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The Greasy Hillside Of Outlawing Trapping!

One Greasy Hillside to be Standing On: California Bans Fur Trapping and What That Might Mean for the Rest of Us

This is a very, very slippery slope indeed. Earlier this month the Wildlife Protection Act of 2019 was signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsome. This law absolutely prohibits fur trapping commercially and recreationally in the Golden State. Although this is very bad news for trappers in California it may be a signal of even worse things to come down the pipe for the rest of us no matter where we reside. 

First off, trapping is a western tradition which expanded the Western frontier in the early to mid 1800s. If not for trapping much of the West may look and feel very different to what we know today. Trapping is a tradition worth keeping if not purely for the conservation side of the equation alone but for the historical aspects that it represents as an integral part of our history as a country and our heritage as a conservationist rooted society. 

There’s an age-old adage in environmental engineering that says, “the solution to pollution is dilution.” And this may be no different, as we now find ourselves as hunters to be the dilute. Our Western and outdoor traditions are not only being threatened and trounced on, they are being diluted by coastal transplants. The states of Colorado and Montana are being severely diluted by a steady tidal wave of influx by the states of California, Oregon, Washington as well as the East coast relocations. If you don’t believe me, just take a quick weekend trip to Bozeman, Boulder or Jackson Hole. This transfer of populous will not bode well for us as hunters in the future as many of these people bring with them their expectations, politics and votes. And to make things worse, many of the long-time rural residents of some of these states are moving to places like Wyoming and Idaho to get away from the political problems an influx like this brings with it. Besides California, extremely large influxes into Wyoming are coming from the states of Colorado, Oregon and Texas. 

Colorado residents will more than likely lose their ability to trap in the next decade followed shortly behind by Montana and New Mexico. It’s coming and coming fast. I pass by the giant anti-trapping propaganda billboard in Billings every time I make a run to Costco. Colorado and New Mexico residents nearly lost their trapping rights earlier this year. 

I am not a trapper, and never have been however I am a descendant of trappers and frontiersmen and I also understand where this is all headed. Much like the gun debate this is a very slippery slope and this is  just the beginning to outlawing more and more hunting related activities. It’s trapping today and predator hunting tomorrow and trophy hunting the day after. There is no quit in these ideals and beliefs. The extremists have finally learned how to use the court systems and the electoral loopholes to outlaw what they don’t want in society. As we all know, managing wildlife from the ballot box or the courtroom is a very dangerous endeavor and puts the entire North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and in jeopardy. A quote in the Los Angeles Times says, “The ban also comes as California lawmakers consider even more aggressive measures to protect animals and wildlife, often threatening age-old traditions.” Think about that for a moment. They are talking about you!

With the allure of the West becoming more and more appealing to the masses, domestic and foreign our lifestyle and heritage is at risk or dilution and extinction. This is one area where both hunters and ranchers will soon agree, because as they will not stop with just hunting, ranching is also in the cross-hairs by these extremists. Fisherman and farmers should be on full alert as well. These people will stop at nothing.

About Guy Eastman, Editor-In-Chief

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Following in the footsteps of his father, Guy has taken up the reins and is now at the helm of the Eastmans’ Hunting Journal and the Eastmans’ Bowhunting Journal. A fine hunter in his own right, Guy has taken several trophy animals and has become an expert in trophy hunting as well.

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  1. Cougars here in California are not afraid of anything. Growing up and hunting from my youth In Idaho, I never had the opportunity to see one. Here I have seen quite a few and they never ran. They just stared and seem to size you up.

  2. States need to follow Idaho’s lead and amend their constitutions to reflect a right to “hunt, fish and trap.”

  3. Yikes. Thank you so much for writing this up and helping to get the word out. I personally had no idea it had gone this far. Banning trapping in Cali is a huge wake up call for all of us. This is scary stuff. We need to be unified and work together ensure our voice is heard. There is strength in numbers. We need to show our faces as the ethical, responsible conservationists practicing traditional values.

  4. This is the plan of the environmental terrorists!!! The Sierra club wants to eradicate all game animals to the point of no hunting. No hunting no guns. No guns except for the government! Then the masses will bow down to the rule of government! But what if a trump were in charge?

  5. And here we sit as hunters, bickering, fighting and eating our own as we always do while the antis are united to end all that we do.

  6. Direct or indirect pressure in CA will end hunting here before I die…..,assuming I make in another 30 years.

    The ammo, gun, hunting laws, regulations, restrictions have made if very uneasy to go out and hunt. Furthermore, we are a targeted race, they want us gone.

    If your company supports guns or hunting, it WILL be boycotted. If you are a professional or self employed, your career is in jeopardy if they find out you are a hunter, thin ice if your a shooter….

    We need people and MONEY to stand our ground. Phone calls won’t do it.

  7. Guy presents the fact that Pandora’s box has been opened further. Colorado will have wolves on the ballot. We see how we fared in 1993 with spring bear hunting and the population has only exploded more since then with/from costal residents. You cannot stop a tidal wave it’s coming and no stopping. Question is how long will it take -it’s not going to turn the other way. All we can do is stave off which is where we need to be united. See u at the finish line-Shame is I can now see it, runs almost over Boyz ! Enjoy while u can.

  8. You call yourself trophy hunters, of the animals of our land. For the glory of plastic,medal cup or a ribbon, you kill. For Pride and Ego”

    • Lamona Vohen, If you don’t understand hunting, hunters, & conservation, then you should probably keep your mouth shut. No one here mentioned trophies; For true hunters & sportsmen, the trophy is merely secondary; a reminder of an accomplishment & a reverence for the animal itself. Without hunters, there would be no conservation;Hunters as a group provide more money for conservation than any other group or individuals. By the way, how much money & time have you put towards animal conservation? And I’m curious, where does your meat, be it fish, beef, pork, chicken or whatever, come from? I know, it magically appears in the store cooler. Oh wait, Vegen you say? Studies done when I was in school suggested plants have feelings & sensitivities too. Oh dear, what will you eat?

    • This is a classic case of someone who does not understand the stewardship of hunting or how much hunters/fishermen give to the preservation/management in $$ and time towards fish and game.

    • Lamona, if you don’t like hunting then, just don’t do it. But don’t keep me from doing something that I enjoy and do from a conservation standpoint of a renewable, sustainable, organic and beautiful resource.

  9. So stupid. Simple fact is life must be given for life to exist. Most basic fact of life itself. Be it killing a carrot or cabbage or chicken, death gives life simple period. Humanity existence is a result of primitive persons hunting that’s a simple fact. The wonderful advancement of such intelligent pacifist salad eaters will save the planet, pure genius. Omnivore humanity has no business eating animal or vegetable and destroying any life -all are created equal – a carrot is life on same level as an elk. The only solution to make everyone satisfied is no humanity, simple? Humanity must try to erase the shame of his very existence being the fact of hunting such beast that by way no longer exist not due to hunting – mammoth comes to mind. What Life form has existed in perpetuity – none! Let’s all pull together, forget how we got here, force everyone to believe and view life the same way and all will be happy. Sustainable managed wildlife is proven science due to one undeniable fact- hunting. I love hunting !

  10. Here in MT the influx of Californians, mainly to Bozeman is having a ripple effect throughout Southwest MT. My family has had a cabin in the Tobacco Root mountains for 40 years and the snobby antisocial Bozeman crowd has completely changed the atmosphere of the area. One of my greatest passions is filming and photographing Mountain Goats, but thanks to the now constant stream of mountain bikers from Bozeman the goats are nearly impossible to find. I have no problem sharing my favorite place with other folks but these newcomers act as if I’m the intruder, they won’t wave, say hello, and if they acknowledge me at all it is an unwelcoming scowl. I never thought I’d see the day when my best neighbors up there are a couple from Las Vegas. I’ve gone to these mountains to unwind and get away my entire life, now I go home in a terrible mood, and relieved to get back home to the friendly people of Butte.

    • Don’t worry, reinforcements are coming. I am from Californiastan and one day will move to Montana. I hunt, I wave and so do my family and most importantly I vote…. but not like a hipster Californistanian. These idiots out here will stop at nothing.

  11. Here’s a theory or thought. California has stopped the hunting of mountain lions. Predator! Numbers have risen to the point they inhabit cities! They have banned the use of dogs for the taking of bears! Again predator! Numbers have risen to the point you have a greater chance to see a legal bear than a legal buck. California again bans the use of dogs for the taking of bobcats and tried to or is trying to stop it altogether! Predator!!! No coyote competitions here. Wolves are in several areas now that used to have good if not great deer populations. Predator! My point is if we have enough predators that kill or deer herd to a point we can’t hunt there will be no season. The other issue is bad or even horrific game management. This is my last year to purchase a license and tag even though I live to hunt. Sad sad day for sportsmen!

    • You cannot quit. When you quit, they win. Hold on and stay in the fight. I’m from Californistan as well. We’ve gotta stick together.

  12. Careful with the narrative of Californians taking their politics to other states. I was born and raised in California, from a long line of hunters and fishermen on both sides of the family. Two years ago I took the opportunity afforded by my job to relocate to Arizona, and it wasn’t to bring my socialist viewpoints and agenda to a place that’s 105 degrees five months of the year. In the two years I’ve been here, I’ve met a huge number of former Californians who relocated, and have not yet met the socialist agenda-pusher you all describe as ruining your conservative state. On the contrary, they all came for the same reasons I did. I’ve met (and argued with) a few liberals also, all native Arizonans. I’m so appreciative of the freedoms here and can’t imagine someone not appreciating it, but I can only attribute a liberal/socialist Arizonan to a “grass is greener” mentality, attributing their perception of what’s wrong with the world to a lack of targeted legislation that would otherwise keep their neighbors from annoyingly exercising their freedoms. Ever been to Cali? It’s a beautiful place. Why in the hell would a liberal want to leave such a geographically beautiful place that’s already a socialist Mecca filled with like-minded lib-tards to push a political agenda in your conservative state? I moved here because of Arizona’s reputation for being a free state and not because of the heat, and find myself having a way more libertarian/conservative viewpoint than the native Arizonans surrounding me. The Bernie Sanders bumper stickers are invariably on cars with early Arizona license plates. Here in Arizona, you keep your license plate when you sell a car, so an early sequence plate is a pretty good indicator of a native. Whenever I meet another former Californian, I make a point to bring the conversation around to this topic and I don’t ever remember a single one disagreeing. An influx of Californians into your conservative state is most likely an influx of conservatives. They are the best ally you could ask for because they’ve been to the front lines and have had their own freedoms threatened. This is something you should want and hope for, to counter the natives who have never known anything but freedom, that are falling in like sheep behind the Bernie Sanders of the world.

    • I am like you, a conservative California transplant. I love the Intermountain West and all the hunting and fishing opportunities. But take a serious look at Colorado. The Commiefornia libtards are there and in force and ruining that state. The others will follow.

    • Very well said Sean.

  13. I grew up trapping, coon hunting, deer hunting and fishing in New York. I now live in Jackson Hole and hunt in Wyoming.
    Not all easterners want to change the west.

  14. Great article. How do you get a camel in a tent, nose first, then the head… slippery slope indeed.

  15. I’ve posted this before. Everyone reading this who has an interest in hunting and fishing should know who these people are and what they stand for, Lamona excluded: https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/ When the ban on hunting Mtn. Lions came about in CA resulting in an amendment to the State Constitution it was these very educated, very well organized, and wealthy tree-huggers behind it. Single handedly they nearly bankrupted the CA Dept of F&G over the Mtn. Lion debate. I was happy to leave CA 21 years ago. In CO since, we now have a governor (from Boulder) willing to hand over our electoral votes to CA and NY, ouch!. It is my belief that we must organize to the extent (or more than) our foes to win any battle. No pro fur-trapping organization took the battle to the CA courts in favor of maintaining the status quo; more likely CBD quietly took up the battle to end fur trapping without notice. Silently, trapping was ended and all us are standing around with our junk in hand wondering what happened. ORGANIZE, and wage the battle! In every court case there is a Plaintiff and a Defendant. Which to you prefer to be? Equally, there is always one party that prevails and one party that does not. Same question!

  16. I must have been busy and had not heard about the ban on trapping here. My bad. Yet, no surprise. A loss since commercial or recreational trapping is different from sport (recreational) hunting but also can be a management tool. So that leaves reasons as:
    1. Trump administration actions favoring hunting on federal land have consequences here. When a partisan Interior Secretary boosts policies and agency performance standards to promote hunting and fishing, this blue state simply reacts in an opposite way. Hmmm.
    2. A tactical move is made for closing off the alternatives to hunting and shooting – prior to further bans.
    3. Sporting markets are naturally affected here and elsewhere, the same sort of effect that ammo and firearms flew off shelves when some officials had proposed banning them.
    4. People vote with their feet, so makes rural life look better elsewhere. Stirs up controversies to reap an assured harvest of votes.
    5. For those who blame Californians for their environmental, cultural, or political problems, we are sending you our fruits and nuts.
    6. State wildlife officials could be more astute and less arrogant about proposing controversial measures like lion hunts, which led to the full ban, etc. It is more than just biology, people.

  17. It’s hard to understand what makes these people tick. None of them even raise and eyebrow when they see hundreds of deer dead in ditches all across America. Neither do they sweat on great drop when they trap a mouse under their sink. And they will very quickly call a government trapper when they find that their daughters precious cat, Tabitha, was eaten by coyotes.
    The real answer in defeating mushy people is propaganda. The power of this two edged sword in strong enough to talk millions of people into worshiping certain God’s, or sleeping with the military as in Stalin’s Russia, or even killing their own family members.
    Hunters and sports-persons on the right or the left need to remember this. More is done with the pen.

  18. Its all just another part of Agenda 21. and the big plan.

  19. Were as I agree with Guy ,You should be wary and possibly afraid of the plaque known as liberalism.However he paints a wide stripe as to the enemy of hunters,trappers conservationist in general.Not everyone from California is out to infringe on your right to hunt,fish trap,or protect your families and properties. Many ethical real California hunters have been fighting the battles that Guy rightfully predicts for the last forty years. I have witnessed both good and bad acts of sportsmanship living on the California -Oregon border, just as I am sure you all have in your respective states.We have been fighting for the right keep and bear our firearms for quite sometime now..This year our ammo has been limited to non lead only to protect the mythical California Condor.( thank you Barnes,and Nossler for solutions to keep hunting alive in Ca.)Our jobs have been eliminated to protect the Spotted owl, Our Dungeness Crab seasons have been whittled to a fraction. Commercial fishing has all but been eliminated. We have a tiny list of firearms that the liberal politicians have limited us to for concealed carry
    I agree with Guy be afraid and aware, enact legislation to protect your – our rights.But we as sportsmen ,hunters need to stay together no matter what state you are from.Liberal politicians are great at dividing everyone up as individual victims who need their help.Help that never comes.

  20. Why is it that anti groups can get legislation passed to eliminate trapping and states like NM, CO, UT and WY can’t get our act together well enough to pass decent stream access legislation? The actual number of people fighting reasonable access is miniscule, I realize thier monetary resources are not…

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