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From The WTF Files – Tejon Suspending Hunting Activities?

January 21, 2012

Color me shocked, dismayed, and a little bit disappointed. I just saw the news this morning that the Tejon Ranch will be suspending all hunting activitivies for the immediate future. They’ve even gone so far as to cancel memberships and return member fees.

According to the article I just read from KGET.com, the ranch is doing this in order to review their hunting practices and wildlife management approach.

Tejon Ranch Company will work closely with the DFG in examining every aspect of the Ranch’s hunting program. The Ranch’s goal will be to institute best hunting management standards and practices, including a full examination of whether allowing unsupervised access to the Company’s 422 square miles of Ranch property may have contributed to this unfortunate series of events.

“While it’s in the long term best interests of conservation for hunting to continue on the Ranch,” said Stine, “we believe a short-term suspension of our normal operations are necessary to determine the best way to operate the hunting program to ensure that these actions never again occur on Tejon Ranch, even if that means severely restricting hunting access to the Ranch.”

Of course, this is little more than a euphemistic way of saying that they’ve caught so much heat over last May’s allegations of illegal mountain lion hunting that they’re scrambling to appease a handful of detractors.  It’s become fairly typical of Tejon Ranch to overreact this way, whether it’s banning lead ammunition or giving away control over a huge part of the property for “conservation”.

It’s no secret that, at the heart of all of this are the Ranch’s efforts to develop a large sector of the property for housing, golf courses, and a resort.  They’ve bent over backwards with efforts to get the environmental organizations to stop fighting their development plans.  And the problem with this is that they don’t seem to realize that, the more they give, the more these organizations will take.  This is not compromise.  Tejon is never going to make it “OK” to develop pristine wild lands.  All they’re succeeding at doing is drawing the noose tighter around their own necks, and in so doing, they’re stringing up their customers as well.

A key goal of the “investigation” is to determine if unsupervised access to the ranch by hunters and members presents an unacceptable risk of poaching and other illegal activity.  I’m not sure what this means in the long run, but for now I’m hearing a lot of disgust and anger from members and hunters, and I can’t blame them.  Even though the alleged mountain lion poaching was supposedly carried out by employees and friends of the Ranch staff, the finger appears to be pointing at the hunters and members who pay to hunt there… folks like myself, and the hundreds of people like me who’ve enjoyed hunting on that beautiful place.

Seriously, anytime the ranch gets heat for anything, whether it’s lead ammo, illicit mountain lion hunts, or some idiot killing a condor, the rest of us bear the burden of increased regulation and restrictions.   I believe a company should stand up for its customers, rather than allowing them to bear the blame for this sort of foolishness.

I love hunting the Tejon Ranch, and even though I’m leaving California, I’d looked forward to coming back to hunt there with my friends on a regular basis (I still have a lifetime license in this state).  But in light of this action and the apparent reflection on all of us who’ve hunted there over the years, I’m beginning to think I’m done with the place.  Just maybe, when the ranch decides to implement whatever new program it has in mind, folks should tell them, “no, thank you.”

Comments

7 Responses to “From The WTF Files – Tejon Suspending Hunting Activities?”

  1. neil h on January 21st, 2012 17:56

    Sad they’re taking this out on “unsupervised access” when the people accused, whether fairly or unfairly, by a disgruntled former employee are very specifically the guides and staff:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/14/local/la-me-mountain-lions-20110514

  2. Phillip on January 21st, 2012 19:18

    You’re dead right, Neil. The problem that led to the mountain lion hunting allegations had nothing to do with “unsupervised access.” This wasn’t a bunch of guys on the Pig-o-Rama out there shooting lions.

    A couple of people told me a couple years back that we’d soon be seeing an end to hunting Tejon as we know it, and I blew them off. Now I realize how close we may be to that exact outcome. It’s entirely possible that Tejon will become one, big, rich-guys’ hunting club. I hope not, but it’s not looking promising.

  3. Ron Gayer on January 22nd, 2012 18:52

    Phillip, Talk about a CYA press release. I do hope when the smoke clears, our hunting community has a place on Tejon. If not what a BIG TIME loss for us all.
    Let me know about Texas, still willing to help build stuff.

    Ron G

  4. Phillip on January 22nd, 2012 23:26

    I hear ya, Ron. And I’ll let you know about Tejas for sure.

  5. Beastslayer on January 24th, 2012 16:44

    Having literally spilled my own blood there, I extremely saddened.

    When I got knocked out in that accident and woke up, in all seriousness, I thought to myself I must be in heaven when I woke up in thar hills with the carpet of yellow flowers.

  6. Phillip on January 24th, 2012 19:38

    It IS Heaven, brother. You weren’t wrong.

  7. Tejon Opens Up To Hunters Again : Hog Blog on August 27th, 2012 02:47

    […] in January, the Tejon Ranch in California temporarily closed its gates to all hunting activity.  There were a couple of reasons for the closure, but chief among them was […]

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