Monday, December 22, 2014

State Senator Melanie Sojourner gets an opponent & questions the need for hunting licenses.

The Mississippi Business Journal reported:


MEADVILLE — Meadville Mayor Lane Reed plans to run for the state Senate seat currently held by fellow Republican Melanie Sojourner of Natchez.
Reed, a 44-year-old lawyer became mayor last year, winning his first political race. In his Monday announcement, he’s calling for more cooperation with state leaders and local governments in the district.

Senate district 37 includes all of Franklin and parts of Adams, Amite and Pike counties.
Sojourner has not announced her plans and could not immediately be reached for comment.
Sojourner won her first term in 2011, narrowly defeating longtime Democratic incumbent Bob Dearing. He’s considering a bid to reclaim his old seat.

Sojourner drew statewide notice earlier this year as manager of fellow state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s unsuccessful Republican primary campaign against U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.

Meanwhile, Melanie takes issue with our hunting laws in this recent post on Facebook:

Why are we required to obtain a hunting license?

The most common answer to this question is... To regulate and enforce hunting laws. But, the license itself doesn't do anything to regulate and enforce the laws.

Getting a list of everyone who has purchased a hunting license can easily be acquired through a FOIA request. Pretty good way to obtain a large list of gun owners don't you think?

The second most popular answer to the question is to generate funds. Aren't their better ways to generate funds than by putting these gun owners on additional list that put their identity at risk?

So again... Why do we require a hunting license?

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why are we required to obtain a driving license?

The most common answer to this question is... To regulate and enforce driving laws. But, the license itself doesn't do anything to regulate and enforce the laws.

Getting a list of everyone who has purchased a driving license can easily be acquired through a FOIA request. Pretty good way to obtain a large list of car owners don't you think?

The second most popular answer to the question is to generate funds. Aren't their better ways to generate funds than by putting these car owners on additional list that put their identity at risk?

So again... Why do we require a driving license?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Expected Mel to question the need for filling out and filing campaign finance disclosure reports as opposed to questioning the need for hunting licenses. Reckon she doesn't see the need for either one.

Anonymous said...

She's got my vote!

Anonymous said...

"Pretty good way to obtain a large list of gun owners don't you think?"

"Stupid is as stupid does" - you would not get the names of those who only keep weapons for protection of their lives, families, homes & businesses if you just collected hunting licenses.

The paranoia sure runs thick wherever she is from.

Anonymous said...

Now that Mel has an opponent we will have to get a mailing address to send our campaign contribution to Mr. Reed to show our love and affection for all she did in the last election.

Limit Two Treble Hooks said...

I agree with her. We should not have to pay the state for permission to hunt and fish. MDWFP has created the largest empire in this state and it only gets larger each year. Even more stupid is the fact that a resident 65 years old no longer has pay to fish but he/she has to still pay to hunt. Wait; you don't have to pay to fish after age 64 unless you plan to sell catfish - then you have to pay the state $31 for that privilege. These people fall all over each other coming up with rules.

Anonymous said...

Hope he smashes her flat.

Anonymous said...

What about Stacy "no bid" Pickering?

KaptKangaroo said...

I have to ask.

Is there validity to equating hunting license with gun ownership - I would venture a guess "YES".

Are those records public?

Additionally, are those records subject to FOIA request?

Let the feeding frenzy begin.

Anonymous said...

Do we want someone to plow down 45 deer and not take them for processing? licenses discourage a rampage against animals.

Limit Two Treble Hooks said...

Setting limits on game is one thing; however, writing volumes about how long a fish must be, how many of this one you can have in the freezer, how long a spike must be, how much a doe must weigh, who you must call if you run over a deer, when is it dark, when is it daylight, when and what you can shoot from a boat and how many hooks you can have on what kind of line is pure over-governance.

I have no clue what this means: "Is there validity to equating hunting license with gun ownership?" I know you must have a gun to hunt and you must have a license to hunt but you don't have to have a gun license. Otherwise, WTF does the question mean?

Anonymous said...

"Why are we required to obtain a driving license?

The most common answer to this question is... To regulate and enforce driving laws."

That is false. Therefore, the comparison is moot.

Anonymous said...

Mark Baker introduced a bill in 2013 that passed both houses and was signed by the Gov that placed the state's list of CCW permit holders on the exempt list for documents that must be produced under 25-61-1 (Miss. Public Record Act). This was in response to the media in the northeast creating digital maps of whole communities with the addresses of CCW permit holders flagged. Won't happen in Mississippi now. Not sure about applicability to hunting license holders.

Joseph said...

7:29: How, exactly, do licenses do such a thing? We don't have a tagging system in Mississippi, and as such the limits on deer (and other harvested wildlife) are sort of an honor system, barring inspection by wildlife law enforcement. Even if I had a couple dozen deer in the freezer and said freezer got inspected, I could always say "I'm keeping them for different folks." Implausible, yes, but possible.

I don't think the comparison of hunting licenses and driving licenses is quite correct. Driving is fairly well limited to public roads, and I don't see a problem with requiring some form of license for folks to operate a vehicle on said roads. Hunting, however, can take place on private land. As such, I don't agree that folks should be required to have a state-issued license to hunt on said land. Now, if the landowner required it, that'd be a different story; same if the hunter is on public land. But requiring hunting licenses on private land seems to violate property rights. Of course, one could argue that wildlife are public goods, but I don't think that argument follows, either. Would all things on the property then be classified as public goods? I guess there are some parallels to riparian water rights, but that would only work under the assumption that the wildlife *will* move away from the private property at some point, an assertion that is, at best, questionable.

I don't particularly agree with Ms. Sojourner that hunters are in danger of being publicly exposed as firearm owners...I'm not that paranoid. But I have idly wondered as to the justification for the requirement of hunting licenses on private lands, and I have a sort of predisposition against naked revenue generation for the sake of revenue generation by the state, so there's that.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure 7:29 is actually a deer....pretty impressive posting with those hooves and all.

Anonymous said...

It's strange that at the same time state leaders pounded their chests about passing a constitutional amendment establishing hunting as a right, and now one is calling for elimination of licenses, the MS Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is quietly moving to close access to some public hunting land. Hunters from around the state have been outraged to learn the the state plans to close the Lake George Wildlife Management Area next year. Other areas may be affected too.

Anonymous said...

To 8:49...a hunting license is not required if you are hunting on land that is titled in your name. However, under the letter of the law, even my children and relatives must have licenses to hunt on my land, even though I do not.

Anonymous said...

Over 100 years ago, hunters and anglers were the earliest and most vocal supporters of conservation and scientific wildlife management. They were the first to recognize that rapid development and unregulated uses of wildlife were threatening the future of many species.

Led by fellow sportsman President Theodore Roosevelt, these early conservationists called for the first laws restricting the commercial slaughter of wildlife. They urged sustainable use of fish and game, created hunting and fishing licenses, and lobbied for taxes on sporting equipment to provide funds for state conservation agencies. These actions were the foundation of the North American wildlife conservation model, a science-based, user-pay system that would foster the most dramatic conservation successes of all time.

a private landowner said...

12:07 - I think you are not totally (maybe partially) correct. If those folks were with you as your guest, they don't have to have a license to hunt on land titled in your name

Anonymous said...

8:49 - if you are the owner of a few thousand acres of land, you might could sustain your idea that the wildlife on it doesn't move between your land and neighbors. But if you are the owner of 10 - 20 acres of land, I'd bet that the wildlife on it is very likely to also live on neighboring land. And you must remember that not all hunted wildlife travels 'on foot'. Birds (quail, dove, ducks, etc.) certainly move about from plots to plots.

Thus leading to the current statutes that establish - generally - that the wildlife of this state is a property of the state. Therefore it is subject to regulation by the state.

Anonymous said...

Not allowing a landowner to shoot the wildlife that feed and trespass on the land they own is a violation of the Takings Clause.

Requiring a license to shoot the wildlife that feed and trespass on the land owned by a landowner also is a violation the Takings Clause.

Landowners should also be able to transfer their right to shoot wildlife trespassers to anyone they choose. How can the State interfere with the sale or gift of something it never rightfully owned?

Anonymous said...

to 12:07...We play it safe on our place. I'm looking at the MDWFP website and it says even a spouse must have a license if the land is not jointly titled. However, I do no claim to be an expert of the state's hunting and fishing laws. As other posters have pointed out, there are many of them and they are often confusing.

Anonymous said...

I've been huntin' for my keys all afternoon. Do I need a license?

Full Choke said...

Pick up any one of dozens of fishing/hunting pamphlets published by MDWFP. Read it thoroughly. If you've not already memorized the rules, you will fail a test given after reading it four times.

Regardless; as was earlier said, this department has become a political empire, the largest in the state.

The political plumb-jobs in this department would be a worthwhile discussion. Who remembers the brother of Amy (my truck) Tuck who suddenly got one of the Department's highest jobs as soon as she was elected LT. Governor?

Anonymous said...

8:56 The potential WMA closings you speak of are due the COE cutting funding for the management of those areas. Not MDWFP. Many others in this thread have listed incorrect information as well. No doubt, many game laws are confusing, but so are statues pertaining to most anything. That's why lawyers are expensive.

With regards to political hires and maneuvering, I challenge you to name and entity that has never engaged in such activities, willingly or otherwise.

The fact is that many years ago, hunters and fisherman asked the states to create Game and Fish agencies to conserve natural resources and they volunteered to foot the bill through licenses and taxes on ammunition and such. Holding ill feelings towards and entire agency or group of agencies because a game warden was mean to you, once upon a time, is just childish.

With this bill MS has further proven that she will not allow her complete ignorance on an issue to stop her from throwing a piece of legislation to the wall just to see if it sticks.

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