Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Convicted Poacher & Unlicensed Hunters Participated in Wisconsin’s 3-Day Wolf Hunt

 / WOLF PATROLhttps://www.youtube.com/embed/ldVpU6KXQxM?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

A Langlade County hound hunter convicted in 2020 for killing a black bear during the Summer bear hound training season without a license, was one of hundreds of unlicensed wolf hunters joining in Wisconsin’s three-day wolf slaughter, that saw over 170 gray wolves killed with the use of hounds. Tyler Belott pled no contest to a charge of illegally killing a bear on July 5, 2019, which resulted in his hunting privileges being revoked for three years.

Convicted Wisconsin bear poacher Tyler Belott (center in brown) holding a dead wolf on February 24th, the last day of the Wisconsin wolf hunt.

But that hasn’t stopped the convicted poacher from continuing to join in the hunting of bears, bobcats, coyotes and now wolves in Wisconsin. Belott also traveled to Wyoming in December 2020 to participate in a mountain lion hunt with another Wisconsin hound hunter, Brian VanDeWall. Traveling to another state to hunt when your hunting privileges have been revoked in your own home state is a violation of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, of which Wisconsin and Wyoming are both members.

Brian VanDeWall on the left and Tyler Belott on the right in Wyoming killing a lion in December 2020.

On February 24, 2021, Belott posted pictures on Facebook of a large Wisconsin hunting group with three dead wolves. In the picture, Belott is holding one of the dead wolves by its leg. On February 25th, Belott posted a screenshot of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (WDNR) then tally of the over quota wolf hunt, with his caption, “If you don’t like this, please hit the unfriend button.” In the following comments, Belott says to another wolf hunter, “nice to see we had almost all the kills in zone 4 lol.” The post attracted 32 other comments, all celebrating wolf hunters pushing the kill far beyond the legal quota.

Belott and other Wisconsin wolf hunters take pride in having pushed the quota to almost double the legal limit.

After rushing into a poorly organized recreational wolf hunt, Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources must now answer for why the hunt went so horribly over quota and why so many unlicensed individuals like Belott were allowed to participate. The public was told the day the hunt began, that the wolf kill quota had been reduced from 200 to 113 to account for tribal allotments, but when all was said and done, the final kill tally was 216, a whooping 82% over the intended kill. Yet, the example of Tyler Belott shines a light on the widely documented case of Wisconsin wolf hunters calling on each other to not register their kills, or delay registration in order to extend the length of the hunt.

Just a few examples of the online encouragement amongst wolf hunters to violate hunting regulations.

Wisconsin’s wolf hunt law states that hunters must be given 24 hours notice by the WDNR before a wolf hunting zone becomes closed to hunting due to its quota being reached. For example, in Zone 2 where Wolf Patrol was monitoring hound hunters and trappers, on February 23rd, the quota of 18 wolves was reported surpassed by one wolf by midday. That initiated the Zone closure, yet hound hunters and trappers continued legally pursuing wolves another 20 hours until the Zone officially closed on February 24th, the next day at 1000am. Such a delay in closures combined with an effort by successful wolf tag holders to delay or simply not report their kills largely contributed to the almost double legal kill of 216 wolves.

The disposition in Tyler Belott’s 2019 bear poaching case.

The truth is that while the WDNR wasn’t ready to conduct a February wolf hunt, special interest groups like Hunter Nation and Wisconsin’s hound hunters could have cared less. With no scientific justification or biological argument, Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association member & state Senator Rob Stafsholt lobbied the Natural Resources Board to implement an immediate wolf hunt. When pro-hunt advocates were told by WDNR’s legal representatives that such a hunt would violate the state’s own laws, the Kansas-based trophy hunting group filed a lawsuit that forced the state into the February hunt, which was planned with less than two weeks notice. For years, pro-wolf hunt advocates had decried the role of judges in determining the fate of wolf hunting in Wisconsin. In the end, it was that very tactic that hunt advocates used to achieve their objective of a February 2021 hunt, rather than wait for the previously scheduled November 2021 wolf hunt.

Wisconsin hound hunter’s like Andy Nowinsky participated in multiple wolf hunts despite not having drawn a tag in the February lottery.

With no biological precedent for the hastily organized slaughter so late in the winter or even a qualified WDNR Large Carnivore Specialist (the current position is held by Randy Johnson, is a mountain lion biologist) Wisconsin’s DNR is already preparing for the next recreational wolf hunt in eight months, one that won’t last only three days, but four months. With as much as 20% of Wisconsin’s estimated wolf population already eradicated in just three days, one can only guess how high over quota the Fall 2021 Wisconsin wolf hunt will be. Of note, 99 of the 216 wolves killed were females, many its presumed were pregnant as the hunt fell towards the end of the gray wolf breeding season.

At least 11 hounds were used to run down this wolf during the February 2021 hunt.

Wolf Patrol documented the wolf hunt in northern Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, an area with a high wolf density and as a result, a long history of deadly conflicts between wolves and bear hunting hounds. Wolf Patrol monitored the three-day hunt on national forest lands where last Summer, three bear hunting hounds were killed by wolves while being trained to chase bears in Wisconsin’s three month unregulated bear hound-training season, when no license is required, as is the case during the actual Fall hunting season.

“It was a vicious battle.” said one of the hunter’s in this group at the Otter Creek State Natural Area on February 22, 2021.

On the first day of the hunt, February 22, 2021, Wolf Patrol encountered an 8-truck wolf hunting party with at least 3 rifle-carrying hunters aiding the hunt from snowmobiles. We were at the North Otter Creek State Natural Area, within the WDNR Wolf Caution Area where the three bear hounds were killed by wolves. That is where we encountered approximately 12 people as they returned from a successful hound hunt for wolves. For over an hour, we had sat in our trucks listening to the hunter’s orchestrating the wolf hunt over their radios, before they arrived back at their vehicles with their kill.

These four wolves were taken in one day with the aid of multiple packs of fresh hounds brought into the hunt via snowmobiles.

As the hunt drew to a close, one wolf hunter was describing the scene on the ground as his hounds chased a wolf through private cabin properties closed down for the winter. The dogs were tiring and cornering the wolf in what the hunter called, “a vicious battle.” While the wolf tired from the hours-long hunt, the pursuing hunting hounds were replaced with fresh hounds. Each snowmobile in this wolf-hunting property was equipped with a small dog box on its back, thus allowing hunters to intercept an exhausted hound and replace it with another.https://www.youtube.com/embed/qqqkO72T3Vk?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

Wisconsin’s wolf hunting and general hound hunting regulations allow for up to six dogs at a time to be in pursuit of a wolf or any game animal. Many more dogs can be on the ground, on leashes or in their boxes, but only six can be involved in the actual pursuit at one time. Another wolf hunting party was encountered by Wolf Patrol in the national forest the following day, on February 23rd, off of County Road “O” just outside of the Wolf Caution Area. This second hunting party had 13 vehicles with 10 of the trucks outfitted with partially full dog boxes, all were actively participating in the hunt, strung out along a long dirt road, watching for the wolf to cross followed by their hounds.

One of the handful of wolves killed at night with the use of an electronic caller that emits amplified prey sounds to attract predators.

Wisconsin’s wolf and general hound hunting regulations allow for unlicensed individuals to aid an actual wolf license holder (or any other hunter) with the pursuit, baiting and trapping of their prey. Thus, it was perfectly legal to see literally dozens of people with dozens more hunting hounds in the pursuit of one wolf, as Wolf Patrol documented on both February 22 & 23, 2021 in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. This is why hound hunters were responsible for over 80% of the legal kill.

Otter Creek State Natural Area (blue dot) where Wolf Patrol documented hound hunt for wolves. Red dots are where wolves killed bear hounds in 2020.

In addition, during our observation of one wolf hunting party’s return to their vehicles at the Otter Creek trailhead, one non-licensed hunter was recorded saying that “they had shot at the wolf four separate times” indicating that others were not only assisting in the support of the hunt with additional hounds, but also discharging firearms at a game animal they do not personally have a license for. Wisconsin hound hunters like Tyler Belott and Andy Nowkowski also bragged on Facebook about the ability to participate in multiple wolf hunts, despite neither hound hunter having an actual permit to kill a wolf.

Though recently outlawed for hunting coyotes, shotguns loaded with buckshot can be used to kill wolves in Wisconsin.

While just over 2,300 wolf licenses awarded to non-tribal hunters, (some reports are that many were not purchased by those who successfully drew them in the lottery) WDNR reported soon after the hunt that most wolves had been taken with the aid of hounds. When you consider that each hound hunt for a wolf in Wisconsin involved a dozen or more individuals, the actual number of wolf hunters pursuing just 113 animals was easily in the thousands. Using multiple packs of fresh hounds equipped with GPS collars that allow hunters to watch remotely as wolves are run down with snowmobiles driven by armed men, the issue of fair chase was not a factor in the February 2021 wolf hunt.

An exposed wolf trap along a national forest road in Forest County.

Wolf Patrol also monitored two separate traplines operated by at least three individuals in portions of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Forest and Florence counties. On February 21st, 2021, the day before the hunt, our hunt monitors located a fresh deer carcass that had been dragged off the forest road with a sled. The next day, the carcass was gone, but in the immediate area were three wolf traps, all baited with portions of the deer carcass as well as butter, oil-soaked bread an an artificial scent lure.

From Wisconsin’s 2021 Wolf Hunting & Trapping Regulations.

While the WDNR’s 2021 Wolf Hunting Regulations clearly state that animal by-products cannot be used to hunt or trap wolves, Wolf Patrol was told by the regional WDNR conservation officer that emergency rules had allowed for the use of carcasses and animal by-products to trap wolves despite the glaring contradiction in the regulations made available to the public just days before the hunt.

A beef calf carcass brought onto Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest lands in Florence County to attract wolves during the February wolf hunt.

In another portion of the national forest, Wolf Patrol discovered a whole beef calf carcass that was being used to attract wolves to a number of traps strung out along the road to the carcass. Once again, we were told such baiting was legal but when further pressed for an explanation WDNR officials told a Wolf Patrol member that the disposal of livestock was not under WDNR authority, but that of county officials. Ironically, one of the argued justifications for this hunt was livestock depredations caused by wolves, yet in Forest ad Florence counties none have been reported, but livestock can be used to bait wolves by licensed trappers.

Wisconsin’s hound hunters and other anti-wolf advocates believe there are thousands more wolves than the WDNR annual Large Carnivore Survey suggests, which is just over 1,100 (previous to the hunt). Toward that end, they want numbers brought down to the decades old original wolf recovery goal of 350 animals. Some still argue that they were eradicated for a reason and they should be again.

Photo shared on Instagram of GPS-collared dogs with A Wisconsin wolf.

What’s certain is that the state of Wisconsin is unqualified to manage its own wolf population as the February 2021 wolf hunt clearly demonstrated. The hunt went against every promise made to the public in December 2020, when WDNR officials issued a press release and posted on their website that no wolf hunt would be carried out without a new management plan, tribal obligations honored, and a diverse group of stakeholders formed as a new Wolf Advisory Committee. None of these things happened. Instead we saw a rush to authorize a slaughter during a breeding season with literally thousands of unlicensed individuals allowed to participate and aid in the killing of a recently federally delisted endangered species.

Wisconsin’s November 2021 wolf hunt will only be worse. The season will encompass Wisconsin’s 8-day firearm deer season, allowing the tens of thousands of deer hunters entering Wisconsin’s Northwoods to add wolf to their list of prey. In addition, after November, it’ll be hound hunters again that heavily target wolves until the end of February. In the February 2021 wolf hunt, trappers and hunters using electronic callers accounted for just 5% of the total reported kill of 216 animals.

It’s also important to point out that Wisconsin’s hound hunt for wolves overlaps the already legal hound hunt for coyotes in Wisconsin. Throughout the winter hound hunters in the state are already pursuing coyotes with hounds with no season or bag limit. This allows any illegal hound hunt for wolves in Wisconsin to simply be explained to a game warden as a coyote hunt in order for it to be perfectly legal, unless a dead wolf is present.

Facebook post about using electronic caller to attract wolves closer to hunter with hounds during the February wolf hunt.

Without greater public oversight and demand for accountability, Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources offers little to no resistance to the demands of sport hunting special interest groups. The February 2021 wolf hunt is just the latest example of how the state will manage the recently federally delisted gray wolf. It’s now up to the rest of us to get involved in the planning process for the November wolf hunt and demand that hunters dependency on snowmobiles, back-up hunters and hounds be regulated. Otherwise we will be witness to the second eradication of the gray wolf from Wisconsin.

California’s first dove season opener approaches

 
The first of two opening days of California’s dove hunting season is fast approaching.

This year’s season for mourning dove, white-winged dove, spotted dove and ringed turtle dove will run from Tuesday, Sept. 1, through Tuesday, Sept. 15, statewide, followed by a second hunt period, Saturday, Nov. 14, through Monday, Dec. 28.

Mourning dove and white-winged dove have a daily bag limit of 15, up to 10 of which may be white-winged dove. The possession limit is triple the daily bag limit. There are no limits on spotted dove and ringed turtle dove.

Hunting for Eurasian collared-dove is open year-round and there is no limit. A dove identification guide can be found on the CDFW website.

Please note that nonlead ammunition is required when taking wildlife with a firearm anywhere in California. Please plan accordingly. For more information please see the California Department of Fish and Wildlife nonlead ammunition page.

Due to safeguards and limitations necessitated by COVID-19, CDFW asks all hunters to please respect physical distancing from other hunters and adhere to all site-specific rules and regulations. Before heading to a CDFW facility or public area, please check to see if any regulations or restrictions have been instituted to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

All of CDFW’s most popular and productive wildlife areas for dove hunting will be open to the public during the first half of the season. These areas include Upper Butte Basin, Gray Lodge, Yolo Bypass, North Grasslands, Los Banos and Imperial Valley wildlife areas, and Palo Verde Ecological Reserve.

All of these areas have been planted with food crops to attract and hold doves. Maps are available at some check station locations. Entry procedures vary from area to area, so hunters are advised to call ahead in preparing for their hunt. Portions of Los Banos and North Grasslands wildlife areas are restricted to special permit holders until noon on Sept. 1, after which they open to public hunting the remainder of the season.

Mourning doves are denizens of dry environments, and are capable of exploiting many food types and sources. There have been a few isolated cases of avian trichomonas in mourning dove this year, so hunters are encouraged to report any birds that appear to have the disease.

While the final results of the 2020 statewide dove banding effort are not yet available, initial numbers indicate no shortage of mourning doves for the opener. Hunters who encounter a banded bird are asked to report it to the U.S. Geological Survey Bird Banding Lab. Banded birds are part of important biological monitoring and reporting of bands completes the process.

Dove hunting is considered a great starting point for new hunters. There is very little equipment required and just about any place open for hunting will have mourning doves. Minimum requirements are a valid hunting license and upland game bird stamp (if the hunter is 18 or older), good footwear, a shotgun, shotgun shells and plenty of water. Hunters should be careful not to underestimate the amount of fluids needed, especially during the first half of the season.

Most successful dove hunters position themselves near a known flyway for doves. These sites can be near paths to and from roost sites, water, food sources or gravel. Doves are usually taken by pass shooting these flyways, but hunters may also be successful jump shooting.

Dove movement is most frequent in the early mornings and late evenings when they are flying from and to their roost sites (this is when the majority of hunters go into the field). Late morning to early afternoon can be better for jump shooting. Hunters should scout out dove activity in the area a few times just prior to hunting.

Important laws and regulations to consider include the following:

– Shoot time for doves is one half hour before sunrise to sunset.
– All hunters — including junior hunters — are required to carry their hunting license with them.
– Hunters must have written permission from the landowner prior to hunting on private land.
– Bag limits apply to each hunter and no one can take more than one legal limit.
– It is illegal to shoot within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling.
– It is illegal to shoot from or across a public roadway.
– It is illegal to hunt within 200 yards of an artificial water source for wildlife.
– It is the responsibility of every hunter to know and follow all laws.

Safety is the most important part of any hunting adventure. Safety glasses are a simple way to protect the eyes and are available in many shades for hunting in all types of lighting situations.

The weather throughout the state on Sept. 1 is expected to be hot and dry. CDFW urges hunters to drink plenty of fluids, wear sun protection and have a plan in case of an accident.

Harvest Home Films to Produce First Ever, Pro Hunting, Faith Based Motion Picture

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https://www.gjsentinel.com/news/colorado/harvest-home-films-to-produce-first-ever-pro-hunting-faith-based-motion-picture/article_9db833a3-3ab0-59cd-a548-71d92e2c035d.html
The_Harvest_Circle.jpg
The Harvest

DENVERJuly 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Harvest Home Films LLC is proud to announce the production of The Harvest, a film that addresses relevant Christian themes through a celebration of the outdoor way of life while promoting a respect for the land, water and the great past time of hunting.  The Harvest celebrates God, celebrates family and celebrates the outdoors.

Coming from the same producers of “I Can Only Imagine” and the “Lion Witch and the Wardrobe”, The Harvest promises to be the first ever pro-hunting film celebrating the lifestyle and educating Americans about the beauty and importance of the outdoor way of life.

Set in the small rural community of Marble Falls, TexasThe Harvest follows the personal and professional challenges of the McLean family, as they navigate a move to New York City when the father, Dave, unexpectedly has a once in a lifetime career opportunity fall in his lap.  A professional hunter with a national TV show, Dave actively participates in the hunting lifestyle with his high school aged daughter and son. Judy, the mother, hunts occasionally and fully supports the lifestyle.

Rooted in a strong Christian faith, the family finds their faith and lifestyle powerfully tested by strong anti-hunter views and other stresses brought about by this major move.  A move that has brought these issues literally to the Mclean family doorstep.

Harvest Home Films has brought together the most comprehensive team from the outdoor industry, motion picture industry and Christian space who have developed every detail of this project with the experience necessary to produce and distribute a successful film.

The goal is to fully fund the film with donations from the hunting community and individual hunters and anglers so that the box office revenue in turn can be used to support conservation and preservation efforts, rather than going back to large institutional investors.

The project strives to bring the individual hunter, and leading outdoor manufacturers and organizations together to collectively educate millions of Americans as to the beauty of the hunting heritage, and the need for this way of life in this country now more than ever.

If you are interested in learning more about the project and how you can get involved, please visit www.theharvestmovie.com   or contact us at theharvestmovie1@gmail.com.

About The Harvest Movie:
The Harvest is a film with contemporary characters addressing relevant Christian themes through a celebration of the outdoor lifestyle. Join us as we strive to be stewards of the land and water and respect our resources while enriching lives through our faith. Learn more about The Harvest at www.theharvestmovie.com

 

 

Take a Hike, Not a Life

TEXT AND WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY ©JIM ROBERTSON

From the Spring issue of the C.A.S.H. Courier

Photo by Jim Robertson

 

Living near prime wildlife habitat means that at any
given moment you might witness the astounding sight of
great Vs of migratory ducks or cackling Canada geese
flying right overhead. If you’re lucky, trumpeter swans
might be among the waterfowl feeding and calling in the
nearby estuary. And wood ducks or hooded mergansers
might pay your inland pond a visit while searching for a
quiet place to nest.
The downside of living near a natural wonderland?
Being awakened Sunday morning at first light by the
repeated volley of shotgun blasts, as though all-out war
has been declared on all things avian (as is currently happening here this morning). The Elmers (hunters) out there
(no doubt dressed in the latest expensive camo-pattern—
a fashion statement apparently meant to impress the other
Elmers out there) must be reveling in the fact that the
dense morning fog allows them to “sneak” (in their loud
outboard motor boats) up close enough to the flocks so
that a large number of birds will end up dead, winged or
otherwise wounded when they suddenly stand up and
spray lead at all things avian or otherwise.
Duck hunting is the ultimate betrayal. It happens well
into the winter, long after just about any other hunting
season is over, when the birds are congregated in flocks
on their wintering grounds. And it happens often on lands
supposedly set aside as wildlife “refuges.” Pro-kill
groups like Ducks Unlimited (DU—an appropriate
acronym that looks like an abbreviation for “duh”) insist
that they have the animals’ best interests in mind. But
when it comes right down to it, all they really want to preserve land for is to have a playground for killing. (Just listen to them scream if you try to propose a refuge closed
to hunting.)
The other day, after the constant blasting of shotguns
earlier that morning, I heard and saw a lone goose calling
mournfully for his or her lost mate. It is not a game or a
sport for the birds—for geese and their advocates it’s
nothing short of heartbreak.
As you might have assumed by now, I’ve thought
about the issue of sport hunting a heck of a lot over the
years and I’ve long-since declared myself a staunch antihunter. Not only am I anti-hunting, anti-trapping, antiwhaling and anti-sealing, I’m anti any form of bullying
that goes on against the innocents—including humans. I
am not an apologist for the wanton inhumanity of hunting
in the name of sport, pseudo-subsistence or conservationby-killing. In fact, I’m not a fan of any society that allows
or encourages such atrocities.
Most sport hunters meanwhile must be anti-wildlife,
anti-wilderness, anti-nature and anti-competition, since
they’re notoriously anti-cougar, anti-coyote and unquestionably anti-wolf. At the same time, they’re pro-killing,
pro-death, and when it comes right down to it, pro-animal
cruelty.
In my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of
a Dying Sport, I spend an entire chapter probing “Inside
the Hunter’s Mind.” Hence, I’m here to tell you it’s a dark
and disturbing place in there—and no one divulges that
better than the hunters themselves. Here are a couple of
quotes from hunters waxing poetic on the thrills they get
out of killing:
“I had wondered and worried how it would feel to kill
an animal, and now I know. It feels — in both the modern and archaic senses — awesome. I’m flooded, overwhelmed, seized by interlocking feelings of euphoria and
contrition, pride and humility, reverence and, yes, fear.
The act of killing an innocent being feels — and will
always feel — neither wholly wrong nor wholly right.”
A sentiment perhaps once shared by this other
unabashed killer:
“You’re the last one there…you feel the last bit of
breath leaving their body. You’re looking into their eyes
and basically, a person in that situation is God! You then
possess them and they shall forever be a part of you. And
the grounds where you killed them become sacred to you
and you will always be drawn back to them.”
Both quotes were from people who considered themselves hunters—men who stalked and killed innocent,
unarmed victims. The first was taken from a New York
Times article written by Bill Heavey, an editor at large for
the “sportsman’s” magazine, Field and Stream. The second one triumphantly reliving his conquest was none
other than the infamous Ted Bundy, as he sat on death
row musing over his many murders to the authors of The
Only Living Witness.
It seems that, whether the perpetrator is engaged in a
sport hunt or a serial kill, the approach is similar. Though
their choice of victims differs, their mindset and/or perhaps mental illness is roughly the same.
Even our former cold war enemy seems to be light years
ahead of the U.S. in moving beyond the barbarity of hunting. Oleg Mikheyev, MP of the center-left Fair Russia parliamentary party, told the daily newspaper Izvestia just
what I’ve been saying all along: “People who feel pleasure when they kill animals cannot be called normal.”
Mikheyev entered a draft law to ban most hunting in
Russia and expressed his belief that hunting is unnecessary and immoral, regardless of whether one sees it as a
sport, a pastime or an industry. According to the bill, forest rangers will still be allowed to hunt but must first pass
a psychological test, which Mikheyev points out, “…can
help us in early detection of latent madmen and murderers.” https://www.rt.com/russia/ban-game-hunting-total-164/ .
Here in the states, Heavey went on to write, “What ran
in the woods now sits on my plate… What I’ve done feels
subversive, almost illicit.”
Then why do it?
Though some hunters like Heavey may put on a show of
innocuousness by temporarily eschewing guns and choosing to test their skill at bowhunting—arguably the cruelest
kill method in the sportsman’s quiver—the typical
American hunter sets out on their expeditions in a
Humvee or some equally eco-inefficient full-sized pickup
truck, spending enough on gas, gear, beer and groceries to
buy a year’s supply of food, or to make a down payment
on a piece of land big enough to grow a killer garden.
Clearly the motive for their madness is more insidious
than simply procuring a meal.
There’s been plenty of discussion about controlling
weapons to hopefully stave off the next school shooting,
but the media has been mute over the role hunting plays
in conditioning people to killing. And the New York
Times article is a shameful example of the press pandering
to the 5 percent who still find pleasure in taking life. Do
we really want to encourage 7.8 billion humans to go out
and kill wildlife for food as if hunting is actually sustainable and wild animal flesh is an unlimited resource?
Overhunting has proven time and again to be the direct
cause of extinction for untold species, including the passenger pigeon, the Carolina parakeet and the Eastern elk.
Meanwhile, hunters out west are doing a bang-up job of
driving wolves back to the brink of oblivion for the second time in as many centuries.
Heavey ended his Times article gloating, “I have stolen
food. And it is good.” Like serial killers and school shooters, hunters objectify their victims; so insignificant are
they to them that hunters don’t even recognize them for
what they are—fellow sentient beings. Does somebody
have to point out the obvious—he didn’t just steal “food,”
he stole a life.
Most people are anthropocentric by nature and have little or no compassion for non-humans. To reach the average reader, the mainstream media tries to frame everything in the context of how it affects people. Keeping a
record of hunting accidents may seem a rather morbid
effort, but it’s a good way to remind the public about the
lethal violence inherent in the “sport” of hunting. If a
human doesn’t get maimed or killed once in a while, people continue to believe the misguided notion that hunting
is just a friendly, social hour for traditional family-values
proponents, “ethical” conservationists (claiming to be
doing the animals a favor by killing them) or worse yet,
those fashionable so-called locavore foodies who think of
wildlife only as a source of flesh to stuff in their trendy,
goateed, hipster gob.
Never mind that folks can get together in the out-ofdoors to take a hike, watch birds or photograph wildlife—
without taking any lives. No, hunting isn’t going to end
because of a high hunter body count. Not unless those
who survive are willing to teach others to learn from their
mistakes and encourage them to lay down their weapons
once and for all.
Okay, so maybe there’s sometimes more to sport hunting than just mindless plunking away at innocent, undeserving animals. Besides the selfish, sociopathic satisfaction they get out of snuffing out their fellow sentient
beings, some hunters are also motivated by the prospect of
eating the flesh of their conquests.
These so-called “sportsmen” (or women) are not starving or suffering in any way (outside of being burdened
with an abnormally low self esteem) at the time they commit their offenses — they just have a hankering for something perversely pleasurable to them. Here’s a description,
in a hunter’s own words, of how much he enjoyed consuming the flesh of a scarce, embattled trumpeter swan:
“You would think it would be goosey, but it’s more ducky,
tight grained, very flavorful. The fat was delicious. I
plucked it all the way to the chin and used the neck as a
sausage skin.” (From the article, “Utah hunters killed 20
rare trumpeter swans by accident this year. Here’s why
that matters.”)
https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2019/12/29/utah-hunters-killed-rare/
Clearly, some of these sport-eaters fancy themselves
gourmets and may even pride themselves in their abilities
to turn a deceased carcass into a delectable feast, but the
same could probably have been said about Jeffery
Dahmer and his unfortunate victims.
And the fictional serial killer (based on an actual doctor
incarcerated in Mexico), Hannibal Lecter displayed typical hunter-bravado when he bragged to FBI agent Clarice
Starling: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his
liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” Sorry to
tell self-excusatory sportsmen and other unapologetic
killers, murder does not magically become sacred once
your victims’ flesh passes through your digestive tract.
But, everyone has a right to feed themselves and their
family, don’t they? Well, does everyone—all of nearly 7.8
billion humans and counting—have the right to subsist off
the backs of other animals when there are more humane
and sustainable ways to feed ourselves? How many selfproclaimed “subsistence” hunters are willing to give up
all their modern conveniences—their warm house, their
car, their cable TV or their ever-present and attendant
“reality” film crew—and live completely off the land like
a Neanderthal? Not many, I’m sure—at least not indefinitely. That I can guarantee.
Deer, along with most other animal species—besides
Homo sapiens, have built-in mechanisms that cause their
reproduction rate to slow down when their population is
high or food is scarce. Though state “game” departments
are loath to share any information that might work against
one of their arguments for selling hunting licenses, even
they know that in reality the wildlife can ultimately take
care of their own. According to the Western Association
of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, “A mule deer herd that is
at or above the carrying capacity of its habitat may produce fewer fawns than one that is below carrying capacity.” https://docplayer.net/133460707-Of-nebraska-lincoln.html
The fact is, hunting encourages ungulates to reproduce
more, thus seemingly warranting the alleged need for population controls via, you guessed it, more hunting.
Hunting industry propagandists have a lot of people
convinced that culling is a necessary evil for controlling
animal overpopulation. Lethal removal is their one-sizefits-all solution, no matter the circumstance. But there are
always alternatives to that fatal fallback position. When
we finally get past the viewpoint of animals as objects, or
“property of the state,” and start to see them instead as
individuals, the justifications for culling begin to wear
thin.
Many places that provide habitat for healthy populations of deer could also support the natural predators who
evolved alongside them. All that’s required of humans is
to stay out of the way and let nature take its course, or, in
some cases, repair the damage they’ve done by reintroducing wolves or other native carnivores who were foolhardily eradicated. Yet, in the western US and Alaska, as
well as in Canada, natural predators are still being killed
to allow deer, moose or elk hunters a better chance of success. While some people complain that these browsers
and grazers have gotten too tame, hunters in states like
Idaho and Montana are whining that wolves make the elk
too wild and thus harder for them to hunt.
I tend to be even more cynical about areas where
humans have claimed every square inch for themselves
and aren’t willing to share with native grazers. When I
hear grumbling about deer, elk or geese pooping on a golf
course, I have a hard time relating to people’s grievances.
It’s the height of speciesism to expect that these animals
should face lethal culling for successfully adapting to an
unnaturally overcrowded human world.
Ours is the invasive species, overpopulating and
destroying habitats wherever we go. We wouldn’t want
some other beings jumping to a knee-jerk “cull them all”
reaction every time humans reached their carrying capacity in a given area.
Sooner or later Mother Nature will tire of humans’
destructive dominance and come up with a way to bring
life back into balance. I can just hear her telling off the
hunters: “Other animals have a right to be here too—just
live with it, Elmers!” ————————–
Portions of this article were excerpted from the
book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying
Sport by Jim Robertson

Rooster Slices and Kills Owner on Their Way to a Cockfight in India: Report

Rooster Slices and Kills Owner on Their Way to a Cockfight in India: Report
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A 50-year-old man in India was killed when he was sliced in the neck by his own rooster while on the way to a cockfight, according to CNN.

Saripalli Chanavenkateshwaram Rao — a father of three — died of a stroke after being transported to a hospital when he suffered the cut from a razor tied to the animal’s claw on Jan. 15, officer Kranti Kumar said in a statement CNN. The fatal injury occurred when the rooster tried to escape, Kumar added.

Rao was from a village in Andhra Pradesh, a state located in south-eastern India, and frequently attended cockfights in the area.

A centuries-old practice, cockfighting involves placing roosters in an enclosed pit and having them fight to the death, according to the Humane Society. The animals who survive suffer excruciating injuries, such as punctured lungs, broken bones and pierced eyes.

Because handlers attach sharp steel blades to their rooster’s legs, some have been killed when the bird inadvertently cuts them, the group said.

Many countries have moved to outlaw the inhumane event, including in the United States, where it is a felony to participate in cockfights in 42 states, the ASPCA said.

While cockfighting has been illegal in India for more than six decades, it remains a problem, People for Animals foundation trustee Gauri Maulekhi told CNN.

RELATED: An Elderly Australian Woman Was Pecked to Death by a Rooster at Her Own Farm, Researchers Say

“The offenses have been made very clear and explained to the district and state authorities, but they choose to turn a blind eye towards it,” Maulekhi said. “It is not just for entertainment that these animals are made to fight, but it is [also] due to the heavy betting and gambling that goes on in the garb of these events.”

The cockfighting event Rao was to attend still went on as scheduled and resulted in no arrests, CNN said.

RELATED VIDEO: Russian Handler Survives Mauling by Circus Bear

According to the Humane Society, cockfighting is linked to gambling and other illegal activities such as homicide and drug use. During a single event, tens of thousands of dollars can change hands.

“I don’t think culture has anything to do with it,” Maulekhi added. “It is purely a money game and hysteria takes over, reason and logic just take a back seat such that neither the animal’s welfare nor the people’s welfare is enough to stop it.”

Trump signs animal cruelty act into law–HUNTING EXEMPTED!!

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump signed a bill that makes animal cruelty a federal felony on Monday, saying the measure would help us be “more responsible and humane stewards of our planet.”

The PACT Act — which stands for Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture — was signed by the President at the White House, where he said he was “pleased” to approve the legislation. The bipartisan act, which passed the Senate earlier this month, expands a previous law passed in 2010.
Trump said he had the same reaction to the bill as he did to the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act he had signed a few minutes earlier, saying, “Why hasn’t this happened a long time ago?”
“It is important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty,” he said.
Federal law had previously only prohibited animal fighting and only criminalized animal cruelty if the wrongdoers create and sell videos depicting the act. Under the PACT Act, a person can be prosecuted for crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating or impaling animals or sexually exploiting them. Those convicted would face federal felony charges, fines and up to seven years in prison.
Right now, all 50 states have laws on their books against animal cruelty at the state level.
With Trump’s approval, federal authorities can go after the wrongdoers because they will have federal jurisdiction and will not be bound by state laws. They can also prosecute criminals if the cruelty occurs on federal property.
The legislation, which contains exceptions for hunting, is supported by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Western NY hunter shoots rare ‘cinnamon bear’ and then cries, missing his late father

Cinnamon bear

Hunter Sean Mooradian, of Youngstown, N.Y., shot this rare, cinnamon-colored black bear in Canisteo in Steuben County.

CANISTEO, N.Y. – Deer hunter Sean Mooradian was sitting on the ground Monday morning, tearfully thinking of his father who had died a year ago while at hunting camp. Mooradian hadn’t see a deer all weekend and was thinking of calling it a day soon and heading home.

At about 8 a.m., though, Mooradian was shocked to see a huge, cinnamon-colored bear walking down the side of a nearby hill toward him. He moved about 10 yards to get a better angle. When the bear was about 70 yards away, he aimed his rifle and fired.

“I hit him right in the front of the shoulder. He went about 20 yards, slid down the hill a little and that was it,” he said.

And then he started thinking of his dad and how much he missed him, and that he was there with him.

“It all happened so quick. I started crying. I went over to check it out. It was like I was in a dream. My dad was a real spiritual guy and I am, too. It just blew my mind, ” he said.

Mooradian, 34, a building contractor, was hunting on property in Canisteo in Steuben County with a group of family and friends. He said he had no idea that cinnamon-colored, black bears are rare in this state. He found that out when he brought the male, 323-pound animal to a local taxidermist. “You don’t see them around here,” Mooradian was told.

Joe Folta, a certified wildlife biologist from SUNY ESF, said less than 1 percent of the black bears in this state are a color other than black. Black bears of any color can be legally hunted in New York. See the state Department of Environmental Conservation website for more on this.

According to the DEC, the vast majority of black bears in this state are black, occasionally with a white blaze on their chest. Cinnamon bears are a color morph of the black bear species. Cinnamon-colored black bears – along with black, brown, blue-gray, blond and even white ones – are fairly common in the western U.S.

Cinnamon colored ones, though, are rare in the Northeast.

“One was harvested in Sullivan County earlier this year,” a DEC spokeswoman said. “DEC usually receives reports of cinnamon bears when they are killed on the roadways, so seeing one harvested, as in this case, is rare.”

Cinnamon bear

Sean Mooradian, left, and his friend, Mike Novelli, with Mooradian’s cinnamon-colored black bear after he brought it home.

During a phone interview Wednesday, Mooradian, who lives in Youngstown in Niagara County, was still very emotional about shooting the bear. His feelings, he said, were closely tied to memories of his father, Kevin Mooridian.

“Dad passed last year on opening day at camp. It was a real shocker. He had a heart attack in front of us all. He was 61,” he said.

Prior to when he shot the bear Monday morning, Mooradian said he was looking at Facebook on his iPhone. The first thing that came up on his phone was “Memories,” featuring several photos of his father. He said he cried when he saw the photos. In addition, all weekend, he had been getting text messages of support and sympathy from friends and family who knew where he was and that he’d be thinking about his father.

As for the downed bear, Mooradian said he immediately began texting his hunting buddies for help.

“The first person I called was Tony (Gabrielle), one of my Dad’s best buds, who came on foot. We had a moment together, hugged. He started crying, too,” Mooradian said.

The dead bear had slid a little down a hillside. Mooradian had his four-wheeler, but had no way of getting the dead animal up the slope. He called his cousin, Tony Lozzi, who came with another four-wheeler and a little tilt trailer to load the bear up on to. The cousin also had a winch, a rope and a come-along which enabled the men to bring the bear up to the logging road where the ATVs were parked.

Cinnamon bear

Sean Mooradian with his cinnamon-colored, black bear at Trophy Room Taxidermy in Niagara Falls.

After showing he bear off at the hunting camp, Mooradian brought it home in a trailer and too it that evening to Trophy Room Taxidermy in Niagara Falls. Tim Young, the taxidermist, caped it out.

Mooradian then brought the remaining carcass home. He hung it in his pole barn (it was a cold night) and processed the meat himself on Tuesday, getting about 130 pounds.

“My dad cherished that part. He was old school and made his own sausage,” he said. “I try to use every part of the animal that I can. I even saved the fat. I’ll find a use for that. I’ve heard some people cook with it.”

He said bear meat tastes great if you cook it right.

“Got to cook it slow, like pork. It’s greasy. You have to cook all the grizzle out,” he said, adding he likes it prepared as a pot roast.

Mooradian intends on having a half-body, trophy mount made of the bear.

“It’s going to go in my house. I’m not exactly sure where – probably up in the air so my dog won’t mess with it. I’ll probably make some kind of custom stand for it,” he said.

SEND US YOUR BEAR AND DEER PHOTOS

Photos should be sent to outdoors writer David Figura at dfigura@NYup.com. Hunter who shot the animal must be in the photo. Include the full name of the hunter, where he or she is from, when and when the animal was shot, with what and the distance of the shot.

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Experts Say There’s Been A Rise In Organised Polar Bear Hunts

[First, from Captain Paul Watson]:
“Jobs Vs Bears?

I fail to understand how Greenpeace and WWF continue to support the hunting of polar bears. What kind of conservation organization supports the slaughter of endangered species? Greenpeace says that it is because indigenous people are employed as guides to white hunters and banning hunting would put many guides out of work. This is consistent with the Greenpeace policy of supporting the seal fur trade in Greenland. What is it Greenpeace? Is your objective to defend endangered species or endangered jobs? You can’t have it both ways”.

 
Experts Say There's Been A Rise In Organised Polar Bear Hunts

Animal experts are saying there has been a rise in trophy hunters seeking out polar bears in the Canadian area of the Arctic Circle through organised trips.

In fact, the surge has been so extreme that more than 5,000 polar bears have been killed for sport in the area in recent years, according to The Mirror.

A haul of 17 polar bear trophies have also been legally imported into the UK alone since 1995, as specialist hunting companies target Brits, Americans and the Chinese.

Eduardo Gonçalves, of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, told the newspaper: “It is well known polar bears are in serious danger of becoming extinct because of climate change.

“If we want to see them survive, we need to stop the senseless slaughter.

“The ­Government should ban im­­­ports of all hunting trophies right away.”

Credit: Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting
Credit: Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting

The Mirror reports that some companies may charge £36,000 for a 12-day hunt, with tourists also able to enlist the services of a taxidermist to turn the animals into decorative rugs.

A company called Quality Hunts – which advertises such £36,000 trips – says on its website: “Your hide, skull and baculum bone will be shipped frozen by a ­recommended Canadian taxidermist.

“There it will be fleshed, cleaned, properly salted and tanned. Once properly prepared, your hide can be stored for many years.”

Nebraska-based Worldwide Trophy Adventures also gives its customers an offer to ‘return for another 10 days if a polar bear is not taken’.

“Hunting is carried out on the sea ice in prime areas,” its website explains.

“Services of an Inuit polar bear guide with a team is provided through the duration of the hunt.

“The hunt ends when a bear is harvested.”

Credit: Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting
Credit: Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting

The Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting’s Gonçalves continued: “How can anyone justify having a polar bear body in their home as a trophy or for so-called ‘personal use’?

“Sixty-seven different polar bear body parts came into Britain in 2017, so far 61 have been logged for 2018.

“The IUCN Red List assessment in 2015 showed polar bears are facing multiple threats.

“As well as dwindling food resources because of shrinking sea ice, they face threats from oil and gas drilling, toxic waste pollution, new diseases as a result of global warming, and busier shipping lanes.

“The last thing they need is for trophy hunters to go around shooting them for fun just so they can pose for a selfie and have a bear’s head over their fireplace.

“There are 25,000 polar bears left. Yet CITES [the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention]… allows trophy hunters to shoot some of the world’s most endangered animals. This is scandalous.

“Government officials are meeting in Geneva next month to discuss the future of CITES. They should close this crazy loophole immediately.”

Credit: Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting
Credit: Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting

Dr Teresa Telecky, of the Humane Society International, added: “Polar bears are being pushed to the brink of extinction by climate change.

“Without ice, they are forced onto land where they are easy targets for trophy hunters.

“Canada is cashing in on this crisis. If it won’t act to save this species, other countries must.”

There are now estimated to be as few as 20,000 polar bears remaining in the wild, according to a petition from the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting – which now has more than 6,000 signatures of the 12,800 goal.

“As many as 5,000 polar bears have been killed by hunters in recent years for trophies, skins, bones, and gall bladders,” it says.

“It is time to act to save our polar bears – before it is too late.”

Featured Image Credit: Campaign To Ban Trophy Hunting

What You Need to Know About Alligator Hunter Willie Edwards From ‘Swamp People’

willie-edwards-swamp-people-1554400384398.JPG
SOURCE: HISTORY CHANNEL

BY GABRIELLE BERNARDINI

 

The reality series Swamp People  follows Louisiana natives as they hunt alligators on the Atchafalaya River Basin. The popular History Channel is currently in its 10th season, and fans watch as our favorite cast mates try to tackle (literally) the high-risk task of alligator hunting, which provides the majority of their income for the year.

The show follows different teams of hunters as they navigate the treacherous waters during the 30-day season. Willie Edwards has captured fans’ attention since the pilot and continues to be a key figure on the show.

While he used to hunt alongside family members — his father Junior (father) and his late brother Randy Edwards — Willie is solo this season. So, here’s what you need to know about our favorite Swamp People star.

willie-edwards-swamp-people-1554405544695.jpg

 Who is Willie Edwards’ Wife?

Willie learned the tricks of alligator hunting through his father Junior, and he is hoping to pass on his family’s tradition to his own kids. Willie is married to Sherrie Edwards and the couple have three children together — sons William IV and Landon, and a daughter named Michaela.

How Did Willie Edwards’ Brother Randy Die?

In September 2018, Randy Edwards was pronounced dead after a fatal car accident.

what-happened-to-randy-swamp-people-3-1551209386968-1551209389573-1554405697405.jpeg
SOURCE: FACEBOOK

According to state police, Randy’s car struck a pole, which caused the Chevrolet Silverado to flip. He was then ejected from the vehicle and his injuries were fatal. At the time, a statement was posted on Willie and Juniors shared Facebook page from cast member Ronnie Adams.

“It is in deep sadness that I make this post. Junior and Theresa’s son, Willie’s brother, Randy passed away in a vehicle accident early this morning. Randy was 35. Please keep the Edwards family in your prayers and also please respect their privacy at this time.”

 How to Join Willie Edwards on a swamp tour:

According to the family’s website, fans are able to sign up to join the Edwards clan on a tour of the Louisiana swamp. The website explains that the father-son duo are “swamper to the core” and “live off the land.”

“Junior is one of the last remaining year-round commercial fishermen in south Louisiana that supports his family solely on commercial fishing. The independent swamper lifestyle agrees with Junior; the one time he tried working for someone else, he only lasted two weeks. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t possess an extraordinary work ethic,” a statement on the website reads.

“Every morning, he leaves home by 5:30 for a long day of trapping and selling his catch. In the evenings, he and his wife Theresa do everything they can to prepare for the next season, such as making nets for buffalo fishing.”

willieedwards-1554402644626.JPG
SOURCE: FACEBOOK

 How Much is Willie Edwards Worth?

Though Willie’s father Junior took a break from filming the popular show, their combined net worth is reportedly an estimated $500,000.

While they do make their income via year-round commercial fishing and hunting, they also make royalties from the television show, which premiered in 2010.

Watch new episodes of Swamp People on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on the History Channel.