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Monday, December 6, 2010

Hunting For A Fight : Updated With Self-Sufficient Irony

Palin's TLC show is truly nothing more than one extended campaign ad expressly designed to make her look good to conservatives that are more concerned with image than substance.

The latest episode takes on hunting. Not because Palin thinks it's a good way for American's to enjoy what nature provides - even though it can be - and not because she enjoys hunting - which she apparently does - but because the image of Palin with a gun is likely to be more effective with conservative men than the Cialis prescription they picked up form CVS on Saturday afternoon.

In tonight's episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska," the former governor showcases the Alaska tundra while caribou hunting with her father. Beyond proving she's a great shot, the episode is giving Palin an opportunity to "proudly" take aim at "anti-hunting hypocrisy."

"Tonight's hunting episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska ‘controversial'? Really? Unless you've never worn leather shoes, sat upon a leather couch or eaten a piece of meat, save your condemnation of tonight's episode. I remain proudly intolerant of anti-hunting hypocrisy. :)" Palin posted on Facebook and Twitter today.

Palin's pro-hunting posts began on Friday when she urged fans to tune in to "see how we fill our freezers and feed our families with home-grown tundra-roaming Alaskan wild game. We'll show you how Alaskans hunt. As my friend Sue says, ‘the tundra is the type of landscape that will make a man out of anybody.' And, PETA..." she wrote on Facebook.

"Does it kick?"

"Should I take him now?"

Yeah, she sure sounds like an experienced hunter, doesn't she.

And I don't think it should be characterized as diving headlong into the shallow end of the pool to claim that this segment is heavily edited to favor Palin - as I know for a fact that it likely was, as I have been in direct contact with persons who worked in the editing process of the program - but I'm incredibly skeptical on two counts: that the Caribou actually stuck around within shooting range of Palin and her father, and that it was Palin that shot the animal.

That aside, I can at least agree that hunting can and does provide an opportunity to have food, I would wager that most families that have hunters in them make more trips to the meat section at Wal-Mart than the wild to kill an animal. After all, it's a sure thing that you're going to get a 20lb turkey at your grocery store if you've go the money for it. With that in mind, think of the costs of hunting gear and accoutrements versus the cost of the gas and food price if you opt for the grocery store. And I'm pretty sure that anyone that owns a pair of RedWing boots and has leather interior in their car should be thanking a corporation rather than an individual hunter for the availability of those things they enjoy.

I grew up in a family of hunters. My dad took me squirrel hunting as a child - not a meat I would suggest eating by the way - and my brother and I have hunted deer more than a few times. The later is more prominent in my area of the US, and hunters often utilize the bulk of the slaughtered animal for sources of food, though there is more than a handful of those that opt for the trophy over the bounty of the animal. In the end, I don't have a problem with hunting, especially if it results in foods. However, over-hunting simply to have a dead animal's head on your living room wall is certainly an issue not to be ignored.

So what did Palin do with "her kill"?


About that whole "self-sufficient need to fill your freezer" crap - seems that Mama Grizzly isn't so fiscally conservative when it comes to the stage setting around her homespun Alaskan traditions: researched the logistics and cost of Palin’s hunting trip which resulted in a bagged caribou, and discovered that it was a mighty expensive way to feed the Palin family, at $42,400 for the trip.

The grand total to charter a Dehavilland Dash plane from Era Alaska to travel round trip from Wasilla’s Palmer airport to Deadhorse, Alaska was $37,600. In Deadhorse, the Palins switched to a 6 seat Cessna C207 Skywagon which they flew into the Kavik River Camp, at $1200 for the round trip, according to Lori Goodman, director of sales and marketing of Era Alaska, the company which chartered the planes for the Palins.

Once in Kavik, the Palins spent two nights at the Kavik River Camp at $250 a person per night, for a $750 total.

Finally, the Deltana Outfitters flew them individually on a Piper Supercub airplane from Kavik into their hunting spot at a cost of $350 per hour for three hours each way, for a total of $2100, according to Deltana.

The grand Palin total to bag a caribou and get it back to the Palin homestead added up to $42,400, or $141.33 per lb. of caribou meat. Sarah shot and killed a female cow which may have weighed up to 300 lbs.

Just to put this is perspective, the Palins could have filled their freezer with ribeye steak at $10.99 a lb.

If this is the way that Palin approaches hunting, I'm guessing there are plenty of conservative brainstorming sessions going on right now talking about how Palin was helping out small businesses by utilizing private Alaskan air travel and lodging for her trip. Nah, they'll probably just ignore the cost - much like they do every time a fellow conservative overspends on anything.

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