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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Brooke Winn |

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October 13, 2003

There’s A Bear Over There

Richard B. Weldon Jr.

First, I should establish that I am not much of a hunter. The few gophers I tried to shoot many years ago with a .22 escaped my deadly aim (?).

That said, some of my best friends are avid hunters. A very good friend from Leesburg is just returning from Canada following an extended bear hunt.

That brings me to the subject of this piece. Animal rights advocates have thrown themselves into full "chicken little" mode over the news that Department of Natural Resources Secretary Ron Franks intends to authorize a bear hunt.

To many of these of these folks, bears actually have rights. Think about it! Yogi, wondering through Garrett and Alleghany County, searching for a trash can to raid, has folks in Montgomery County arguing for his rights.

While I fancy myself as having a sense of humor, the advocates themselves are actually much funnier. Here is an excerpt from the Thursday, October 9, Sun of Baltimore.

"Gov. (Robert) Ehrlich has quickly established himself as the worst governor for animals in Maryland's recent history," said Wayne Pacelle, a senior vice president of the Washington-based Humane Society of the United States.

I didn’t vote for Governor Ehrlich for his record in defense of animals. In fact, the people of Western Maryland, most of whom voted for him, were not concerned about his "animal" voting record. Wonder where ol’ Wayne Pacelle lives? Wanna bet he resides in the Peoples Republic of Montgomery County?

I can almost guarantee that he doesn’t live anywhere near the bears. Most advocates would rather dictate the details of the lives of others than be subjected to the object of their silliness.

Ol’ Wayne would probably have country bumpkins like us believe that Parris Glendening was the "best" Governor for animals. Yep, probably true! Unfortunately, he wasn’t much good for anything else in Western Maryland, certainly not Democrats!

But wait! Ol’ Wayne wasn’t the only animal rights activist struggling for Sun type. Read the following quote: “Lawyers for The Fund for Animals are considering filing a lawsuit to block a hunt,” said Michael Markarian, president of the Silver Spring-based group. "We're going to call them out on the carpet and make sure that Maryland citizens understand this is a trophy hunt," he said. "It's a recreational opportunity for a handful of people that want bearskin rugs for their living rooms."

This is the same spew that led Marylanders, in record numbers, to abandon the failed policies and personal attacks that accompanied all things Glendening and jump on the Ehrlich bandwagon.

These folks can only see the world from their distorted sense of reality. They perceive that there is no legitimate reason to kill animals. What they call a trophy hunt is in reality the most effective form of population management. The hunters and sportsm