Southern Sportsmen and The Disconnect

I try very hard not to discus my political views in public. It’s not because I’m ashamed of them or anything, I’ve just come to terms with the reality that I can actually enjoy talking to and being around people who hold a completely different world view from mine.

Many people haven’t.

I found it’s easy as long as you have the ability to find the common ground, which for me is usually fishing, hunting or guns. I know a good bit about these subjects and the love of these three things are how I usually find myself being friends with people who have political views that don’t hold with my own.

See, I’m a sportsman, I’m proud to be a southerner and (this is where I may lose some readers, but oh well…) I’m a liberal. That’s right. A woolly headed, bleeding heart, up with the people, down with the man, tax loving, religion and politics should never meet, government interference wanting LIBERAL. I feel confident in saying most of the people who enjoy fishing and hunting here in the south aren’t. I’m honestly perplexed by this.

I’ve spent the majority of my life fishing and hunting on public lands next to people who actively support politics that would be more than happy to destroy those public lands if it put money into people’s pockets. These pockets don’t belong to any one of the people I hunt and fish with.

From family and friends I hear complaints about how the new sub-development over on such and such road has wrecked the hunting or fishing in the area but they support politicians that support developers. I hear people praising the local DNR for buying plots of land that go up for sale before developers can get to them and yet these same people bitch about having to pay the taxes go into buying these lands. I hear about how the government should leave businesses alone but how the factory they put on a certain stretch of river completely ruined the fishing. I hear from people how the environmentalist are destroying America but who hate the fact that the Forestry Service plants pine trees in the National Forest instead of something deer and turkeys can eat all for the sake of making a quick buck.

The disconnect baffles and quite frankly infuriates me at times. You want good fishing? You want good hunting? You want undeveloped public land? Support the people who support the environment!

20 thoughts on “Southern Sportsmen and The Disconnect

  1. Good articulation of an interesting issue. I myself have a real problem with people who bitch about “fish cops,” game wardens, and conservation agencies such as state fish and wildlife agencies — no government organization is perfect, and there are lots of idiots in every walk of life. I’ve met fish cops who were jerks or didn’t seem to know much about fishing, but without fish and game regulations and people to enforce them, all of our wild places would be destroyed in very short order.

    • And most of the money they make in fines go back into protecting our public lands. I have no problems with any of those agencies, but yeah, some of the individual officers are complete assholes.

  2. Ditto. Rarely talk politics for much the same reason. Here in Idaho it is also mostly very conservative. I am a fence rider on most of the politics here. Lots of public lands, 63% of the state, but the same perplexities that bother you. Hang in there, I try to.


  3. I love your post. I can’t say I’m surprised because you’ve got telltale signs all over the place, not the least of which being to get Joyce references, a very very rare feat in the right wing, in my experience.
    You give me a hard time for an inch of fluoro, that’s fair. What about the wad in your ammunition? Around here it’s almost always plastic.

    • If I’m shooting skeet, which is a very rare thing for me, it’s usually in a designated space for such an activity where everything gets cleaned up. Most of my hunting with shotguns happens in dense forest where I’ve almost never found the wadding after firing, so yeah, I guess you got me on that one. I never leave spent shells on the ground though.
      I’ll be the first to tell you I wasn’t always so concerned with the environment. More than once in my wilder days I did things like throwing a beer bottle out of the window of a moving car window while a friend tried to shoot it with a handgun from the back. Gotta love rural South Carolina.

  4. It’s a coastal forest so lots of fishing for redfish and other saltwater species on the eastern edge and the interior is filled with fresh water ponds, creeks and rivers. Most slow and warm black water filled with catfish, bass, bluegill and other assorted sunfish.

        • well, taking you to fish in France will be a little like taking a Swiss friend to visit the banks in Uganda, but you’ve got a deal.
          Seriously, and by all means, tell me when you come to France and we’ll have room for you, you wife and the demons if you travel with them. You’ll get to know the Nord. And it’s a good base camp for an interesting chunk of Europe: Paris, London, Amsterdam and Brussels are within two hours reach, plus Brugge, Antwerp and Gent (3 extremely cool Belgian cities.)

          • Ah, Amsterdam. I was told I had a lot of fun last time I was there.
            I believe we’re trying to get over there next summer so I’ll let you know.

  5. Hey, I live amongst the hoards of liberals (so rumor has it) here in a largely blue state. And guess what? My lefty politics don’t line up so well with fellow sportsmen, either. It ain’t just a southern thang…..

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