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The Thread About Laws That Need to be Changed;

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
In case you haven't a clue as to what this is about; there is a thread running which asks if we are somehow not living life to the fullest because we are prohibited from using the feathers of the great Blue Heron as well as other members of this family of birds. I'll reserve my comments here where they should be safe. The thread addressed the issue of Heron's being protected and matters of illegality in possessing the feathers in the United States. I will move point to point with my opinion and in uncharacteristic nature will attempt to be brief.

First: I have been tying streamer flies since right around 1969 and began to make salmon flies around 1978. Somehow through all those years and hundreds of patterns I never felt I was being short changed because plumage from certain species of birds were prohibited by the laws of America. Having an interest in ornithology I acquired a slightly better than average knowledge of avian species and am acutely aware of why some birds needed protection under federal law. The tilt by some toward suggesting that we here in America are suffering under too many laws and environmental regulations begs a question from me. Do you really believe America would be better off if our government had through the years exercised such environmental controls as say, China? There are many other examples that could be offered where huge areas of countries exist in a 'Love Canal' or 'Centralia' like condition but rather than bore you with examples I'll leave you and Google to have some fun.

Second: I read a comment to that thread concerning people who had found dead herons', removed plumage, and then were caught and prosecuted for this. Unless these people were unfortunate enough to do so in clear view of a Wildlife Conservation Officer I believe their demise was in all likelihood caused by 'Loose Lips'. If, and I said "If" I were to have a feather that were prohibited by lay, which I do not, the only way anyone would know would be for me to advertise the fact. I see no other way that such discovery would take place. I am 57 years old and have never been subjected to an unreasonable search, ever. I would find it hard to believe that an otherwise law abiding person would be searched for plumage from protected species unless that person acquired the feathers and then proceeded to tell people about same.

Third: I believe that too many people are looking for something to complain about in America today. We are not perfect, our system of government is not perfect, our overall environment as far as all aspects of same are not perfect, but I will say that they are a dam sight better than anyone else's that I have ever learned of.

Below are a few flies tied without Heron, Eagle, Dodo Bird, Condor, or any other prohibited endangered or extinct bird. All of these designs catch a lot of fish for me. And now I have made my comment

All tied with goose, and burnt marabou along with some duck, chicken, and guinea hackles.

Updated 01-25-2012 at 09:38 PM by Ard



  1. mcnerney's Avatar
    Ard: Another great post!

  2. Ard's Avatar
    Hi Larry,

    I figured to start hiding any opinions I might have here rather than to ignite a firestorm on the open board. I have heard this argument before about heron plumage and it sounds as silly now as it did then. My advise to anyone who finds some feathers,................ if you want to tie a fly, tie a fly, if you want to show it on the internet or in your local newspaper, well.............. This is kinda like having a still out back, stay small & keep it all and you'll never be in a bottle shop again. Start to advertise and AT&F will be paying you a visit.
  3. littledavid123's Avatar
    Well said sir

  4. wt bash's Avatar
    Yeah I never got the hoopla over Heron Feathers, theres a rookery (sp) not to far away and I know where another few roosts are and come across feathers all the time. To be honest I have the kind of luck where a warden or whomever would be there watching so I just leave them be. The more people want them the more potential there is for poaching and that ain't cool! I will admit that I do check out what happens to fall under the bird feader but even still I don't use the feathers. Now if I found a matching set of jay feathers I might have a problem