Workman For Guv?

More steelhead! Longer deer and elk seasons!! And DNR, you’re taking over management of all the frou-frou wildlife in the state!!!

Northwest Sportsman columnist and Gun Week senior editor Dave Workman fired off a blog today that reads as if he’s ready to be Washington’s next governor.

“[KIRO Radio talk show host Dori] Monson has called on Gregoire to resign. Dori, if she quits, I’m available!” Workman writes in a post-election post riffing on two different themes.

GOVERNOR (?) WORKMAN AT THE RANGE. (DAVE WORKMAN)

Frankly, we’re not quite sure how serious the North Bend resident and loooooooooooooooong-time local hook-and-bullet scribe is about a run — he named us his campaign manager and first thing we’re doing is spending all his funds on Powerball tickets — but the first part of his blog tackles several gun-control laws that newly-elected-to-national-office Republicans should help overturn while the second half reads like a campaign platform for the local Wild Meat Eaters Party.

“It’s time to roll back the clock,” proclaims Workman, and by that, we’re guessing to somewhere around fall 1965-1970, when Chinook, coho, bucks and bulls were plentiful, there was more hunting land to access (our father and grandfather used to hunt on what is now the massive “Redmond Ridge” housing development) and there were far fewer Californians inhabiting the Evergreen State.

The first things a Governor Workman would do are audit the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, “ask the attorney general to investigate wolf re-introduction,” and maybe even send “the feds a letter telling them that Washington State is out of the wolf management business,” just like Idaho Gov. Butch Otter did.

“If they want wolves here, they need to pay us, in advance, for the damage they do to game herds. If not, they can remove the wolves or we will,” says Workman, a rallying cry sure to earn him many votes on Hunting Washington.

However, the “or we will” part may not go over so well with the U.S. Attorney’s office as Canis lupus is still protected under the Endangered Species Act and illegal killings are punishable by a $100,000 fine and year in jail. Wolves have filtered into the state from British Columbia and the Idaho Panhandle while those introduced into Central Idaho in the mid-1990s have swam the Snake and are establishing packs in the Blue and Wallowa Mountains of Oregon and Washington. WDFW is still working on a management plan for the species, and that may be complicated by a bill rural Eastern Washington legislators are drafting for the upcoming session (see the November issue of Northwest Sportsman for more).

But first things first with Workman, and that means plenty of edible game for local sportsmen.

He vows he would:

… remind Fish and Wildlife commissioners that hunters and anglers pay the freight, and “encourage them” to restore longer hunting and fishing seasons, restore the hatchery programs, work on rebuilding mule deer herds while abolishing that stupid 3-point requirement in all but a few management units, stop that equally stupid “true spike” rule for elk, end the spike-only rule in Eastern Washington, and go on the warpath against poachers and game wasters, no matter who they are.

They would take us back to the time when a hunter could hunt with modern firearms, bows and/or muzzleloaders so long as they paid an additional fee to hunt the extra season with an alternative weapons permit. It’s a great money maker for a financially-strapped agency, and so long as people can only harvest one deer or elk each year, why not give them the opportunity?

All very populist arguments in a state where the fishing and hunting pamphlets seem to grow by the year, WDFW is on pace to send out more e-reg fishery change notices than any previous year, the agency’s director stated last April that “At WDFW, every day is Earth Day,” and “Our first priority is to conserve our state’s fish and wildlife,” and the feds have declared dozens of animal, fish and plant populations threatened or endangered since passage of ESA in 1973.

Workman doesn’t go in for touchy-feely stuff or watchable wildlife. Indeed, one of his planks is that, if elected, he’d hunt around for state legislators to sponsor a bill for “transferring the management of non-game fish and wildlife to the Department of Natural Resources and re-establish the WDFW as the Department of Fish and Game.”

Questioned by email whether he was serious or not, Workman was coy, but his blog says watch for more “roll back the clock” posts.

“The campaign for 2012 has just begun!” he declares.

Fine, but please remember to have your Chief of Staff get me your columns by deadline each issue, Guv.

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One Response to “Workman For Guv?”

  1. Dave Workman Says:

    Geez, Wigglemott!!!
    Some campaign director you are…

    I didn’t say “how” we’d “remove” the wolves…

    Maybe we’ll ask the administration for stimulus funds and buy ’em tickets to Disneyland. Maybe we’ll release them in downtown Seattle. Most people there would just think they were U-Dub mascots…

    The feds are already knocking on the door of my cave….

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