>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

La Grande, OR forecast
& Eastern Oregon University Valley Cam

http://tinyurl.com/n2723qt
Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

Today's front page

Image of The Observer's Front Page

Get Home Delivery of The Observer for only $8.50 per month, $9.50 for motor routes. Just click here and after filling out one simple and secure online form you could be on your way to learning more information about local, state and world news.

manage your account »

Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow Opinion arrow MY VOICE arrow Matter of choice

Matter of choice

As a hunter with nearly 50 years of experience hunting in Oregon, as well as states with mandatory hunter orange requirements, I am strongly opposed to mandatory hunter-orange statutes for a number of reasons.

First, personal safety should be a matter of choice, not government mandates. There are already far too many laws attempting to protect us from ourselves. Laws do nothing to reduce stupidity, the primary cause of so-called “accidents.” The only safety regulations that should ever be enacted are those that protect others.

Wearing hunter-orange may protect the wearer. lt does nothing to protect anyone else, and it still doesn’t eliminate stupidity. Those who wish to wear orange will do so. Those who do not should not be forced to do so by government decree.

Second, statistical data that purport to demonstrate some significant reduction in “accidents” as a result of mandatory hunter-orange requirements are suspect at best. Statistics can be manipulated to support any position. The one unquestionable statistic relating to hunter safety is that “accidents” have consistently declined since the introduction of mandatory hunter safety education courses. The mandatory requirement is defensible because it protects others. As a youth, I participated in one of Oregon’s first hunter safety courses.

The overwhelming emphasis was on my responsibility to identify my target and its surroundings, and to follow proper safety procedures. Wearing hunter-orange wasn’t even a consideration. There is no significant change in today’s hunter safety courses, and “accidents” continue to decline. The key is education.

To the extent that we should consider statistics, there should be no differentiation between minor injuries and fatalities. An incident is an incident. Notice I didn’t say “accident.” The Texas statistics are a case in point.

According to the statistics, there was a sharp reduction in overall injuries, but the fatalities rose nearly 400 percent. If one were to believe those statistics, mandatory hunter-orange requirements make it four times as likely that you will be killed.

Third, mandating hunter-orange opens the door to other restrictive statutes, and enforcement problems. Many states have mandated laws imposing a minimum number of square inches of orange to be visible. Are hunters required to carry a tape measure and calculator to be sure they aren’t in violation? Washington state mandates total hunter-orange, top and bottom, for big game hunters. Washington also has four times as many “accidents” as Oregon. Fish and wildlife officers have enough to do enforcing regulations designed to protect the resources. They shouldn’t simply become issuers of citations.

I do not oppose wearing hunter-orange. There are several benefits. It allows me to see someone wearing orange far enough away that I can easily leave undetected, if they are encroaching on the area I wished to hunt. I carry a hunter-orange hat and vest in my daypack, to be used if someone bumbles too close, and I don’t wish to leave. I also use them when I harvest an animal. I wear the hat, and hang the vest on a nearby bush or tree branch while I dress the animal. I continue to wear the hat, along with a hunter-orange drag harness, and I wrap the vest around the animal’s neck or antlers while I drag it to my vehicle.

In conclusion, ODFW should continue to concern itself with managing the resources, not legislating personal safety. A careful analysis of all available data shows no significant reduction in hunting injuries as a direct result of mandating the wearing of hunter-orange. In my years of personal hunting experience across the United States, I have witnessed several near-tragedies. All were the result of carelessness or outright stupidity. In no case was the use, or non-use, of hunter-orange a factor. Questionable data, fallacious reasoning and emotionalism should not be the basis for creating new restrictions and attendant penalties. As a nation, we have become increasingly buried under such legislation. Please don’t add to this unnecessary burden.

John B. Milbert is a La Grande resident.

 
blog comments powered by Disqus
News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Features
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
Classifieds
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

LaGrandeObserver.com works best with the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari

prix du viagra 100 apotek viagra sildenafil citrat tabletten acheter du levitra generique farmacia italia cialis generico cialis generico cialis em portugal cialis preis deutschland cialis luxembourg kamagra oral jelly 100mg
erfahrung viagra generika 
tadalafil naturale 
pharmacy cialis 
viagra online prezzo pi c b basso 
comprar cialis farmacia online 
benta viagra sin receta 
acquistare cialis su internet 
cialis senza ricetta svizzera 
cialis super active 
cialis mg acquisto on line