Monday, 30 September 1996 17:00

GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CARE ABOUT SPORTSMEN'S CONCERNS

Written by Floyd Arterburn, SR.
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Dear HUNTER'S ALERT I would like your members to know how bad our government is in the state of Nevada. Our governor is supposed to be our state leader here in Nevada. I was brought up to look at our leaders as people who look after things. They were the ones that people voted into office to do the right thing. But after my firsthand dealings, I can see I was wrong.

In 1993, I did not agree with the bonus point system because I believed it was unfair. I figured I would just go down to the Division of Wildlife and show them what they had done was unfair to the families of Nevada. But 1 was wrong. I found out that the Nevada Division of Wildlife did not give a "Hoot" about anyone except for how much money they could rake in.

It all started when my son Joe shot a diseased antelope. He could have left it in the field but he chose to do the proper thing. After tagging the antelope, he then drove sixty three miles to Gerlach and couldn't find a game warden. The sheriffs office phoned the Nevada Division of Wildlife who refused to come out. They instructed him to bring the diseased antelope to Reno, another 100 mile drive, and they would take care of the problem. Joe did as they requested but was denied a replacement tag by Tom Atkinson, the chief game warden of Nevada. Mr. Atkinson stated, "As far as he was personally concerned, Joe, myself or anyone who shoots a diseased animal, no matter what it is, should not get another tag." He said "a person that shoots one should tag it and he is stuck with it." The law states that Joe should have received a tag on the spot. Tom Atkinson stated that he could not issue a tag and that if my son

and I left the building, my son would not get another tag. My son and I protested this to no avail. We testified as to what Tom Atkinson said, his arrogant attitude and how he broke the law by not issuing my son another antelope tag. My son and I were called liars and the whole complaint was covered up by Willie Molini. It was like having a hearing with the fox in the chicken coop.

I wrote letters and made phone calls to Governor Bob Miller's office but received no reply. Finally after numerous complaints, I did get a letter from Governor Bob Miller's office. It stated that my family had been investigated and that we had been very successful with a variety of big game tags that we had received. Myself and my family getting deer tags once in a while had nothing to do with my complaint. My complaints were the unfairness of the Bonus Point System and the Nevada Division of Wildlife by refusing to issue another tag. My son had to fill out forms to receive his duplicate tag no less than three different times. Finally it was agreed that he would receive a replacement tag the following year. However, he received the tag two days before the season opened and only after the Vista post office called him and advised him that they had his tag with a 12 cent postage due. It is our belief that this was just another form of harassment by Nevada Division of Wildlife. After three years of trying to get some satisfaction, I wrote a letter asking for a meeting with Governor Bob Miller about these two things, the Bonus Point System and how the Nevada Division of Wildlife covered up our complaint. I spoke with Tim Crowley, the governor's assistant and

was told the governor was too busy to see me. I made an appointment with Tim Crowley and drove to Carson City to see him. I took letters that I had written making complaints over the last three years. In addition, I also took newspaper clippings telling how our chief game warden was breaking the law by not issuing another tag to my son for the diseased antelope. ~ ^

After a couple of weeks, I got a letter from Tim Crowley stating that the intent 'of the Bonus Point System was to raise revenue to manage wildlife and give value to the bonus point which increases a hunter's opportunity to have the privilege to hunt. This is really propaganda. How can my donating my hunting license refund increase my opportunity to have the privilege to hunt? This is just a way to blackmail unsuccessful hunters and get their money. The Bonus Point System is supposed to be set up so people who had not drawn tags in past years would have a better chance of drawing than someone who had drawn.

I called Tim Crowley on the phone and asked him if the governor was ever going to do anything about this injustice concerning the Bonus Point System. He stated and I quote, "The governor did not have time to be bothered, that he had more important things to do." I stated that the governor is supposed to represent myself and the families of Nevada. I asked Tim

Crowley if the governor would ask the wildlife commissioners to change this unfair regulation. He told me the governor doesn't interfere with them and won't do anything and that the governor "had more important things to do."

If you have a complaint against a police officer, you get a fair and impartial hearing. If you have a complaint against a Nevada Division of Wildlife employee, it goes before the employee's boss and the complaint gets covered up so the Division head doesn't look bad.

In my opinion this shameful government is only going to end when we get elected commissioners chosen by the people. Currently Governor Miller is appointing his friends he owes favors to and have no knowledge of hunting and fishing. The commissioners are supposed to fairly represent the sportsmen and when a complaint comes in, they and the governor should see that it is fairly settled. I say it is not going to end until the sportsmen of Nevada get rid of Governor Bob Miller and his administrator Willie Molini!!

I suppose there will be some readers who read this will wonder if I'm telling the truth. If Tim Crowley denies saying these things then he is lying. I will take a lie detector test at the state's expense. I don't lie. How about that, Governor Miller?

Floyd Arterburn, SR.

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