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About SpoonDog

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  1. Auditing MDC is one of the legislature's favorite pastimes, and it's pretty rare for them to find glaring mismanagement of our taxdollars. There's already oversight, and it's showing MDC is a far better steward of public funds than many of the other state agencies. For me, that's enough. Costs go up, irrespective of whether you're a public or a private entity. Insurance, wages, retirement benefits, materials, utilities, maintaining and replacing infrastructure, trout chow- all those costs increase. MDC may not pay property taxes (although don't they reimburse some counties for lost tax revenue?), but they may be paying other taxes and fees. They're paying contract loggers, they're paying the dude to pump out the pit toilets- those costs go up through time. If MDC needs to adjust permit fees to cover those increasing costs, it seems reasonable to me. A trout tag at Montauk is still far cheaper than a day at a private trout farm. For the extra dollar tacked onto license fees, hunters and anglers maintain half a million acres of public access. There's probably some permitholders in this state who could afford that level of access all on their own, but not many. Purchasing your own private land for hunting or recreation isn't cheap. Managing it for wildlife isn't cheap. Hunting leases aren't cheap. If we're gonna talk bout cost reductions, we ought to acknowledge the tremendous savings gained by supporting public lands. As for the CWD regs, my read is that they're only affecting the CWD management zones. As far as I know, neither Boone nor Callaway county are within CWD management zones. You may not be effected.
  2. It's easy to shout "cut costs!" in the abstract, up until the point it directly effects the person shouting. Let's cut to the chase. Post up the conservation areas, the fishing accesses, the shooting ranges, nature centers, programs, or cost-share opportunities you use, that you're willing to see go away. Not some obscure conservation area across the state you've never been visited, because everyone already knows it's easier and less painful to burden someone else with the consequences of your actions than it is to own them. So which of your favorite spots to hunt or fish or enjoy the outdoors will you give up in the interest of cost reduction? Let's share.
  3. SpoonDog

    MDC Rant

    The mistake in this is you're only thinking of you. You want to kill every animal crossing your land? The consequences of that decision don't end at your property boundary. You're deciding for your neighbors, for their neighbors, without their input or consent, that they'll have fewer and poorer hunting opportunities on their land. By invoking rights you don't actually have under the law, you're depriving your neighbors of their right to use and enjoy their land. You're confusing your choices with your rights. You can absolutely choose to kill as many deer as you want, but you don't have the right to. Like it or not you're an adult, and you're absolutely accountable for the choices you make. That's what responsibility is. People may not prevent you from make really, tragically stupid decisions...but they can absolutely hold you accountable for them. You have the choice to be a selfish, dishonest, insufferable POS if you want to. I don't know why you'd want to, it sounds miserable. If I were your neighbor, following game laws honestly, and my hunting was suffering because you chose not to...it isn't even a serious question. I'd turn you in in a heartbeat.
  4. SpoonDog

    MDC Rant

    Verification. Not everyone's permitted to take game, and those who are abide by harvest limits. Not everyone is eligible for landowner tags. I'd be shocked if folks didn't apply for them fraudulently using info from absentee landowners, the same way folks grandmaw timber. And it wouldn't surprised me at all to learn a couple landowner tags are used outside said landowner's home county a couple times a season. MDC needs your personal info because people try and game the system.
  5. SpoonDog

    MDC Rant

    Yes, you own the land- and you can manage it any way you see fit. If you wanna build a high fence to keep wildlife out, that's your right- because you own the land. If you wanna burn it, raze it to bedrock, salt the earth so nothing will grow and make it totally inhospitable for wildlife- that's your right, because you own the land. You can sign any number of leases with any number of hunters to shoot any number of deer you'd like and make a profit in the process- and you have that right, because you own the land. For all the reasons we've already described, you don't own the wildlife on your land. The distinction between owning land and owning wildlife exists whether you see it or not, whether you agree with it or not...even whether you understand it, or not. Wildlife is owned by the public, whether it's standing on your back 40 or not. The fact there's a power pole in my side yard doesn't give me jurisdiction to cut it up for firewood and haul the transformer off for scrap. The fact there's a storm sewer in the backyard doesn't give me jurisdiction to fill in the manhole for a flower bed. The fact a county road runs through my land doesn't give me jurisdiction to throw up a gate and collect tolls. You don't become the owner of someone else's property just because it's on your land. Really, the take-home message is your private property rights don't supersede everyone else's property rights- and wildlife isn't your property.
  6. SpoonDog

    MDC Rant

    The state re-stocked the deer in the 30's and 40's, the state managed those small populations so they'd grow and expand, offering the hunting opportunities we have today. Without the state's investment and management, your private property may not have those game populations. CWD's taught us these animals don't just move between adjacent landowners, they're crossing county boundaries. "Your" deer may have been born miles away, it may only spend a fraction of its life on your plot. Because the state reintroduced them, and the state managed them to current abundances, and they're roaming across large swaths of private and public land...they're the state's animals. The same legal system which doesn't recognize the concept of "private" deer? Legally, you purchased the land. You didn't purchase the animals. They weren't included in the deed, there's no bill of sale, you're not paying taxes on them...the legal system you're invoking doesn't recognize them as "your" deer. As far as landowner tag info- that landowner's probably already provided their name, address, and property size to the bank when they made the loan. To the agent when they were insured. To the county when they filed property taxes. All of that information is already freely available at any public library with a plat book and a phone book, and has been pert near a century. Heck, in many counties it's all accessible online, for free. If supplying exactly the same information to MDC makes you feel "watched," perhaps that isn't a rational reaction.
  7. You need to disentangle your identity from your hobby- people aren't bothered by carp angling, they're bothered by you. It's why people put gas in your well or killed all the fish in your stock tank, I'd wager. It's why you've been banned from so many forums, it's why you have dozens of people here complaining about your behavior. An individual capable of self-reflection would look at all that mounting evidence and attempt a new approach. You continue to do you. I truly wish you understood the obstacle you present to your own success. People aren't upset at the message, they're upset at the message. I've absolutely spent less time on this forum in the past year, because 90%+ of what you write is garbage and I have no interest. This 5+ page thread on carp fishing is not meaningfully different than the last 5+ page thread on carp fishing, or any 5+ page thread on carp fishing- because it's the same quotes, the same anecdotes, the same "research" the same ham-handed approach to broadening interest in European-style carp angling. You enjoy the sport, I get it. Everyone gets it. Everyone understands your position- but joining 30 forums to be banned by 28 and trolling the last two with garbage undermines your efforts- and that's something you need to come to terms with. You need to come to terms with the fact public lakes are not your personal fiefdom. You don't get to choose how other people legally enjoy their outdoor experience, and you don't get to sick law enforcement on them because you don't approve. Setting out to ruin a lawful angler's outdoor experience doesn't make you a martyr, MOCarp- it makes you an posterior. If your initial post were just stupid, it'd be one thing. But it's encouraging members to harass sportsmen- a crime in Missouri. At that point I think Phil has an obligation, moral if not legal, to remove you from the forum- not because people hate carp fishing, but because you've crossed a line.
  8. Dablemont Isn't claiming we've never detected CWD in humans, MOCarp. He's claiming we have. No amount of mental gymnastics makes that an accurate claim. If we haven't read Dablemont's writing on CWD, and we haven't read up on CWD, yet despite that total lack of information we're convinced Dablemont has some important point we're supposed to take seriously- that's the definition of blind faith. If we aren't worried about CWD because an aging rock star who spent a week pooping his pants to avoid Vietnam and has a financial interest in selling hunting gear says not to worry- maybe we could hone our skills at evaluating incoming information. If we're worried about herd mentality, let's exercise a little independent thought. All I'm saying is allegations should have some basis in fact. Like I said I'm no journalist, but it took no meaningful effort to track down an MDC audit from earlier in July. Two minutes and a Google search. The independent auditor found the department was well managed but still raised some issues: meal expenditures, the way contracts and grants are handled, issues with sunshine requests and agency transparency. If I'm angry about anything it's that folks like Dablemont and his readers shine the spotlight away from evidence-based criticisms like these toward baseless, mindless conspiracies. The idea state game and fish agencies would concoct a disease which threatens to reduce the number of hunting permits sold is idiotic. It makes no sense. If you could fabricate any disease, you wouldn't pick one that undermines your own interest. The idea state fish and game agencies went hat-in-hand to health departments and medical researchers and asked them to hide evidence of CWD in people- to forgo millions of dollars in research funding. Those cigarette ads only worked because tobacco companies were willing to pay doctors, fellas. Dablemont's conspiracy requires believing that instead of saving thousands and making a million bucks in the process, they're gonna give up the cash and let them all die. Maybe I'm missing something, but if you accept money's a powerful motivator you can appreciate this theory makes no sense. If relying on the expertise of others isn't enough, fine. Just think it through. And finally, if Larry and his readers aren't interested in a serious, intellectually honest discussion, then IMO there isn't any point in MDC engaging him. They're in different businesses, and a state agency pointing out the idiocy of a single guy only serves to reinforce the nonsensical David and Goliath narrative he's putting out there. It provides an example of "The Man" keeping him down. There's zero benefit to MDC, which is why I completely understand they don't do it. To me it's as much a waste of time and money and resources as atlatls or kid's archery or ranching paddlefish. There are real issues with the way MDC spends some money and resources, I just think Larry's stated goals would be much better served if he spent more time focusing on those real issues than the ones he's ginned up. But as some point out he's a regional outdoor writer. An author. A story teller. And I understand how stories of wide-ranging conspiracy and crooked agents and shadow committees is sexier and sells more subscriptions than detailed analysis of meal expenditures and clothing allowances.
  9. Yeah, the bar for self-publication isn't very high. If his "cred" stems from the fact he cites himself as an expert, perhaps his audience should exercise a little more independent judgement. Can't say I'm surprised the guy has no background in journalism, or english, or medicine, or immunology. "Don't participate in Share the Harvest because you'll wind up with infected meat that'll rot your brain" is medical advice, and it's very, very, dumb to take medical advice with neither any medical expertise, nor any working, conversational knowledge of medical subjects like "how do diseases work?" and "how are germs spread?" To say a guy who we can show manipulates facts and puts words in peoples mouths has any meaningful level of credibility is silly- that "cred" can only come from the folks who don't know he's manipulating facts (those who are being duped), or those who don't care. And if we're concerned people would try to profit off their expertise (a la' 1960's smoking ads), then yeah- let's talk about the self-published author who gets paid by the number of books he sells and the number of papers his column appears in. He's the Dr. Oz of fish and wildlife. It's the National Enquirer approach to outdoor writing, and if it's something someone wants to believe, I can't stop them. But comparing fact-based evidence with something someone just pulled out their butt isn't meaningful, or interesting to me. If someone mistakes Dablemont's work for fact-based, or objective, or rational, or even intelligent- they'd be better served finding some different outlet.
  10. Dablemont is using his platform to communicate with thousands of individuals through his writing, the same way MDC or any other agency does through their press releases. There is no rational reason to think Dablemont should be held to a lower standard than the people he attacks. He isn't having a private conversation in a diner somewhere, he's having a very public conversation, on the record, in which he's attached his name to the words he writes. You may characterize him as an inconsequential local good ol' boy, MOCarp- he characterizes himself as an outdoor writer, an author, a syndicated newspaper columnist. If he wants to be a professional writer, then he should be evaluated at the level of a professional writer. That means doing research, it means checking sources, it means making certain the things you write are based in fact and holding yourself accountable when they're not. If Dablemont's work isn't serious, then there's no reason readers should take his unsubstantiated claims seriously. If Dablemont's work IS serious, he needs to do a better job putting his claims in context and corroborating them with objective evidence. But he can't have it both ways. That the NBA isn't knocking down my door isn't evidence teams are conspiring against me. It's evidence I suck at basketball. Similarly, the fact Dablemont's work isn't more widely published may have something to do with the caliber of the work- not monied interests or The Man keeping him down. Newspaper editors have an obligation to be honest with their readers; if Dablemont's work doesn't fulfill that obligation, no wonder editors take a pass. If money plays any role, low-circulation newspapers probably don't want to risk solvency on a guy who isn't interested in getting the story right. Can't say I blame 'em. If you lament the days when journalists had integrity AND you think maybe Dablemont has a point...you might be on the wrong side of this discussion.
  11. MOCarp- I suspect if I wrote a syndicated newspaper article insisting MDC relax bowfishing regs, because you say you love bowfishing and we need more big carp killed in our lakes, streams and reservoirs, that you wouldn't just go along with it. I suspect if that happened, you wouldn't claim I was a good journalist, or a reliable source, or that I had adequately represented your position. Fishinwrench- I suspect if I wrote a syndicated newspaper article that you say anglers should be putting 10% ethanol in all their outboards because it's good for the environment and vastly improves engine performance, you wouldn't just go along with it. I suspect if that happened, you wouldn't claim I was a good journalist, or a reliable source, or that I had adequately represented your position. On some level I'm certain you guys get this. If Dablemont only relied on his own opinion to make his claims, I wouldn't have an issue. But his work relies on taking the words of other people and manipulating them into something entirely different. I get being suspicious of gov't and it's possible nefarious things are going on behind the scenes- but in this instance the only party we know is misrepresenting facts...is Dablemont. If being a thoughtful, intelligent, critical reader is so important, it's weird to throw support behind the one guy who's provably blowing smoke up one's bum.
  12. It's a false equivalence. Agencies like the CDC and MDC try making policy based on the best available information. Dablemont wings it. Those are two different things. Example: CDC has never documented CWD in people. Ever. Dablemont insists they have. That isn't a difference of opinion; Dablemont is wrong. He claims "Colorado research" shows 78 deaths from CWD- Colorado Department of Health has never reported any deaths from CWD. Ever. That isn't a difference of opinion, Dablemont's just wrong. I don't know where he came up with the 78 deaths figure, I found this study looking at Colorado deaths from prion diseases between 1978-1998. Those authors state prion diseases are very rare, that transmission between species is very rare, and that in those twenty years 78 people died from unknown degenerative brain diseases. I don't know if it's the study Dablemont used because he didn't provide any documentation- no studies, no reports, no links, nothing. But if it is, he got it wrong. The more I think of it, CWD is a great case study in why a guy like Dablemont isn't worth your time. He's extremely concerned CWD is and will be transmitted to humans, despite any evidence. He's written he is not at all interested in taking down deer feeders, despite overwhelming evidence high densities of deer contribute to the spread of CWD. Heck, he's surprised no deer in SWMO tested positive for CWD, despite it being in the Arkansas herd, so on some level he gets the whole communicable disease thing. His positions aren't even internally consistent. And the more I read of Dablemont's stuff, the more I wonder whether he even fully understands what he's mad about. As a lay person I fully agree, oneshot- Dablemont has the right to his own opinion, even if it's misinformed. But as a journalist, and as a self-appointed watchdog for MDC, Dablemont has a responsibility to deal with his audience honestly. Dablemont's audience has a responsibility to hold him accountable for his words. We're Dablemont's audience, and we get to decide whether he represents us. For me that's an easy, unequivocal "no."
  13. I've had MDC come out and write management prescriptions for my forest, for free. I've had them help write out timber contracts, for free. I know folks who've had their ponds stocked with fish from MDC hatcheries for free. Nothing nefarious, just part of MDC's effort to manage fish and game and forests in the state. Johnny's a resident, a landowner, a purchaser of hunting and fishing licenses- which means he's entitled to the same privileges as everyone else, irrespective of his wealth. Now if they were flying Johnny around in the helicopter, that's a problem. If they had blown off other landowner's requests to go shoot Johnny's hogs, that's a problem. But Dablemont isn't presenting that sort of evidence. If anything, he's using evidence of MDC personnel doing their job to argue MDC personnel aren't doing their job. It doesn't make a lick of sense. I dunno Dablemont. Maybe he's a great guy. But he's a consistently bad "journalist." If he wants to write an opinion column or folksy short stories or even just op-ed letters to the editor railing against MDC, more power to him. If he wants to be MDC's watchdog, awesome- do the research, gather the facts and their supporting evidence, and report them. MDC's written numerous articles on hog management in the state, if Dablemont's still in the dark, the onus is on him to do more/better research. If he thinks MDC's hog policy is bad that's fine, he's entitled to his own opinion. If he's going to argue MDC's hog policy should emulate TX, NC, AR, TN, or other states where hog populations have increased even with public hunting- it speaks to his knowledge of the subject. There's value in being an MDC watchdog, but let's pick a better champion. I'm not certain Dablemont understands making a career out of going off half-cocked impugns his credibility more than MDC's. There's a risk in being the boy who cried wolf. In the meantime, his work only serves to stoke mistrust in the conservation initiatives he, as a sportsman, should be advocating. I'm wiling to listen when he presents something tangible. But until that happens, his work isn't worth my time.
  14. Guns are a tool- and just like it's tough to build a house without a hammer, it's tough to mow down dozens of people in a few seconds without an AR-15 or similar high-capacity weapon. I need to kill a lot of people quickly- that's the problem these guns solve. And it's up to us to determine whether everyone in society- regardless of mental or emotional state- needs to have that solution at their ready disposal. If we're gonna say "it's just a tool," then let's be honest about what the tool does. We can make the same argument that dedicated people will find a way around border walls, or find a way to slip through security. We still eagerly implement those measures in the name of safety. It's interesting two years ago we couldn't afford a single refugee in the country because on in 10,000 might be a terrorist, yet today the routine murder of American youth is an acceptable tradeoff for a strict interpretation of constitutional doctrine. The uniting principle in those two positions isn't security, safety, or even law- it's a cavalier attitude towards the lives of other human beings. They'll make a sacrifice so you don't have to. It's greed.
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