Our most important goal is to establish a political presence in the Oklahoma state legislature. This is necessary for us to preserve our right to free cast our hounds. The current legislature has passed laws that make it illegal to retrieve your hound without specific permission from the landowner where your hound is treed. For example, you cast your hound in an area where you have permission to hunt, but your hound trees on property where you do not have permission to hunt.
All houndsmen should be sure to register to vote. It does not matter whether you register as a Democrat or Republican. You should make sure that your spouse, adult children and relatives are registered to vote. Each houndsman should be responsible for seeing that his friends and relatives are registered to vote and are educated on how to vote in a particular election. The only way to preserve your right to hunt is through the power of the vote.
The year 2012 is an election year. The entire House of Representatives will be up for election. One-half of the Senate will be up for election. Members of the House of Representatives serve a two year term and must stand for reelection every two years. In the Senate, a senator serves a term of four years before he or she must stand for reelection. Senators running for reelection in the odd numbered districts stand for reelection in the same year as the presidential election. Senators running for reelection in even numbered districts stand for reelection in the same year as the gubernatorial election.
One of the most important tasks that we face is the selection of a legislative representative (lobbyist). This person will represent us in the state legislature and will be required to spend a large amount of time visiting with members of the state House of Representatives and the state Senate.
On December 17, 2011, a group of houndsmen met at my law office in Oklahoma City. The purpose of this meeting was to select the person or persons who can serve as the legislative representative for houndsmen in the Oklahoma state legislature. A great deal of time needs to be spent at the state legislature visiting with senators and representatives about the issues that face houndsmen. We will also learn the identity of those who serve in the legislature that favor our sport and those who oppose it. This information will guide us in how we vote in the November 2012 election.
If you are aware of a person or persons who is capable and willing to serve in the capacity of legislative representative, please contact me immediately at 1-800-739-2235.
I had a long visit with Senator Charles Wyrick, Fairland, OK. He serves District 1, which includes Craig, Delaware and Ottawa counties. Senator Wyrick serves an odd numbered district in the senate, which means that he will stand for reelection in 2012. We certainly want to give Senator Wyrick our complete support. I also visited with Representative Scott Inman, minority leader in the House of Representatives. Representative Inman is proving to be very helpful and a supporter for our program. He represents District 94, Oklahoma County. We also want to give him our full support in his bid for reelection in November, 2012.
Wildlife Department Public Hearings
The Oklahoma Wildlife Department has announced public hearings to be held on January 10, 2012, in Oklahoma City (Wildlife Department Office), and in Poteau (Kiamichi Vo-Tech Center). These meetings will begin at 7 PM.
Among several rule changes to be discussed is removing the daily bag limit on gray fox, red fox and raccoon. The current daily bag limits are; gray fox-2, red fox-1, and raccoon-10. There is no proposal to change the season bag limit for raccoon, forty per licensee, but there is a proposal to increase the season bag limit on gray fox from six to ten.
Please make plans to attend these public hearings. Also, please let me know how you feel about these issues. This helps me determine how to vote as a wildlife commissioner in the Wildlife Commission meetings. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-739-2235.