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article imageOp-Ed: Squirrel slam participants issue threats and wave dead squirrels

By Elizabeth Batt     Feb 16, 2013 in Environment
Holley - It's been interesting watching the Holley Fire Department Squirrel Slam unfold. Already there has been an arrest and threats have been issued against protesters on scene.
I covered the story of the the annual Hazzard County Squirrel Slam just a couple of days ago. The controversial hunting event launched today in the town of Holley, New York despite drawing fire from both animal advocates, powerhouse animal protection groups, and a State Senator.
It's been an interesting and revealing ride so far and things are still 'evolving' with the squirrel slam. It's going on as I type. However, since I published the article I've been called an 'idiot' and 'stupid'. This is fine -- I've been called worse, but it does help to reveal the mentality of some of the people behind the insults.
One mud-hurler is apparently an event organizer who posted that I failed Journalism 101 for failing to get all the facts. She did this shortly before she changed her profile image on Facebook to that of a dead squirrel posing with a miniature bottle of Jack Daniels.
But considering nobody in Holley Fire Department is talking right now (not even to the Associated Press said the AP today), reporting the other side of the story is hard to do. Still, I extended an invite (via the organizer) to the Holley Fire Chief some days ago, and offered to print whatever he had to say. I'm still waiting.
In the meantime, on scene and reporting the event as it happened was David Andreatta, an investigative reporter at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, NY. He accompanied some squirrel hunters and spoke with protesters there. For awhile, he was tweeting events as they happened.
His tweets have been rather interesting to say the least. Here's a sample:
David Andreatta ‏@david_andreatta
Protesters report a motorist waving dead squirrels at them. #holleysquirrelhunt
David Andreatta @david_andreatta
Hilton man has been detained after run-in with protesters. He said, "W/o (police) somebody's gonna shoot you probably"
David Andreatta ‏@david_andreatta
Protesters have arrived at #holleysquirrelhunt. A passing motorist mocks them, yelling "tasty animals."
David Andreatta ‏@david_andreatta
Gregory Roth, of Hilton, to be arrested on harassment charges related to disrupting peaceful #holleysquirrelhunt protest, police chief says.
As a resident of Montana, I've had the opportunity to speak with several hunters in the area, many of whom felt the squirrel slam was "embarrassing." One, who only wished to be identified as DP, said of the actions described above, "This gives all hunters a bad name" and "given the current gun control climate" he added, "Holley Fire Department isn't doing us any favors at all."
Sometimes it is isn't about right or wrong, sometimes it's about sheer common sense.
What do you think?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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