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Game Laws

From The Times Dispatch, January 28, 1914. By T. L. H.

I take it, Mr. Speaker,
    That these are solemn facts:
When for a thing’s protection
    Our Legislature acts,
It accomplishes protection
    By imposing further tax.
We’ve protected our oysters
    By this efficient plan:
They can only be destroyed
    By a duly licensed man.
We’ve protected our fishes
    In our rivers and our bays
By seeing that the fellow
    Who exterminates them pays.
It appears now, Mr. Speaker,
    We are asked to do the same
Very simple operation
    For protection of our game.
The fellow who in autumn
    Sallies forth with dog and gun
Must pay the state a license
    Ere he starts to have his fun.
The effect of which provision
    Very naturally will be
That when the would-be hunter
    Has surrendered up his fee
He will not feel that he can do
    Another thing on earth
Except to take his gun and dog
    And get his money’s worth;
And while the hunting season lasts
    He’ll never lose a day
For fear he will not get the worth
    Of what he’s had to pay.
And yet the game that’s slaughtered
    By a legal licensee
Is really just about as dead
    As any game can be.
And while no doubt our furred and feathered
    Friends will give their lives
Uncomplainingly if by that act
    The Old Dominion thrives,
You’ll forgive me, Mr. Speaker,
    If this act I’m bound to term a
Effort to protect the varmints
    By a sort of Tax-idermy.

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