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I screamed, pulled
my riﬂ e up and I shot
By ERIC MORTENSON
The Oregon elk hunter who shot a protected gray wolf believes he would have been mauled or
killed if he hadn’t ﬁ red when it ran at him.
Brian Scott is being roasted on social media and criticized by biologists and activists who ques-
tion his story. They’ve keyed in on the bullet’s trajectory, which passed through the wolf’s shoulders,
perhaps indicating it was standing broadside to Scott instead of running directly at him.
Scott said he can’t explain it and doesn’t know if the wolf perhaps veered sideways as he ﬁ red.
Scott said he has replayed the moment in his mind countless times and always concludes he
did what he had to do.
“I’ve got to live with what I did for the rest of my life,” Scott said in an hour-long
phone interview with the Capital Press. “I killed a wolf. It makes me almost nauseous
to think about that moment.
Turn to WOLF, Page 12
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2017
VOLUME 90, NUMBER 45
A new career in ag
After the military, thousands of American
veterans have moved to a new life in farming
By TIM HEARDEN
SPARTO, Calif. — A retired Air Force of-
ﬁ cer and reservist, Brian Paddock says his
entry into farming about a decade ago was
“a little bit of accident and a little bit of
He and his family were living in Vacaville,
Calif., where Paddock was a reservist at Tra-
vis Air Force Base in addition to his job pilot-
ing commercial airliners. They wanted to live
in the country, so they bought land in nearby
The property had about 450 ancient almond
trees, so the family harvested the nuts and sold
them to a local farmer
to make almond butter.
Eventually, Paddock re-
placed his 100-year-old
trees with 1,400 new
ones, and his Capay
Hills Orchard now mar-
kets organic almonds
directly to customers
through a website and
Paddock sees many
Courtesy of Farmer Veteran similarities between or-
Coalition ganic farming and mili-
Brian Paddock, a retired
Air Force ofﬁ cer and
“The military teach-
reservist, used assistance es you procedure, to be
from the Farmer Veteran
Coalition to purchase
there’s a level of in-
a wood chipper for his
tensity in the military,”
almond operation in
said Paddock, 53, who
retired from the service
in 2015 but is still a
commercial pilot. “You’re always going from one
crisis to another, whether it’s self-inflicted or not.
That is very much true in farming.
“I’m organic ... which is about 90 percent
paperwork,” he said. “When I get inspected, I get
one big, fat email with a link with all my docu-
mentation in it. ... All that documentation, paper-
work and accounting — that’s right up the military
Turn to VETERANS, Page 12
Matthew Weaver/Capital Press
Jill and Paul Knittel in their barn Oct. 26 near Davenport, Wash.
Navy couple raises hogs in E. Washington
By MATTHEW WEAVER
AVENPORT, Wash. — Usually
Jill and Paul Knittel’s hogs are
swarming them by now.
Jill is calling to about 20 hogs farther
out in a pen, a bucket of feed raised.
But it’s particularly windy on this fall
morning, and the hogs don’t hear her.
Jill ﬁ nally walks to the hogs and
gets their attention, and they’re fol-
lowing close behind her as she walks
back to the spot where she and her
husband will feed them.
The Knittels raise Large Black
Hogs, a heritage breed, on their farm
near Davenport, Wash.
Paul retired from the Navy, serving
from 1979 to 1996. Jill served from
1987 to 1992. Paul worked in the en-
gine room as a machinist’s mate, while
Jill navigated as a quartermaster.
They met while stationed at Pearl
Harbor, when Jill’s car broke down
and Paul was able to ﬁ x it. They mar-
ried 40 days after they met, and are
going on 28 years together. They have
two children, Katarina, 18, and Jon,
The couple has always been in-
terested in farming, keeping a small
horse farm in Chehalis for nine years
before Paul’s job took them to Utah
for a few years.
When they returned to Washington
six years ago, they knew they wanted
to farm, and came across the land that
became the 550-acre Scabland Farm.
They now raise 60 hogs, plus horses
They did not use any military pro-
grams to start the farm.
The taxes on the land had been de-
ferred, but the Knittels were required
to keep livestock on the property.
Turn to COUPLE, Page 12
USDA backs oﬀ from regulating GMOs as weeds
Proposed rule change
withdrawn for second time
By MATEUSZ PERKOWSKI
The USDA has again backed
away from regulating genetically en-
gineered crops as potential noxious
weeds, 17 years after gaining the legal
authority to do so.
granted USDA the power to
evaluate and possibly restrict
genetically engineered crops
based on their risk to become
noxious weeds in 2000.
crops have been evaluated
and regulated by the agency based on
their potential to become plant pests,
akin to diseases or parasites.
The USDA proposed new regu-
lations taking advantage of
its biotech jurisdiction over
noxious weeds under the
new law in 2008 but then re-
scinded them in 2015.
Another set of rules af-
ﬁ rming the agency’s au-
thority over biotech noxious
weeds was proposed in the ﬁ nal days
of the Obama administration early this
The Trump administration has now
withdrawn that proposal as well, vow-
ing to “take a fresh look, explore policy
alternatives, and continue the dialogue
with all interested stakeholders.”
Critics of the federal government’s
oversight of genetic engineering are
frustrated by the USDA’s retraction,
even though they weren’t entirely hap-
py with the Obama administration’s
Turn to GMOS, Page 12