Organized Open Field Coursing is not some arena sport-- it is the same thing with rules. Out in a wild place, a "field" of people walks with their dogs on leashes. When a hare flushes, two are slipped. The dogs are then scored at their ability-- how many times the hare can be "turned", for instance. It is common that a good hare that evades the dogs is cheered. But of course if there is anyone like me there the dead hare is also prized-- and if not, they also can be cooked for dog food (cooked because of intestinal worms).
Two days ago a well known, long- time courser sent me an email.
"The [show on coursing] aired on ABC-TV last night. Investigative reporters discovered a blood sport flourishing in the Bay Area. They have already found a legislator to sponsor a bill prohibiting coursing. They have also publicly
announced the date of the Grand Course, obviously in the hope of getting a demonstration going."
As I wrote to an English hawker and dog man today: "What happened is that some IDIOTS in California invited a "friendly" film crew to a coursing meet, not knowing they had ties to the most radical Animal rights groups! The footage was aired on TV in the San Francisco Bay Area. They set up a "poll" asking whether "hunting rabbits with dogs should be banned". Amazingly, we actually won it!-- I will take some credit because my "tree" of networks is extensive and we got hundreds of fox people and hawkers to vote as well as the poor longdog folks. But ABC is planning a follow- up and I heard they were discouraging any pro - coursing commentators. Meanwhile the AR thugs have published the phone numbers and even addresses of people on the coursing list, including several over 70, one over 80 who is recovering from open heart surgery, and a woman our age recovering from cancer, and are encouraging their membership to call them through the night, go to their houses, even implying they should take their dogs."
Do I exaggerate? Here is an actual excerpt from one of their mailings, names excised to protect my friends.
"this is off craiglist
Please do forward to those who should see this but are not on this list
I am using my usual editting thing
"C**rsing Bl**d Sport - We Need Action!!!
Reply to: see below
Date: 2006-02-05, 11:07PM PST
"Look, all I know is the big yearly event takes place Feb 18-20th. It's too late
to try and get any laws passed before this event happens, so why not get as many
protesters there to either make enough commotion before the event to scare away
any wild rabbits, or just bust in and set free any caged ones they plan to use
for the "sport"?? Letter writing and petition signing isn't going to be enough
to save these rabbits in 2 weeks!!!
We must be able to snoop and find out where this thing is held.
The site's been taken down, but this link should work (found it on the abc.com
"Here's some email addresses of people part of this horrible event:
[ Long list of dog people-- no, not me-- never been gladder I am not a "joiner", though they may ultimately be sorry they have several New Mexicans-- as I said to my English friend: "One of the guys they published the address for, over 60 years in age, jumps on feral pigs that his dogs have bayed and ties them up (and then brings them home to fatten). ]
"Some more names and wheeee! PHONE NUMBERS!!! Let's bombard these barbarians! I
am sure they're up all hours of the night, no? They should be...)"
Barbarians? I think people who destroy the peace of mind of others who are doing something perfectly legal and natural have a better claim to that title. I wonder if ABC, in the interest of "fairness", will also report on these threats....
Related thoughts here "Who wants to own your dogs" . (I may come back to this later). Hat tip SAOVA.
Let my friend have the -- very temporary-- penultimate word here:
"For many of these people, the ARs already have the physical address information. For the others they can easily get it, using the phone number. They are trying to mobilize people to harass us and get rid of the "killer dogs" ... the
hysteria is unbelievable. I didn't need telling that the ARs are vicious swine, but this is beyond belief."
And the last word?
I think this may be a bit like those cartoons of Mohammed, for all hunters. They just don't know it yet.
To be continued.
Many updates. Harassment goes national-- PETA publishes my friends' names and urges on their fanatic legions.
The blog of the Bay Area TV station defends itself for the piece. Not only is their defense at best disingenuous and at worst wilfully ignorant-- the reporter says he has a greyhound but didn't know they chase things??-- but they use photos by my friend Herb Wells, who is recovering from open heart surgery and on the anti's published hit list! Rey McGehee tells me this is legal under "Fair Use". But so is telling these people what you think of their ethics. Please let them know-- there is a box provided. No obscenity please, even if they deserve it-- we don't want our side to stoop to their tactics.
Finally, Sir Terence Clark sends some sanity from Ireland in the form of a letter to the Telegraph by a courser from Antrim:
"Everyone is entitled to their view regarding coursing but it was disappointing to see a Belfast Telegraph Viewpoint (February 4) based on a rather subjective and emotive stance which echoes the views of the League Against Cruel Sports but failed to take on board the merits of coursing, not only to the Irish economy but also in maintaining the best of traditions of field sports.
"How can anyone state with certainty that the hare is distressed when chased by greyhounds when what happens is part of the tussle between natural adversaries? If it was unduly stressed, surely the hare would not do what comes naturally, portraying all its craft and skill in avoiding the pursuer.
Hares are ideally equipped to deal with two greyhounds and the fact that so few are injured, mortally or otherwise, speaks for itself. Indeed, it is more often than not the greyhounds that end up distressed through exhaustion if having to undergo a longer-than-expected course as the hare leads them a merry dance.
"Coursing clubs have done more - and will continue to do more - than the antis have ever done in conserving and enhancing the numbers of Lepus Timidus Hibernicus as an endemic species on this island.
"Few care more about the welfare of the hare than coursing clubs. Can the same be said of modern farming which has continually destroyed habitats and left the hare vulnerable to predation? "