that proclaims “if the government gets too tyrannical, the ordinary well armed citizen has the right to overthrow it.?”  Since the year 2000 the NRA has been actively engaging in smear campaigns of mostly progressive and moderate Democrats, perverting that very philosophy of John Locke. The NRA is now less about safety and more about secession.

We need to reward small farmers many of whom are hunters and reward them for ecologically sound and sustainable farming that doesn’t damage the environment, and that can benefit the Earth by lowering temperatures when it comes to global warming. We know the majority of carbon that pollutes the air comes primarily from factory farms in Asia, North America and India, but what can we as hunters and concerned citizens do about it besides rewarding small farmers? We can start consuming less and thinking globally more.

It’s been several years since I got my last harvest when it comes to deer. It’s been rough, going years without getting one and enduring higher temperatures in the woods which inhibit our hunting abilities, where cooler or colder hunting is more ideal. As hunters, it is our duty to go against factory farms, be for a regulatory measure on firearms, and curb global warming by regulating the nation’s heaviest industries. As hunters and concerned citizens we must rise up and revolt politically! For a better world and a better environment!

Wish me luck hunting!

Michael Mottern is the Social Democrats USA first vice chair.


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