Karma: 0 Posts: 1 An Open Letter from Jimmy Houston Â« on: February 07, 2006, 02:15:01 PM Â» -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- During the first week of February, we received a message from Kyle Crawford about a vicious attack against Mothwing and me by the National Wildlife Federation, PETA and "concerned" hunters. I asked Kyle to get me the numbers of those who sent e-mails and I would call them. I called every number he gave me on Friday, February 3. Naturally several of the numbers were probably PETA affiliated, some were not available or didn't answer, but I did get to talk to eight or ten actual hunters. I didn't ask these guys to alter their opinion or their passion. I simply wanted them to know the facts from me. First, I want to apologize to any hunter or non-hunter who has been personally hurt or damaged by my deer hunt at Bellars. The primary inference on the video produced by the National Wildlife Federation is that I shot or was hunting drugged deer and that I was doing it in a 3-6 acre pen. 1. The Federal Drug Administration asked me for three packages of the meat to test for drugs. I had no idea what drugs they were testing for - I actually thought they might be looking for a steroid maybe used in raising big deer. They tested the meat and found no drugs. Then they asked me if I would give them the rest of the meat. I voluntarily did this and this meat was also tested. I specifically asked the FDA agent at the trial if any drugs were found in my meat and he told me NO-there was none. By the way, we had already eaten some of the meat and it was perfectly ok. 2. I was not hunting in a 3-6 acre pen. We were hunting in a high-fenced area and the stand that they had me in was within 10 yards of a fence. This fence went over the hill and we could not see how far it went. As I testified in the trial, we went over the hill and never did reach the other end of the high fence. There is no way I could estimate the size of the area. It could be 50 acres, it could be 500 acres. The entire high fence area, as I was told was 1200 acres, but, yes, there were section fences. The fence that is seen on the video is the same fence we were beside. There is video shot in one direction and video shot in the other direction of the same fence. Bear in mind that the camera was in a different stand than the one I was in. I got in this tree stand at 7AM on this morning and shot the deer at 11:10. That is over 4 hours. It was 20 degrees. 3. Russ Bellar did come out and check on us around 9:00AM. We saw several deer; we even saw a deer go under the fence. The buck I shot was a 6 Â½ or 7 Â½ year old buck and was chasing a doe. There were literally hundreds of deer on Bellars place. At the time, nothing seemed unusual other than it was really cold. I completely agree with all hunters about shooting drugged deer in pens. This is wrong. I share your same passion and have spent my entire life hunting and have worked diligently to promote, protect and preserve this great heritage. Have I ever broken a law or been put in an awkward position? Of course. Should I be singled out and crucified for hunting at Bellars where hundreds of others have hunted? I don't believe so. From the very first day I was contacted by the Federal Wildlife Department, I have cooperated fully and truthfully. I was always called "a witness and or a victim" by the prosecution and I did testify for the state. This is indeed very hurtful when you have given your entire life to the promotion and betterment of hunting and fishing. We see on television every day where individuals attack, blow up, kill and maim people all over the world. We call these folks terrorists and wonder how anyone could develop that much hate. Yet with a few seconds of produced video, hate has welled up so much in some as to want to destroy me, our television show, and any company we are involved with. Again, if I have hurt anyone, I apologize and ask your forgiveness. By the way, we did not air that hunt on television and never portrayed any pictures to anyone as fair chase, high fence or otherwise. I just learned this week that the picture was on some websites and asked that it be removed. We decided not air the hunt when we learned there was some controversy surrounding Bellars Place. Yes, had we known then what we know not, we would not have hunted there but that's why hindsight is 20-20. Was it wrong for me to hunt there? Absolutely! Obviously this letter won't satisfy everyone, particularly those anti-hunters whose desire is to keep this on the front burners and watch Jimmy burn. They love nothing more than making hunters attack hunters. But, to the real hunters who read this, I apologize for any hurt or disappointment I have caused you. Good hunting, good fishing and May God Bless! Best Personal Regards, "A hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of car I drove, how big my bank account was..but that I was important in the life of a child"