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Location: Northern Wisconsin
Joined: 11/19/2002
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Hunting on Horseback: The Original ATV

Your point is well made and given the clarification about not trespassing on closed land well validated. I did not start out being opposed to people using ATV's to access hunting land. Too me they are no different than a vehicle with the exception of size. However, given the ease of mobility it wasn't long before ATV's were infringing on non-vehicle land. There use now is abhorrent, I like to hunt big marshes, primarily because their access is limited to those willing to make the hike. Hunting pressure is usually very low. Last year some jerk drove his four wheeler out into this marsh about 1 mile. Would you believe that the evidence...ie his tracks can still be seen clearly as they crushed the cranberry bog. Fortunately a few of our local game wardens share my distaste and have put out notice that anyone caught off a designated trail will be fined heavily. It's too bad there arn't more of them. I've decided that should I see my buddy or any other for that matter out in the marsh on his 4 wheeler I'll do whatever I can to make getting the four wheeler back out more difficult than getting it in.

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Joined: 11/15/2002
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Hunting on Horseback: The Original ATV

If it was me and a person was seen fussing with my ATV (maliciously), he would have a harder time getting back out.

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Location: Northern Wisconsin
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Posts: 44
Hunting on Horseback: The Original ATV

Keep it on the trail and it won't be an issue.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
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Hunting on Horseback: The Original ATV

Now that sounds like classic eco-terrorism. For some reason, modern-day luddites are under the impression that if they don't agree with my choice of recreation, they're entitled to vandalize it.

Something has changed in the left wing -- Gandhi or Martin Luther King would never have condoned sabotage, but for some reason today's environmentalists seem to think their moral belief places them above the law and entitles them to inflict justice on behalf of the Earth Mother. In my book this places them in the same category as the Klan, Nazis, Aryan Nations, Hamas, Al Qaeda, and every other organization that uses some political agenda to justify hate-based destruction.

I'll admit lawbreakers need to be punished. But nobody appointed you judge, jury, and executioner. Did it occur to you that by disabling somebody's ATV you could be stranding him in the wild and perhaps endangering his life? If he winds up lost or injured, are you going to reimburse the search and rescue forces that have to save him?

I'm all for turning the guy in if he's breaking the law. But you have no more right to touch that ATV than I do to slash somebody's tires because I don't like their PETA bumper sticker. Vandalism and childish behavior just marginalizes your cause.

Forgive me for sounding harsh, but this kind of thing gets under my skin. I may disagree with the left on a lot of issues, but I keep my hands off their stuff.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-03-11 21:14 ]

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Joined: 11/15/2002
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Hunting on Horseback: The Original ATV

Well said.

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Location: Northern Wisconsin
Joined: 11/19/2002
Posts: 44
Hunting on Horseback: The Original ATV

I'm glad to see you took the time to read the entire conversation. Had you, I have no doubt you'd refrain from calling me a freakin ecoterroist and comparing me to the likes of an Al-Qaeda. I have no problem at all with someone lawfully using an ATV or a freakin tank for that matter to carry themselves and all their junk out into the woods. I do have a problem with people that think they can drive those things anywhere they damn well feel like and I have a major problem with people thinking I need to mind my own business and just "get along". If people followed the laws as written we'd all live a nice charmed life wouldn't we? However I seem to remember reading some conversation threads in which you yourself claimed to be the enforcer of all that is right and just in the world. Or was it you felt prejudiced because somebody else took a career path that was more financially rewarding and were able and entitled to partake in hunts and buy guns that you yourself could not dream of affording. Point being are you the only one entitled to an opinion?

By the way, if I can walk there so can you. If you can't, get some exercise. Nobody's getting stranded out in the wilderness which by definition strictly prohibits the use of any mechanized means of travel and was originally established by that great eco-Al-Qeada terrorist himself, the late great Theodore Roosevelt. If my views place me in his catagory then I'll gladly accept the title.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
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Posts: 3207
Hunting on Horseback: The Original ATV

I think you missed the part where I condemned those who were breaking laws.

As for my career choice, I'll admit my success doesn't match Ted Turner's. However, my posts on this forum never condemned success, property rights, or especially those who use guided hunts (I even supported them). My opinions on the subject focused on those who feel their money or status entitles them to more and/or exclusive rights to public assets. That's why I objected to Ted Turner attempting a land swap to get hold of prime public fishing waters in Montana, or the sale of big game tags to the highest bidder.

However, as much as I object to miles of migration-inhibiting fence around Ted Turner's landholdings, am I going to go out and cut his fences? No. Nor am I going to go out and rampage through the woods to make as much noise as possible to ruin the hunt for a guy who spent $75K on his tag.

Our country was established on the free interchange of ideas, and I've never claimed exclusive rights to voice an opinion. I may argue against another opinion, but I don't deny them the rights to argue against mine in return. However, vandalism isn't a matter of opinion -- it's a matter of law.

And I never claimed to be the enforcer of all that's right and just in the world. Unless, of course, you're referring to my military career -- in which case I'll gladly accept the compliment.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-03-12 13:57 ]

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Hunting on Horseback: The Original ATV

Ok... I probably shouldn't be jumping into the middle of this discussion, since it looks like its getting a bit heated, but here it goes...

Keepitsimple, even horses and yes human footsteps can do damage to the environment, particularly in areas above timberline. Alpine vegetation is very delicate and shouldn't even be walked on.

Personally I'm not fond of ATV's (or snowmachines for that matter) simply because they're noisy, I prefer to enjoy the outdoors with only the sounds of nature. However that being said, I would not consider prohibiting anyone from using an ATV (legally) simply because many folks do not enjoy perfect health and they need an ATV to get around. You don't have to be in a wheelchair to be handicapped, it can be as simple as arthritis, heart problems, etc.

So the bottom line is... we all need to exercise some common sense when recreating outdoors and respect the environment. That also includes being tolerant and respectful of each other's forms of recreation.

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Location: Arizona
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Hunting on Horseback: The Original ATV

Well said. While I wholeheartedly agree that those who use ATVs illegally should be punished, I also feel that going off trail where it's legal may offend some folks, but there's nothing that says it's illegal to offend someone's political views.

One could easily argue that some of the hiking purists out there offend the ATVers. After all, ATVs may annoy the hikers, but they don't deny hikers access -- something that doesn't always work in reverse. There's an element out there that assumes an air of moral superiority that says no one else can use public land unless such use conforms to their beliefs.

There's a lot of folks out there that think that if you ride an ATV you're out of shape, lazy, or that it's not OK unless you're handicapped. For some reason people on the left like to apply negative imagery to attack the individual rather than the position. You know -- hunters are ignorant rednecks, SUV owners are selfish elitists, etc. I've ridden ATVs on public land and I'm neither handicapped, lazy, or out of shape. On the other hand, I've been known to backpack, and I always walk when hunting (for the record, I don't own ATVs). I see both points and could argue either way. But bottom line is that I don't think policy has to be mutually exclusive.

The point you made that I agree most strongly with is tolerance. Lots of people preach tolerance, yet when the rubber meets the road it turns out they want you to tolerate their position but they don't have to tolerate yours. There shouldn't be any reason why public lands can't have ATV trails as well as non-motor trails.

Keepitsimple, I apologize if you felt I was branding you personally as an eco-terrorist. I know you're an avid hunter and that wasn't my intent. I was trying to make the point that taking action against someone's equipment because of a political viewpoint would put us in the same moral category as tree spikers and a lot of other groups that threaten our sport.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-03-12 18:21 ]

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Hunting on Horseback: The Original ATV

Yes, tolerance is the key. I could co-exist with almost anyone (even extreme animal rights groups) if everyone would adhere to the tolerance rule, and not shove their beliefs down my throat. Unfortunately, we know that doesn't happen in real life.

Getting back to the ATV issue... I believe there's enough room for everyone to enjoy the outdoors in their own way, to recreate whether it be via hiking, horse or ATV. I do strongly oppose people tearing up the land intentionally. Here in Colorado that happens a lot, particularly in the mountains where the terrain is delicate, and the culprits are not ATVs but 4x4 trucks & SUVs. Off-roading should only occur in areas that allow it.

I didn't mean to imply that ATVs should only be used by the handicapped, I was trying to point out that as a group, they would be most affected by not allowing ATVs.

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