On Tuesday, February 8, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors passed a motion in a 3-2 vote to amend the County Code of Regulatory Ordinances "to allow a mentored, youth-only wild turkey hunt at William Heise Regional Park" in Julian.
Supervisor of the Second District, Dianne Jacob, put the motion on the floor. She argued that the amendment will not set a precedent because it will only permit a maximum of six children to kill turkeys on county park land (three on day one, and three on day two). She suggested that the board return for a "second reading" to revise the ordinance to reflect the limitations.
County counsel Thomas Montgomery then explained, "You cannot modify the ordinance at this point because it would not then be able to take effect prior to the hunt," scheduled for March 19 and 20.
Fourth District supervisor/vice-chair Ron Roberts opposed the motion, not because he stands against teaching children to hunt, but because the amendment will "fundamentally redefine what a county park stands for."
Pam Slater-Price of the Third District said she is a vegetarian who would never hunt, but she does not condemn hunters. She opposed the motion that she supported the prior week because at the time she thought she was approving a hunt involving six children, and she is not in favor of opening the door to hunting in county parks.
Twelve county residents spoke in opposition to the amendment. Kath Rogers of the Animal Rescue and Protection League argued that a youth turkey hunt will not teach respect for animals. Bonnie Gendron of Back Country Coalition pointed out that people feed the turkeys and the parks are surrounded by human habitation. She asked, "Which county park is next?"
Four county residents spoke in favor of the amendment. Jim Conrad of the San Diego County Fish and Wildlife Advisory Commission argued that "hunting is ethical, wholesome, and mainstream America."