Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Misplaced Anger

One month ago, in a 22-page decision, Commonwealth Court
dismissed the lawsuit filed against the Pennsylvania Game
Commission by the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania.  The lawsuit
had claimed that the agency was using fraudulent science to manage
deer. It also alleged that the deer herd was not being managed in
the best interests of hunters or the deer themselves. This was the
second such court dismissal since 2007.

Some hunters — I’m assuming mainly USP members — are expressing
frustration and anger over the court decision. The USP vows to
appeal all the way to the State Supreme Court, with Unified
President Steve Mohr proclaiming, “We’re not going to give
up.”

It is clear that hunters’ anger is misplaced. Given the information
that was presented in court – including the USP’s not-so-expert
testimony – any reasonable person would have reached the same
decision that was reached by Judge Barry Feudale. Anger shouldn’t
be directed toward the court or the judge, but rather toward the
organization that, according to USP director Randy Santucci, spent
“tens of thousands of dollars” on what was an apparently
ill-thought-out lawsuit.

In the process, the PGC spent many man-hours and sportsmen’s
dollars in defense of what was so frivolous that it didn’t even
need to be defended.  Sportsmen and women were hit again through
the State Attorney General’s Office when our tax dollars were used
in the defense.

Mohr interpreted the judge’s 22-page ruling as having “left the
door wide open for an appeal.”  Boy, I just didn’t read it that
way.

From my perspective, Unified members have been fleeced in three
ways:

• First, many of their USP dollars were used to prepare and file
the worthless case.

• Second, this forced the PGC to spend license dollars preparing a
factual defense.

• And lastly, USP members’ tax dollars were used for the legal
defense against their own lawsuit.

Just maybe, the money would have done more good if it had been used
to purchase a posted property and open it to hunting.

The USP “bus” is heading off a cliff.

So where should USP member anger be directed: toward the court, the
judge, or toward the people driving the USP “bus”?

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