Elitist Hunters and Fishermen

The T.O. Show

Buenos Hatches Ese
#1
https://www.outdoorlife.com/an-elit...man-responds-to-interior-secretary-ryan-zinke

An ‘Elitist’ Public-Lands Sportsman Responds to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke

Editor's Note: This is a reader response to our profile on Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, in which Zinke said that prioritizing backcountry recreation limits public land access to "an elitist sort of hunter and fisherman."


I am conflicted. I learned today from Outdoor Life that to Mr. Secretary Ryan Zinke, I am an elitist.

I read not too far back that Mr. Secretary, on behalf of common Americans, wants to raise National Park fees, as well as accommodate larger motor coaches (I’m assuming similar to the Blue Behemoth that haunted Whitefish for the past few years), RVs, and air-cooled trailers, because the common American doesn’t camp in tents or drive station wagons anymore. I’m most comfortable sleeping in my truck or in a wall tent. According to Mr. Secretary, I am an elitist.

My wife and I have 3 vehicles…a 1997 F250, a 2002 Subaru Outback, and a 2007 Toyota Yaris, all are over or pushing 200,000 miles (oh, and a 1979 Mercedes Diesel Wagon with a busted odometer—first $3,500 takes it). According to Mr. Secretary, I am an elitist. We live in 500 square feet, attached to an 800-square-foot shop that I built with my own two hands. A place where I turn sawdust into mortgage payments, checks for dog food, and spare folding money. According to Mr. Secretary, I am an elitist.

Our combined income has never reached six figures. According to Mr. Secretary, I am an elitist.

We hunt, gather, garden, can, smoke, dry, jelly, and pickle as much of our own food as we can. According to Mr. Secretary, I am an elitist.

I spend countless hours every month volunteering on behalf of several conservation organizations and collaborations. I send checks to folks doing good work on behalf of conservation, public access for all Americans, and public lands. When I’m flush, those checks might get to three digits. According to Mr. Secretary, I am an elitist.

I read recently that Mr. Secretary took a $12,000 private charter to fly home, (when a commercial flight is $300) on the common American’s dime, so he could speak at an event for his good friend, Mr. Fidelity. According to Mr. Secretary, I am an elitist.

When I have free time, I find where the road ends—on our unequaled public lands—and push, paddle, and portage a canoe that my wife and I built of cedar and ash cants that we milled. I take the rifle for long walks, hoping that an elk or deer finds its way into our freezer. I burn bootleather on the prairie behind a fine pack of dogs. According to Mr. Secretary, I am an elitist.

For some reason, a tune of the Green River, Paradise, and Mr. Peabody’s Coal Train is ringing in my head. I think I’ll sharpen the dumb end of a “Strike Anywhere,” pick some public land chukar out of my teeth, and ponder my new standing among the American elite. I guess it is a badge I’ll wear with honor. It is all the greedy bastards I’m worried about now.

Tom Healy is a board member of the Montana chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. He lives in Whitefish, Montana.
 

The T.O. Show

Buenos Hatches Ese
#5
It just seems like a risky way to throw that word around. Maybe there is no "right" way to enjoy the outdoors, but I'm pretty sure what he is defining as "elite" is not wrong. It seems to tell his followers that working hard and being good at something is a bad thing. Don't go hike into the mountains, or float a river with limited access, or get off the beaten path at all, that shit is for the elitists who think they are better than you because they want to camp at night without a generator running next to them. Wtf, what a strange message to send to people...
 

The T.O. Show

Buenos Hatches Ese
#7
I feel like Zinke is a good enough dude, but he is clearly playing politics and slinging their rhetoric. I don't believe that a Navy Seal from Whitefish is adverse to sleeping on the ground outside. He sold out I guess, but it's unfortunate because this narrative pins a lot of like-minded folks against each other.
 

TDB

Active Member
#9
I feel like Zinke is a good enough dude, but he is clearly playing politics and slinging their rhetoric. I don't believe that a Navy Seal from Whitefish is adverse to sleeping on the ground outside. He sold out I guess, but it's unfortunate because this narrative pins a lot of like-minded folks against each other.
The guy's a fraud, can't even rig a fly rod. Thought for sure you would have to hand in your Montana man card after doing something like this:
https://www.outsideonline.com/2266216/man-flies-his-own-flag
 
#10
Everyone knows that you never wear a bright blue shirt with a tan fly vest. He's a real piker.

And this makes him a retard:

"As Zinke and I casted over the ice-cold water, I noticed something funny about his setup. He kept struggling to strip line out of the bottom of the reel. For a while, I thought he was simply having trouble concentrating on our conversation while casting. No, there was something wrong, and when I asked him to stand for a portrait, I finally saw what the problem was. He had rigged his reel backward, so that the line was coming out of the top of the reel. Every so often when he went to strip line out, he would grasp air where the line should’ve been."
 

The T.O. Show

Buenos Hatches Ese
#11
That was embarrassing for him and he is certainly no fly fisherman, but that's kind of beside the point isn't it? I posted this to acknowledge the absurdity in the rhetoric they are using to convince Americans that selling our public lands is the best thing for them. Let's focus here.... What is worse, an Interior Secretary who doesn't fly fish, or a government that seizes your National Monuments and leases them for oil exploration? Because that's what they just did with Bears Ears and this rhetoric is how they are gaining public support for it in other places. I don't really care if Zinke can rig and cast a fly rod (although he shouldn't have portrayed himself as though he could). I care deeply if he spins a web of bullshit about venturing into the backcountry being for the elitist pigs so we should use that land for "other" things.
 
#12
Because a lot of folks can be fooled into thinking he knows what's best for the wilderness, because he's a wilderness guy, he is a danger TO the wilderness. Our only hope is that with the 3 remaining years, this Reich has left, they don't do too much damage that can't be undone. It's sad to see things torn apart that took years to get.
 

TDB

Active Member
#13
That was embarrassing for him and he is certainly no fly fisherman, but that's kind of beside the point isn't it? I posted this to acknowledge the absurdity in the rhetoric they are using to convince Americans that selling our public lands is the best thing for them. Let's focus here.... What is worse, an Interior Secretary who doesn't fly fish, or a government that seizes your National Monuments and leases them for oil exploration? Because that's what they just did with Bears Ears and this rhetoric is how they are gaining public support for it in other places. I don't really care if Zinke can rig and cast a fly rod (although he shouldn't have portrayed himself as though he could). I care deeply if he spins a web of bullshit about venturing into the backcountry being for the elitist pigs so we should use that land for "other" things.
We're on the same page but you alluded to him being a sportsman when in fact he's a punk ass poseur that should stick to the Yellowstone Club.
 
#14
“This is potentially a plot by the oil and gas industry to lock up leases at bargain-basement prices,” Squillace said. “From an industry perspective, if they can lock up leases that way, and then prices go up, they can all of a sudden develop, and they’ve gotten the resource for almost nothing.”
 
#15
"In the late nineties, Zinke made several trips to Montana on official military orders to scout training locations for his SEAL team. While there he also did restoration work on his childhood home. After he was forced to repay a small amount of unauthorized expenses to the Navy, Zinke’s prospects of making a command rank dimmed.

None of this stopped him from touting his leadership role in the SEAL teams. In his first congressional campaign, he sent an e-mail to a list of former special operators that included the line “I spent 23 years as a Navy SEAL and served as a Team Leader on SEAL Team Six—the team responsible for the mission to get Osama bin Laden.” When several veteran SEALs called out the fact that Zinke left the Navy three years before Bin Laden’s death, Zinke responded by saying, “What I am doing is reiterating that I was a commander at SEAL Team Six.” "
 

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