Conundrum of huntersWritten by Dallas Hyland.

Some of you who have read my work over the years may recall that during the hunt of 2011 in Washington County, my Alaskan malamute was shot and killed on my property in Dammeron Valley.

I have good reason to believe it was likely a hunter returning from an attempt to bag an animal who possibly mistook Sascha for a wolf. Problem being, it was not wolf season.

Suffice it to say that it was pretty traumatic for me and my family and that if I had caught the son of a bitch, he’d still be wearing that rifle around his neck.

I distinctly remember moving to the area from Georgia and catching flack from locals about tree stand hunting. I would tell them to come on to the land of white tail, and if they could bag one from the ground, I would buy them a round.

When they told me the deer were run out in the valley, I was puzzled because on multiple occasions I had seen them on the back forty of my lot. I began to understand when one fellow inquired about my four-wheelers; that is to say, he asked if I had them.

I said, “Oh yeah, I have two quads. A right one and a left one.”

I began to observe the hunters in the area and realized mechanized hunting was more common than not and that just because they were wearing camo and had rifles, they were not necessarily hunters.

Case in point, the idiot who shot my dog.

Look, I get it. It’s as much an American past time as baseball. Second Amendment protected somewhat and an integral part of human lineage.

But there is a difference between a hunter and an idiot with a gun.

Taken a step further, the man who kills animals for sport is not just an idiot with a gun, but a straight-up coward.

I said it. I stand by it.

See you out there.

Dallas Hyland is a freelance writer, award-winning photographer, and documentary filmmaker. As a senior writer, opinion editor, and photo editor of The Southern Utah Independent, Hyland’s investigative journalism, opinion columns, and photo essays have ranged in topics from local political and environmental issues to drug trafficking in Utah as well as the international front, covering issues such as human trafficking in Colombia. His work has received wide recognition and has won independent film festival awards and was a 2015 finalist for the Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Based in Southern Utah, with his film a photography studio in Kayenta’s Art Village, he works tirelessly at his passion for getting after the truth and occasionally telling a good story. On his rare off-days, he can be found with his family and friends exploring the pristine outdoors of Utah and beyond. You can listen to him live as a regular guest co-host on the Kate Dalley talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM in southern Utah.

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Dallas Hyland is a professional technical writer, freelance writer and journalist, award-winning photographer, and documentary filmmaker. As a senior writer and editor-at-large at The Independent, Hyland’s investigative journalism, opinion columns, and photo essays have ranged in topics from local political and environmental issues to drug trafficking in Utah. He has also worked the international front, covering issues such as human trafficking in Colombia. His photography and film work has received recognition as well as a few modest awards and in 2015, he was a finalist for the Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Based in southern Utah, he works tirelessly at his passion for getting after the truth and occasionally telling a good story. On his rare off-days, he can be found with his family and friends exploring the pristine outdoors of Utah and beyond.