We can only hope so. With the country changing so rapidly, I often wonder if things I knew as normal as a child will continue to be so in my adult years. Some of these things I thought were normal as a child include hunting and trapping coyotes. These things occupy some of my earliest memories. You could expect this from my background, but let me explain my situation.
I can say I have never particularly been a fan of watching the Discovery channel showcasing the natural food chain of the lioness taking down the gazelle in the wild Serengeti or even watching the hunting scene in Bambi for that matter. I have two mutt dogs I absolutely adore; they are higher on my list than a lot of people I know. I can honestly say I love animals; I melt at the sight of any ugly mange stricken stray on the street. But with this being said, I also understand animals’ roles on this earth and realize they are not only here for us to love and for companionship, but more importantly, they are here to support human survival by giving us food, clothing, and aiding our needs. Whether it be a horse to ride, a cow to eat, or a dog to pet, animals, and the hunting of animals play a major part in human life being successful. I understand the importance hunting plays in the human life: past, present, and future. One day, when I have children I want to teach them the importance of being able to fend for themselves in the case they may need to someday. I want them to be able to shoot a gun, shoot an animal, and not be scared to skin and eat their kill. This is the number one reason I support hunting, it sustains human life.
The second reason I support hunting is because of my background. Being raised in a ranching family, I understand that predator hunting is vital for a rancher’s livelihood. For this reason, I also support trapping. Does this mean every time I am with my Dad checking cows and if we see I coyote I will not look away when he shoots, no. But just because I do not necessarily want to watch him shoot the coyote, also does not mean I would not shoot it myself if I had too, and assuming I get a little better at my target practice.
In the past year, coyotes and more importantly the killing of coyotes have been a hot topic here in New Mexico. An Albuquerque shooting range was set to sponsor a coyote killing contest this past fall, and backed out of the sponsorship once outrageous threats from environmentalists and animal activists started to roll in. A gun store owner near my hometown then took over the sponsorship and also received quite the wrath over the contest, including numerous death threats, and even threats of human dressing as coyotes to trick hunters into shooting them. It seemed as though every loony environmentalist came out from every nook and cranny of New Mexico to raise a stink to forbid the contest to get rid of the ranchers’ worse enemies. The coyote contest continued anyhow, thanks to the strong backbone the gun store owner showed, as he would not cease, and was successful. Although, this contest must have left a fowl taste in the left’s mouth; last month Representative Nathan P. Cote sponsored a bill which would ban all animal killing contests. The bill was unsuccessful and died in the House in a 30-38 vote. Which I can say did shock me.
Now forget about the contests, lawmakers have now focused in on the New Mexican trappers. Representative Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales introduced House Bill 579, the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act earlier this month. The bill sounds warm and fuzzy and pretty harmless, but had much more restrictions than one would imagine within its text. This bill was intended to ban almost all forms of trapping in New Mexico. This means it would have prevented New Mexicans from trapping predators or pests on their privately owned land. If ranchers had a coyote problem they could no longer set up traps to get rid of the pests, nor farmers could trap pests that wreck havoc on their crops. Landowners would have to get permits to trap or poison the pests if this bill was passed. If you ask me I do not think hard working farmers and ranchers have time to fill out the correct paperwork to get rid a couple of coyotes. This bill would have also prevented the Department of Game and Fish from trapping animals to control management numbers. This bill, thankfully, also died in the House.
I found it very interesting that these anti killing, trapping, poisoning, perhaps even mousetrap (you never know how far these bills are taken these days) using bills are not getting anywhere in New Mexico. When I hear of bills such as these being introduced I cringe a little bit because I think immediately in a blue state like New Mexico, where the majority or the state legislature is Democratic there is no way they will not pass. But they are not passing! This is giving me hope. I began to wonder why these bills have not been successful here. Do the Democrats here in New Mexico understand once they turn into the complete full blown yuppie (for a lack of a better term) type of Democrat they are going to actually turn off the majority of the state they are working for? I hope so. I hope they understand New Mexico is not like California, Oregon, or even Colorado. New Mexico is different, different in the way, that I have hope New Mexico is not that far gone yet to the environmentalist haze of green energy and taking care of animals better than human citizens.
I am hoping that the individuals voted in to work for the New Mexican people understand the New Mexican people. And I hope they know the majority of the New Mexican people will not stand behind bills such as these. People here like to hunt. We live in a rural state, there is not much else to do, besides to hunt. If your dad or brother does not hunt I am sure your husband or boyfriend does or someone else you know. Here in New Mexico, boyfriends teach girlfriends to hunt, parents teach their kids to hunt, and on Sunday afternoons many of us go shooting. I’m sure this is the case in much of rural America. People raised in rural America are taught from a young age to fend for themselves and if we needed to we are highly capable of taking care of ourselves and living off the land (no matter how doomsday prepper that sounds of me). Along with hunting being a pastime in New Mexico, people who have livestock are not really “hunting” but actually “working” making sure they are keeping their livestock alive and well. Getting rid of coyotes is a way of life for people in New Mexico. Just like getting rid of mice is in big cities, except mice do not kill livestock. For young calves and lambs to thrive, the coyote population has to be kept to a minimum.
Surely, Democrats in New Mexico realize the average New Mexican born and raised here do not know much about animal rights and clean energy, and we want to keep it that way. There may be more of the environmentalist types occupying Santa Fe down to Albuquerque, but this is only a fraction of the state. Right now, it is very easy for a Democrat to run and win in the state of New Mexico without much fret; the population here votes Democratically mainly because of the party’s stance on social issues, not environmental issues. If the Democrats in New Mexico fall in line and follow step with Democratic leaders in other blue states, which are more extreme on pushing environmental issues, I wonder if the New Mexico population would continue to support the party? Would New Mexicans allow the state to turn into a environmentalist’s haven that left wingers are hoping for? I do not think it so, and the smart Democratic lawmakers in the state realize this. These two bills not passing is proof the Democrats within the state know the majority of the people would not back them on these issues.
So environmentalists can try as the might to turn New Mexico into the typical blue state but I predict them as being unsuccessful. They are forgetting to take in account the passion and fight rural New Mexican people have within them, traits we pass on from generation to generation. I believe New Mexico can withstand the liberal influence bursting from the Santa Fe Rio Grande Valley. Just because residents of rural New Mexico typically do not get involved in politics, does not mean they would not stand up for themselves when their way of life is threatened, and believe me killing coyotes is a way of life in New Mexico.