Are environmentalists bad for the environment?
That’s a question I will address at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Quilcene Antler Show in the Quilcene High School gymnasium on Highway 101.
It’s a local sportsmans’ show with big game animals, big fish and some birds on display with a chance to get deer and elk antlers measured for the Boone and Crocket record book.
Big game animals are hard to measure because you have to shoot them first or they won’t hold still.
The “Eastern” method of measuring a trophy counts the number of points on both sides of the rack. The “Western” method counts one side.
The hillbilly method doesn’t bother with antlers. As long as the critter has a nose and two ears it’s a three point, and that’s respectable in my book.
A freezer full of game meat is my idea of a trophy. Generally, the meat of an old trophy deer or elk is so tough you can’t get a fork in the gravy.
A younger animal will give you the prime meat, but I would be lying if I said I would pass up a wall hanger. It’s better to have tough meat than none at all.
This years’ show is dedicated to the memory of Bud and Eva Taylor of Discovery Bay.
I met Bud in the old days when you could live on the land. We hunted elk, caught salmon and grew a garden for food.
It was good.
There were elk in those hills. Almost no one knew at the time except me and Bud Taylor.
This is my tribute to the man.
When you saw Bud Taylor in the woods, he did not have his rifle pointed at you. I really appreciated that. Bud appreciated me too.
After I floundered into a patch of salal and jumped an elk herd right into him. Bud and his partner got a bull with a rack as wide as a truck bed.
These days, hunting the Dungeness elk is by special permit only. The Dungeness, a river with two fish hatcheries and no dams is closed to fishing most of the year.
We have exterminated the salmon runs, whose migration cycle from the land to the sea and back, fed an ecosystem and the people who depended upon it since the last ice age.
The Dungeness is being managed into extinction by environmentalists starting at its mouth in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where they want to establish marine reserves.
In an imaginary, sane world, a marine reserve would be a good way to rebuild fish stocks, but this is Washington where the straits are run through a gill net every night.
Under the terms of the Boldt Decision, if you shut down the sport fishing, the commercial gillnetters can fish more.
On the Dungeness delta, environmentalists are threatening the future of sustainable agriculture by moving the flood control dikes along the river.
Moving up the Dungeness you’ll discover log jams that were constructed in a failed attempt to bring back fish.
Fish don’t grow on trees. Fish come from the Dungeness hatcheries. Unfortunately, runs of hatchery fish always fail after you fire the staff and quit feeding the fish.
Further up the Dungeness we come to the former site of the beloved East Crossing Campground, shut down by environmentalists in a bogus attempt to save the bull trout.
They used the same excuse to tear out the logging roads we used for timber salvage, firefighting and recreation in a process that caused as much erosion as their original construction.
Are environmentalists bad for the environment? What do you think?