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Protecting our rights to enjoy the outdoors

There are a lot of sportsmen and women out there who love to hunt and fish. One very large way to continue to protect that right is to do things properly — like take your game or fish lawfully within season with the correct licenses or tags, and in the proper manner — whether that be with a rifle, trap, or a fishing pole. These all sound like things we already do correctly.

We as outdoorsmen and women think we have the freedom to do things the way we see fit. Well, in this big world there are a lot of people who are very sensitive to what we do, and dislike seeing what’s left of our fish and game after we are done doing our thing. That being said, there are laws on how and where you can dispose of carcasses. For instance, you are supposed to dispose of paddlefish eggs in the same water where you catch paddlefish.

Wild game carcasses spread over parking lots and trails in conservation areas gives us a bad name. There are a lot of people out there that love to walk with their kids or otherwise use the public use areas. They don’t like seeing what a hunter or fisherman has killed — even if it was for food — when they are just trying to enjoy the outdoors.

If you drive around St. Francois County between mid-September through pretty much all of January, you will find deer carcasses in ditches on every side road in the county. What does that say about how people show proper care in disposing of their game — at least the inedible parts? Hides can be taken to the Elks and they turn them into gloves for veterans. The bones can be put in trash bags and sent out with the garbage. There are good ways to dispose of the parts you don’t use.

So yes, this week’s column has been a bit on the complaining-side, but we sportsmen and women control the narrative of how people see us. If we want to be seen as the murderous heartless killers that people think we are, then we should keep on leaving our mess for all to see. To help promote our sport and control what people say and how they vote, we need to be responsible sportsmen and women. Have a wonderful week and I will talk to you all in the next issue of the Farmington Press.

Darrell Cureton

Darrell Cureton

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