A smart mid-western friend who has a lot of quail-hunting experience writes:
Quail The entire Cheney hunting accident story stinks. The delay in announcing it isCheney_2 suspicious, obviously. I'll bet Cheney had a few beers in him, but I'm not sure that is illegal in Texas (drinking and hunting is illegal in most states, but I couldn't find out if that includes Texas).
But a few other points that may be worth noting:
1. The news reports say the accident happened "around 5:30 pm" on Saturday. In Texas, quail can be hunted until 30 minutes after sunset. Sunset on Saturday, in Corpus Christi, was at 6:18, which means they were legal until 6:48. The "around" is suspicious.
Harry_whittington 2. The news reports say that after Whittington (left) had gotten off his shot and went looking for his bird, Cheney and the other hunter went to another spot where they saw a covey of quail. Texas quail might be different from Iowa quail, but in Iowa when a shotgun goes off, every quail within earshot flutters away. The story doesn't make sense.
3. None of the stories have commented on the fact that they were "road hunting", or hunting from a car. That is just about the lowest kind of low-rent, dishonorable kind of hunting there is (the phrase "road hunting" is often used synonymously with "poaching"). When I was growing up in Iowa, I went pheasant or quail hunting on scores of occasions with my Dad and others. We never would have hunted from a vehicle and it was an insult to even suggest that someone might. It was considered dangerous and declasse, as it was too great an advantage for the hunter to be "fair". It most states, including Texas, it is also illegal: Shotgun
"It is unlawful to hunt from or by means of motor-driven vehicles and land conveyances or aircraft of any kind except paraplegics and single or double amputees of legs may hunt from stationary motor-driven vehicles or land conveyances."
However, Texas exempts private property owners from the prohibition when they are on their own land and Cheney was with the property owner on his ranch. But it is still really tacky.
4. Hunting quail in Texas requires an "Upland game bird stamp", which costs $7. This is a relatively new requirement, but I'll bet Cheney didn't have one.
5. The spin is that Whittington "came up from behind the Vice President", implying that he snuck up on him or was somehow partially responsible because Cheney didn't know he was there. When hunting, it is bad form to walk in front of someone's gun. When given a choice, one would always approach another hunter from behind.
Cheney has gotten negative press in the past for participating in "canned hunts" Cheney_roadkill and a couple of years ago he got really negative press for going on a canned pheasant hunt in Pennsylvania where he got between 70 and 95 birds (depending on which report is to be believed). The typical daily limit in places like Iowa and South Dakota, where we have many more pheasants than Pennsylvania, is 3 or 5 per day and a possession limit of 15 or 20.
To many of our milieu, hunting is hunting is hunting and the distinctions noted above aren't that big of a deal. To hunters, these are important distinctions. Hunting regulations are strictly enforced in most states and every sixpack Joe knows he better abide by them or he'll get in trouble. Most hunters aren't affluent suede vest guys, they are working class guys within a couple of generations of agriculatural roots. The gluttony of shooting 70 pheasant in a day is almost impossible for them to comprehend.
Focusing on the kill rather than the hunt is frowned upon. Killing more than you can eat is frowned upon. Canned hunts and that kind of over-indulgence is for the Rambo hunters, who are not thought highly of by the old-fashioned Izaak Walton league type of guys, like my Dad.
Someone should be asking if Cheney was drinking, if he was properly licensed with his Upland Game Bird Stamp, when (and if) the hunting accident was actually reported to the authorities and if anyone has investigated why the quail in Texas seem to have gone deaf.
Ms. Armstrong claims to have been in the car, but to have witnessed the shooting. If so, that would mean the hunters were fairly close, within eyeshot, which makes it even less likely that Whittington had gotten off a shot at a quail and then there were other quail still waiting around for Cheney to find them. It just does not make sense!
UPDATE AT 1:50 PM: CBS news' White House correspondent reports that Secret Ser ie agents prevented local law enforcement from interviewing Cheney. At White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's late morning press conference, he said that Cheney had a valid hunting license -- but no one asked whether the Veep had the required Upland Game Bird Stamp. Think Progress has a partial transcript of the McClelln presser here. And my quail-hunting friend updates his comments above with the following:
"I spoke to my younger brother today who did not know anything about the hunting accident. He kind of lives off the grid, doesn't pay attention to news, I'm not sure he has a wallet, checking account or even pays taxes. What he does is hunt and fish. And generally vote Republican I am sorry to report.
I read him the story and when I got to the part about Cheney and the other guy going to flush a second covey of quail, he interrupted me "You NEVER break your hunting party when hunting quail. NEVER NEVER NEVER." He explained that game birds flight patterns vary when they are taking flight or flushed. Quail flush in a starburst or "blizzard pattern" and fly all around, often between the hunters themselves. Pheasant go up in a linear fashion, away from the hunters.
My brother said that it also depended on what kind of quail they were hunting and Blue_quail_1 whether or not they were stocked quail or wild quail. He said if they were "blues" (one of the two main species in Texas) (left), they typically first run on the ground, in a single file, to the nearest cover. It might be a piece of sagebrush, but the entire covey will hover underneath it. Then, when one of them sees better cover and takes off for it, they'll all follow single file.
He thinks it may be possible that some of them were flushed--and Whittington took his shot--and the other birds ran a few yards to better cover, and Cheney and the other hunter followed those birds. At this point he repeated his comment about "never breaking your party when hunting quail". That is, apparently, one of the most common reasons for hunting accidents (that and alcohol).
Bobwhite quail (right) don't run and they'll sit tight until they are flushed. Bobwhite_quail
Whether the initial shot would have caused the other nearby birds to flush or not may depend on whether or not they were stocked birds. He said that wild birds usually would flush upon hearing a shot, but stocked birds may be less likely to and could just sit tight. "They'll watch the hunters and if the hunters don't see them, they'll sit tight until they figure out they've been detected and then they'll flush".
In any case, when I read to him the part about Whittington approaching the Veep from behind, without announcing himself, he said "that's bull****, it is his fault. It is always the shooters' fault". That reminded me of "the pause" which was what our Dad taught us to do right before squeezing the trigger. We were taught to build in a moment, even if a fraction of a second, right before firing the gun to look at precisely what you were shooting at. This was true whether hunting birds or shooting skeet (clay pigeons). You never fired your gun as part of a swinging motion or in excitement; you maintained safety and control by always having that fractional pause.
Cheney_nra He said Cheney is "a weekend warrior who really just wants to do his blasting" and is "more interested in the kill than in the hunt". (Left, Cheney gets gift of gun from NRA Convention.) He called that type of hunter "overzealous and lazy" and said they "don't enjoy the hunt for what it is".
My brother and our Dad have won all sorts of awards for hunting, as have their dogs. They travel all over the continent to shoot various fowl (no mammals), including some of the most respected bird hunts, like the deleted] and the [deleted] Championship.
I asked him if he could be quoted on the record and he said "you gotta be kidding, these people will track you down". That prompted me to ask him if the election were held today, would he vote for Bush or Kerry and he stunned me by saying he thought he'd go for Kerry now. That was the best news of the day. I then asked Bush or Hillary and he said "I won't for her". I asked Bush or Vilsack and he said, without hesitation, Vilsack."
2nd UPDATE MONDAY MIDNIGHT: My perspicacious friend was right in his speculation above: Smoking Gun now has the local law enforcement report showing that Cheney indeed did NOT have an Upland Game Bird Stamp on his hunting license. http://direland.typepad.com/direland/2006/02/questions_about.html
Medium: Theatrical Animation
Released by: Warner Bros.
First Appeared: 1938 (name) or 1940 (everything else)
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Elmer Fudd was not so much created, as assembled from parts. His basic design came from a major revamping of an earlier Warner Bros. character, Egghead, who …
… appeared in several late 1930s cartoons. His voice — including that unique laugh — was created by voice actor Arthur Q. Bryan (Major Hoople on radio) for Dangerous Dan McFoo (1939), a oneshot cartoon directed by Tex Avery. And his name was written on a vehicle ridden by Egghead in Avery's 1938 cartoon, A Feud There Was, and in 1938-39 promotional material about Egghead.
It all came together in Elmer's Candid Camera (1940), directed by Chuck Jones. The character still had a little evolving to do, but you'd know him anywhere.
It was in that cartoon that Elmer first met the Bunny that was to become Bugs. Appearance-wise, the "Wabbit" was still in his formative stage. But his character was almost fully formed, and Elmer's Candid Camera set the tone for a partnership that was to last decades. To this day, phrases first heard there, such as "Wabbit twacks!" and "Be vewy, vewy quiet! I'm hunting wabbits!" will evoke a smile from cartoon lovers throughout the English-speaking world.
Bugs was not Elmer's only intended prey. He often locked horns with Daffy Duck, starting with Jones's To Duck or Not to Duck (1943). Occasionally, he didn't hunt anybody at all, as when he parodied Leopold Stowkowski's Fantasia role in Corny Concerto (1943), directed by Robert Clampett. But it was Bugs with whom he shared the majority of his cartoon appearances. Elmer's dimwitted wimpiness contrasted beautifully with Bugs's casual confidence in his ability to control any situation.
Elmer's only Oscar nomination was for Avery's A Wild Hare (1940), which introduced the fully-formed Bugs. But perhaps his finest moment occurred in Jones's What's Opera, Doc? (1957), in which he hunted Bugs to the strains of Wagner's Ring Cycle. By that time, audiences were so familiar with the relationship between the two, that it could be parodied and stylized almost to the point of abstraction, and still get tremendous laughs.
It was perhaps because of this familiarity that Elmer was used less often in the 1950s than he had been in the '40s. Or perhaps it was because Bryan died in 1959, and even the amazingly versatile Mel Blanc was unable to replace him satisfactorily. (Hal Smith, the dog on Davey & Goliath, did Elmer in a few cartoons, but very imperfectly.) In any case, Elmer's last cartoon was What's My Lion? (1961), directed by Friz Freleng. After that, it was just TV reruns for him, until 1988, when he made a cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Two years later, in Tiny Toon Adventures, he became the mentor and favorite teacher of his counterpart there, Elmyra Duff. He was more recently seen, along with the majority of his Looney Tunes cohorts, with Michael Jordan, in Space Jam.
Elmer followed a similar path in comics. Although he headlined about a dozen and a half issues between 1953 and '62, in the vast majority of his comic book appearances, starting with Dell's Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies Comics #1 (1941), he was basically just a foil for Bugs Bunny.
And so he remains — not truly a star in his own right, perhaps, but one of the best-known second bananas in cartoondom.
— DDM http://www.toonopedia.com/elmer.htm